Cerro Concepcion is old – I’m talking almost 500 years old. It grabbed my senses immediately. We walked along the narrow cobblestone streets speckled with interesting shops, quaint restaurants and art studios. I wondered how the many small homes representing a palate of color clung to the hillsides so well.
It was a very hot day when Alvaro drove us to Cerro Concepcion to have lunch and another look at the area where we’d been a few days before but in the twilight hours. Alvaro (a statistician) worked with my friend, Lana Svien, during her month at Catolica University in Valparaiso. It was great to have him for our tour guide and interpreter. I give kudos to Lana for her level abilities in Spanish, but we both enjoyed having a local show us some of the places of interest. You will see Alvaro in this YouTube video shot above the Port of Valparaiso from Cerro Concepcion. He speaks in Spanish and I hope all who know Spanish will leave a comment to let me know what he actually said!
Alvaro and Mary – Take 1 for YouTube Video
Cerro means hill. The thing you grasp quickly about this city of 7 million people is that it gives you a good workout walking up and down the many staircases in the city going from one street to another.
The staircases of Cerro Concepcion
SOMETIMES you are lucky and can take a lift from one hill to another. They charge a small fee but it is well worth it.
We had lunch at an outside café. We each ordered a sandwich that was the perfect size with fresh ingredients and mouth watering. Bottled water seemed to be the drink of the day (I never had trouble with tap water but realized we always boiled it for coffee first when I drank it). Today I ordered ConGas (carbonated) rather than SinGas (non-carbonated) See? I was learning some very important Spanish!!
Topping the lunch off with lemon meringue pie seemed the right thing to do – one piece of pie, three forks. Chile is known for its lemons, and I noticed they typically appear for at least one part of every meal. Usually they are freshly squeezed over whatever you ordered but today the lemons were in the pie. Take a look!
Incredible Chilean lemon meringue pie
As we ducked in and out of shops, we meandered along the streets and noticed a lot of dogs and a few cats on the streets. They are docile and largely ignored us as we walked by. I couldn’t help but wonder, especially on this hot day, how they got their food and water to survive. They made me think of my dogs at home, Annie and Dubbo, and just how very spoiled they are!
The Dogs of Cerro Concepcion
As with all good things, we needed to wrap it up and move on, but not without one more look at the Port of Valparaiso from up above in this very special neighborhood of Cerro Concepcion.
Alvaro and Lana overlooking the Port of Valparaiso
Mary Lascelles, a k a ReloMary, is a Palo Cedro, Calif., resident who owns a concierge relocation service, movinglinks4you.com, operating across the United States and Canada to assist people with every aspect of their selling, buying and moving needs. She can be reached at 530.515.6299.