Saturday, November 21, 2015

Valparaiso is gloriously gritty

This is Mike...
Valparaiso is home to one of Chile's largest ports and as harbor towns go is pretty nice. We were warned by more than a few people to watch out for pickpockets and minor theft issues while in the city. While I am sure this can be a problem from time to time it was a non issue for us. We noticed a lot of police strolling the streets, maybe that curtailed the thieves. There were a lot of tourists strolling the hip part of town but since the hills are so steep many people stuck to a tight area. The streets are far more windy, narrow and confusing than anything in San Francisco. Valparaiso was once an opulent city as is evident in its architecture from a bygone era. Thankfully there are many people trying to bring life back into the city's buildings.
There is graffiti all over the place in Valparaiso and in some areas looks rather beat up. The vibe is urban and gritty and probably a great place for a 20 something year old to live for a spell. Not a great place for a 40 something with kids to live though, and not because of the grit, rather the cars. The streets are so narrow and windy that it would be totally unsafe for kids to play outside or even be on the streets as speeding cars whip around blind corners without warning. Elise strolled the streets of Valparaiso's cool parts and was only moderately impressed. Seeing this city while you are in the area would be fine but staying here is more suitable for the 20 something year old crowd. For the 30 plus year old crowd, I would recommend staying at Vina del Mar 15 minutes down the road and doing a day trip to this town. 

The city had many stately building showing how important this place once was.
Downtown was bustling with people and commerce.

Wall art and murals are all over town.

The art was on most buildings in town.

Gritty and artsy.

Our condo had a bird's eye view of the city and at night the city was beautifully lit.

Gorgeous architecture from yesteryear. 

The murals represented all facets of South American life.

Steep roads and skinny buildings sums up Valparaiso.

A supermarket had a turkey so we bought it, while we could, and celebrated Thanksgiving two weeks early. Notice the fresh spring wildflowers the girls picked for our center piece

Cool beach highway with tons of great seafood restaurants.

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