Friday, January 25, 2019

Valparaíso, Chile

I’ve been to Chile several times and have boarded ships twice in Valparaíso but have never stayed in or visited the city itself. It was always all about Santiago. Until today.

We docked in the port city of San Antonio this time. Ships don’t port in Valparaíso any longer. Apparently the port there doesn’t want cruise ships as they generate much more revenue from commercial ships. But a quick 90 minutes south lies the port of San Antonio and they are happy to have us.

But I still wanted to visit Valparaíso so I found a tour company called Perro Tours who offered a day tour from San Antonio to both Valparaíso and Vina Del Mar, an upscale beach town next door.

Valparaiso is the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Chile.  It used to be an important stopover for ships having traveled the Straits of Magellan, and was called "Little San Francisco", among other names.  Wealthy families took up residence there.  However, after the Panama Canal was completed, the city was all but abandoned, the economy from port operations plummeted, and those same wealthy families moved out.  It wasn't until about 2003, when the old quarter of the city was declared a UNESCO world heritage site, that a resurgence truly began for the city.

Today, it's known for it's street art, cobblestone streets and a thriving artist community.  The seaport does a good business due to Chile's copper mining industry.

Our tour took us through the historic district where we saw lots of the street art.  I've got gobs of pictures so forgive me for posting so many.  You might find Snort on one.............

Our guide suggested a group picture when we reached the bottom of one street and before we turned down another.  We agreed, and then we were quite surprised when he showed it to us, as none of could see the word sign below us at the time!

This is a candy shop, above.  On the sidewalks leading up to the shop, there are painted white ants, all facing in the direction of the candy shop!!

This was one of my favorites - the purple VW van.

This reminds me of that baby in the commercials for E-Trade awhile back.

As you can see, Valparaiso is a VERY hilly city..........Look at this skinny house!!  They want to utilize the space as efficiently as possible.

This wall painting above was next to a sushi place!!

See the frog above is sitting there using his smartphone............

Next up, we ventured over to Vina del Mar, a beachside resort city next to Valparaiso.  It's known, of course, for its beaches, gardens and high rise buildings.  It also has a very cool flower clock that uses solar to keep time, and an authentic Moai statue from Easter Island.  Oh, and an interesting street warning sign..........

On the way to Vina Del Mar, we rode 2 funiculars - the steepest one and the longest one.  They are a fun way to get up and down some of the steeper areas of the old quarter. the one above is the longest and I believe, oldest one in the city.

Some cool architecture

And this would be the steepest funicular.

Inside one of the funicular cars.  This is the oldest one.

Check out that grade!!!

I think this is the oldest fire station in either all of Chile or all of South America.

The city is building another funicular.  I made this picture larger so you can see that the road beneath it zigs and zags and it's going to be the only funicular where there is a road beneath the tracks.

The port of Valparaiso looking towards Vina Del Mar

I'm a sucker for old VW bugs.  There's lots of them in South America. 

The wheel house of the first funicular.

That's me on the left!!  And my group of friends for the day - Patty, Debbie and Denise, Rick and Mary, and Judy and Dennis.

These dogs found a quiet place to sleep at an overlook.

This is a statue of a beloved and famous military man - Prat.
The longest funicular track

Looking out over Valparaiso

I am Groot!!!!

The sculpture in front of this government house is one of Rodin's.

Another group photo in front of the Archeological Museum and a Moai statue from Easter Island

The flower clock garden

Don't you just love this sign????

And, our final group photo of the day.  Funny, we're in reverse order of the earlier photo.

Travel quote:  "Travel brings power and love to your life"  Rumi

Stay tuned for more Pig Tales!!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for all of the street art pictures. Enjoying your travels!