First stop was the beautiful flower clock, Quinta Vergara home, the Amphitheater (which holds an annual international song festival), then over to the beach. The beach area is very popular during summer, however no one can swim in the ocean, because of the extremely cold water and a very deep drop off with currents that can take you under in a matter of seconds.
Next was lunch at Felinni’s restaurant and very tasty tilapia in a special hollandaise seafood sauce.
For the afternoon we toured the hills of Valparaiso, a UNESCO world heritage site.
We passed by the congress of Chile and enjoyed a 30-minute walk down one of the cities 40 hills. During our walk we viewed many colorful houses. I was intrigued by all of the artistic graffiti on the walls along our path. We then rode a funicular down to Plaza Sotomayor and enjoyed a nice cup of espresso. The Funicular is a single rail standing only car that takes commuters to and from their homes high on the hills. Valparaiso is the only city in Chile that still operates a trolleybus and it travels a little over 8 km.
On Tuesday we walk downtown by way of the famous Café Literario, passing the Metropolitan Park and short hike to the statue of Mary overlooking the city, then to the Museo Nacional de Belles Artes. This museum is very nicely laid out and you can get a tour brochure in 60 different languages.
We stopped at a small café for lunch before going to the Central Market, Plaza de Armas, and Presidential Palace. The guards even let us take pictures with them.
At this point I would like to mention that there are many dogs roaming the streets in Chile. The difference is that the locals feed and provide a warm bed during the winter. They appeared healthy and were not at all aggressive. In Santiago someone actually cleans the dog poop off the sidewalks.
We were very impressed with the modern culture of Chile. The government seems to be stable and spending their money wisely. Not only do they have the best economy in South America, they are also listed as the safest as well. Chile is expensive, however I am told you can live for about the same amount as in a mid-size U.S. city.
I hope to return again in future and explore more of this amazing country.