Valparaiso

  • Valparaiso…Our New Neighborhood - We are in Valparaiso, Chile a port city on the Bay of Valparaiso on the Pacific Ocean.  The photo above is the entrance to our new home, Bellavista Cottage, named after our neighborhood, Cerro Bellavista. The neighborhood is a bohemian enclave on one of the many hills overlooking the sea. Our cottage is part of […]
  • The Flute Player - This flute player was making music in the park at the bottom of our hill, Cerro Bellavista. He had the flute plus a little digital band. Because of the hills the sound of the flute wafted up and in our windows.  Listen… Valparaiso flute music (1 min. 4 sec.)
  • Open to the Sky - Museo a Cielo Abierto (The Open Sky Museum) is set in the winding streets of Valparaiso and shows the work of some of Chile’s top painters. The streets are not marked as the idea is to discover the city’s art. It happens that this museum of the streets is in our neighborhood, Cerro Bellavista. So […]
  • Street Mosaics - As we walk around the city we see art everywhere. City street lamp posts and benches are decorated with intricate mosaics. The colors bend and weave to reflect the shape of the object decorated. It is such a pleasure to sit on such a bench or a wall and see rich design in everyday things.
  • Let Sleeping Dogs Lie - There are lots of stray dogs in Valparaiso and they all seem to be asleep on the street. You can’t take a walk without tripping over a snoozing pooch. Dana is taken by their untroubled dreams while surrounded by crowds of walking and talking people and noisy traffic. Not to mention that some are right […]
  • Valpo’s Funiculars - Forty- two steep hills comprise the city of Valparaiso, fondly called “Valpo” by natives. We live on one of these hills, Cerro Bellavista. Other hills conjure romance with names like Concepcion, Alegre, Cordillera, San Juan De Dios, Mariposas and Florida. Each represents a neighborhood with its’ own special flavor. Getting up and down the crowded […]
  • Pablo Neruda in Valparaiso - “Laughter is the language of the soul.” ― Pablo Neruda Pablo Neruda is a Chilean poet beloved of his country and its people.  He was born and wrote in Chile for most of his lifetime. One of his favorite homes in all of Chile was “La Sebastiana,” the colorful house and garden he built in Valparaiso. […]
  • Precarious Cargo - On a walk along the waterfront of the Port of Valparaiso, we saw a number of these  tourist boats.  They pull up to the wharf and load up.  The boat waits until all seats are filled then they hand out the life preservers. We watched as this boat launched from the dock. As you can […]
  • Message In A Bottle - In the courtyard of the National Council of Culture and the Arts in Plaza Sotomayor, we were treated to this instant sculpture assembled from recycled materials. The “streamers” are recycled plastic bottles and the sculpture in the space beneath is made of recycled tires.  The installation looms over the Plaza and lends a party air to the […]
  • More Art Open to the Sky - As we walk the streets of Valparaiso, we see more art. Art on the walls, the roofs, the stairways and the funiculars. Here are some of our latest discoveries.
  • Comida Chilena - We are eating well. The markets are full of fresh produce. Chile supplies North and South America with fruits and vegetables which cannot be grown in colder climates. For that reason the markets here have a plentiful but relatively narrow selection of fruits and vegetables. Unlike Italy where there might be 10 varieties of tomato […]
  • Mercado Cardonal - The Mercado Cardonal is the largest fruit and vegetable market in the city of Valparaiso. A cacophonous amalgam of people and produce, the market is the delivery and distribution point for the city. Chefs, gourmets, delivery drivers and vendors gather with the daily shoppers in a gritty, vibrant and boisterous display of color, taste and […]
  • But is it French? - Nestor, our “Tours for Tips” Chilean guide, took us by the Hall of Justice. In front is a statue of justice given to the city of Valparaiso by an exiled Englishman. Here is the story… In the heyday of Valparaiso there was a married judge and also an Englishman who lived in the city. In […]
  • The Fish Market - Valparaiso is known for its seafood. One of the city’s fish markets is right on the beach where the boats dock each day.  The seafood stalls are sandwiched underneath a boardwalk that looks out over the pier where the catch is unloaded early in the morning. The Saturday we were there the market was full […]
  • Hung Out To Dry - We were riding along on the Metro from Valparaiso to the town next door, Vina Del Mar. The scene you see above flashed by the window of our car.  It happened so fast that we weren’t really sure what it was. So on the trip back we made a point of watching out. Sure enough […]
  • Down to Quintay - We went down south to Quintay. It’s a little fishing village and summer vacation spot where the seafood is fresh and good. Quintay used to be a whaling village. The fishermen here brought in blue whales the size of three buses end-to-end with hearts as big as Minis. I know this from the illustrations in […]
  • Pastel de Choclo - Choclo is corn in Spanish and, boy, have I discovered this great food while here in Chile. This is a national treasure called “Pastel de Choclo” (corn pie.) It is a layered dish with a chicken leg on the bottom and some minced meat, black olives, raisins, corn and a little milk with sprinkles of […]
  • Chilean Clay Pots & Bowls - Earthenware pots and bowls of every stripe are the special craft in the village of Pomaire (Pom-eh-eee-ray) in the countryside outside of Santiago. This sleepy and dusty town with its adobe buildings reminded me of our villages around Santa Fe. The rough clay pottery is a beautiful dark brown that gets darker with use appearing […]
  • Madmen and Daredevils - “Cerro Abajo” is a downhill bike race held every February in Valparaiso. The whole city turns out for this slightly insane but very Chilean event. The race course is the city itself. The steep stairways, hairpin turns, cement and stone walls and a second story window are some of the obstacles riders face in their […]
  • The Casablanca Valley - We visited the Matetic Vineyards in the Casablanca Valley, a protected vale between Valparaiso and Santiago. Chileans love their wine. Unlike books, which are astronomically expensive in Chile, wine is cheap and good. This valley and the neighboring region, San Antonio, are known for their white wines. Cooled by the nearby ocean with its cold […]
  • The Grand Prize - Dear Readers, Here is the Grand Prize for our last Medflies’ Comments drawing. The winner will receive a CD of the Chilean flute music that wafts up to our house from Plaza Victoria. If you want to hear a sample of the music click on the Past Post, “The Flute Player,” and listen to the […]
  • On the Bay - We have met some wonderful people in Valparaiso. Valparaiso Experience, the group of buildings where we live, is a little community on the hill, Cerro Bellavista. Bart and David, two men who know how to have a good time in Chile or any other country, brainstormed a party for the group on a boat in […]
  • Valparaiso Sporting Club - Yesterday afternoon we went to the Valparaiso Sporting Club to watch the races. Our friend Marty alerted us to the existence of the Club in Vina Del Mar and on the international racing circuit. The Clubhouse is a graceful old Tudor style building, built in the 1930s, with solid wooden betting windows and long white […]
  • Patterns and Colors - We found a little weaving shop in Cerro Conception. The colorful patterns are their own art. Enjoy.
  • Our Grand Prize Winner - Through a highly competitive process our Grand Prize Winner was painstakingly chosen. (We numbered our blog posters in chronological order and Dana picked a random number with his eyes closed.) Leah George, our next door neighbor, is the winner of the Valparaiso flute music CD. Congratulations Leah! Maybe that flute music will waft down the […]
  • Cerro Polanco - Cerro Polanco is one of the forty-two hills of Valparaiso and its own small community. It is notable for two major reasons. One is the funicular that serves the neighborhood. (A funicular is an ascensor in Spanish.) “Ascensor Polanco” is a long tunnel with a three-story elevator that lifts people from “El Plan,” the business district […]
  • A Festival of Graffiti - Graffiti is a very old form of urban art. Graffiti, most of it lewd, covered the walls of the city of ancient Rome. Today the explosive subjects and colors of graffiti art are an art movement celebrated all over the world. Valparaiso is a living gallery of graffiti and Cerro Polanco is the neighborhood at […]
  • Valpo’s Brits - Valparaiso shelters a number of immigrant cultures in the city; German, Italian, Croatian, Spanish, Irish and British. Saint Paul’s Anglican Church of Valparaiso is a contribution from the British community. It was the first protestant church built in Chile. The church is one of the places in the city where you can get a really […]
  • The Jail - We caught a colectivo to go up the hill to the Parque Cultural Ex Carcel (The  Cultural Park and Jail.) The taxi driver didn’t recognize where we wanted to go until we said “the jail” then he knew instantaneously. Originally a Spanish fort, the site was later converted into a jail where political prisoners were […]
  • Just Slap It On - We heard a story about why the houses in Valparaiso are painted such bright colors. Valparaiso is a port. Because it is a port many boats visit the Valparaiso docks. When in port boats are repaired and repainted. The story goes that there would be buckets of left over paint on the docks after the boats […]
  • Sunday Evening In The Plaza -
  • People of the Port - What do you say when people ask where you are from? Here we say we are from New Mexico in the U.S. We are New Mexicans. But the people of Valparaiso do not call themselves Valparaisons. They call themselves “porteños.” Porteños means “people of the port” and is a term unique to Valparaiso in all […]
  • Goodbye Valparaiso, Hello Santa Fe - Valparaiso is a place that wraps itself around your heart like a flowering vine. The sound of a fog horn, the gritty streets, the music in the air, the couples kissing passionately on the street corners, the sound of dogs barking, the ships of all shapes and sizes in the Bay, the rickety funiculars, the […]
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