Sunday, March 12, 2006

Off to see the seaside

05 March 2006

Today we again travelled with Caroline´s family. This time we went to Viña del Mar and Valpairiso, which is on the coast of Chile north of Santiago. On the way there we took the scenic route and stopped at a local market. We drove initially through Viña del Mar which looks like a smaller version of the Gold Coast with lots of ugly high rise apartment buildings which all look similar. We went onto Valpairiso which had a bit more charm to it and is only about 5 minutes from Viña del Mar. It has heaps of old buildings and less of the ugly apartment buildings. Our destination was one of the houses of Pablo Neruda (famous Chilean author who won a Nobel Prize for Literature) called San Sebastian. After our bus driver got the directions wrong a few times and driving up a number of very steep narrow roads we finally reached our destination. It was a pretty amazing and eclectic house with fantastic views over the city and sea. Unfortunately we were not able to take photos of the interior because it was a museum but hopefully my exterior shots give some idea of what it looks like. For all those awaiting to see photos we will post them next weekend (17th).

We then headed back to Viña del Mar and its casino for lunch. After lunch we had a look around the city on the back of a horse and buggy. I think these are around for the tourists and I think we paid a little too much. But it was a good way to see the older part of the town which lay behind the apartment buildings along the foreshore. It was sometimes a bit hairy when the driver tried to cross lanes of traffic amongst all the cars who don´t like to give way here in Chile.

For all those architects reading this it was just announced that they are going to build the tallest building in South America right here in Santiago done by a local firm of architects. It will comprise a hotel, offices and apartments and doesn´t look to bad in the pictures.


Vina del Mar Beach

The Rojas gang and Neil


A view from San Sebastian

No comments: