Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hunting for rubber barons

Twenty-seven long hours after leaving Fortaleza, we arrived in Belem, the largest city on the banks of the Amazon.  We were smart on the bus this time (fleece jackets, pants, socks and a sleeping bag as a blanket), so we arrived in Belem rather refreshed and quite excited.  The root of our excitement:  our reservation at the Hotel le Massilia right off the Plaza Republica with a French restaurant.  After five weeks of rice and beans with salt and oil, the filet Roquefort and a bottle of Bordeaux was a little slice of heaven.

We spent a morning exploring the Ver o Peso, the bustling street market that smelled strongly of freshly caught fish, and the palacios of the old rubber barons.  “Palace” must mean something different in Portuguese because they looked more like manor houses you’d find in the South.  One palacio in particular was meant to have an impressive local museum with free entry.  Unfortunately, the museum was under renovation and they apparently asked the local kindergarten class for replacement art.  Best part: the kids were clearly given pre-cut pieces of paper and paste to form the Brazilian flag and let’s just say the variety of different “flags” was quite impressive…

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You are a fun writer Tia. It is fun to read your blog. I love the pictures too. Hope all is well. Love, Mom