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Monday, March 20, 2006

Valparaiso and Viña del Mar

Saturday and Sunday last week I went to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar which are two adjacent cities on the coast about two hours from Santiago. I went with my friend Kate who has a friend who is studying on the COPA program there. We got there Saturday afternoon and met up with Lee, who is Sonja's friend from Whitman who I had never met but I contacted her because she is also studying in Valparaiso. Lee showed us around for a while. The way Valparaiso is layed out is that the city is all on the water and there are lots of ports. Then a lot of the residential area is up in the hills. The touristy way to get up into the hills is to take an ascensor up. The acensores are elevators that go up the side of the hills at a slant. So we rode one of these up. This is a picture looking up at the tracks from inside the acensor, and then a picture of the asensor coming up the hill.

The area we went to was amazing. There are all these houses that are painted bright colors and everyone is different so it is just a really colorful neighborhood. Some were residential houses and some art galleries. Almost all the buildings are painted with all different kinds of murals and graffiti. Here are some pictures to give you some sense of what it was like.

We rode a different ascensor back down and Lee took us to the port which has comericial boats, private boats, and navy ships.

We also met up with Kate's friend Sammy, and after checking out a couple of full hostels for me to stay in, Sammy said I could just stay with her and Kate at her host family's house. She is living in Viña and so we took a bus over there. Although they are two separate cities, they function like one and are only a ten minute bus ride away. While Valparaiso has ports, Viña is where the beaches are. We walked down to the rocks near the beach and watched the sunset over the ocean.

The next day, Kate and I went to a museam that is inside of a mansion that was an old estate, and the land around it was a nice park where we walked around. Here is me and Kate in front of the very fancy museum building.

After that, we met up with Sammy and we all caught a bus to the National Botanical Gardens which is just a big park with trails and plants from different parts of the world. It was interesting because some parts were very manicured like your typical botanical garden, and other parts were just more like woods, with lots of trees and bushes. A lot of parts looked, smelt, and felt exactly like I was in Tilden Park in Berkeley because there were Eucaliptice trees all over and paths leading through the woods, I could have been anywhere in Tilden, but I was in Chile, very wierd. Doesn't this look like tilden?

A picture of my favorite flower we saw.
Very fun weekend, and a very easy trip. I will probebly go back a couple of times this semester because it is so close and there is so much to see.

This past weekend was an exciting eventful trip to the lake district. A post on that is coming very soon.


At 11:22 PM, March 27, 2006, Blogger Becca said...

Yay for new posts! After posting practically every day for two solid weeks I'm losing steam with my posts but I love reading new posts from you! The colors in Valparaiso look like they make for a very cheerful place. And I *love* street art! There is tons of it here too. Artsy = good times! And... there is Eucalyptus here as well and it totally does feel like Tilden. The koala place I went to awhile back was 100% Eucalyptus trees. Familiar smell... but with koalas... and on the other side of the world! Crazy the commonalities between here and Chile. Silly clothing styles, eucalpytus... I bet there is more... Anyway. Love you a tons! XO -Becca

At 9:38 PM, March 28, 2006, Anonymous Lili said...

Sari,Your post reminded me about a book I saw and meant to tell you about. A Chilean photographer, Roberto Edwards (I think) got 45 Chilean artists to paint creatively on people's bodies, and then photographed them all, creatively. The book is really inspiring and fun. It's called "Cuerpo Pintado" or maybe "Cuerpos Pintados". I'll bet you could find it in the University library.

I'm glad you're having such a good time!



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