Published: April 30th 2010December 10th 2009
Valdivia is a port-town a bit inland from the ocean, accessed by boat through rivers. The city is in the river district of Chile, and as though Chile itself doesn't have enough coastal property, the rivers add many more beautiful sites to see. Surrounding the city are the ruins of forts, since destroyed by earthquakes, built to protect it from pirates.
We came to Valdivia with plans to check out some of the older breweries and see the student life in this, one of Chile's larger cities. University cities always seem to be interesting places to travel through, less closed to new comers and vibrant places to explore.
We walked around the city, especially along the river on both sides. The street market near the docks was filled with fresh fish, fruits, and veggies.
My first night I wasn't feeling so well and I wanted lighter food (most dining options here in Chile have been rather heavy) so we went to a sushi place near the hospedaje and I got a bowl of simple white rice, heaven!
A brewing region:
One morning we headed out to meet the brewer at Kuntzman, one of the oldest and
best known craft breweries in Chile. The brewery has a German restaurant outside of town, so we took a bus. The head brewer is from Germany and technically trained. It was great to get a chance to talk to him! He was kind and although language was at times a bit of a barrier (for technical terms), it was great to hear about his experiences brewing here in Chile. The restaurant was not yet open, so we decided we'd come back later to try all the beers and eat, and had a big plate of pork when we did. The beers were pretty traditional German styles, some quite good.
We went to another small start up brewery outside of town and found the view of the marsh from the porch quite nice, but the beer not so good and no one knowledgeable to talk to, so we didn't stay long, instead walking down the highway to a convenience store filled with people crowding inside and out to watch a big rivalry soccer game.
We found ourselves in a hip bar and cafe another time where we tried a few other local brews and found that our waiter was
really interested in brewing too. The beer craze is big here! Too bad there are so many people not paying enough attention to technicalities (and bottling infected or otherwise undrinkable products). Needless to say, there are some good drinks around, and Chile's beer seems to be more developed and varied than Argentina's overall.
There are more photos below