Well we are back in Friburgo safe and sound. I decided that I would do 3 blogs about our trip to Tiradentes. There was just too much to talk about. If I did it as one you 'all would be snoring before the 4th paragraph. So I will do one on the town itself, one about the food, ‘comida mineira,’ and one about the local art.
Hope you come back to see all the photos, Tiradentes is a wonderful place.
(Ingreja in Ouro Preto)
[if you double click the map on the side bar and move it from to the right you can see the route we drove highlighted in blue.]
To the north west of Friburgo (RJ) just south of Belo Horizonte is a UNESCO town of Ouro Preto (MG) (black gold) that in the 1500s was the center of mining and is a beautifully preserved Portuguese colonial town. I have been there 3 times. The drive is over 7 hours each way; well worth the trip but a very long drive.
Now we have discovered (been shown by friends) the town of Tiradentes. From Rio it is a little more than a 4 hour drive on relatively good Federal roads. It is smaller than Ouro Preto, also well preserved, and is filled with pousadas (B&Bs), descent restaurants and makes for a great short weekend trip from Rio. The town was full of visitors from both Rio and Sao Paulo. They had come for shopping. Tiradentes is known for its local crafts and for its handcrafted furniture. I was so sorry that both the apartment in Rio and the house in Friburgo are complete – I really had no shopping to do. I did manage to buy my daughter a Christmas present. (sorry, side tracked)
The street of our pousada was at the top of the town and was lined with flowering trees. To walk down to the town center took about 8 minutes, stepping from stone to stone and walking on a pretty steep incline. In other words wear good walking shoes, my ankles are still sore today.
On Saturday morning I walked down from our pousada before breakfast, walking the side streets; in my element taking photos without the crowds of people and the streets lined with cars. (happy, relaxed)
Next weekend they have a gastronomic festival and I can’t imagine where all the cars will be put. Like all the towns I have visited here in Brasil, large and small, there are major traffic problems. No one wants to say, sorry you have to walk 4 blocks. They have a brigade of horse and buggies sitting amongst the cars, waiting for customers. What if… what if these buggies picked you up at parking lots outside the city and brought you to the center….how fun would that be…? What if…? No one listens to me when I start in about traffic…. (sorry, side tracked again)
As I walked around on Saturday I noticed 4 churches, three small chapels, doors even on the smallest of home were painted and decorated with a cross.
The people were warm and friendly…. they stopped to talk to me in Portuguese… and smiled for a photo…. the gentleman in green made sure I knew what time the church service was and encouraged me to study more Portuguese….. he said that to learn English was easier than Portuguese - he knew because he took one course in English…
please take a moment to go to the photo album and see more of Tiradentes.