'The Amazing Race' Pit Stop Fiver: From Little San Francisco to Little Germany
Friday, February 19, 2010
Last week on The Amazing Race we saw the city of Valparaiso in Chile, marked by those funicular elevators and the quaint little houses that the government helps maintain. Well, we would've noticed that if not for the many little mistakes the racers did upon arriving there.
On this week's episode, the racers stay in Chile, where they encounter very bad, kicking cows. There's no official word on where exactly they're going, but it's been confirmed that the racers are headed to the little town of Puerto Varas, in the southern part of the country. Cue me, armed with Wikipedia and a patchy Spanish translator website, with five random facts about where we're (possibly!) headed next.
Why Little Germany? Valparaiso was called "little San Francisco" because of its hilly terrain. Puerto Varas isn't called "little Germany", but you might call it that, too: the town is inhabited by German-speaking settlers. In fact, that is the case with the province of Llanquihue, which was opened up to settlers in the 19th century.
Sights, sights, sights. The province is known for its beautiful sights, home to the country's second largest lake (the Lake Llanquihue) and four volcanos. The Osorna volcano is known for being a perfect cone, and has gained comparisons with Japan's Mount Fuji.
The place has many roses, but it's not why it's called Puerto Varas. It's actually named after Antonio Varas, a government official during the time when the area was first settled by German and Chilean farmers alike. Varas did not found the town, though: it was founded by diplomat Vicente Perez Rosales, to whom a national park is named.
But it is like going to Germany. The city is known for its architecture, especially the homes built by a new wave of German immigrants, who moved during the World Wars. Eight of these homes are considered national monuments, and attract many tourists during the summer. Also a must-spot: the Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, built in the 1910s.
And just when you thought it's all quaint and cute... there's a casino in the city. I bet you did not see that coming.
It was hard gathering these facts, I'll admit, but as always, the point is this: any of these facts could come into play when The Amazing Race returns on Sunday night. Provided, of course, the spoilers are correct.
(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)