Now that you have a brief history of Porto Alegre (and I do to) it is time to head out and explore... see what we can see. We decide to head downtown through the city streets and as we get about five blocks from the hotel, we come across a beautiful church at the top of a hill. It is easy to decide to stop and take a look but not so easy to walk up the hill as we find a parking spot on the street below. I say climb because it is a steep hill that stands between us and the front of the cathedral. The climb is quick and I am the second one to round the corner with Luiz ahead and Junior following behind. The church is amazing. and I gaze on its beauty and the square across the street which perfectly complements it. I head towards the Catedral Metropolitana de Porto Alegre's (Cathedral of Porto Alegre) entrance walking by some street people sitting up against the building. As I get close to the front door someone taps me on the shoulder and as I turn, it is not Junior who I expect and I jump at least 2 feet into the air. The man (obviously from the church) profusely apologizes for startling me, at least I think that is what he was doing in Portuguese. All I could get out is "Não falo português - Eu sou um americano - falo Inglês" (I don't speak Portuguese - I am an American - I speak English). Junior soon catches up and helps by adding translation and by this time I am laughing about the situation. After my heart rate returns to normal I step inside the entrance to gaze on the etched glass windows of the front doors.
The parish existed before the building and as far as I could find the first worship was held in the newly finished nave in the year 1793. The church has had many additions and remodels over the two hundred plus year history but has always served Porto Alegre as the center of the Catholic Church. (Church's Website - in Portuguese)
|Ingreja Nossa Senhora da Dores|
Cross Country Day 4 which talks all about this regional tradition and mate drink. At the end of the reflection pond is a grand duel arch with a gentleman playing bagpipes in one of the arches. We stop and listen for a while and leave a small donation before we head off to the street market which trails down the end of the park. Filled with the vendors selling hand made goods and all kinds of different items.
This market is rich with local culture and accented by the colorful buildings on the streets behind. There are also entertainers mixed throughout the vendors and we stop a while to enjoy a juggler as he tosses soccer balls up into the air with ease. We find a nice place to have lunch and as the market begins to close, decide to head back across the park. We arrive back at the car and quickly get in and drive away. You may ask, why am I sharing about our departure from the parking lot. Well, we leave quickly because there are now guys hanging around who are wanting to get paid for watching vehicles who have parked in the lot. This practice is common in many cities in Brazil and most of the time we pay them a small fee. This time we do not feel they deserved it as they were not here when we arrived and may have arrived five minutes ago for all we know. OK - I know...enough with that little side note.
|Fundacao Ibere Camargo Museum Internacional Stadium|
Click here to read Cross Country Travel - Day 5
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