While in Chile, we took a side-trip to Valparaiso, a coastal town about 90 minutes outside of Santiago. Valparaiso was supposedly the major seaport between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans until the Panama Canal was built, and is also famous for its colorful houses and street artists. Our tour guide said that homeowners grant permission to artists to paint murals on their houses. Many of the murals have a story or message behind them. (Unfortunately, there is a lot of graffiti and tagging too.)
On one part of our walk, we had the option of taking steps down to a courtyard, or riding a playground slide. Guess which we chose?
Valparaiso reminded us of San Francisco in many ways--the views, the colorful houses on hilltops, the steep roads, the artistic atmosphere. This street was similar (though less serpentine) than Lombard Street. Also below is the most famous mural in Valparaiso, "We are not hippies; we are happies."
After the tour, we took a boat ride around the harbor. Besides massive cargo and navy ships, other boats and the coastline, our boat pilot took us close to a pod of seals.
Similar to Santiago, we struggled to find good restaurants open during our "American" eating hours, so we had mediocre food in Valparaiso. Here's a picture of a hot dog we ate, smothered in avacado (yay!) and mayonnaise (less yay). The bun was the best part...