This weekend we visited the towns of Gramado and Canela.
It is hard to believe when being in Brazil, but when you are driving to, and arrive in Gramado, it is almost as if you arrive in a small city in the Black Forest or Bavaria in the south of Germany.
Leaving the plains near the coast of Rio Grande do Sul you start climbing the medium high mountains, like you would in the Black Forest. The temperature starts dropping and the clouds get bigger in number and size. Once arrived in Gramado you start wondering if you took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up being in the Twilight Zone.
Everywhere you look you see the typical building style of the German houses in the Black Forest and there are even a lot of old style Beetles driving around.
It is only when you talk to people you realize that you are in a Portuguese speaking country and when you pay for your Apfelstrudel in Reais you realize you are in Brazil.
Gramado is a small town in size but it is big in Tourism. This is also reflected in the number of different restaurants you have here. We visited two of them. C´est Mieux de la Fondue and Toca da Bruxa. The last is a Pizzeria but is especially funny because of the entourage. You have a place to park your broom and a garden with toxic plants and of course inside you will find all the books and potions a good witch needs.
Lots of people from Brazil and in fact from all over the world come to Gramado to see this German town in Brazil. The origins for this town of course lay in the immigration of lots of German people in the 19th and 20th century. They arrived from Europe and brought along with them the art of making chocolate, beer and of course Apfelstrudel.
A woman from Rio de Janeiro was excited about the place. She said isn´t this wonderful? I can not believe that I feel cold rain in cold weather I love it here. Well for her it may be wonderful, but for me, coming from the Netherlands it is not so unusual to feel cold rain on a cold day. So I guess it is all about perspective, what you enjoy and when you think something is amazing.
When visiting Gramado you have to visit the neighboring town Canela. Here you have the wonderful park; Parque do Caracol which contains the Cascata do Caracol. Okay it is not the biggest fall in the world but still very impressive.
Next week I will tell you more about really impressive falls, when we go to visit Foz do Iguaçu. But for now these falls did perfectly in expectation of the impressions when we go visit the really impressive falls on the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. On the way in to Canela we encountered a really funny sight: Mundo a Vapor, this is a museum about the world of steam, we did not visit this museum but we stopped to watch the entrance of the museum. When you look at the picture you understand why we stopped to see this entrance.