Saturday, December 17, 2011

Valparaiso, Chile

The first time I ever heard of Valparaiso was Valparaiso, Indiana. I thought what a weird name---little did I know years later I would read some Isabel Allende novels.

After I read Daughter of Fortune and Portrait in Sepia by Isabella Allende, I fell in love with the idea of Valparasio. A port town built on a hill, full of adventure and excitement, longing and heartbreak.

The real Valparaiso lived up to it's expectations. I took a bus from Santiago (about an hour) and ended up at the downtown Valparaiso bus station. I stayed at the Da Vince Hotel which is located on Cerro Alegre.It's close to everything. And the owner was lovely....he actually gave me a hug after I left.

Be forewarned, to live Valparaiso is to have super strong calf muscles. They aren't joking when they say there are a lot of hills. I mean it's a workout just to get to the store. But it's so worth it.

I went to a couple vegetarian restaurants (who knew there would be so many?). I went to Bambu, where there was this super cute little kid in a Ramones T-shirt. And also went to Jardin del Profeta where they made the best pumpkin soup.

There was a lot of walking around since Valpo isn't high on museums (although the poet Pable Neruda had a house there). But it was just amazing walking all the hills. It really put San Francisco to shame.

This city reminded me of Guanajuato, Mexico.,_Guanajuato

I hope one day to be able to go back. There was a fabulous walking path that encompassed the who port and it was amazing. This is one of the towns you dream of but I'm not so sure I'd like to live there, Did I mention how steep the hills were?? It made it difficult just to run to the local market.

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