Most of Rio Grande do Sul is nothing like that.
Our day in Novo Hamburgo felt like a day in San Francisco, California... Cool, windy weather, steep streets, bustling city life.
Here is a view from our hotel room:
There is a lot of German influence here, if you couldn't tell from the name "New Hamburg" which makes the buildings, food, and culture very unique.
We had a great day exploring this fun city. My artsy side came out as we explored:
I told myself I wanted to get lots of exercise this trip, and we definitely have. I think the day we explored Novo Hamburgo we walked almost 6 miles! We found the bus station (which proved useful many times), we explored markets, and even found a cute little park in the city where we swung on the swings and relaxed for a little bit.
We tried really hard to find a cereal shop, like the ones Grant would go to on his mission, but when we got to the address, it looked a little shady. Ok it looked a LOT shady and we left pretty quick. On our way back, we found a hole on the wall place for lunch. There was no menu, and the worker just asked us how many lunches we wanted to order. A little confused, we ordered 2, along with some pastels. Out came some AMAZING food: fried chicken, fried greens, massa( homemade noodles with butter sauce,), a ravioli with some kind of sweet squash inside, and of course, beans and rice. With the pastels and a side of pickled vegetables, it was one of the best lunches I have ever had. And at 16 reais, (not quite 8 American dollars) for both of us it was one of the cheapest meals we have had on the trip.
Later, we found another church and got to go inside. It was really beautiful:
Then we walked around a little more...
...and drank our favorite Brazilian soda, Guaraná. This stuff is a mix between ginger ale and apple soda- SO good. And in America it's really expensive so I am trying to drink as much of it as I can :) I even found a zero cal version here:
If there's one thing we have learned here, it's that sometimes the best experiences are the ones that cost the least.
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