I managed to squeeze in a day-trip (well, a few hours between the packed World Cup schedule) to visit the beautiful Colonial town of Ouro Preto. Nestled in the green mountains of Minas Gerais, my visit was blessed with beautiful sunshine and a spectacular sunset. The town is home to a great concentration of Colonial churches housing many works of a Brazilian sculptor, Aleijadinho. Amazingly, the sculptor worked with a hammer and chisel strapped to his arms, having lost the use of his hands and legs at the age of 30. I will write only a short narrative of my day (sigh of relief) and let my photos show you all that I saw as I wandered the cobbled streets, inspected the crafts market and admired the architecture.
My journey began (albeit belatedly after a late finish the night before) at Belo Horizonte’s bus station, where I naïvely expected to waltz up to the ticket counter and straight onto the next bus. After nearly an hour of queuing, I had purchased both my bus ticket there and onto Rio, relying on the kind assistance of a Brazilian lady acting as translator. The views were pretty as we followed a winding road into the mountains, although I slept for a large chunk and intermittently checked the Argentina score, rueing the disturbance to my schedule. I caught the majority of the 2nd half at the bus station on arrival (missing all 5 goals) meeting a couple of English chaps. We exchanged travel stories and plans as we walked down into town and arranged plans for that evening.
Sightseeing in Ouro Preto
I watched the first half of France’s final group game in town then we took the extremely steep path up to their hostel, enjoying a beautiful sunset along the way. We watched the 2nd half with a typically random group of nationalities, many of which were already eliminated or not involved in the World Cup at all. I rounded off the night with pizzas and cervejas as I prepared myself for another overnight bus journey.