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May 212014

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My friend M wanted to try out the Valparaiso walking tour as we had a good experience doing the Santiago walking tour, so last Sunday, she and I took the 607 bus from Renaca to Valparaiso.

I always take buses that traverse Errazuriz to go to Valpo (also the 6 series, but not 607), but the 607 plies Chacabuco instead of Errazuriz. Chacabuco is parallel to Errazuriz, and ends up almost in the same place, but I got a bit confused when we got off, as it’s the road less traveled for me, and I have a weak sense of direction. I only know how to get to the foot of Cerro Concepcion if I get off at Errazuriz.

map showing Chacabuco and Errazuriz

map showing Chacabuco and Errazuriz

We wandered around for half an hour before finally spotting the spire of the green Lutheran church and using that as a guide to get to Cerro Concepcion.

valparaiso panorama

I didn’t mind being lost because we were able to see a lot during our thirty minutes of wandering, as that cerro we were on is a bit off the beaten path and it’s rare for travelers to stumble there by mistake.

We came across a graffiti workshop, then ten minutes later, bumped into my graffiti tour guide Elias, who is on his way to that very workshop!

We also saw Cemetery No. 2, which the guide to the walking tour we joined that afternoon said is the Protestant cemetery. We didn’t go back to this hill, he just pointed in its general direction and mentioned the name. Cemetery No. 1 is the Roman Catholic cemetery, and Cemetery No. 3 is the cemetery for all other religions.

graffiti workshop
graffiti workshop
cemetery no 2
Cemetery No. 2

We also passed a cultural park in what was formerly a prison.
park in former prison

We got to the foot of Cerro Concepcion twenty minutes after getting our bearings, and took the Ascensor Reina Victoria funicular up, then walked five minutes to El Desayunador, where we had planned the day before to go there to have brunch, which turned into a late lunch.
El Desayunador

We were starving by the time we were seated. I had these:

churrasco chacarero sandwich
churrasco chacarero sandwich
causeo queso tomate
causeo queso tomate (goat cheese with tomatoes)

We walked down to Plaza Anibal Pinto to meet up with walking tour after lunch. He pointed to the Cinzano cafe across the square, which is supposedly the oldest cafe in Valparaiso.

Plaza Anibal Pinto sculpture
Plaza Anibal Pinto

The guide then introduced us to Emile Dubois, popularly known as the first serial killer of Valparaiso, who killed the rich to give to the poor. He used to live in this building across the square, and when the cops went after him, this is what happened- see caption below photo:


he used to live in the building labeled A, and when the cops came, he ran to the point marked B.

He’s buried in the Playa Ancha cemetery, and he’s now known as the “serial killer saint”, as he’s supposed to grant wishes. People go on privileges to his grave.

We then took the Ascensor Reina Victoria (my second time for the day) to go up Cerro Concepcion, and walked around. Somewhere in the middle of the tour, we took a second funicular, Ascensor El Peral, which led us to the top of Cerro Alegre. (click here to see my post on these two ascensors, plus another).

Palacio Baburizza

saw the famous Palacio Baburizza.

We also learned the story of two oldest non-Catholic churches in South America.

The Anglicans built a low key church, with no towers, no bells, in the hopes that the Catholics wouldn’t get pissed. the Catholics did, and according to the guide, their response to build a bigger church (with towers and bells) a few streets down. It was the first non-Catholic church in South America.

The Lutherans (German) were the first to build a structure that had all the traditional hallmarks of a Christian church- towers, bells, the works.

Anglican Church valparaiso lutheran church

The guide took us to the oldest stock exchange in South America, El Mercurio Building (HQ of the longest continuously running Spanish newspaper in the world), and Little Ben, some English immigrant’s model of the Big Ben in London.

valparaiso architecture
oldest stock exchange
valparaiso architecture
Little Ben
El Mercurio building
El Mercurio building
boats at the pier

boats at the pier

We ended up at the pier across Plaza Sotomayor, and M and I headed back up Cerro Concepcion to Hotel Fauna for dinner. A German guy from the walking tour joined us. Capped off the night with a delicious sandwich and Shop Kross golden ale.

valparaiso map

map of the area we covered in the walking tour

Click to see more of my snapshots about this day on Flickr.

 Posted by on May 21, 2014

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