Our ACEAP team has arrived in Santiago, and with that starts our exciting exploration of Chile and the astronomy being done here. Flights from Boston to Houston were uneventful (always a good sign!) with a short layover before departing to Santiago. That flight is a long 9 1/2 hours overnight: many movies, two meals and lots of stretching. Santiago airport is just outside the city proper, a busy place at 7:30am, when many of the international flight arrive. Lines are long and difficult to find an end to… if you catch the meaning.
From the airport into town was just a short taxi ride away. The most prominent feature of the area are the tremendous mountains looming in the eastern distance. They climb rapidly from the planes and are snow capped at this time of year. They are very visible from any eastern facing portion of the city.
We spent some time in a small group checking out of the some the more prominent sites of Santiago: the Mercado Central, the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, and some local neighborhoods. It is a lively, busy and colorful place. I am very excited to continue exploring and to see as much as possible while here: not much sleeping will be done!