There are few things I enjoy more than wandering around interesting places, camera in hand, and Valparaiso is one of the most visually interesting places I’ve visited — paradise for curious photographers. Also, Clark and I both love trains, so we were very excited to find and ride as many funiculars as possible during our brief time in Valparaiso. We set off mid-morning on December 30 with Osvaldo as driver and the excellent Walter as guide, both from A&K Chile. It didn’t take long in Valparaiso to find a funicular squeezed between some buildings and nestled into a hillside. The conductor operates the cars from the station at the top.
We rode it down to the main commercial area of town.
Something nearly as cool greeted us at the bottom. Valparaiso has a small fleet of very old trackless trolleys running around town. Walter told us that every time a public official tries to get ride of them, there is a huge public outcry and the trolleys survive. The contrast with the newer buses dashing about is cool.
They each had a counter (probably long since broken, unless it is reset regularly).
After riding this funicular back up into one of the hillside, we had a field day wandering around the streets of Valparaiso taking pictures of the colorful houses and street scenes.
There is lots of graffiti in Valparaiso, but it is more artful than what you find in a lot of cities.
The hillsides make everything look dramatic.
Osvaldo drove us along a ridge through some of the more interesting neighborhoods.
And then we headed back through Chilean wine country to Santiago.