A couple of hours west of Santiago, the old port city of Valparaiso is a place to behold. From the stately old buildings in the centre of town rise up steep slopes, on which which are crammed more shanty, rickerty, wobbly buildings than you would imagine physically possible. One on top of the other they are piled, clinging to the hills like colourful, wood, concrete and tin molluscs. Winding their way amongst these are some seriously contorted, steep and often very narrow streets and walkways, making the map of Valparaiso look a bit like a bowl of spagetti. In addition to hundreds of steps, many of the hiils are equipped with ancient rail and cable contraptions that rumble up and down the slopes. Everywhere you look is colourful graffiti and street art. In short it is a photographers dream. In the many areas that we walked, it was like walking in an artwork.

We didn’t have to “do” anything in Valparaiso. We just wondered around, marvelling at the architecture, the colours and the “trole buses” that run on electricity from overhead lines, but are not quite trams, as they have normal wheels just like buses. There were also some really nice little cafes and restaurants, and of course plenty of markets and art/craft shops to get lost in.

We could easily have stayed in Valparaiso for months, years even, but as always there is a lot more to places still to see and limited time. So after 4 very interesting days, sadly,  we said goodbye and hopped on a bus to Chile’s capital, Santiago.

Valparaiso
Valparaiso
An hour or so West of Santiago, Valparaiso is a photographers dream. So many colours, so much character. We will be back one day!