31 October 2017:
Valparaiso, Chile:
A Steep Climb to Paradise

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Valparaiso gets it name from Old Spanish, the Valley of Paradise.

It would be easy to make a weak joke about Paradise Lost, or Paradise in Shambles…because the city of today is not exactly how many would describe a perfect, idyllic place.

But Valparaiso does have its charms, not the least of which is an exuberant embrace of color and art and resilience.

Valparaiso. All photos by Corey Sandler

The city is built into something on the order of 42 distinct hills, most of them rising very steeply from the waterfront.

Today Valparaiso celebrates its history of diversity, its colorful buildings, and the many murals created by graffiti artists on the streets, alleys, and stairways.

It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, for slightly unusual reasons, its “improvised urban design and unique architecture.”

And before that, in 1996, the World Monuments Fund, a non-government non-profit, declared Valparaíso’s unusual system of funicular lifts one of the world’s 100 most endangered historical treasures, in the company of Venice, the Nineveh and Nimrud Palaces of Iraq, and the Taj Mahal.

One of them is a steam-powered elevator to paradise.

Today I went with a group of guests on a trip up into the hills to visit the beautiful El Cuadro vineyard and winery.

On our way there, we passed by the Fonck Museum in Vina del Mar and paid homage to a Moai, one of the great stone figures from Easter Island, part of Chile 1,200 miles to the west.

EL CUADRO WINERY

For those guests leaving us here in Valparaiso, safe travels until we meet again. Arrivederci.

All photos and text Copyright 2017 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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