Valdivia is a waterfront city spread out along three rivers, which was established in 1552. It is famous for its Mercado Fluvial, a bustling fish market on the banks of Río Valdivia. The vendors clean, gut and cut the freshly-caught fish, while an assortment of wildlife loiters on the edges hoping for scraps. We saw sea lions, pelicans, vultures, cormorants, hawks, sea gulls, stray dogs, you name it! The variety of fish available was incredible - salmon, merluza, machas, oysters, crabs, seaweed (not a fish), and more - and lots of it was still alive... There was also fresh fruit and veg in the market - you could buy the freshest meal for a great price!
|The sights and smells of the river market|
|Some hopeful sea lions |
We enjoyed a river cruise around Isla Teja, where we saw some fancy houses overlooking the rivers and some black-necked swans. We also learnt about the city's history. Valdivia was an important location for the Spanish, who guarded it with military forts for over 200 years, until the War of Independence. Later on we visited a dinky 17th-century guard tower of the city.
|Río Calle Calle: in the three-rivers system of Valdivia|
|A cosy "cabin" on the river front|
|Torreón del Los Canelos|
Valdivia was a lovely second stop on our journey south.
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