Day 17-18 A Contemporary City

Community Highlights Central / South America & The Caribbean Day 17-18 A Contemporary City

Under the white flourescent Hotel Blumenau sign, 3 am in the morning on the dimly lit deserted street, despite the receptionist's warning about the streets not being so safe at this time of the day, I light up a long craved cigarette. Two drags in to it and I see a biker heading my way on a one way street in the wrong direction. Gazing me like a pray thru his biker helmet, he rolls pass thru me, goes another 10 meters to take the little handicap ramp to get on the sidewalk. Once on the sidewalk, he turns towards me and heads my way. Seeing him so determined to come my way, I nudge myself over to the side a step, to somewhat acknowledge his procession, or rather to be on guard? He stops right in front of me, nods and reaches down to the pouch on the side of his bike. Expecting anything to come out of that khaki drag pouch at this moment, I stand still, guard-less and hopeless, I shall say. A second later he hands me the morning paper delivery for the hotel wrapped in a clear plastic bag, "obrigado" he says, turns around and disappears in the dark of the night.
I sigh, take one last drag and walk over to the trash can to deposit my cigarette butt, thinking who else would stop by in the wee hours of the night in Curitiba at Hotel Blumenau?
Due to a massive accident on the highway, which delayed our bus by 7 hours, we ended up getting to Curitiba about an hour before this incident. The whole trip was supposed to last 6 hours but ended up being a 13 hour misery for most passengers, but for some it was a great opportunity to start flirting Brazilian style.
So getting in town very late meant that our Airbnb host was fast asleep, would not hear the doorbell and would not answer her phone. Hopeless and extremely tired, we decide to head downtown looking for hotels. Our taxi driver sympathizes and takes us on a traffic free after dark city tour. After stopping at 3 fully booked hotels we end up at Hotel Blumenau, where once again we hit the language barrier and get sent to a single single bed room. A quick hand-drawn sketch of a double bed secures us a room with a real double bed and once in the room, we pass out in an instant.
Curitiba is a great town, not just because Alex is from there, but the municipal market is one of the best in terms of selection and service we have seen in a while.
The "Eye" building; Oscar Niemeyer Museum; is iconic, and is extraordinary in terms of serving the public art and culture.
Automobile museum hosts a couple of old F1 vehicles along with a selection of Brazilian made cars, American classics and a great set of Ford Ts.
In the old town, there are tons of great little bars that serve "artisan brews" and fantastic burgers!
There is an Italian 'hood, where no one speaks Italian but great pizzas are served; a Polish 'hood, which we did not visit but assume jokes are permanently there; a large German contingent at a biergarten that looks like it was teleported straight from Schwarzwald, Gemany with decor and food, but serves local beer!
Curitiba is definitely more than a pitstop, it is a prime example of efficient urban planning and somewhat eco-friendly approach to what a contemporary city should be like.

This featured blog entry was written by ayca ozer from the blog SiestaFiesta.
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By ayca ozer

Posted Sun, Dec 08, 2013 | Brazil | Comments