Sunset in Santiago

I’m in Santiago, Chile, for two weeks to provide some computing support for a colleague. Unfortunately this city is often covered in a blanket of smog (especially during the summer). As a consequence the Andes mountains, which are pretty much right next to the city, are rarely visible in their full glory. But occasionally the smog lifts, revealing beautiful mountain views, especially during sunset. Here are some impressions (click on any pic for a full-sized view).

My colleague works at the Universidad Catolica de Chile. Given that I personally work on research related to the origin of life and evolution, it feels a bit strange to be at a catholic university. But the good thing is that they actually have some money, and it shows! Here’s an image from the entrance hall I walk through every day. That bright patch is actually a beautiful stain-glass window, but unfortunately that doesn’t show up in this picture.

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And I pass by this guy every day as well on my way to the office. Pope John Paul II visited the university in 1987, which is commemorated with this statue.

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But now for the real beautiful part. I’m staying in a very nice apartment in a 25-storey building in the center of the city. There is a large terrace on the roof, from which there are spectacular views over the entire city and nearby mountains (well, if you’re lucky enough to have no smog!). Especially in the evening, when the sun is about to set, it becomes even more beautiful.

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There’s even a little swimming pool, right on the edge of the roof, from where you have a great view of the city and mountains to the east.

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Here’s the view to the north of Cerro San Cristobal, which I had walked up just the day before.

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And the mountains to the south-east, in the late-evening sunlight.

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A full panoramic view towards the east over the city and the Andes. (As with all images on this page, click the pic for a full-sized view.)

The last bit of sunlight casting a beautiful red glow on the distant mountains and clouds.

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And finally, the sun disappearing behind the horizon to the west.

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A rare summer evening with little to no smog. A spectacular show indeed.