Excuse me for the last days. I have been worked a lot and I have not had much time to write. But I am here again!
As I told you before, I will talk about the city I live: Fortaleza. Its name is an allusion to the Fort Schoonenborch, built by the Dutch when they were here between 1637 and 1654. In 1654, the Portuguese took control of the Fort Schoonenborch and renamed it as Fortress of “Nossa Senhora da Assunção”. “Fortaleza” means Fortress in English.
A note before continue. Brazil was a Portuguese colony since the beginning of the XVI century until the declaration of its independence in September 7th, 1822. But in the XVII century the Dutch tried to establish a colony in the Brazilian northeast. They were interested in cultivate sugar cane in this region. The French also tried to take the control of a part of the territory (Brazil).
The “Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística” (IBGE), a Brazilian government agency that collects and disseminates demographic data, estimated that lived in Fortaleza 2.473.614 inhabitants in 2008. This makes Fortaleza the 5th most populous city in Brazil. The biggest is São Paulo, with a population of 10.990.249 inhabitants. Above there is a table with the largest cities in Brazil
Fortaleza is located near the Atlantic Ocean (see above, in the map, Fortaleza in South American context - the region called CE is the State of Ceará in Brazil). The annual average temperature is 26°C (while I’m writing this text the temperature is 28°C). The hottest month is December. For the next three days the maximum temperature is expected to 31°C and the minimum 26°C. From January to May is the rainy season. Even in these months is difficult for the sun to hide itself completely among the clouds. From June to November the wind blows freely. Note that Fortaleza is next to the line of the Equator. So, we just have the rainy season and the sunny season. But the city is becoming hotter because near the beach there are many tall buildings that block the wind coming from the sea to reach the rest of the city. Additionally, there is the global warming.
There are many places that I like to go here. One of these is the “Ponte dos Ingleses” (or the Bridge of the English). It was originally a pier built by the English to receive goods that came by vessel from other states in Brazil and from other countries. This pier was also used to load cotton that was produced in the State of Ceará and was exported to other countries in the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century. Today, this “bridge” is a touristic place where you can see the sunset.
"Ponte dos Inlgeses"
Another note before continue. Some companies and entrepreneurs from England helped to develop the public infrastructure in Brazil and here in the State of Ceará too many years ago.
Other place that I like to go is the “Praia do Futuro” (Future beach). I think that it is the best beach of this city. I prefer to go there in the afternoon to drink coconut water or a cold beer, eat crabs and cameroons, and swim in the sea.
"Praia do Futuro"
However, in my opinion, the best beaches of the Ceará is not in here in Fortaleza. There is a lot of other fantastic beaches in cities near here. And other far away from here. One of my favorite beaches is “Praia das Fontes”. In this beach, there is sources of water over the cliffs. Another great place to go is Camocim, a city located 347 km from Fortaleza. In this city there is many restaurants and hotels, and an unbelievable sunrise. I’ve been there last month. When I went to “Praia das Fontes” and “Camocim” I forgot my camera, so I don’t have any picture with me. Camocim is near to Jericoacoara (or just “Jeri”) – the most famous beach of Ceará and some say it is the most beautiful. Unhappiness, I’ve never been in Jeri.
If you are a tourist here, there are also two places that you have to visit: the Central Market (“Mercado Central”) and the Beira-Mar Fair (“Feira da Beira-Mar”), where you can find some nice souvenirs made by local artisans.
As Adriana remembered commenting the last post, there are some foods that you have to eat if you were here. “Tapioca” with butter, a food made of wheat flour is one of them. Other foods are “Pamonha” and “Cuscuz” (both made from maize), “Baião-de-Dois” (rice and bean cooked together with butter and cheese), “Carne-de-sol” (a delicious beef) and “Macaxeira frita” (almost like potato fries, but you use cassava and not potato). With this menu you know that you are in Ceará. But be careful. Some of these foods are really spicy.
So, we have many fantastic places to go, beaches and delicious food… But there is one thing that I really love in this city: the people. I have been lived here for 16 years and, everyday, the people here surprising me. They are friendly, funny, talkative and helpful. Here you are never be alone!
Before finish, let me show you some more pictures.
Cathedral in downtown
"Dragão do Mar" Cultural Center
Have a nice weekend!
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