April 30th, 2011

Minas Gerais

Much of the history of colonial South America features the search for gold, silver and precious stones to feed the crowns of Spain and Portugal. Brazil shares this history and the state of Minas Gerais (General Mines) was where it largely happened in the early 18th century. One of our loves is visiting former colonial cities and enjoying the architectural treasures that grew out of gold rush wealth so Minas was clearly a draw for us. While Brazil’s highway system is not quite up there with the U.S. interstate system it is pretty good. So we fired up the Toyota and headed north for a week of travel within the state of Minas.



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Unfortunately we did not have time to see two of BH’s highlights – the Inhotim art museum or the Pampulha complex. Fortunately we will be heading back there in November for a cultural tour. So on Easter Sunday we headed out for the gem of Minas Gerais, Ouro Preto (or black gold).

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After three days of wandering, climbing, shopping and thoroughly enjoying our stay we headed out for Congonhas and an opportunity for Aleijadinho overload.

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And now on to what was to have been the final stop on this trip, the colonial town turned modern city of São João del Rei.

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So we hit the road yet again and spent our last two nights in the neighboring colonial town of Tiradentes.

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And one last hug before hitting the road and going back home. We will return to Minas – we loved it and there is still a coffee table in Tiradentes that I hope to own!