Strolling around

My last post didn’t cover our whole first day here in Ouro Preto, but now that we’re back from our very fast dinner and a short night walk, I can continue showing you the photos from today’s stroll around the city and our trip to Mariana with the old train.

The last thing I wrote about was Tomás Antônio Gonzaga’s house in the square Largo de Coimbra. In the same square there are also a handcraft fair and Ouro Preto’s most famous church, Igreja de São Francisco de Assis. The fair was full of souvenirs made of stone and wood, but we weren’t really looking for anything, so we just walked fast through it. We were more interested in the church. First we took some photos in the front before walking around it and down the hill behind it. There was another church down there (I mentioned Ouro Preto is full of churches, right?) and some cute houses as well. Afterwards we walked back up again and decided to pay to enter the church which also has a small Aleijadinho exhibition. He’s a very famous artist and sculptor here in Brazil and they call him Aleijadinho, the cripple, because he got an uknown disease which gave him deformities and made it harder and harder for him to keep up with his work. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside, but I have these photos from outside and around the church:

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The handcraft fair

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Igreja de São Francisco de Assis

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The view from the church

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It was almost lunch time by the time we were done inside the church, so we decided we would go see one more church before eating. We went to see Igreja Nossa Senhora da Conceição. It’s a little further from the Praça Tiradentes and there was almost no one there. I took a photo and we walked back up to the main square to start looking for a restaurant.

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Eating here in Minas Gerais, especially in such a traditional and historical place, is quite a challenge for someone who doesn’t eat meat. We eat fish and seafood, but as we’re so far from the sea there’s almost no seafood and all the typical mineiro food is with meat. Today we didn’t feel like paying a lot for lunch and went to a restaurant where you serve yourself what you want from a buffet and then they weigh your plate and you pay per kilo. I had rice, lettuce, tomato and a mineiro thing that’s similar to polenta. Not the best lunch, but we went straight to a chocolateria  afterwards and after a coffee chocolate ice cream thing I was very satisfied, haha 🙂

After lunch it was time to explore the western part of the center. We started by walking past Museu da Inconfidência and up to the church to its right. After taking a nice photo of the church we continued walking downwards to where we thought the train station was. We had to ask some locals on the way, but we got there on time, even with getting to know yet another beautiful church, this time the Igreja da Nossa Senhora do Pilar. The lady in our pousada had told us to arrive at the train station about one hour early, so we had plenty of time to relax after buying the tickets. We got to see them turn the train around on the rotating platform and everything! It was so nice to just sit down and relax in the shadow and the silence there. I haven’t told you yet, but here in Minas it’s a lot warmer than in São Paulo and Ouro Preto has lots (LOTS!) of steep hills that we climb up all the time, so we’re almost constantly sweating. I even got a very uneven sunburn on one side of my neck today, hahaha 😀 Here are my photos from after lunch:

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Igreja Nossa Senhora do Carmo

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Igreja Nossa Senhora do Pilar

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Ouro Preto’s train station

The photos from the train ride and our sightseeing in Mariana will be in another post because this is already way too long. I hope you all survived and at least looked at the pictures 🙂 It’s late, I’m so tired and we have to get up at some point tomorrow. All the museums and churches will be closed, but there are still mines, hikes and a park to be explored in this wonderful city, so… No Monday blues here!

– Guro

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