Monday, April 7, 2008

Colonial Parati

Bem Dia! It really is Monday today! :) And it is raining cats and dogs...but it is it is all good!

If you've read about the Dengue Fever here in Rio, it is true that there are issues here with it, but we've brought lots of heavy duty Deet spray and are using it prolifically. I've had one little bite of some variety, but don't think it's a mosquito. I truly don't think anything could survive on our skin as it's had so much Deet on it lately that we should be permanently protected.:)

More about the trip to Parati....

Parati (Paraty), was a major port city and "stopping off" point on the sea route from Sao Paulo to Rio, up until around 1822, when Brazil was liberated from Portugal. At that time the exporting of gold to Portugal ceased and also a new road connecting Rio and Sao Paulo more directly was completed, and bypassed the town of Parati. Losing it's strategic position, the town was more or less "forgotten" and became almost abandoned in it's 1822 state. It is rumored that there were less than 500 people inhabiting the town for many of it's years. Consequently, the town remains almost precisely in it's colonial appearance; quaint Brazilian baroque architecture, large stone streets which slope inward, churches, homes and pousadas with inviting courtyards and gardens inside stone walls. Think Colonial Williamsburg with a tropical and Mediterranean influence!! In 1966 Pariti was declared a national historical monument by UNESCO and it's status was permanently preserved, prohibiting automobile traffic in the colonial area.

It is really a lovely litte town! Many of the more famous "photo ops" include the Santa Rita de Cassia church

and views of the narrow streets with colorful portals (doors) and wooden shutters, often with compadres leaning out on the inviting lower "half" of the portal. Mary and Claudio stroll along the stone streets

Of course, the sea still holds the greatest influence over Parati; many colorful and pastel wooden boats wait at the dock to transport you to the many verdant islands that lie just off the shore.

The streets were originally constructed with a definite inward, downward slope, to allow the high tide to "cleanse" the streets daily and to drain off rain water. This was an innovative and cost effective way to remove whatever "debris" had been left behind by the mode of transportation (four-legged with tail--Katie's favorite :)) or other garbage that may have been tossed into the streets!

We, of course, took a jaunt on an island-bound schooner, just for fun!

The kids swam, snorkeled and fed the fish....
Someone had a nap.... A schooner docks at one of many verdant islands

In the 1970's the village attracted many artists and bohemians, reviving the town and providing many quaint handicraft shops, art galleries, and cafes along the streets. Many people flock to the town for it's access to the aquamarine water and private islands. It continues to thrive, providing a respite and a step back in time for all who will venture the scenic road trip down the Costa Verde.

Next road trip is Petropolis; definitely alive and well (and warm :) ) in Rio!
Tchau and love to everyone!

1 comment:

Dee & Jim said...

Thank you for the great pictures! It's fun traveling through your eyes. The boats are gorgeous, don't see that in Morehead City or Myrtle Beach. See ya soon.