Saturday, 19 February 2011

Why are we looking at old belly buttons?

It’s a different sort of Naval Museum.  With such a long coastline it’s almost expected that Chile would have a strong Naval presence.  In the harbor of Valparaiso there are about six Navy ships.  I’m not sure who they think is going to attack but it would appear they’re ready for them.

The displays are informative and in-depth and also in Spanish.  Some did include brief English information.  There’s a great amount of respect shown for those who died in historic battles and I assume that many Chilean students learn about various Naval Officers.  Many of the names were familiar to us as quite a few of the streets have been named after those who served in the Navy.

Many of Valpo’s houses are built without any form of Local Government consent.  Part of the charm here is how houses are like rock orchids and cling precariously to the sides of other structures or impossible inclines.   The downside to being so close to each other is the very real threat of fire spreading from one house to the next.  The fire fighters (bomberos) of Valparaiso are well equipped and as all of them are volunteers they are held in high esteem within the city.  However gravity and narrow streets are against them and it can be difficult for them to get to some houses quick enough to stop the spread of fire.  We saw one house devastated by fire today.  The bomberos managed to save the adjoining houses.

 Girls on trolley bus.

A well worn path.

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