Sunday, March 8, 2009
The information I got told me I was going to be living in Viña del Mar, but for me that was a pretty broad generalization. For all I knew that could have been going to some farm in the middle of nowhere. So whenever I met a Chilean I jumped at the opportunity to ask them what they knew about Viña. Their reactions were very good. Normally it would be a gasp, followed by ¨You´re so lucky!¨or ¨I´m so jealous!¨ Viña is a city of about 700,000 people so it´s big enough that you don´t know everyone, but it´s easy to know your way around. The name means Vineyard by the Sea and it´s one of the most beautiful places I´ve ever seen. I don´t think it´s possible for anyone to be unhappy here. Everyone lives withing minutes of the beach and the sky is always blue. It also has a mall (YAY!) and tons of restaurants. It´s a common vacation spot for families living in other parts of Chile. The best way I can describe it is the Miami of Chile. Around Viña there are several cities. Each one has it´s own unique characteristics. I´ve only been able to make it to Valpariso, but you can immediately see a difference. Valpariso is a place for the working class and a little more dumpier than Viña, which is more touristy. At the same time Valpariso is full of life and color and according to one friend has the best night life. However, it´s also the type of place that you need to visit with a group of friends and not alone.