Viña del Mar is the crown jewel of Chile, if ever there was one. It’s by far the nicest, most decorated, most hoteled, and most touristy city of the country, and it seems to be kind of the younger, more sophisticated, and more loved brother of Valparaíso just 30 minutes south. You can even tell when you cross into Viña just by the difference in how the roads feel on the tires.
We’ve gone up there several times for various reasons, and it’s always been an enjoyable experience. It is a really pretty city, despite lacking a lot of the rough bohemian charm that Valparaíso contains. It’s a good place to go for a walk, and even more so when you’re walking along the ocean. A couple nights ago, our friends the Schramms invited us to do just that.
We walked for a bit before coming to a restaurant on the beach and we decided to stop for a bit of ice cream. Though we’ve had our difficulties with Chilean foods thus far, ice cream has been something desireable, especially a flavor called “mil hojas”, which attempts to mimic the flavors found in the non-ice cream dessert with the same name. The result is in fact delicious, and Emily and I both ordered a scoop each.
We were greeted with a small taste of the New Year’s fireworks show to come (which we unfortunately won’t be present for) when a series of mortars went off across the bay. It wasn’t anything extravagant, but hey, where we won’t be getting any fireworks shows at all this year, we’ll take what we can get.
We wrapped up the night by heading back to the Schramms’ car and driving around Viña to spot some of their Christmas lights, then headed home through the typical Friday night traffic and got to our apartment just in time for Carter to fall asleep in our arms.