Valparaíso is a coastal city – about a 2 hour bus ride west of Santiago.
It’s really hard to describe this unique place. It’s the 2nd largest metropolitan area in the country of Chilé, but when you’re walking the narrows streets and alleyways, it feels small and local and special. It’s only when you stand at the top of the hills that the town is built on that you realize how expansive it really is.
This post will, for the most part, be all about photos because my words couldn’t do justice to how this place made me feel and the contrasts of the city…of new and old…of built up and broken down…of beauty and age…of brilliant and bare.
To start, when we arrived we went straight to the top of the hills and began our visit with a tour through the home of Pablo Neruda. Neruda was a Chilean poet, diplomat and politician who won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. His home in Valparaíso, named La Sebastiana, was one of three he owned in Chilé.
Each room of this five level home was eclectic and individual in style. No photos were allowed inside the house, but this fantastic photo that Hannah took outside captures the feeling of the property.
I’ve never been a lover of poetry, but Neruda’s poems are beautiful. Mostly they are written about love and with the kind of words that make your heart ache just a bit when you read them.
“Es tan corto el amor y es tan largo el olvido”
“Love is so short and forgetting is so long”
Afterwards we just walked. And on every corner and every turn there was a treat for the eyes…
Steps and stairs…so many and so fantastic!
Despite how it might have felt with tourists walking all around the neighborhoods…this was just home for the people who live and work here and carry on with their days.
Another feature of the city…really everywhere we’d been so far in Chilé, was animals. Dogs in particular, but cats will not be left out! They are everywhere!
Can you find the dog in this first photo? There’s a lot going on here…you may have to look closely!
A few more pictures and then a stop in a coffe shop for a quick treat before we went a bit further to visit Viña del Mar…
In hindsight, I wished we’d stayed here all day. I think Valparaíso is a place you could come back to again and again and never see enough. It’s a photographer’s dream to be sure! I’ve never experienced the coming together of so many elements in such an inspiring way…colors, textures, patterns…it was something I’ll never forget, feel grateful for having experienced, and definitely wish I could see again.