So What Is There To Do In Curitiba?
Curitiba Travel Blog› entry 9 of 45 › view all entries
Curitiba (pronounced Curitchiba).
I had a few Brazilians ask me why I was coming here, apparently they think there isn't much to do and see in this place or maybe it's that it's not a place that many Gringo's visit, who knows but I surely had a jam packed couple of days and actually really enjoyed it there.
I was spoilt for choice with the two hostels in Curitiba has neither had an amzing review on Hostel World's website, owing to the fact I'd get into Curitiba late evening I plumped for the one with the better location but as a precaution booked one night intially, thankfully it wasn't as bad as the reviews made out and I ended up staying there for the entire duration of my stay, sure it wasn't pary central but it was clean, it was in a great location, the rooms were ok and the free breakfast wasn't bad.
Day one started a little differnently than planned as one of the girls in my room advised hightailing to get tickets for the train on Sunday as ther had been problems earlier on in the week. The train ride dwon to Morretes was one of my main reasons for stopping here as the views were supposed to be spectacular. Train ticket succesfully purchased I went to jump on the tourist bus as I'd been advised it was a great way to see the city as most attractions were a reasonable distance from the centre. I'd only actually intended to got to the Oscar Niemeyer Musuem but if I got to do that and see other sights too then why the hell not.
You could only actually do four stops on the tour so you had to decide based on the leaflet they gave you on the bus where you wanted to visit, I picked the Botanical Gardens, the Oscar Niemeyer Musuem, the Opera House and the TV Tower so I could watch the sunset over the city.
First stop the Botanical Gardens, Barzil's answer to Kew, a little piddly in stature but it was a nice relaxing stop to start the journey and for the first time on my trip I actually had enough time (and no hassle or fear of getting robbed) to do soem sketching, god I'm rusty. I almost missed the bus as I was getting an ice cream (yes I know food again) as the vendor had gone to get me some change, I was toying with the idea of letting him keep the change and have the most expensive ice cream of my trip, when he came running back at the sight of the bus with me apologising profusley that I'd made the poor man run.
Next up the museum, the piece de resistance of the tour, I could have happliy spent all day there, not only was it a fabulous building but also the exhibits were really interesting. The ground floor was enitirely given over to Niemeyer and his work, there were drawings, models, photographs, detailed text (thankfully in English) and even a video of the great man himself talking about his life and work. It was really a really detailed exhibition and good to see other projects in other countries as I'd previously thought his work was limited only to Brazil, there's a project of his in Le Havre that looks interesting completed in teh 1990's that I want to see, better add it to teh destinations to visit list. There were also two great photography exhbits, both by international artists, one was on the concept of water and had images of the sea printed onto glass and translucent fabric that were overlaid to give the impression of movement.
The buses then started getting later and more crowded from this point on and after a brief whistlestop photoshoot at the Operahouse, which is set in an old quarry that has been converted into a lake, the next bus failed to materialise. When the next one finally arrived 30minutes later asa well it was a merciless shove to get on (against my inner Brit damning nice straight orderly ques!), I was so cold at this point and fed up, i'd missed sunset at the TV Tower at this point so had ditched the idea of even going there altogether, that all I wanted to do was get back to teh hostel and then head out to dinner. Dinner ended up being a bit of a lonely affair (one of the joys of travelling solo) and after taking a few snaps of Largo Ordem (the main historic centre) I headed back to the hostel again, I'd really fancied going out but without any drinking buddies it was a bit pointless.
Maybe it wasn't so bad anyway as I had to get up early to get to the train station to catch my picturesque train ride to Morretes. The train ride did indeed deliver beautiful scenery, albeit on some perilously narrow tracks (no wonder its so slow) and as an added bonus I had yet another Brazilian encounter (hmmm that sounds a bit wrong), there were yet again very few gringos on the trip as the majority were Brazilian tourists and after the guide had asked where I was from I soon found myself with company; Allan was an English teacher who taught rich Brazilian tots to speak English and was there for the weekend visiting his cousins. We spent the rest of the day hanging out and he introduced me to his family and I even got an invite for lunch, sampling another local speciality in the process, the locals always have the best intel! His cousin had two young boys called Jon and Leo (closest translation), Jon was 2 year old and a little monkey just like my nephew and little Leo was only 4months old but they were such cuties, I've got a few pictures playing with Jon that I'll have to post on Flickr to show just how sweet he was.
Morretes where we spent the afternoon was a charming enough place and there was also a fiesta, of sorts, on as well but I think if I hadn't had Allan and his family to spend time with it wouldn't have been anywhere near as fun a day.
I'd thought about spending an extra day in Curitiba to go and visit the stone city of Vilha Velha and although it sounded really interesting it would have meant less time in Floripa which I'd heard so many good things about, also I was hoping my hostel there would be slightly more fun than the one in Curitiba!