|Vina del Mar coastline|
|Two visitors from Europe and one from Easter Island|
|One of Valpo's funicular city lifts|
Valparaiso - 'Valpo' for short - has long been one of the continent's best-kept secrets. Ignored by many Chileans, who prefer the more mundane charms of Viña del Mar next door, people are now beginning to catch on - especially since the city was named a Unesco World Heritage site in 2003. From the flat city center (funicular elevators) creak at an improbable angle up to a very different city above. These tumbling chaotic (hills), with their steep labyrinthine roads, crumbling mansions and kaleidoscopic rooftops, will have even amateur photographers snapping on every street corner. It's not just the stunning vistas that hit you as you look down to the busy working commercial and naval harbor below; it's the unique, faded grandeur of the town, and its spontaneous, bohemian charm.
For us the highlight of our trip was the visit to the home of Pablo Neruda, his house "La Sebastiana". For those of you not familar with Neruda, he was a Chilean poet and diplomat, in 1971 he won the Nobel prize for literature, he always wrote in green ink his personal color of hope. He had three houses in Chile all of which we visited during our trip. They are all quite unique showing his passion for collecting trinkets from his trips around the world, his love of the sea and his love of entertaining. All of the houses have a bar which hosted some legendary parties in their time. If you visit Valparaiso and only have time to visit one place, be sure and visit La Sebastiana.
|La Sebastian - Valparaiso|
Cerro San Cristobal