The old, vibrant port city of Valparaíso often leaves foreigners emanating praise for the lively city of graffiti-covered, hilly streets while Chileans express concern or even disdain for the place. For us, visiting Valparaíso involved plenty of time in the  artistic streets, as well as time relaxing in our apartment rental with coffee and good books.

Valparaíso serves the history and identity of Chile by its status as an important historical city—a major gateway to the outside world. For many reasons it’s identity morphed into an ecletic city, drawing artists and bohemians from around the country. An epicenter of art reflecting the spirit and struggles of Chileans. Wild imaginations and rebel run rampant in the streets. The energy—or equally, the angst—of the city may stem from the fact faded from status when the Panama canal opened, no longer to be the long-awaited refuge from circuling Cape Horn, the treachorous tip of South America.

Art and history take precedent over the city.  The story of a Valparaíso, at least from my brief experience, it better shown rather than written.

These shoes have done a lot of walking. Lane brought three pairs of shoes. I only brought two.
Walking into town.
Beautiful old houses build by European families in the 1800s.
Work of a famous, longstanding local artsit. Usually works with two-toned figures.
Many artists exchange their artwork for room and board with beautiful results.
The history of Chile…just gnawing at me.
This artist always paints an eye on the sidewalk letting people know they should turn around to the artwork on the stairs.
Beautiful, historical, and slightly eery end to our city tour.
Tear gas and buring tires from the aftermath of protest of dock workers. Tear gas really, really hurts to breathe.
Some of my favorite work were those incorporated into the architecture of the buildings.
Balcony beer!
Living room beer!
Prison turned community art center
Lane says my family always visits cemeteries on vacation (kinda true). We've kept with tradition.
Colorful homes sprawl across the coastal hills. Originally, the houses were painted with whatever colors were left over from painting ships in the dry dock.
Sometimes the art is 3D.
The keyboard staircase draws many tourist each year, so the neighborhood makes sure the painting stays intact.
A cute little restaurant—that was too expensive.
A cute photograph on macaroons we never never because we dropped them on the way home.
The first photo print we've purchased on the road. When I asked Paulina if I could take her picture with her print, she laughed saying she'd be famous in the states. She knows four langauges.
Draft beer! Hallelujah!
Me and graffitti.
Walking in the footsteps of travel legends! Watch Season 2, Episode 12 of Departures.
The ascensores providing access through this very hilly town.
Old house now filled with old, cool art.
Artist splashes paint on the wall and transforms the blogs into eels or cells.
Isn't that fun?
We miss Turkish coffee
And we were very excited for this little surprise.