Posted by: Gary Guertin | February 8, 2013

12. Caribbean – Brazil – Vitoria

Hi All,

I posted twice today, so please read both this and 11.

Yesterday, Thursday, Feb. 7th, we visited the city of Vitoria, Brazil, an Atlantic port of about 300,000 inhabitants, capital of the state of Espirito Santo, and one of Brazil’s oldest colonial settlements (established in 1551).  After awhile you may get tired of me repeating the same dialogue about these Brazilian cities, but they are all beautiful and unique in some ways.  Vitoria, for example, is built around small mountains on a narrow bay that runs off the Atlantic.  The region is rich in coffee plantations, and more recently the mining of iron ore and the shipping of timber.  It goes without saying it has its pristine beaches and is preferred among many Brazilians because they are not crowded.

First a look up the Bay of Vitoria toward the Atlantic Ocean, which is just off that high bridge you see in the distance.

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Our port signs, the ships and the ports:

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Susy and I started our tour of Vitoria by walking around the “old town” which was right in front of where the Maasdam docked.  The main site of the central city was the Metropolitan Cathedral.  We were struck by how plain it was.  This was clearly a church that had been “stripped” down, when the Catholic Church put out an edict that its churches should be stripped of their “riches” an appeal more to the “masses”.

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Even with its simplicity the church’s stained glass windows reflect the old riches.  As we walked around the central city, I have to show you the some of the colorful buildings.

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How about this last “green” building!!  The main palace of the town center was the Anchieta Palace.  It dates from the 17th century and is a truly antique colonial building.

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Victoria, because of it being built around this mountainous region, has a lot of stairways to get up and down.  Here are two of the most colorful.

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This last stairway is called the “Maria Ortiz Stairs”, because back on March 14, 1625 a Dutch Admiral landed at Victoria with 8 ships, 84 soldiers, and 166 sailors to capture the village.  Coming into this slope where the stairway is located today, a group of locals led by Maria Ortiz rained down boiling water, stones, live embers, and wooden logs over the invaders.  The Dutch were forced back to their ships and dropped the invasion.  How about that for local color?  Here’s a look at one of the streets with a market on the side:

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To complete the day we hopped into a taxi and rode out to the closest beach on the Atlantic, Praia do Sua.

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Oh, in case you didn’t know, we’re in the land of beautiful people and the “tanga”, more to come:

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Of coarse, as we sat along side this paradise, we had to have our afternoon cold one:

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That’s it for Victoria, after a day at sea we stop at Ilhabela, Saturday, Feb. 9th, then Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, Feb. 10th, 11th, and 12th, we’re docked in Rio.  Wednesday, Feb. 13th we stop in Buzios, Brazil.  As you can see the next days are going to be jam packed with ports so it may be awhile before I can catch up.

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu)


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