Day trip to Frutillar and Llanquihue
Today was one of "those" days!
Well before time, I was waiting at the end of the no through road to my unit for the tour bus to come and pick me up around 7am. I stood, I looked, I waited until after 8am, then went back to my unit to see if my host could find out what was going on. Lucky for me, she was just closing the door and on her way to work, so I had just managed to catch her. She rang the agency for me and I went back to wait. At 8.30am, she came running to me to tell me the tour bus had already gone and had forgotten to pick me up!
The tour company was most apologetic and promised to ring that night and sort things out with me.
House at Llanquihue
As half of the morning had gone, I decided to take the local bus to Llanguihue and Frutillar today instead of later on.
Sculpture @ Llanquihue
I hopped off the bus at the entrance of Llanquihue, a small city that lies on the western shore of Lake Llanquihue, I didn't know the town stretched a long way beside the main road and that I had a long walk to get to the main part of town.
Wooden sculptures created by chainsaw are a big feature in this town, although the huge sculpture at the town's entrance was made from metal and looked to feature a miner.
I walked through the roadside park where many older wooden sculptures were on display.
Still I walked and still the main part of town wasn't in sight. I passed by quite a big cemetery, then came across a park beside the River Maullin with more recent sculptures and a playground.
Sculptures @ Llanquihue
Eventually I had reached the main part of the city! What I found here underneath a big covered area, was an International Wood Carving competition being held. There were some marvellous sculptures, I wouldn't like to be the one choosing the winner.
Competition sculptures @ Llanquihue
I couldn't find anything else of interest, so I hailed a bus to take me to Frutillar, known as the "City of Music" and where the Germans settled in Chile
My bus took me through the high part of Frutillar, (Frutillar Alto) a busy, not really attractive area. At that time I was wondering why people raved about Frutillar. Then we made our way downhill and drove to the other part of Frutillar, (Frutillar Bajo) which is beside Lake Llanquihue, this was the pretty part of Frutillar.
Lake Llanquihue @ Frutillar
This area was packed with tourists and probably locals as many were swimming in the cold lake water. Houses had distinctive architecture, there were nice gardens, plenty of german named Restaurants and what looked to be a fairly new Theatre.
I wandered along the promenade taking in the views whilst enjoying an ice-cream, it was the "thing" to do!
It was while I was walking the promenade that I noticed people inside a rotunda staring at the roof, of course, when they left I had to check out what they were looking at. Well, it turned out to be a very nice mural probably showing the first German settlers and what they grew at Frutillar.
Murals at Frutillar
Instead of walking the same way back to the Bus station, I went one block back to walk along that street and found a garden exhibition being held in the German Colonial Museum of Frutillar, founded in 1981, in memory of German Immigration to the Los Lagos Region. For a small entrance fee, I was able to wander around this three-hectare park that tells the story of German settlers in the Llanquihue Lake starting from 1852.
Not only did I have lovely gardens to admire in a park-like setting, but old German houses. At the moment there are five, I believe more could be added. Llaveria is the first building when entering the Museum and is only a small building.
Next was the Mill House or water mill with its big old wheel. In 1870, the original water mill stood in this very spot.
German Colonial Museum -Water Mill
The country house was built in 1889 and sits in a prime position on a hill with wonderful views of Lake Llanquihue and its volcanoes . It was open so I was able to see what a typical German farm house looked like when built during the economic boom of that time. The interior was spacious and included living rooms, music room, large kitchen, bedrooms and other rooms, outside was a garden.
Blacksmith's House and smithy and forge workshop was different altogether. It was a plain country house where the smithy worked for the owner of the estate. In his workshop were tools he would have used, like hammers, anvil, etc.
The Bell tower was interesting as it was a circular agricultural shed of Spanish style, used to store the bundles of wheat. Today on show were a variety of agricultural implements and domestic machines for manufacturing dairy products from days gone by. The name is very misleading!
Last but not least was the lovely established garden with talls trees, beds of Dahlias and other flowers, a pretty stream, lotus ponds and much more.
German Colonial Museum of Frutillar
It was a delight to wander around the garden, to see the old buildings, all made from shingles and to enjoy views over the lake and mountains.
This concluded my day here, it was back on the bus and to Puerto Montt for another night.