Sunday, October 23, 2011

Parque da Independencia, Museu do Ipiranga, and Liberdade

Today, Time Irado was back at what we do best. No, not helping local entrepreneurs improve their businesses, but we are really good at that too. The correct answer is.... Being Tourists! Today was the perfect day for it, as the weather was about 80 degrees and pure sun. We started by taking a taxi over to Parque da Independencia, which translates to Independence Park. Independence park is the located at Ipiranga Hill, next to the creek Ipiranga where D. Pedro declared the country independent from Portugal in 1822. The park houses the Museu do Ipriranga also known as Paulista Museum.

That's a good looking... museum
Inside the Museum, were displays of Brazilian history, most notably the city of Sao Paulo. The Museum itself, appeared to be a large palace from the 1800's. Upon further research, it was actually constructed as a monument to Brazilian independence and turned into a museum 5 years later. The three story museum contains exhibits of paintings and artifacts from the first settlers from Portugal, to the early industrial revolution of Sao Paulo. A replica of the city of Sao Paulo in the early 1900's was a great exhibit to see how the city has grown, given the massive presence the city now has. Despite 99% of the descriptions written in Portuguese, we could still understand most of what was being displayed through the vivid imagery. There were displays of various tools used in work by early firemen, street cleaners, hunters, house-workers, businesses, and my favorite, the military. Similar to the Soccer Museum, there were also many resources for the visually and hearing impaired to see, read, and hear things about many of the exhibits. 

The museum is somewhat small and we were able to work our way from through the museum in just over an hour, so we headed out into the park. The park is an oblong park similar shape (not nearly as big) as the National Mall in Washington D.C. but without the monuments. Immediately outside the doors of the museum, is a large landing area that overlooks fountains and the green space. The park has French gardens that line the edges that have have many colorful flowers. Running the length of the park is a paved area resembling a street, better known as Sunset Boulevard.
Skateboarders take over Sunset Boulevard on the weekends
There were lots of people out in the Park today walking with their families, eating food from the various local food stands, as well as a large crowd skate boarding down the Sunset Boulevard. Continuing down to the end of the park, the front edge of the park is home to the Monumento Independence - a statue in tribute to the "cry of Ipiranga", authored by Italian Ettore Ximenez.

The Independence Mon

This view shows the magnificant size of the monument

After taking lots of pictures it was back to a taxi to head over to the Liberdade (Liberda-je) area of town. The taxi ride was a bit like a roller coaster through out the hills of Sao Paulo, but most because the taxi's transmission was about to blow. As the car starts and sputters back and forth it is like climbing to the top of one of Cedar Point's biggest roller coaster. Along the way, we pass thousands of students walking the streets of Liberdade waiting to take a version of a college entrance exam. We finally arrive at the corner of Liberdade and Estudiantes avenues and see the large market that lines the edge of Liberdade. This part of town is famous for being the home to thousands of Japanese immigrants during the 1950's and is home to the largest population of Japanese outside of Japan. The buildings and street lamps were designed in an aesthetic fashion which gave it a unique feeling.

Streets of Liberdade

Liberdade Sunday Market
The market contained  fresh fruits, meats cooked to order, craft goods, handmade linens,and other one of a kind items. TimeIrado walked the lined market exploring the offerings and stopped for a quick lunch at a local Japanese establishment. Afterwards, it was back out to visit the local shops which lined the streets. I even found a place to catch a quiet moment of reflection. 

"When you're enlightened, every word is wisdom"

After 2 hours of touring Liberdade, it was back to the hotel to get ready for the Corinthians and Internacional soccer game. More things crossed off the Sao Paulo Bucket list, time to plan the next tourist adventues.

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