Today I’m going to write about Papai’s country, Brazil. He’s from Rio Grande do Sul, a state in the South of Brazil, close to Argentina and Uruguay. People from Rio Grande do Sul are called Gauchos. They are usually very proud of their land and culture, and are even said to be prouder being Gauchos than being Brazilians. Most of them are descendants of European immigrants from Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal.
Carla has been to Brazil twice, while Renan has only been there once. They both really enjoyed Brazil. We have been to a few places in the South of Brazil. For my first post about Brazil, I’m going to write about Garibaldi and Porto Alegre.
Garibaldi is a small town where Nonna and Nonno live. In Garibaldi, almost everyone is a descendant of Italian immigrants who came to Brazil in the late 19th century. You can feel the Italian heritage everywhere. For example, a lot of people still converse in Italian and home food is always Italian food.
Nonna and Nonno live in a small farm. They have cows, chickens, pigs, dogs and cats… So off course Carla and Renan loved it there! They also have a vineyard, and they have all kinds of plants and trees in the garden. The kids were thrilled when Papai took them to pick oranges and pomegranates straight from the trees. No need to go to the supermarket!
You can see an orange tree close to the house.
… and so are the cows. They spend the day grazing on the pasture and would come back to the barn by themselves when it starts to get dark.
Here is Carla with Papai’s sister, Tia Denise. Look at the blue sky, and if you look closely at the photo on the left, you can see the moon too! What a beautiful place!
Nonna makes everything by herself… She can make all kinds of pasta, cakes, bread, cheese and even soaps. She has a huge fire oven to bake bread. Carla made her own tiny bread the last time we went there. Look at the bread… so cute… (and yummy, Carla said).
Garibaldi is famous in Brazil for its wines. There are a lot of wineries there. We visited Cooperativa Vinicola Garibaldi, a winery managed by a grape producers cooperative, for a wine tasting tour. The winery produces white, red and sparkling wines. Okay, by now you should know that I’m definitely not a wine expert! 😛
Even kids drink wine there! Haha, just joking…. Carla was drinking grape juice.
There is a tourist route called Caminhos das Pedras, where you can visit museums, farms, and historical buildings. We wanted to do Caminhos das Pedras tour, but didn’t have enough time, so we only had a quick stop at one of the stone houses built by the early Italian immigrants.
There are still many things to do and places to visit around Garibaldi. We definitely have to explore Caminho das Pedras again, and go on a Maria Fumaça train trip.
This is Maria Fumaça.
Porto Alegre is the capital of Rio Grande do Sul. It’s a big, busy city.
You can see Porto Alegre from here….
There is a nice park right in the middle of the city. It is called Parque Farroupilha. In the afternoon, there are usually a lot of people there, playing with their kids, jogging, doing exercises, or just relaxing with a book and chimarrão, a traditional drink prepared from mate leaves and drunk from a cuia, a special cup made of dried gourd.
This is chimarrão. Gauchos love this stuff and would drink it many times a day, everyday.
Anyway… we would always go to Parque Farroupilha when we were in Porto Alegre. We especially enjoyed walking around the beautiful lake. You can explore the lake on a swan boat. We tried a swan boat once, and it was great fun!
We also went to a nice museum the last time we were in Porto Alegre. It’s called Museu de Ciências e Tecnologia or museum of science and technology. It’s similar to Science Centre Singapore and MOSI in Manchester UK, full of interesting and interactive exhibits. Carla and Renan had a blast there!
Hope you enjoyed my post!
Next: Brazil Part 2: Gramado and Canela.