Curitiba / Brazil

12 04 2010

To see all the pictures for Curitiba:

http://picasaweb.google.com.tr/gulenandmurat/Curitiba#

11.03.2010 – Thursday

We leave Sao Paulo about midday and head to Curitiba.

We pass by endless forests and banana fields on the way and arrive to Curitiba after 7 hours. We go to Memphis House which is the place of Couch Surfing meeting. We meet Panda as soon as we enter and almost everybody knows about our arrival and we become the center of attraction again 🙂

We meet a lot of people. Without hesitation, the most interesting are the British couple, Glen and Steve. They have been traveling since 1997! After raising their children they have sold their business and rented their house and traveling since then with the income of house rent. Meeting these kinds of people is always inspiring.

Glen-Steve-Panda-Murat-Gülen

12.03.2010 – Friday

We meet Sandro for the lunch, who had sent us an email about Patagonia. We taste Brazilian food in Estrela da Terra. Open buffet costs R$ 17 (Brazilian real). The food is good and Murat likes so much 🙂

Brazilian food

After the lunch Panda brings us to the most famous ice-cream shop, which is very nice. I have ice cream with corn while Murat gets one with “brigadeiro”,  a dessert specific to Brazil. We both like it.

We visit the cemetery after leaving Sandro and Panda. Some family tombs are three-storey, some tombs are like monuments. We guess that it depends on the wealth of the family.

Curitiba Cemetery

We move to the historical center of the city. It resembles Europe. There are German, Italian, Portuguese parks or neighborhoods in the city already. Mostly the city is very clean and traffic flow is fine. It is one of the most eco-friendly cities of Brazil. The butterflies flying around the streets are proving this. We see a giant blue butterfly, as big as my hand!

There are a lot of street-sellers around the historical square. Earrings, souvenirs and of course “pastel”. This time we decide to taste it. R$ 0,70 for each. In Sao Paulo it was around R$ 2,50 !!!

It is time to meet Panda again and we go back to the ice-cream shop. There are a lot of skateboarders on the square, some of them very advanced.

We go to the communication tower (Torre de Telepar) with Panda. It is 110

meters high. We notice that there is a specific line in the city, after which skyscrapers begin.

In the evening we meet with Panda’s friends and go to some place called Casa di Bel@. It is designed very colorful and cozy. When you enter, you get a card with a chart on it to mark what you have ordered. You pay the marks when you go out. If you lose the card there is a penalty of R$ 100. We find out that this is applied in most places in Brazil.

We start the night as 6 but get more and more crowded during the following hours. We taste various appetizers. The most interesting for us is the fried pork fat! It goes well with beer though. We now know why most people are over-weight 🙂

We dive into deep conversations about history and culture of Brazil. Here is a very different understanding of nationalism. Everyone on the table are Brazilians with different origins: German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese. All feel very Brazilian and love Brazil so much.

13.03.2010 – Saturday

We go to a barbeque party, thrown by a CS friend of Panda. It is a house with pool on the lakeside. Most of the participants are CS members. Curitiba members are surprisingly bound to each other. Panda prepares nice cocktails and we taste “caipirinha” for the first time and like it.

14.03.2010 – Sunday

Last day in Curitiba. We spend all day strolling around with Panda and Agnese from Italy. Panda drives us in Curitiba, visiting some popular places to see. First we go to Botanical Garden. Artificial lakes and greenhouses. We find out in the greenhouse that, pineapple is a fruit grown on soil!

Jardim Botanico

Next we go to Opera Arame (Wire Opera), constructed from metal and glass only. We take a lot of pictures to show to our architect friends 🙂

Opera Arame

Then we go to Museum Oscar Niemeyer. It is consisting of two buildings, both designed by Oscar Niemeyer but the new one is constructed 30 years after the old one. There are youngsters around the old one, dancing, playing games, having fun. We walk to the new building via a bridge which is hardly to be recognized it is. The museum is like an eye above the lake. You will understand better when you see the pictures. It becomes one of Murat’s favorites.

Museu Oscar Niemeyer

We walk to another park called Bosque do Papa/Memorial Polones. The houses of the Polish when they came to Brazil are restored and opened to visitors now. One of the house is dedicated to Papa Jean Paul the Second. He prayed in this house. There are photographs on the walls from the time Papa came to Curitiba.

We go back to the house and begin packing up again for the 10-hour bus trip to Foz do Iguacu.

Gülen & Murat

20.03.2010, Florianopolis

To see all the pictures for Curitiba:

http://picasaweb.google.com.tr/gulenandmurat/Curitiba#

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