After obsessing over the central market in Santiago, we packed up and headed off towards Valparaiso with a quick stop in wine country on the way! With only a limited amount of time in that region of the country, we put the pedal to the metal and packed in as much as humanly possible.
We were treated to a scenic wine tasting complete with local cheeses and the most luscious olive oil ever! I didn't want to leave. Ever. In fact, I'd like to hop on another flight right this very minute and jett back to Kingston for another round of wine tasting with some olive oil.
After sufficiently stuffing ourselves with copious amounts of wine and cheese, I rolled myself into the van and we were off...
Before this trip, I had never really heard much about Valparaiso, other than the fact that it's a colorful city with a lot of hills. Well guess what, they weren't kidding! Valparaiso is situated on top of dozens of hillsides with a handful of funiculars (essentially a cable car that takes you up and down hills).
We scampered around some of the more artsy neighborhoods, fit in a power shopping session and hiked up a hill or two before heading back to the hotel.
Hotel Palacio Astoreca is gorgeous, to say the least. It's located right on the edge of a cliff overlooking the port. Stunning doesn't even come close to describing it.
And here, here is where something magical happened...
I had my first pisco sour. Life was officially complete. I feel like I say this all the time, but how I went this long without ever having a pisco sour is BEYOND me. I really need to step up my international cocktail game. Stat! (Pisco recipe coming soon)
My first pisco came hand in hand with another phenomenal tasting menu at Alegre. If you ever find yourself in Valparaiso, treat yourself to dinner at Alegre. I'd recommend some form of the tasting menu - and be sure to arrive hungry - because you'll want to lick your plate clean after each course.
We finished the night off with more pisco's on the patio and watched the city lights twinkle in the darkness.
The next morning we woke up to breakfast, more cheese of course, and headed back to the airport to embark on the next portion of our adventure!