Friday, April 8, 2011

A Short Stop in Fortaleza, Brazil (March 15)

Our Gina creation of the day…a doggie!

Ed had a great idea of photographing the Patter for the day to mark the starting point for that port, so here is…

Fortaleza is a city on the northeast corner of Brazil, which is relatively unknown outside of Brazil. It is the country’s fifth largest city and its growth is due to Brazilians discovering its beautiful beaches. Fortaleza is the capital of the state of Ceara and was the first state in Brazil to abolish slavery.

Fortaleza is 285 years old, so there are no old buildings. Three hundred years ago, it was all sand. The water has an extremely high level of salt, second only to the Dead Sea. Its main industry is tourism and many people from Sao Paula and Rio come to enjoy the beaches.

We had heard that it isn’t a safe area, so we opted to go on a Princess tour. Once again, we had lovely, clean, air conditioned buses…with tinted windows. Here we are leaving the port…

The line-up waiting for the shuttle buses to drop people off at the tourist market was huge.

The area around the port was very run down and poor…


Hee-haw….too cute!

But then we moved into a more prosperous area. Our guide said it is very common for the rich and poor to live in the same area and everyone gets along.



The average salary in Fortaleza is about 545 Real per month which would be about $400. This guy has his fish for the day…

The downtown was quite nice, much different from the poverty of Salvador.


One of the many beautiful beaches…

There are many, many hotels and condos. This one had a neat design…

And then we stopped to take a short walk to the English Bridge. Cute streets…

A tiny, baby kitty…

Taken from the English Bridge…

You can see the ship on the far left and the ominous clouds!

Hotels upon hotels…

The English Bridge...I think the materials to build the bridge came from England. I don’t think there is much to show in town as this wasn’t the most exciting thing, but the views were beautiful.

Back on the bus…it was starting to sputter rain now…

All men must serve one year in the army at the age of 18 and I gathered these guys were doing some sort of duty.

Our next stop was the Fortaleza Cathedral. It looked really old…I guess you can thank the salty air for that.


But it was actually built in 1978! The pigeons like it...

It was a lovely church with beautiful stained glass. The glass came from Switzerland, the marble from Italy and the iron from Scotland.

Some of the stained glass…




Some of the relief work…


The area outside the church…

Our next stop was the Mercado Central…the tourist market…

Lots of vendors…the purse section…

It really reminded me of a parking garage…


There were some very nice paintings and jewellery…

Ed buying a new belt…

And now it was really raining…

Back into the not-so-nice section of town…

Our last stop was the cultural centre. I opted to skip it as our guide warned us the pavement was slippery and I had almost wiped out in the church already. I don’t think it was much of a stop as we were only there 20 minutes.

Our guide did show us what a cashew looks like when it is on the plant.

And with that, it was back to the ship. I liked Fortaleza better than Salvador, but can’t say I would return to either city. I'm not really sure why these ports were on the itinerary. They do have beautiful beaches though!

Now we have three great sea days before we arrive in the Caribbean!

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