Puerto Varas and Frutillar
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After a good night's sleep under the heavenly down comforters at the Compass del Sur, we enjoyed our free breakfast of bread and tea and hit the road. Our choice for the day was the town of Frutillar, another little German town on the shores of Lake Llanquihue. After a 30-40 minute bus ride next to a man who found it perfectly acceptable to make himself comfortable by hogging 3/4 of our seat, we pulled into Frutillar. It was pleasant enough, with one main street running around the lake, full of shops and restaurants. If we'd been in the market for nubby hand-knitted sweaters or painted wooden knick-knacks, the shops in Frutillar would've been paradise. Saving those purchases for another day, we walked around the lake and out onto a pier, where we could've seen the volcano if it hadn't been so cloudy. Out of things to do, we took the bus back to Puerto Varas.
In Puerto Varas, we stopped at a restaurant called Cafe Danes, choosing it based on looks alone. Cheery Christmas garlands and a golden sleigh and reindeer decorated the windows, while inside, we could see glass cases packed with pastries, tarts and pies. Sold!
We sat down to eat in the back dining room, which had light-colored timber ceilings and Christmas decorations tucked into the peaked roof's alcoves. To keep things cheap, we both had hot dogs, but they came with a delicious homemade mayo that made them extra good. The bun was a bit large for my taste, and the service was very slow (although everyone else in the room, all Chilean, was served faster than us), but dessert made up for it. We split a slice of kuchen, a creamy tart filled with blueberries and raspberries. Over at another table, someone was eating what looked like yellow cake with nuts staggering under a pound of whipped cream, and if I'd had a second stomach, I would have ordered that, too.
In the late afternoon, I felt restless so I followed a self-guided walking tour of Puerto Varas's historic houses. Many of them were absolutely adorable.
I also peeked inside the Parroquia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesú. Just like many of the buildings in town, it was built by the city's German immigrants. Not what you'd expect to see in Chile! It was pretty inside, but I had to giggle at the piped-in music. Unfortunately, the songs were all in Spanish, so I couldn't tell you if they were religious or pop, but it's definitely the first time I've heard something like that inside a church.
As I walked around, I took advantage of the time alone to snap pictures of the roses to my heart's content. Puerto Varas is known as the "City of Roses" because all along the streets, the grass medians are planted with rose bushes. Most of the roses were in bloom, and the colors and varieties were amazing. Yesterday, poor Patti had to keep stopping so I could take pictures of them. I couldn't get enough!
The nicest surprise on my walk was a momma cat and her three little kittens! I watched them jumping on each other and exploring their yard until they wandered off into the bushes. So precious. The only way it could've been better would have been to cuddle one.