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Recent field trips with friends and photography classes have taken me to Santiago’s Recoleta cemetery quite a few times lately. It’s a lovely place, varied and bright, with sections for the well-to-do and regular folk, streaming with flowers and mementos and flags of people’s favorite soccer teams. And these giant animitas, where people give thanks for prayers that have been answered or supplication for the same.

And I try not to be sad, because it’s beautiful and part of the cycle of life and natural, I’m assured (but find this very unreassuring). But there are only so many pictures (which, by the way, are not permitted) of forlorn flowers and neglected graves with sad poems and occasionally, typos (graveos?) that make me wince. So on this latest trip, I decided to focus on the pretty. Here’s how some of it came out.

Photo of the pavilion, which I, and I alone, call the Greek Temple, so keep this in mind if you are looking for it.

And then a reflection, because lucky for me, it had rained recently, and this tree just couldn’t stop itself from blooming.

And one of my photo class’s favorites, which I took before we even split up to go take photos, just at the entrance of the cemetery. And they all said, why didn’t you point out that beautiful reflection to us?

And I thought, because beauty, like death is all in how you see it.

But instead I said nothing, and pointed out that I’d used a 60 mm lens.

Details: Santiago’s Recoleta Cemetery, at the yellow line at the Cementerios metro stop. Also accessible from Avda. La Paz by bike (there is a bike path, but on many weekend days it is partially or totally blocked with veggie vendors, so beware), the bike path starts across the river from the Mercado Central on La Paz. You can also walk, up La Paz or Recoleta, but the Recoleta walk is a bit solitary.

Taking photos> In order to take photos, you need permission from the office, but what they don’t see won’t get you in trouble, methinks. Guards wear blue jumpsuits and ride around on bikes. The ladies who tend the graves won’t rat you out.