by Jorge Sanchez - 10 months, 2 weeks ago
I had no intention to stop in Uberlandia. My travel plans included the visit to three UNESCO little towns in Minas Gerais: Diamantina, Congonhas plus Ouro Preto. But the bus from Goiania did not go to any of those places, not even to Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais capital), but only to Uberlandia, and from Uberlandia I had no other bus to Belo Horizonte until the evening, so I got stuck in Uberlandia for the whole day, from early in the morning until 10 PM.
In fact Uberlandia is not a historic city with many tourist attractions (like pretty Diamantina, Congonha or Ouro Preto). The place was first visited by the horrible and criminal bandeirantes (also known as paulistas because they came from Sao Paulo), those sinister portuguese negreros who kidnaped indians to slave them, because in Portugal colonies slavery was permitted, while in Hispanic America it was forbidden by the spanish government from Madrid and the indians were spanish citizens.
Uberlandia only developed as city much later, in the XIX century, when Brazil was independent from Portugal. I requested tourist brochures in the information office inside the bus terminal, and then resolved to get to know the town, of which I did not know anything. As usual, when I arrive to a place for the first time, I have three goals, to visit the religious places, the central market and to drink a local beer. I then started by the beer for breakfast, in the same bus terminal, then I walked to the oldest church, a small but pretty little church (much more beautiful than the big cathedral, which was close to that church). The name was Igreja Nossa Senhora do Rosário. I liked it. In that same square there was a monument devoted to Zumbi dos Palmares, an african slave that escaped and was the last of the kings of the Quilombo dos Palmares, a fugitive settlement in today Alagoas state. In a plaque there was a poem devoted to him, and signed by the Comunidade Negra de Uberlandia (black community of Uberlandia). The three most sinister stores for slaves in Europe, were in Liverpool, Le Havre and Lisbon. Finally I went to have a proper breakfast in the central market (Mercado Municipal), which was also close to the church, and ordered coffee plus several coxinhas, that were delicious. Uberlandia is not a big town, it does not reach the 700.000 inhabitants, and by walking you can visit the most interesting places. In the central square, in front of the cathedral, I noticed a big bust dedicated to the ex-Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek, who was born in Diamantina, Minas Gerais state. He is very much admired by the Brazilians.In the evening I walked back to the bus terminal and caught a bus to Belo Horizonte, my base to visit in the three following days three UNESCO sites (Diamantina, Congonhas and Ouro Preto).