Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chile – a tale of two cities

I said earlier that I was surprised by Santiago. I don’t know what I expected a South American city to be like. We walked through the town, found the downtown business district, the university area, the boho arts area, we got around! The city sits between the Andes and the coastal range in a big fertile valley. It is dry dry dry, though. There are two hills in the city and we took the funicular to the top of one of them – huge view from up there, along with a huge statue of Mary.


SAM_0623 The Virgin floats above the city, rising above the smog.

After two days in Santiago we took the bus to Valparaiso. Valparaiso is more what I expected from a South American city. More chaotic, not so tidy, more more dogs (they’re everywhere) The part of the city where we are staying is a UNESCO world heritage sight. It is super hilly and the buildings are all painted different colours. It looks quite charming and festive, but closer inspection shows that things are rather run down and unkempt. And apparently no-one is in charge of managing power lines, cause things look like this:


This stair case runs from our street up to the next street. Our street runs practically straight up from water. To get to the next street we can walk up up up and then around, take the staircase, or walk down the hill to the main street, along the way and then take an elevator. A two hundred year old elevator. Works like a charm and saves a lot of steps. Just don’t look down:


or up:


300 pesos and a lot fewer steps!

We sail later today and I don’t know when we’ll have Internet again, but I’ll be back!

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