Christmas Day by the Lea (or Lee)

It’s our family custom on Christmas Day to go for a walk down by the River Lea (usually shown on maps with the addition “or Lee”, as both spellings have been used historically). Often it’s been cold and dreich and we’ve seen almost no-one. Two days ago it was a gorgeous sunny day, and there were hundreds of people out.

And some boats were moving:

Boat on the Lea 1 Christmas 2019

While others were just parked:

Boat on the Lea 2 Christmas 2019

And this is us; Frances, me, and our two young adults, who don’t normally like to be photographed, and who have never appeared here before:

Family Christmas 2019

Chile Trip, Part 3: Valparaíso, City of Colour

This port city is a bit rougher than Santiago, but its artwork is more established and more substantial.

This is where we stayed, and the view from the window of the breakfast room:

And here’s the same mural from ground level.

Some of the artists like figures with way too many eyes:

Or way too many crowns:

The art doesn’t stop taggers, though:

If your canvas is a wide stretch of concrete, sometimes your subject has to be sideways:

And a few more:

It was hard to reach the sea because of the port and the railway line. So we took the train a few kilometres along the coast to Viña del Mar, where there’s a beach:

Back in Valparaíso proper the dogs are parked everywhere, as usual, and there are funiculars, because it’s very hilly:

Chile Trip, Part 2: Santiago, Street Art, and More

As you’ll recall if you’ve been paying attention, I started what appeared to be a series of posts on our trip to Chile. But then stopped. Well, not exactly, because here we are again. It just takes me a long time to sort out all the photographs.

We spent three days in Santiago (and another one at the end, just before we flew back).

You can click on any of the photos or galleries below for a bigger view.

Santiago Street Art

There’s a lot of street art, much of it showing some of the artists, musicians, and writers who have come from Chile or had an impact on it.

There are plenty of other subjects, though.

As well as oddities like this gym which is supporting the most popular Linux distribution:

And there is more formal public art, too.

Santiago is in the foothills of the Andes, at 500m above sea level, so mountains are all around it:

Though it’s hard to tell the mountains from the clouds in that first one.

But there’s a hill in the city itself, big enough to have both a funicular and a cable car. We went up one and down the other.

Apart from the ride, you get great views, of course, but the main attraction is the giant statue at the top: Our Lady of the Radio Masts:

Also known as the Ladderback Virgin:

(OK, those are just my names for her.)

This is the kind of thing you really go up for, though:

Flags and Padlocks

La Moneda is the President’s official residence. Outside it we find the biggest flag I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t windy enough to really get the effect, unfortunately.

And then there’s this lovely bridge:

Which demonstrates that “love locks” get everywhere (and they didn’t originate in Paris, as I have just learned):

More later.