50somethingnomads

Valparaiso “Valpo” – a city built on a chain of 45 hills, moving its citizens up and down via funiculars or ascensores. Famous for its steep streets, street art and Victorian buildings. 🇨🇱

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Our AirBnb Experience walking tour with Fernanda was fun! Travelling on the trolley bus, ascensores and an elevator built in an old silver mine was a great way to get to know Valpo. She gave us a great insight into the city and its people. After the devastating fire in 2014 where thousands of homes were destroyed, the bombas or firefighters (who are all voluntary in Chile) had to turn away half the population of the city, who just turned up to help the homeless citizens with food and offers of help. Fernanda herself employs an old-fisherman, who would otherwise be unable to earn money. The huge port disgorges vast quantities of cheap goods from China, and welcomes cruise ships but very little of the money is invested back into the city with many beautiful Victorian buildings being abandoned in some areas whilst others have become tourist hotspots with trendy cafes and bars. The fantastic artwork is a feature we’ve seen much of in South America where a homeowner will pay a budding artist to decorate their outside walls to deter the scurge of spray can vandals intent on tagging every surface. We know what we prefer!

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