Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso, Chile.  Chosen by us because we wanted a coastal town on our trip.  But I need to be VERY clear- NEVER come here!  This city is a rat hole!  I would use a stronger word, but this is a family blog:-).  This city is crowded beyone belief; filthy dirty with garbage and trash everywhere; grafiti like you have never seen.  Talking with people, it appears it is the most dangerous city in Chile- mainly from knifings- isn't that wonderful?!

The city has a coastal plane a few blocks wide, then climbs up into very steep hills and ravines.  Every inch is covered with buildings- for as far as the eye can see.  And many, if not most, are not the most attractive buildings.  It is also a port, so......

Now- since you will NEVER go here, let me share with you things we found.  There is much gentrification going on- mainly in the hills. (for some of you, I know gentrification is bad because it displaces our beloved poor people).  But, the homes and businesses in the  hills paint their buildings very colorful: orange, red, blue, green, turqoise, etc.  And street/building murals are very common place- Incredible murals that cover entire buildings or walls; sadly, so is the grafiti.  There are cute hotels and hostels, restaurants, art shops, and even a chocolate store, where the chocolate is SO excellent.

To get around, the city has multiple ascensors (trams) that are about 100 years old, or more, that end on beautiful little terraced walkways that look over the city, ugly as it is. There are also multiple stairways up or down- most are nicely tiled or painted.  In fact, everything is up:-)  Remember- it is on hills.

There are dogs everywhere!  They wander around, poop wherever they want, follow people.  But none were ever aggressive or barking- people would go up to them and pet them, bring them food.  While the copious amounts of poop was very annoying, seeing friendly dogs cared for by everyone was kind of nice.

Weird thing- none of their toast had crusts.  It didn't seem like they cut them off,andno one spoke enough english to explain it to us, so....another weird mystery.

Another weird thing- wires.  There are wires everywhere- usually combined with tens of other wires connecting buildings, running up the side of buildings, across the street above, around poles.  Check out the photos carefully- you will probably see wires by the hundreds:-).

We ended up staying in the very cute hotel (Hotel Brighton- check it on in the hills overlooking the main square and port.  In the photos,it is the orange hotel.  It is very old, with patios all around- it is very nice!

Our hotel from the main square- it is the orange one.

Main Square


Ascensor (tram)

View of the port/coast from the hotel

Me at the entry way
Our hotel

Another view of the square from the hotel patio

One of the hundreds of dogs.

One of the squares in the city- this is the Chilean naval command building

The other end of the square


tiled stairway

Stairs like a piano- note the art to the right

View of the hills with their colorful homes and buildings

A home with a mural of their dog with the dog laying there!

Rich with coffee against a purple building

One of the multitudes of murals

colored steps

One of the terraced walk ways with city views.  This one led straight to our hotel 

Our hotel at night.  Our room is the 2nd story with balcony- it was awesome!

besides dogs, there were lots of cats, too!

Hills at night

Main square at night

Thier bread has no crusts!!!!

View of our hotel and street from across the ravine.  Ours was the orange one on the right.

Colorful homes in the ravines

In addition to Valparaiso, there are small coastal towns to the north.  We went to two of them: Vine de Mar and ConCon.  Vine de Mar is much nicer than Valparaiso, but BORING and bland.  ConCon is a cute little coastal town we liked.

Vine de Mar: 

Rich in the park

View of the city- very built up

This hotel restaurant was built in 1930- it is in the shape of a ship!  They are restoring it- it is quite nice

The Rambla along the coast it nice.  The coast is rocky with lots of pelicans and sea gulls

View of the coast

Rich on the Rambla

Another view of the ship restaurant/hotel

The rustic town of ConCon

The sea wall rocks have sayings painted on them

The town emblem

Rich on the coast

fishing dock

Light house

"please feed me!"

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