A day in Fortaleza - Day 585
It is our last full day in South America after arriving six months ago, sleeping in at least 58 different beds, travelling around Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, a quick stop in Colombia before seeing friends in Panama and Nicaragua, next to Costa Rica with a creative journey back to Brazil. Finally, to Fortaleza. Why here? I found a very cheap flight to Seville. A quick search on the App Culture Trips gave us a few ideas on how to spend our day here. We started out strolling along Iracema Beach with its long golden sands. A scattering of people was relaxing with skimpy swimsuits and picnics at the ready. A few people were swimming in the sea; however, I have read that it is quite polluted.
A long pier stretched out into the sea and provided an effective water break on the left, so the water was remarkably calm. Some school kids were running along the wooden boards, some practising their English with us. What was that out in the sea? An island? No, it was a shipwreck. Next stop was Dragão do Mar, an arts and cultural complex. The modern architecture was impressive with a glass dome, walkways and curves, and beautiful murals to view. Apart from that, there wasn't much happening unless you were a skinny teenage girl. There was a gaggle of them wearing flesh leggings and black leotard, applying more make-up to the already painted faces, while waiting for their dance lesson.
We carried on our walk, kept crossing roads to find the shade from the burning heat or avoid being splashed from a lake of a puddle. I'd heard that the Tourist Centre was worth visiting with many artisan stalls selling their homemade products. The Centro De Turismo Do Ceará was a former Jailhouse. Each cell has been turned into a mini shop selling beautifully intricate lace, wooden ornaments to clutter people's homes with, hand embroidered scarves. and much more. Our bargain flight restricts us to 10kg of carry-on luggage so that we couldn't buy anything. This can be a blessing, though. It means our family don't get yet another unwanted keyring! Nearby was the Neo-Gothic Roman style Metropolitan Cathedral which took 40 years to build, inaugurated in 1978. This vast building can hold up to 5,000 people. It was remarkably plain apart from some stunning stained glass windows.
We didn't see too much of the city, however, we were surprised at how modern it was despite it being founded in 1726, and especially compared to Belém.
Time to say Gracias / Obrigado to South America, with its vastness, rich culture, dramatic history, delicious gigantic fruits and stunning rock formations. Hasta Luego / Ver você de novo.