Frutillar is a small village on the shore of the lake Llanquihue, in the Lakes Region in the South of Chile. It’s so charming that it feels like being in a fairy tale.
The dwarfs were looking at me from behind the window. They were singing while working, happy because it was a sunny day.
In the South of Chile, in winter, sunny days are rare.
But that day it was extremely sunny. I hadn’t seen such a deep blue sky for weeks. I felt full of energy! “It’s sunny today! Where could I go?” I asked my host, who was a friend of a friend. “Go to Frutillar”, he told me.
I was staying in Puerto Varas, on the shore of Lake Llanquihue, in the Lakes Region in Chile. I had already learnt that green regions with plenty of lakes were rainy places, so I had to take advantage of that beautiful, sunny day. So I listened to my host and took the bus to Frutillar, which was around the same lake.
The smiling dwarfs welcomed me. “I’ll like it here”, I thought.
The first thing I saw was, of course, the lake. As a sea lover the water attracts me like a magnet, so I left the children’s park behind and went to the beach.
The sand was black.
In addition to the lakes, there are several active volcanoes in the region. In fact, there were two volcano eruptions in 2015, only a few months before I was there: Villarrica and Calbuco. The volcano Calbuco erupted in April and left several areas covered in ashes. The Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, the most visited in the region, even had to close some spots and some people lost their jobs.
I walked along the beach towards a building which was constructed over the water. Later on I learnt that it was a theater.
I spent the morning walking the streets of Frutillar. It was quite small, actually. And charming.
I saw dwarfs, dogs, fairies, a sailing boat and more dwarfs in the windows.
I found berries and flowers.
I saw beautiful houses that combined the architecture from the South of Chile with the German.
I sat on a bench that had the best views of the lake.
I saw a violin and a piano, a couple of puppets dancing, a sol clef.
Frutillar felt like a fairy tale.
I came back to the lake, and that’s when I saw it: the volcano Osorno, slowly appearing from behind the clouds. The Volcano Osorno is white because it’s covered by snow, and there is a glacier in the crater.
“If there is ever an eruption, the glacier might explode”, told me my host. I didn’t even want to imagine it. It was such a beautiful image, the white cone on the other side of the lake, reflected on the water. The blue sky. The silence. So beautiful and yet, so dangerous. Looking at the volcano I thought that it represented nature very well: its beauty, and its power.
I entered a handicraft shop and observed that many objects had musical decoration or designs. I asked the owner why there were so many things related to music, not only in the shop but all around the village, and she told me that the building I had seen before, in the lake, was a theater.
“El Teatro del Lago (Theater of the Lake) is very famous for classical music. People come from all over the world for the concerts. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has played here. Sometimes they play other kinds of music too”.
“Have you been to a concert there?”.
“I’m Mapuche, I prefer folkloric music”.
We started talking about Mapuches and their language. She told me that its use depended on the family. Her grandmother, for example, spoke Mapuche and didn’t know Spanish. People who emigrated to other regions lost the language, but new generations were trying to get it back.
“Nowadays a lot of children are bilingual. It’s very rich to be bilingual”.
“I’m bilingual too”, I said.
“Are you from Barcelona?”. Wow, how did she guess?
She told me that she was very interested in Spain and in the fusion of the cultures – the Mapuche and the Spanish – the influences in the clothes, the handicraft, the food.
When I looked at the watch, I had been talking to her for two hours.
It was time to say good bye to Frutillar, the fairy tale village, and go back to Puerto Varas.
Have you ever been to a place that felt like a fairy tale?
Pin it for later!