If your going to Val-para-isooooo
Be sure to bring good shoes to walk up all the hills…
That’s my awful attempt at saying that Valparaiso is basically Chile’s San Fransisco. It is a seaside city sprawling up the hillside in all directions–a cascade of rainbow coloured buildings wedged together on twisting cobblestone streets.
We stayed in the popular tourist area called Cerro Alegre / Concepción, where people are encouraged to explore the winding side streets and hills while hunting for impressive street art and graffiti, searching for the perfect cappuccino or tasting various bits and bites of empanadas, churros and ice cream.
Our taxi raced through the streets honking and swerving while we tried to calm ourselves by watching people to get a sense for the culture of the city. When we arrived at Hostal Karamba, we dropped out gear off and immediately set out. Fifteen steps out the door we were awestruck by the street art and colourful buildings and fauna, Cerro Alegre is basically a giant outdoor Art museum, and the buildings are the canvases. As you can see, the pictures speak for themselves.
We found a cool little patio for lunch that had a Vegano sandwich, so we decided to pop inside and check it out. We were not disappointed!
We stumbled off from lunch and found an indoor market setup inside a house with artisan craftwork, soaps, candies and even a little coffee shop. Each room offered something a little bit different.
Now, I’ve had a little bit of Pisco, so you’ll have to excuse any spelling or grammar errors from here on out… 😉
For the rest of the day we kept meandering the streets checking out art and attempting to converse with locals in our broken spanish. Eventually, after seeing as much as our feet could handle, we thought it would be a good time to head back to the hostel and veg out for a bit before dinner. We had seen a cool Italian place where Megan had spotted gnocchi on the menu and decided we’d double back later on.
After some relaxing at the hostel we went back out for a nice meal with some wine and an estupendo cappuccino to finish!
Back at the hostel, we met a group of five young Israelis who were out for a big half year vacation after finishing up their mandatory military duty, and they gave us the rundown on Israeli culture, music and what they’ve done in their lives so far.
We sat up with them well into the night and they showed us nifty tricks like how to do “the friendly opening” with a bag of chips (pictures tomorrow!) After awhile we decided it was a good time to pack it up so we could get up early and hit the streets for a bit longer before the trip back to Santiago. It will be sad travelling back since Valpo is so fantasric, but it will be fun to mingle with some Canadians back in the city so we can brag about all the awesome stuff we’ve done while they’ve been flying.
Full Photo Album Here!