Art Vibe in Valparaiso, Chile
March 05, 2019 at 12:06 PM
Valparaiso, Chile, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003, is a seaport, well worth travelling north from Santiago to visit.
What a place, with houses pinned to steep slopes, looking out over the large vibrant port, housing part of the Chilean Armarda! It's a hotch potch of design and materials, a colour palette where anything goes- an art lover's mecca, a walker's nightmare, a driver's nemesis always angsting about brake safety, a juxtaposition of poor and not so poor, a mix of nationalities, tourists and locals. In the distance you can see the ritzy Vina del Mar, the 'Gold Coast' of Chile!
Mary, our guide walks us through the narrow streets of the town and we marvel at the diversity of the vibrant street art that adorns many walls and garage doors. You need permission to paint a mural and it's clear to see that the local authority is amenable to the practice. There's a mix of local and international works, with different subjects but sharing the same explosion of colours.
We experience the chaos of car and people 'traffic' on the flat and 3 of the supposed 30 (sources are not absolutely sure about number) incredible funiculars, built sometime between 1883 and 1916. The funiculars transport people from Upper Town to Lower Town. The alternative is 'shank's pony'. Take it from me, there are a lot of steps!
There is a variety of eateries, most serving the delectable centolla (king crab) and congor (a delicious white fleshed fish)and the famous pisco and calafate sour. Late afternoon, and early evening downtown Valparaiso pulses with buskers and local groups performing. The Portenos know how to 'party' with music and dance. Everybody moves to the beat. It will be sad to go but we've had a good time.