Danny's Christmas gift for our family- a trip to Valparaiso on the coast with a Chilean cooking class!
On Tuesday we took the bus from Santiago to Valparaiso. It is an easy ride, just two hours, and we arrived in the busy port city early in the afternoon. Lining much of the coast here are all kinds of ships- naval boats with the Navy headquarters here, cargo boats with Valparaiso being Chile's biggest port and fishing boats to bring in all the great seafood. The docks are full of boxcars being loaded and unloaded from the cargo ships and we spent a lot of time Tuesday watching the huge cranes and semi-trucks at work. Before kids I don't think I would have appreciated the hustle and bustle of it all but we had a great time just watching the work and imagining where all the contents of the boxcars were headed.
Valparaiso is built up into the hills and from our bed and breakfast we had a great view. It is a city much like San Francisco in that it has lots of hilly winding streets. There are 15 different rattling ascensores (funiculars) to get from the bottoms of the hills to the tops all built between 1883 and 1916. Cal especially enjoyed watching the huge wheel turning and pulling the cables of the shaky funicular up the side of the hill.
The town has a lot of color- literally and figuratively. The houses are painted all kinds of shades and murals line many of the walls along the steep winding streets. The town is home to many universities, markets, restaurants and people. It is a loud and friendly place. We watched two different street performer shows at plaza Concepcion, one of which had two clowns doing acrobatics and silly skits with a stray dog who kept joining the act which made it all the more funny. Children could rent different kinds of bikes at the plaza and Cal and Harper were thrilled to be back on wheels. A small carnival was also going on in the next square over so the kids got to take a few turns on the kiddie rides. It was a good time strolling back and forth between all the great family-friendly activities. (and thankfully the not so family-friendly jokes and innuendos made by the clowns seem to go over our kids' heads.)
|Hurray for wheels!|
|We have sampled many a carnival ride in South America|
|Danny's new look|
|It wasn't fancy, although they served the kids juice in wine glasses|
|Cuatro Ventos- view from the front|
|View from below YIKES!|
|View from our corner spot, looking down on the port in action|
|Juicing lemons for ceviche|
|Cal is not too sure about the chopping|
|Prepping fish for ceviche|
|Harper was served champagne and downed it!|
|Tomato onion salad|
|Pastel de Choclo|
|Bananas with Palm syrup|
|Andrés keeping us on our toes.|