Viking Sun was one of the largest structures in town on our visit to Valparaiso, the Valley of Paradise. The town was lively and happy to see us, although signs of recent civil disturbances were there to remind us of recent parlous times.
All content copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.
We flew south all through the night from New York to Santiago, Chile. We left the wintry East Coast of the United States and landed in summery South America.
Viking’s Viking Sun will spend the next 28 days heading northwest and then north, calling at ports in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, and then San Diego and Los Angeles in the United States.
This is just one month in a record-setting eight-month-long World Cruise. We will cross the Equator as we sail along the appropriately named nation of Ecuador. In fact, across the eight months of this cruise, this ship will cross the Equator four times heading south then north then south then north again. A hearty few dozen guests will be aboard for the entire journey, while others will partake of various segments.
I’ll be posting photos and comments here throughout this cruise. I hope you’ll join me here.
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.
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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