This post is about how a dire need for a restroom turned into a fantastic fine arts experience.
So as wonderful as the stay was at our lovely little hostel, Casa Valparaíso Hostal, there was a pretty big drawback for us: when we returned to the hostel Thursday night, the water had been cut for maintenance. This happens occasionally. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t back the next morning, even by the time we had eaten breakfast. So we set out, our eyes set on the Palacio Baburizza, Museum of Fine Arts. They were sure to have some bathrooms for our use.
We got there by way of the mansion’s formerly private terrace—currently known as Paseo Yugoslavia. The view was phenomenal.
The building itself looked very promising, so we agreed to pay the 1,000 CLP (about two bucks) admission to use their restrooms and have a look around.
As soon as we entered the building, a guard showed us to the restrooms and became concerned when fifteen minutes later, we still hadn’t returned upstairs. (Suffice it to say, the bathroom was worth it.)
But our visit didn’t end there. We explored three floors—four, when you include the basement—of European and Chilean art from the 19th and 20th centuries. Besides the many paintings on the walls, the architecture, windows, and views all vied heavily for our attention.
This palace was built in 1916 and operated as a museum from 1971-1997, at which point it closed due to maintenance problems. After many years of work off and on, the museum reopened in 2011.
It was quite the treat, especially on such a clear day. And all because we needed to use the restroom. By the way, the day after we left, this happened:
It destroyed two houses and did serious damage to a handful of others, but nobody was hurt. Chile, you never cease to amaze me.
Feel free to share your most bizarre or rewarding searches for bathrooms… !
For more posts about Valparaíso check out Valparaíso: A Canvas of Hills and Walls and La Sebastiana: Neruda’s Whimsical Valparaíso House.