Valparaíso, Chile

For as much as I may have said that Melbourne or Berlin have cool street art, Valparaíso really takes that to another level. In many streets, the houses don’t really have wall colors but instead are just covered with art. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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The other thing the city is known for is hills: everywhere, steep, and not quite ascendable with public transit. But, there is one option: the funiculars! They’re so steep they sometimes feel like elevators, and despite the fact that they don’t cover that much distance they’re super cheap (like $0.15) so you’d be wasting your time not taking them.

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At the bottom of the hills you’re at sea level at the port and naval base, where a US Coast Guard ship could be seen hanging out (apparently in joint naval exercises).

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To get to the waterfront, you can use the world’s most awkward-looking staircase, which does actually give you a good view of the harbor.

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One interesting feature I noticed is that there are a lot of audio advertisements, delivered either by low-flying plane, or truck on the streets. It has a weird police-state kind of feel to it, because it uses that 1950s-style advertising voice where everyone is happy and eating the right flavor of cereal.

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Also if I’m reading it right the truck says Human Rentals on it.

The city also had a fairly large grocery store where I could appreciate some of the things Chileans like to dedicate entire aisles to. For one, there’s the boxed wine aisle.

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Then there’s the aisle of Pisco, which is a type of brandy that Peru and Chile fight about having invented.

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and finally the manjar aisle, which is basically like caramel but a little creamier and less sticky.

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That’s it for Valpo! I could post 50 more street art pictures but at some point you really have to go there and walk the streets to get the best sense of things.

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