Vina del Mar, Chile
Vina del Mar Travel Blog› entry 81 of 92 › view all entries
Just up the coast from Valparaiso is Vina del Mar, a clean and wealthy town with pleasant green spaces and most importantly access to the coast.
Whilst Valparaiso's coast is disappointingly industrial and inaccessible, Vina's is given over to the public to enjoy the beaches and look out for just a few thousand miles over the Pacific Ocean. And when I was there the beaches were quiet, the sun was blazing, and the water was sadly just a little too cold to venture into.
Also in Vina is an old palace given over to housing a variety of art including some European 20th century impressionist paitings, and the later Chilean immitations. When visiting this place you have to put some huge slippers over your shoes and walk around looking and feeling very odd. I wasn't sure when confronted with these things, and a quick Chilean-Spanish (therfore unintelligable) explanation, whether they were just having a laugh. But apparently not, everyone was forced to wear them.
And as if that wasn't enough there was another museum which included an exhibition on the Easter Islands, technically part of Chile but so far away I got the impression nobody in Chile knew much about them at all, and some deformed animals (see picture of 2-headed lamb). They even had a 'shrunken head' on display - a human's head with the skull removed, something that had been practiced by my adopted Shuar community but which I hadn't actually seen before!