The word ‘ascensor’ in Spanish is elevator but they really aren’t elevators, they’re funicular railways that go up and down the many hills (cerros) of Valparaiso. At one time there were as many as 26 functioning funicular railways. As of 2013 there were eight still in use.
They’re old and they’re steep, but they save you a lot of stairs or just plain old “billy-goat” grunt work to get where you’re going. One which we used a lot to get up and down from the neighborhood (Cerro Alegre) where our hotel was, according the plaque at the foot of it, opened in 1902 and it looked like it!
The car you ride in holds about 8 or nine people, locals & tourists alike. It’s a counter balance thing, so there’s always a car coming up at the same time you’re descending. There’s a big wheel pulling the cables and you can’t help but wonder how strong those cables are.
The fare for a ride up or down is the same, 100 pesos per person. That’s about 16c US and believe me you’d gladly pay a lot more!
Aloha Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)
~Psst, tired of politics? Check out Travel in the Categories drop down menu (right side panel) for my blogs posted from interesting locations during my travel adventures. For now and the next several days we’ll explore the long & skinny country of Chile!