Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Down south

Like England, it's the south of Brazil that is wealthier and more developed.  More specifically the state of Rio Grande do Sul - the country's southern most part - is rich in industry and is famous for being culturally rich, for Churrasco, Gaúchos, Chimarrão and for manufacturing great shoes. 

The inhabitants of this region are known as Gaúchos although these days they don't all go round on horseback. 

The climate is very similar to England in the winter and the locals also drink a lot of tea. 

The cultural influence is heavily Italian and German and this can be seen in most towns and cities within the state. 

My favourite stop on our tour of this state was Gramado.   For me it was the jewel in the crown of this visit. 

Imagine Bavaria South American style, brushed over with lots of Disney and you are somewhere close to imagining how pretty and quaint this city is.  The place thrives on tourism and is famous for chocolate.  Penguins, personalised hearts and eggs and Father Christmases in varying shades of brown and white welcome you to the practically cocoa-paved streets of Gramado.  Everything you could need exists here it's just that it's usually made of chocolate.  The novelty of the items is inevitably seductive for the passing tourist, although I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed by the actual taste and quality of the chocolate.  Nevertheless, this city is a must-see if you ever find yourself in Rio Grande do Sul. 

1 comment:

  1. just an american expat passing through.. i was looking for expat blogs to add on a feed at my site.. best of luck, valeu...