Ouro Preto is a beautiful colonial town in the mountains of Minas Gerais, that is definiltely worth visiting.
I spent here in Ouro Preto and the surroundings more time than before expected, exploring the town itself and its surroundings, like the villages Marianna and Lavra Novas. In total, I stayed here for one week.
Ouro Preto is situated within beautiful mountain sceneries and was earlier an important spot for the Portuguese, because the area was full of gold. Many gold mines are situated here and the majority of the extracted gold was transported to Europe, where is can be gazed at in the uncountable Catholic Churches. The amount of gold left over, that stayed here in the region was put into the churches of Ouro Preto. Ther are plenty of them, sometimes I had the impression that there are almost more churches than houses.
I stayed couchsurfing in a hostel within the historical center of Ouro Preto, and had just a great time with my awesome hosts, the two hostel owners Samuka and Rodney, the two volunteers that are working here, and some other very special guests, which all turned into good friends.
We went out together for walks, where Rodney and Samuka guided us and told us many histories of the town. For example, that the churches contain a lot of gold from the mines, and the slaves where not even allowed to enter them, so they built their own church, which is the simplest one of the town, that can be easily noticed from inside. In the evenings, we went out for festivals (when I was there, in the beginning of may, there was the town festival going on for several days, with a lot of Forro and Samba concerts).
One evening was an important football match between two good teams of Minas Gerais going on. We watched it in a little bar, an luckily the favorite team of my friends won the Minas Gerais cup. Another reason to celebrate
One day, I went with Maria, a new friend from Argentina, that also stayed in the hostel, to the neighbor village Marianna. It takes around 30 minutes by bus. We walked around, but actually, it was not very special. There is a main square with a park, some nice houses, churches, but nothing incredibly interesting. But we enjoyed the day and the nice weather, ate Tapioca, walked around and later turned back to the way more interesting Ouro Preto.
Another day, Rodney, Maria, the volunteer Flavia and a friend of Rodney, an artist that paints in the hostel, and me were driving with an old VW beetle to the neighbors village Lavras Novas, where I ate the best food that I ate so far in Brazil.
The village is very small and there are some interesting buildings made of adobe. After eating the amazing food in an “all you can eat” restaurant, we went for a walk to a beautiful waterfall.
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