Yes, we are finally going travelling again. I went to Ilha Bela with some friends in March and then we went to Paraty in April and to Rio in July, but this time we are not going to the sea! We are going to Minas Gerais, or Belo Horizonte and Ouro Preto to be more exact. The state of Minas Gerais is well known for their delicious food and lots of history. Minas Gerais means general mines and I believe it has its name from when gold and other minerals were found there back when Brazil was still a Portuguese colony (Brazil only got its independence on September 7, 1822).
Praça da Liberdade/The Liberty or Freedom Square
My boyfriend is doing a PhD in discourse analysis and from Wednesday to Saturday this week they’re having a big congress at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Belo Horizonte. We decided it was a great chance for me to get to know Minas and for my boyfriend to know more, so he will be flying up there tomorrow and I’ll go on Wednesday morning because I was supposed to have clasess tomorrow evening. Looks like they’re cancelled for some reason I don’t know.
We’ve rented an apartment through Airbnb with my boyfriend’s friends and we’ll stay there until Saturday. In Portugal we got to know a girl from Betim which is a city very close to Belo Horizonte (BH from now on, people!) and she was actually the one who introduced us! Anyways, she will show me around the city when she has time and then I guess I will be exploring a little bit on my own as well.
Igreja da Pampulha/The Pampulha Church, also known as Igreja de São Francisco de Assis
When I arrive in BH on Wednesday I will go straight to my friend’s place where we’ll have lunch before going to the famous Inhotim museum. It’s actually not only an art museum, but also a botanical garden! It seems really nice and as it’s Lonely Planet’s absolute highlight for Minas Gerais I’m sure I won’t be disappointed. There are some other places that I’d like to visit, but I haven’t passed them by Lorena yet, so maybe they’re not the best choices, hehe. Here’s my wishlist for BH:
- Inhotim: Art musem/botanical garden
- Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil: A palace with exhibitions, art events and a courtyard café.
- Memorial Minas Gerais – Vale: An interactive and very modern museum of Minas culture from the 17th-20th century.
- Igreja de São Francisco de Assis: A modernist church designed by the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and with an inside of Portinari tiles and paintings.
- Museu Histórico Abílio Barreto: Exhibits showing the culture of BH. On the same site you can find the only house left from Curral del Rey, the village which was completely demolished to build the new city.
- Museu de Artes e Ofícios: A museum showing things that used to be and are still being used by people in Minas Gerais, mineiros. The museum is inside the historic train station of BH.
- Museu das Minas e do Metal: Presents the social, economic and cultural history of mining in MG.
- Mirante/parque das Mangabeiras: Lorena said she would take me to a viewpoint, maybe it’s this one?! And it’s in a park, I think 😉
- Praça das Águas: I think there’s a huge fountain or at least a water show on a lake/some water close to the viewpoint.
Praça da Estação/The Station Square
We are only staying in BH until Saturday afternoon when we take the bus to Ouro Preto, so maybe I won’t have time for all of these things in only four days. As I mentioned earlier, Minas Gerais is very well known for its gastronomy (especially cheese), so we need some time to just sit down and enjoy being in Brazil’s culinary paradise as well. That might be wrong as I love (LOVE!) Bahian and Northeastern food… Haha, we’ll see. My list of what I hope to see in Ouro Preto will be up on the blog later this week.
Of course I’m taking my camera with me, and my computer, so I will try to update you guys while we’re in Minas, if we have a decent internet connection 🙂 Wish me a «boa viagem»!
(The photos are from this website.)