Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ouro Preto

Most of Brazil's cultural attractions are closed on Mondays--fair enough, since they stay open on weekends--so I wasn't sure how to spend the Monday in Beagá. (I had already spent Sunday afternoon at the mall watching a movie--an outing which illustrates my lack of connection with the city.) Someone at the hostel told me, though, that it would be a good day to explore Ouro Preto because there are a good many churches to peruse, and God's always open, right?

So English lad, George, and I ventured out early. The two-hour bus ride through the mountains was agreeable. It was just the right amount of time to steep yourself in thought while watching the lovely scenery blur by.

We asked for a map at the bus station when we arrived. A kind man provided them, along with the tidbit that all but three of the town's dozens of attractions were closed...

...including the churches. D'oh!

George and I made the best of it. We stopped for some typical mineiro cuisine at a restaurant with a lovely view.

We visited Museu Casa dos Contos, a neat museum showing the progression of currency from the 18th century to present. We walked circles, at 45º angles, around the village--which was pleasant enough on a sunny day.

The famous and impressive Museu da Inconfidência was, unfortunately, not only closed but also being adorned in staging and scaffolding for the upcoming Tiradentes holiday commemoration.

Better luck next time, huh?

The reverse bus ride was stunning at sunset. All in all, the excursion was more entertaining than what Tuesday evening had in store. To be continued...