Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Paint, Cobblestone, and Horse-drawn Carriages... (Paraty, Brazil)
Part way between Ubatuba and the city of Rio de Janeiro, right past the state line separating Sao Paulo state and Rio State, lies Paraty.
This old, colonial city has a feel of its very own. Part of the town is like any other Brazilian city -- filled with people weaving in and out of traffic on their bikes, small restaurants selling salgados (salty treats) and Coca-cola. But the other part is where it is at.
Originally it was used as a port where the gold carried in by slaves was sent on to Rio, and then later on to Portugal. Now-a-days it is a center of art and culture, when paint drips off shelves and literature festivals are held. Of course, the colonial heritage still shows through with the horse-drawn carriages that travel where the roads are not strong enough to hold cars and the buildings have stood for hundreds of years.
Even here, in the midst of tourism and art, life goes on. In fact, if you are looking for the best pastel Brazil has to offer, this is the place to come to. Unfortunately, they might be closed -- as they were this time as we were passing through on our drive to Rio. Oh well, maybe these kids can enjoy some for me...