Day 3 Excursion to Vina del Mar e Valparaiso
Woke up rather early as I am not yet used to the different time zone and tried to get the internet connection up and running. It still never worked more than 3 minutes (maximum) and it drove me crazy. No possibility to post any pictures and I guess I was lucky to at least succeed in uploading the report of day 2 yesterday. Must have restarted my laptop about 50 times…. poor thing… 😉 Was not able to get back to sleep as my feet were freezing so I set the heating to 24 ° but that didnt really help. Felt better only after a hot shower.
At breakfast people were dressed like we were sitting outside. Sure it is winter and it is cold but do you need to wear woolen caps for breakfast? This morning there was a different kind of bread. We dont have it in Germany but I know it from Italy. It is harder than what I am used to. Tried again to load anything to the internet after breakfast but – not going to happen, so I gave up.
After breakfast I retried getting the internet connection and again I failed *arg*. Then it was time to get down to wait for the tour to Vina del Mar and Valparaiso. In the lobby three tour busses were just ready to go with all luggage involved so it took some time till our group was finally ready. We had to get more persons and then in the end we had to change the bus again. Which wasn’t so bad as one seat in the front row was free so I was able to take pics during the drive.
Vina del Mar and Valparaiso are about 120 km from Santiago and they are on the Pacific Coast. The drive over there was great.
We drove through several valleys and the scenery changed a lot. In the end we came to the area where a lot of the chilenean wine is being cultivated.
It was nice to see the small villages and to get a better impression of the country. After having been here for three days already today in the bus it was the first time I thought ‚Ohmygod, I am in CHILE!‘. 😀 The drive was not really eventful but I was busy looking around and taking pics… what I noticed at the edge of the road was that there are ‚tombs‘ in a lot of places. Don’t think someone is actually burried there but it looks like. They were like small houses and most of them had flowers in front of them. It probably is the place where someone died in an accident. Even if this sounds strange there were a few of them which looked like ‚villages‘ as there were so many of those small houses. Must have been VERY bad accidents… The road in some areas were covered by yellow Mimosa-trees which were in full bloom… great!
Cristian, our tour guide, was talking most of the time (spanish and english). We made our first stop at an Anfiteatro in Vina del Mar where I found out that the couple sitting in the same row like me were mexicans who live in Dallas. Here’s the theatre not sure what they do when it is raining…. 😉
Second stop was at a small museum with a Moai (hey, although that was an original, I am going to see the REAL stuff tomorrow! 😀 ) near the public library
and we could do some shopping in a Lapislazuli-factory. Third stop was at the beach in La Renaca. I absolutely loved the ocean. It is too cold to swim there year around (even in summer it’s never warmer than 16 °) and there are rather high waves.
Denise and Jorge (the mexicans) went to a cafe called ‚Kaffeeklatsch‘ and Cristian told me that they have lots of german cake there (there are lots of germans in Chile who came in the 1950’s). The flowers on the beach were similar to the ones I had seen during the Easter weekend in Sardinia.
Then we went over to Valparaiso. On the way there we saw a clock made of flowers.
The funny thing about it that this has been donated by swiss people. Cristian said that in Zurich there is supposed to be a similar one and I could confirm that this is true as the other one is very close to our office in Zurich… small world isn’t it? 😀
Valparaiso has 50.000 inhabitants and is famous for it’s many ‚funiculares‘. We saw several of them. We had lunch in a restaurant at the port (never had a pink mousse but it was good) and after that I walked around some more to take pics… Possible that this is the government bilding but I don’t remember – we have seen sooo many buildings today…
From there we continued our drive through Valparaiso and ended up high on the hill at the home of Pablo Neruda.
The museum was closed as it is monday today but I am honest: I didn’t care… 😉
Here is a pic of one of the funiculares of Valparaiso (if I remember it correctly they have 54 of them).
After that it was some more driving through Valparaiso and then we hit the road back to Santiago. When we were close to the city we could see the Andes again. Must have been a great day in Santiago today with the view of the Andes. I am hoping for something like that for the day I’ll be spending here on my way back….
Jeeez, this sounds like we didn’t do much all day but I guess I was too busy taking pics..