No matter how much we dream of an endless summer, the heat is heat and at one moment it becomes unbearable. Even though it is late spring in Rio, after a week there and sleeping with the ventilator turned on these past days we started feeling like two steaks cooking in our own sauce. We were planning the spend our very last day there on the beach until the weather forecast of 36 degrees Celsius forced us to search for alternatives.
In Paraty we met a Belgian woman traveler who recommended Petrópolis. It was also mentioned in the thick book about South America that we carry around with us. The culmination were the reviews that said “It’s 10 degrees cooler than Rio!” and “Go there to take a break from Rio!”. And so, we caught a rickety bus 175 from our pleasant ghetto, we reached the Novo Rio bus station and after 2 hours (including looking for the cash machine and the bus company) we arrived at the station in Petrópolis. There we were informed unusually easily which bus to take to the town center and what are the local tourist attractions. It is important to note that the distance to Rio is 65 km and also the altitude of 800 m, which means that the temperatures drop by 10 °C.
Petrópolis doesn’t have much of the Brazilian charm since it has been designed by a German. The European vibe is everywhere, in every church or famous house. Not to mention the many pale blue-eyed Portuguese speakers we met… While we were passing by the many river branches, several charitable Santa Clauses came with pickup trucks and gave presents to the children on the streets.
|Children’s eyes are wide to see Santa’s presents|
|“Typical” Brazilian architecture|
|Catedral Sao Pedro de Alcantara|
Some say that Imperial Palace is the most interesting museum. We saluted it from the outside because we were headed to Cervejaria Bohemia. It is the oldest brewery in Brazil, even though it has Czech origins. The interactive tour gave us knowledge about the history of beer, the method of production and most importantly – about beer degustation. We were the only non-Brazilians in the whole crowd but Nace arranged for us a private guide in English for the every stage of the tour. What a service! Two birds with one stone – cooling off on the outside as well as on the inside!
|The history of beer – it goes back a long time|
|The Beer Master’s office|
|Nace drives tipsy|
Going back to Rio took even less time – it was under an hour. Sadly, the first step out the bus sent us back to the desert.
The sensation reminded me a lot of the time I got off a plane in Qatar where the temperature during the night was 38°C. To rise the temperature even more we joined the rehearsal of three more samba schools at the neighboring Sambodromo.
With passionate music and the emotions of hundreds of people we overcame the heat and we forgot all about our complaints!
This article was brought to you in English by Marta Petrova.
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