In the eighteenth century in Brazil there were already many ways that led to the mines of Minas Gerais, but as well there were many “embezzlements”. To avoid these “incidents” the Portuguese Crown decided that the gold and diamonds could leave the mining lands only through dedicated roads authorized by the government, that received the name Estrada Real (Royal Road). The very original path connected the city of Paraty to the “golden” provinces of Minas, and in particular the old Villa Rica, today Ouro Preto (Black Gold). In this post I will try to ideally recreate the “old connection” showing a few photos that I made in a couple of week-end trips this year when I lived in Brazil: Ouro Preto and other Minas Gerais surroundings made with my great friend Alessandro and his wife Karol and the unforgettable weekend in Paraty with my love. All the photos were made with my Leica X1 (Ouro Preto, Tiradentes and Inhotim) and Canon G12 (Paraty)
In Ouro Preto if you want to enjoy the genuine traditional “comida mineira” (Minas Gerais food) go to the Restaurante Casa do Ouvidor. You will taste delicacies like Frango com Quiabo (Chicken with Okra) or the Tutu a Mineira…Eu adoro a cocinha mineira…I love Minas Gerais food tradition!
Not too far from Belo Horizonte in Brumadinho there is a really breathtaking place: Inhotim. It’s a contemporary art museum created inside an amazing tropical botanical garden. A visit is mandatory also if you are not passionate art lo era…take at least 1 full day to see everything…but if you are in hurry (you shouldn’t, you are in Brazil!…but we were…) rent a golf car with a driver…you will get lost without it…
Paraty is a jewel. In my opinion one of the nicest places in Brasil. I will never forget:
- The typical colonial architecture with its pastel colors
- The high tide in the late afternoon that made me feel to be in Venice rather than in Brazil
- The boat cruise in the Baia de Paraty (a must!)
- The Restaurante Hiltinho in the Ilha do Algodão (Cotton Island) with its breathtaking view and its delicious food (a super must!)
- The dramatic hot and humid atmosphere…really challenging…
Last but not least, a special mention goes to a special place: Casa Turquesa, where we stayed in Paraty. Simply perfect.