January 12, 2015

This was an amazing weekend!! I traveled to Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, two beautiful places in Chile. Valparaíso was the same place I went to for New Years but I didn’t see much that time because we didn’t get there early enough to wander the area, and didn’t really know what places to go to. This time I hoped to see a lot more and I wasn’t disappointed.

As soon as we arrived we went on a boat trip to see all of Valparaíso and received a quick description of the different areas that lied within. Valparaíso is one of the most important ports of the South Pacific and along with the rest of Chile’s coast is ruled by one of seven powerful Chilean families. Valparaíso has also been headquarters to the National Congress since 1990. We also saw wild sea lions in the ocean and the navel ships around the port of Chile. Right after the boat ride we went to a marvelous place for a full course lunch, the food was great and there was live entertainment included. The bread and appetizer empanada was great, and although the rice did not have much flavor the rest of the meal and ice cream desert was great. After eating we took a small break to leave our things in the hostel and allow our food to digest.

Once we left the hostel again we started off by going to el Cerro Artilleria; Valparaíso has a over 45 cerros and so like it’s impossible to see them all in one day we went to 3 main ones. The view wasn’t so spectacular like owe by a lot of what you saw were the crates of things imported into the country. However, there were a lot of vendors out, some even making the things they were selling in front of us.

Then we made a stop at the Plaza Sotomayor a historic district since 1973. Our next stop was the Concepción ascensores, the elevator that leads to the top of el Cerro Concepción, also known as a historical monument. The view from the top of this Cerro was breathtaking like many views in Chile. A great place to sit and relax. The walk from Cerro Concepción to Cerro Alegre was beautiful full of graffiti art along all the walls and buildings. There were so many different forms of art expression along the path I wanted to stop and take pictures of it all.

After leaving the Cerro we all went to a pub for dinner and then had a night out in Valpaíriso, the club was loads of fun and the company was great too.

On Sunday we headed out around 12pm to the house of Pablo Neruda, La Sebastiana, I’ve learned a lot about Pablo Neruda in my history and culture class so it is interesting to see all we’ve learned about come to life. This was the second house we visited and it is considered the ugliest of Pablo Neruda’s house but everything about it was beautiful to me. Unfortunately, pictures cannot be taken inside the house so it’s a part of experience you can only experience by visiting the house yourself, I like the exclusivity in that.

After leaving La Sebastiana we made our way to Viña del Mar. We saw Reloj (clock) de Flores welcoming people to Viña del Mar and created at the start of the World Cup in Chile in 1962. After stopping to take our tourist pictures of the clock we went to la Playa Reñaca, a must go beach to anyone staying in Chile. The waves in the beach are a lot more intense than any waves I’ve experience in the US and it easily pulls you into the water. I was hesitant about getting in the water but after my friend threw me in I had a great time getting in the water with friends. At first the water was chilly but the sun did a great job of warming everyone up. We left the beach around 7:00pm although I wished we could have stayed a lot later.

Viña del Mar and Valparaíso were absolutely beautiful and I wish our trip would have allowed for more time to dedicate to the area but I’m glad we got to experience important parts of it. Pictures coming soon.

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