Posts Tagged ‘graffiti’

Arriving in Cairns was like arriving in a different country, or a different planet. The air was humid and hot and the green, lush hills felt exotic.

Our couchsurfing host received warmly and took us around the beaches of Cairns. Johan was determined to hop into the water, but it was a bit too windy for me.

We took a stroll in the botanical garden and got to see several tropic plants that thrive in the area.

In a small alley we found this creative wall of beautiful graffiti.

We spent some time by the open air pool by the harbor. Although the air was hot the water was quite cold.

Melbourne astonished us with its relaxed and alternative vibe. The blend of traditional architecture with modern and innovative shapes of contemporary buildings makes the streets of Melbourne fascinating. Whichever way we looked there was something to photograph. We visited the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, which we found very interesting and a lot of fun.

We walked around the city centre and admired the architecture, it felt like each building was fighting to get our attention. We also took the free city tour tram which gave us a nice overview of the centre of town.

We made our way to some of the most charismatic suburbs and found them bustling with funky cafes, restaurants and shops. One that caught Johan’s attention was a store displaying a Chuck Norris photo autographed by himself in the window, fortunately the place was closed.

Our couchsurfing host in Melbourne invited us to join him and some of his friends in a sailing race with his boat. The weather was nice and the race was exciting, and for us it was a first on this trip to be sail racing.

After the race we took a stroll along the streets of St. Kilda to look at the beautiful traditional houses.

While in Melbourne we had the opportunity to catch up with an old friend of mine. We lived together in Paris almost 10 years ago.

We arrived in Santiago on day 43 and were warmly received by our extended family in Chile.

The next day we headed early in the morning to Valpo (Valparaiso) and Viña (Viña del Mar), two adjacent cities on the Chilean coast that are each other’s opposite. We found Valpo to be charming and enchanting with lots of character, and thanks to our lovely guides, Paloma and Kote, we had a great time.

Valpo is home to many artists and bohemians, we visited Pablo Neruda‘s home that was both charming, crazy and inspiring, unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take any photos so you’ll have to visit it for yourself.

We tasted several Chilean specialities, here is one typical of Valpo, the Chorrillana, which is supposed to be  great hang-over food.

This abandoned train was scaring passers-by with its ghost piano.

Fortunately we were courageous enough to take a look inside and found a lovely café called, El Tren Mas Lento Del Mundo, we had home-made pastries and a cup of coffee.

We walked over to Viña to find it crowded and somewhat polished, pretty enough but not as interesting as Valpo, according to our taste. The shoreline was beautiful but all beaches had signs saying that they were not suitable for bathing. Hard to tell if people had missed the sign or just didn’t care.

Today there was no tsunami, but it is good to know in which direction to run.

Back in Santiago we met up with an old friend, Alejandra and I did an exchange year in the United States 13 years ago. She took us to a lovely Peruvian restaurant and we had a great night, tasting local wine and talking about old times.

Day 45 we walked around Santiago and visited the Centro Cultural de la Moneda.

Yes, it comes from a cow.

Santiago is full of history, a statue of Salvador Allende reminds us of his murder here in El Palacio de la Moneda on the 11th of September 1973, the day of the Chilean military coup.

Completo is this tasty Chilean speciality, you just pop by one of these bars and eat it standing, yummy.

A dessert speciality, Mote con Huesillo, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what it is by its name, the only word I understand in that name is con which means with, but it is great for any sweet-tooth looking for a refreshment.

Tribute to the indigenous community.

Johan found this sculpture particularly interesting since this must have been the first square we visited in South America that didn’t have a monument with some old hero standing or riding a horse. And look at that, the moon!