day approaching the port of Fortaleza, Brazil a city on the northeast coast of Brazil in Ceara one of the 27 states in this country. It is the 5th
most populated city with about 2.5 million people calling it home. The chief exports are coffee, cotton and Carnauba wax. For hundreds of years, Brazil has symbolized the great escape into a primordial, tropical paradise, igniting the Western imagination like no other South American country. From the mad passion of carnival to the immensity of the dark Amazon, it is a country of mythic proportions. Perhaps it is not quiet the Eden of popular imagination, but it is a land of staggering beauty. There are immense rainforests, many islands with pristine tropical beaches, endless rivers and beautiful people who live mainly an urban life, with 2 out of 3 people living in the city. This is our last paid for tour and we were late getting to the meeting prior to the bus trip
. This delay placed us on the last bus to one of the largest open air markets in Brazil. It was a concrete steel reinforced 5 story building, and you could go up the stairs or walk ramps to the next level. They sold fabrics, clothes, food and everything in between. We bought another kilo of cashew nuts and could not decide on any other item that we looked for. After 45 minutes we got on the bus to go one block to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza, we could have walked there much faster. The Sunday service was going on as we wondered through the church taking pictures and making three wishes, something Mary Ann always reminds me to do when we visit a new church.
Next we visited the British Bridge which is not a bridge, but a pier only it was closed for repairs. From there we could see the beautiful ocean and beach which the guide said you should not swim, because of the pollution, although there were many people in the water. The Teatro Jose de Alencar was beautifully constructed of ornate ironwork fashioned in Scotland. The building is still used for plays, operas and it stays cool due to the open airy structure, although they said that air conditioning was on the way.
The last stop was a restaurant on the beach where we were treated to a rum sugar cane drink, small fried fish parts and fried sweet potatoes. I don't remember their Brazilian names but everything was very good. The rum drinks were very strong and many of the people left feeling no pain. We arrived on the ship a little before the gangway was stored on the bow of the ship and away she went backing out while the 5 windmills whirled away creating electricity for the port.