We've been in Porto Alegre now for just about a week, and so far, we're liking it a lot. The town is very European in it's architecture, and the countryside is beautiful and verdant. The coastline is pretty, too and much warmer than in Rio. But, no one swims here. The beaches are a little dirty, and we've been told polluted. Too bad. We'd have loved to actually swim in a WARM sea. LOL
We did some day trips the first couple days since Jonathon was off. We rented a car when we got into the airport and then headed out. Like I mentioned, we went up the coast for a while, and saw several beaches. In a couple of places we saw statues of sea goddesses looking out over the water. One was called Iemanja (we've heard of her before), but also a new goddess by the name of Oxum. I'd never heard of her before, so I looked her up.
She is considered to be the goddess of the "sweet water". Of love and harmony. She is worshiped more by women than men, and is considered to be generous and kind. BUT, it's also said she has a horrific temper and when she lets loose--like a storm at sea--she can cause untold destruction.
We did stop at one beach and put our feet in the water. The sand on the beach was soft and squeaky but the water was dirty looking. It didn't stop a fisherman from going into the water to fish. But not to his knees or even his thighs. This guy wouldn't need waders...not when he was up to his shoulders in the surf. I have a video--can't upload it--still have too slow of a connection--so a picture will have to do. I wonder if the flowers we saw strewn on the beach helped him catch something???
The next day we traveled up to Nova Petropolis. A quaint little town in the mountains above Porto Alegre. It was raining like crazy, but we decided to go anyway. Getting a bit wet couldn't stop us. And we had a great time. The forest around us smelled great--so fresh and new, and the city itself, the stopping place for many German immigrants--was quite interesting. There was a beautiful city square filled with gorgeous flowers and a maze we had a blast going through.
Then we visited Parque Aldeia do Imigrante (Immigrant Park), an area where the history of the German immigrants of the area was shown. It had shops and restaurants and a reconstructed colonial village showing how people lived and worked in the village between 1870 and 1910.
It had a schoolhouse, a small museum, a beautiful little church and several other buildings that made up this pretty little area. There was also a big lake that looked amazing in the misty rain.
The best part of the trip was the scenery. Even with the mist in the mountains you could tell it was a beautiful area. We plan to go back and do several road trips. One called the "Romantic Road"--we did one in Germany, so have to do one here!--and the other, the Rue de Vinho (the wine road). That one we're going to do on our next long weekend AND visit wine country. But that's a story for another blog!
Anyway, I think we're going to like it here. The downtown historic area is beautiful and the river and nearby lake seem to be happening places. We're looking forward to seeing everything there is to see in this last city of Brazil. I'll let you know if I find anything worth blogging about!
I'll see you all next week when I'll have a blog about tasting wine...Brazilian style!!!