Photographer's Note

Valparaiso - No place for marble games

I’m not sure if children in South America do know the games with the small spherical toys made from glass or plastic … But marble games were very popular in Belgium when I was a kid (that was long before computer games and chatting were imaginable; actually I was a kid in prehistory).

Here again three pictures of Valparaiso, the biggest Chilean port on the Pacific Ocean and stretching over a considerable number of hills. Unofficial estimates put the total number of hills at about 45. Some of them are very steep.

As in Lisbon, for example, funiculars (ascensores) and elevators have been built to reach the higher grounds a bit faster and easier. Yet it remains a lot of climbing to explore the city.

All three pictures are taken on the top floor of the recently restored elevator Ascensor Polanco. At its top you have a 360° view of the city.
Note that the district that you see on the main picture doesn’t have a funicular or elevator and it was built on one of the most steep hills.

Petty street crime occurs in the old port area of Valparaiso and visitors are advised not to stay in that district in the evening. Frankly, I went there at daytime and I found that area not really very interesting.
Valpo’s hills are much more attractive and you’re fairly safe there. In your hotel, you get the latest and relevant advice.
Funny, but while taking pictures in the hills, several times I met friendly inhabitants who told me that it was safe there but that I had to put my camera in my backpack before going to the next street. In that next street I met other people who told me exactly the same of the subsequent street or neighbourhood. Ultimately, nowhere I encountered a problem. The so-called problem would always be in the next street but everywhere I went I met friendly and helpful people.

Before I left for Chile, I had no intention to visit Valparaiso. The good experiences and compelling stories of travelers I met during my journey, made me change my plans. Afterwards I was glad I did.

Despite the fact that San Pedro’s surroundings in the Atacama were awesome it was this very touristy town that made me decide to move on earlier and to give Valparaiso a try.

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Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5090 W: 17 N: 12210] (49202)
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