So this is Curitiba

Trip Start Nov 07, 2006
Trip End Apr 26, 2007

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Saturday, January 20, 2007

Curitiba is more like a clean, tidy, modern, interesting newish
university town, something like`Loughboro`, it is quite amazing. They
have turned the old rail station into one of the biggest shopping malls that I have seen, the eating area alone is vast with so many food outlets that you can eat anything you could possibly want, (except fish-- but they do have a sushi place).

There is a type of modern tram system, something like you get on the continent, it has covered (bus)shelters that a like glass tubes you go through and wait in for the tram. They also have a tourist bus (I used it yesterday), it takes two and a half hours to complete but you can get off it as you go round the city and get back on a later bus when you have looked at the museum or whatever has taken your interested . You pay your 15 reals and are allowed to get on and off it up to four times, each time the conductor tears off another bit of your ticket. The center of this city is pedestrianized and OPEN 24 hours a day, you can eat or shop at any hour. There is just one area that is old cobbled streets like the old area in Norwich. The whole place looks and feels like nothing else I`ve seen so far in Brazil, or even in South America, it really is so much like a modern university city in the UK or perhaps on the continent.
The HI Roma hotel is clean and quite spacious, the single room rate is 30 reals (7.50 pounds), it is just off the center but within a few blocks of the main tourist area, it is also just across the road from the huge mall where you can eat to your hearts content at very competitive prices. My meal last night was huge and contained meat, salad, chips and bread and butter, with a drink it cost just over 10 reals (2.50 pounds). I was tempted with
their choices of ice-creams etc. but was too full.
Now that I am travelling alone I find my lack of Portuguese very restricting, few people in this city speak any English BUT there are always gestures, they seem to work well and there is always someone who calls to someone else to help you out. It all works out sooner or later.
Take good care of yourselves and so will I.  Here in Curitiba there appears to be no serious threat as in Rio, even the traffic seems to flow smoothly AND cautiously.  Come to think of it this does not really feel like travelling, no one pestering me, no tuk-tuks, no bazaars, not even a beach to spend the day writing  or recouping on while the sun burns your bum. I suppose that is what makes this city so so different and worth visiting.
Peter T.
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