I decided to have a relaxing day, sleep in until 8, go for a long breakfast and then make my way to the Rodoviaria (bus station) and eventually to Gramado.
Finally I arrived at the station at 9:45, bought my ticket and was on the bus at 10am. I had two hours which I spent sleeping some more and reading the JoJo Moyes book.
Shortly after midday the bus arrived in Gramado. The city was founded by German and Italian immigrants and still looked like this today. They brought their culture and style from Europe and must have been very homesick to create their new world like their old one.
Big shock though for me, it was only 16 degrees when I arrived in my skirt and T-Shirt. Never thought about bringing a jacket with me.
So first things first, I needed to buy something with long sleeves and as a good tourist I went for something local. On my shirt you can see the entrance portal of Gramado.
I walked to the local tourist agency and booked a 2 hours bus ride through and around Gramado. There I also met the first Brazilian who spoke German with me. I was fascinated, this girl could not speak English, but was talking in German to me.
She told me that she learned German at home and later was in Stuttgart for a couple of months. She spoke with no accent either, really quite fascinating. So far I have only met one other person who spoke German. An older guy at the nail salon, but he could only say ‘Er spricht Deutsch’. Which was funny cause it means ‘He speaks German’. Interesting that he spoke about himself in the third person. Anyway this was all he could say in German. And when he heard that I came from Austria, he called it the homeland of Hitler. Which by definition is correct, but also quite weird …
For lunch I went at a kilo restaurant. You take what you want on your plate and pay per weight. I had an excellent steak and lots of salad. My waiter was from Africa, he spoke French which was the only language we shared. All very international in this little place.
At 2pm the tour started, of course in Portuguese. After almost 3 weeks I found I could follow the main part already.
It felt a bit like ‘little Germany’ here, they do have as regional dish fondue though. How weird is that?
I took the bus back to Porto Alegre at around 5, it took us 30 minutes longer than on the way to Gramado. Also the ticket was more expensive, the wifi didn’t work and the bus was called executivo. I had assumed this would mean fewer stops and a faster trip. Full round circle to my expectations and me having to work on them.
I used the time on the bus to almost finish the JoJo Moyes book ‘Me Before You‘. I had to stop shortly before the end. By that time I was crying so hard and people looked at me from the side, I felt I had to take an emotional break.
Finished it in the hotel and was crying a lot more. A real love story, heartbreaking and thought provoking!