Valparaiso Chile 2016

27 Feb

The Bus trip from Santiago to Valparaiso takes an hour and thirty six minutes, over a distance of one hundred and eleven kilometres. Coming down from the Andes Mountain range, we enter the Harbour city of Valparaiso. I have been to Valparaiso a number of times now, and its first sight never ceases to amaze me, it’s absolutely breath taking, you immediately find yourself in the bustling centre of the Harbour city, markets line the streets on the median strip dividing the roads, street vendors every few feet on the footpaths selling goods of every kind. But what actually captivates the eye, are the majestic hills the rise up around you, overlooking the Harbour, for miles the hills are dotted with houses, all climbing to the top, houses built upon houses, what is most spectacular is that the houses are all painted in a myriad of flamboyant colours, most are adorned with vibrant colourful artwork. The downside to this beautiful panorama is that they are subject to fires, which occur frequently, the streets are so narrow and spread throughout the hills, that emergency services have trouble responding quickly, a recent fire wiped out many streets and houses. Not only that, but with Earthquake activity, rock falls are common.

Valparaíso is a World renowned port city on Chile’s coast. It’s known for its steep funiculars and colourful, cliff top homes. La Sebastiana, the quirky former residence of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, is now a museum with far-reaching Pacific views. During the 19th century, an influx of European immigrants left their mark on the city’s architecture and cultural institutions, many of which congregate around the downtown’s Plaza Sotomayor.

It was New Years Eve 2015, we had been invited to share the New Years Eve with a friend of the family,our friend’s home was on top of one of the highest hills, with a panoramic view over Valparaiso right out to the Harbour. This was to be a memorable occasion, apart from enjoying the Chilean Culture and Cuisine and good company, we had been invited to view the New Years Fireworks display, and this display is considered one of the best Fireworks displays throughout the world.

Dusk settled over Valparaiso and, a million lights illuminated the city of 249 thousand people, as night closed in, the Ships in the Harbour were ablaze with lights, and the Harbour waters shimmered like a scattering of millions of tiny Diamonds. Then the Fireworks began, right along the coastline for miles as far as the eye could see, all synchronized, the complete Harbour broke into a Fairyland world of colour, the colours illuminated Valparaiso, a veritable Kaleidoscope of fantasy. The Fireworks continued for thirty minutes, it was unbelievable to imagine that they were all in accord, and spread the entire length of the Valparaiso regional coast line. As the Fireworks closed the New Year celebrations, we adjourned to the dining room to enjoy a delectable array of Chilean Cuisine, beautifully presented with a great selection of accompanying drinks, one of which I have a great fondness for, the Chilean Pisco Sour.

The next two days became an adventure on its own, but then every day in Chile is an adventure, via car we were to travel off the normal tourist tracks, and tour the small streets and alleys of the Houses high up on the hill tops, narrow cobblestoned roads with colourful houses rising beside you, houses on houses all individually different, and all displaying the beautiful artwork that Valparaiso is renowned for, originally known as Graffiti, this artwork has become internationally known, and Artists are invited from around the world to add their works to the architecturally diverse buildings of Valparaiso. I started to photograph the houses to capture their Colour and individuality, till I realized it was an exercise in futility, each house was like a piece of a jigsaw, each street formed a portion of a jigsaw and the complete jigsaw was an amazing overview of the colourful, vibrant and intoxicating city of Valparaiso.

I share with you these pictures of Valparaiso from the hills and streets, my next post will show you this 19th Century City from the Harbour.

Best wishes and kind regards.


Aussie Emu aka Ian


Posted by on February 27, 2016 in Uncategorized


28 responses to “Valparaiso Chile 2016

  1. Stanley Walter Middleton

    March 7, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Hi Ian. Looks like an amazing area to visit. When do you come back to Mildura? Stan Middleton

    • The Emu

      March 7, 2016 at 9:16 am

      Back now Stan, been back about a month now and still feeling the jet lag syndrome, adventures have to come to a close soon mate, old age and a dicky back are taking their toll.

  2. natswans

    March 6, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    The Fireworks went on for 30 mins my that’s sure is a long a beautiful dispaly. Great shots Ian … what next I am catching up on your wonderful journey.

    • The Emu

      March 7, 2016 at 7:55 am

      Hi Sheila, the fireworks were a magnificent display, my pictures did not turn out well, I am investing in a movie camera for my next adventures, I so badly regretted not having one over there.
      Cheers and Best wishes.

  3. Mél@nie

    March 6, 2016 at 7:51 am

    for us, Europeans, this is “the end of the world” – kinda “dream place”… 🙂
    * * *
    lucky you, Senor Emu… 🙂

    • The Emu

      March 7, 2016 at 8:39 am

      Thanks Melanie for visiting and commenting, yes the Southern part of Chile/Argentine does sound like the end of the world, in actual fact our travels next year are back to Chile again but to Ushuaia, which is known as The End of the world, right on the border between Chile and Argentine, the southern most point leading to the Antarctica.

  4. Bullright

    March 2, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Breathtaking pics. That European influence, eh, and an incline up the mountain too.

    • The Emu

      March 5, 2016 at 2:52 am

      Thanks for the visit and comment my Friend, Chile is quite flamboyant with its Colonial Architecture, this dates back to the middle 1800s, when Valparaiso was a major shipping port around the Horn.
      Kind regards and best wishes for a great weekend.
      Emu aka Ian.

      • Bullright

        March 5, 2016 at 3:59 am

        Do love that architecture, in 3,4, last but the port is great agree.
        Best ,JPB

        • The Emu

          March 7, 2016 at 9:14 am

          Thanks mate, I seem to have got out of sequence, I forgot my post on Valparaiso Harbour, so have to backtrack a bit on the next post, before I head down to the Hanging Glacier and Continental Ice shelf.
          The Architecture in Chile is a mixture of European and Colonial, dating back to the mid 1800s when Valparaiso was a major shipping route.
          Hope you found somewhere to send that letter I sent you, would like to think it ends up in a few American newspapers, or even on Trumps desk or Face book page.

  5. prenin

    February 28, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    An amazing place Ian! 🙂

    Wish you could have filmed the fireworks, they sound fantastic!!! 🙂

    God Bless! 🙂


    • The Emu

      February 29, 2016 at 2:17 am

      Thanks Prenin, my biggest mistake throughout the trip was not having a video camera and a Go Pro head cam, this will become apparent in later posts, Ice falling close up of the Hanging Glacier and huge chunks of Ice breaking away from the Continental Ice shelf and erupting in the waters below. Photographs are good mate but not when you need video for spectacular moments like the Fireworks.
      Hope your coming good mate and it’s nothing serious you have caught.

  6. giselzitrone

    February 28, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Danke lieber Freund wünsche dir einen schönen Nachmittag lieber Gruß und Umarmung Gislinde

    • The Emu

      February 29, 2016 at 3:01 am

      Greetings Gislinde my Friend, thank you for visiting, I hope you are well and Happy.
      Wishing you much Happiness this week.
      Kind regards.

  7. Sue Dreamwalker

    February 28, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    I am so pleased you explained the error of the photo’s in the comments Ian.. I have just spent 5 mins lol reloading your page thinking they were not loading properly.. But I saw enough of them to get the sense of how close those streets are..
    It seems also there are many budding talented artists who enjoy spray painting upon the walls to decorate 🙂
    Loved the feel of this place..
    And the fire work display must have been something else.. Wonderful place to bring in the New Year.. 🙂 and wishing you all the best for 2016 also Ian.. 🙂

    • The Emu

      February 29, 2016 at 2:39 am

      Hi Sue, I will answer both your comments in one, yes I made a mistake with my pics, I forgot to downsize them for Word Press, they actually were taken in high definition because I am hoping to have a photographic exhibition later this year, and they need high definition, my next post I am writing this afternoon has the pictures down sized, as will all other posts.
      My one regret, which I will rectify, is that I should have had a Go Pro head cam and a video cam, the photographs are good, but does not really capture the Ice falling from the Hanging Glacier or off the Continental Ice shelf close up, those posts are later as I am trying to walk through a sequence of events. The Fireworks would have been spectacular on video, you would think this old traveler would have had it better organized by now, anyway, thanks Sue for following the Chilean experience.
      Kind regards and best wishes.

      • Sue Dreamwalker

        February 29, 2016 at 1:30 pm

        My pleasure Ian.. and glad all can be sorted with the photos for future posting.. And the Fireworks.. I remember in 2000 Niagara Falls.. They had a wonderful firework display.. I taped it on one of the old type ( only 16 yrs old ) LOL video camera’s that wasn’t digital.. If I want to view them now I have to rig the video camera up to the TV.. I often wonder if you can’t transfer the old cassette tapes to CDs.. For I took some amazing footage, catching Black bears and a Moose along with humming birds, Forests Mountains and snow and Ice.. So I know how special you will treasure your Chilean experiences .. 🙂 Magical Memories.. Look forward to catching your next post .. 🙂 xxx

  8. george parsons

    February 28, 2016 at 11:35 am

    G’day Emu,

    Terrific photos buddy, looks like you need to be a mountain goat to get around. I can’t get over the amount of electricity poles and wires, looks like a great tangled mess in some photos.

    Hope you are all having a great time, take care and hope to hear from you again shortly,

    George & Linda

    Sent from my iPad


    • The Emu

      February 29, 2016 at 2:21 am

      Hi George and Linda, kind regards from myself and Ana, your right about the electricity poles mate, seem any new connection just means adding a new wire, hate to be an electrician over there, in an earthquake those wires is what causes the most damage, not falling buildings but the wires and subsequent fires, only a short tremor when I was there, here they would call it an Earthquake.
      Best wishes to you both, if your up this way make sure you call in,.

  9. davidprosser

    February 28, 2016 at 7:30 am

    A shame about the pictures that didn’t come through but there is enough of those that did to get a taste of the place. I love the striking colour of the turquoise house.
    Hugs Ian.

    • The Emu

      February 28, 2016 at 7:40 am

      Thanks David, my error all round, all my pictures overseas were taken in Panoramic large view, specifically for the reason that I am holding a Photographic exhibition on Chile later this year, I neglected to downsize the pics for Word Press, they all show up on my site but daresay to viewers the download takes longer, at least you got a feel for what the story was about, my next blogs have the pics downsized, kind regards mate and thanks for the visit.
      Ian aka Emu

  10. derrickjknight

    February 27, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Nicely described, but a number of the photos haven’t come out in full

    • The Emu

      February 28, 2016 at 4:55 am

      Thanks Derrick, my mistake, all my pics from Chile were done on maximum strength, reason being mate was that they are to be included in a Photographic exhibition back here later on in the year, I neglected to downsize the pics.
      Thanks for the Heads up on that Derrick, appreciate you liking the post and comment.

  11. Eddie Two Hawks

    February 27, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    often wondered what this country was about. your first hand story and fabulous photos help resolve questions long lingering on my mind

    • The Emu

      February 28, 2016 at 4:58 am

      Thanks Eddie, it is a fascinating country, I haven’t finished with it yet, still have to post on the Hanging Glacier I climbed and my visit to the last Continental Ice shelf, next year is to Antofagasta, the Atacama Desert and world renowned Observatory.
      Cheers Mate and keep posting your posts of Wisdom, I do read them , Cheers.
      Ian aka Emu

  12. GP Cox

    February 27, 2016 at 11:32 am

    From the photographs I notice a drastic contrast in architecture and living conditions.

    • The Emu

      February 28, 2016 at 5:37 am

      Hi gp, it is classified as a Third World county, the Houses and Architecture date back to the 19 hundreds, no town planning in those days mate, I actually love it the way it is, so Bohemian and Cosmopolitan.
      Their medical system for those eligible equates to a modern country, but their is no medical system for the unemployed or Beggers, that’s the sad part.
      Cheers mate.
      Ian aka Emu


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