Today, I need to tell you a lot. Yes I do. Brazil, and more specifically the capital city of its southern province Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, have really infused me with both passion and enthusiasm. For more than a week, I have enjoyed speaking only Portuguese, finding pleasure in training my Brazilian accent: Tacale pau, Elena! Capaz. Bem legal. 😉 Surrounding myself with local artists revealing “their Porto Alegre” to me – either during a Street Art Graffiti workshop, designing my own, hand-made felt-postcard (!) or making a mosaic. I feel at home. And this is exactly what all the courses & workshops I experienced thanks to Porto Alegre Turismo Criativo have done for me: They open up doors to people’s homes, studios & art spaces, allowing me to experience the city like no other visitor does. Besides the many discoveries you find simply walking around Porto Alegre, creative travel is just so much more meaningful & powerful – as you will know from following #CreativElenaRTW!
If the eyes are a mirror of the soul, looking at Porto Alegre reveals a city that can only live up to its name – a “happy harbour” of creativity, arts & culture in the south of Brazil!
Porto Alegre truly deserves being proud of its status as the country’s first destination for professional creative tourism development – and thanks to the size of Brazil, we talk almost half of South America here! Gaúcho culture, contemporary art as well as dance, creative food experiences and crafts make up the colourful palette of the around 30 service providers gathered as “Creative Travel in Porto Alegre” – Porto Alegre Turismo Criativo. Let me thus share the colours with you that have helped shaping my experience of this country and its people as a happy, unique and very hospitable travel destination.
“Porto Alegre woven in wool” – now how should you imagine that? COLOURFUL, is my answer. “Enriching”, local artist Claudia Horn Ilha says.
What is really interesting here in Brazil is that almost everyone I meet immediately starts talking about their origins, their travels as well as the creative variety and freedom that has helped shaping them and their art. As her name suggests, Claudia Horn Ilha originally hails from Germany. Her parents have moved to Brazil, she was already born here – this is how many travel tales & meetings with the artists & locals of Porto Alegre start. “My grandfather arrived in Rio de Janeiro all the way from Lisbon at only 11 years of age”, Maria Luiza, of Porto Alegre Turismo Criativo, marvels, whose very name accounts for the family adventure – Maria Luiza Lisboa. In this one week of travelling in Porto Alegre, I have gathered so many stories and feelings owed to the impressive openness of the local people around here is: Always shiny faces upon each greeting & goodbye, always heartfelt hugs, kisses and new friendships who really do their best at helping you out. None, seriously none of the clichés about Brazil is confirmed here. On the opposite, what I find is a world that beckons you to immerse yourself in it over and over again.
Last but not least, I want to tell you about Adma Cora.
Adma talks fast, like a waterfall, happily laughing all the time. She is forever concerned about our wellbeing: Creative travel means a lot to her. “Seja sempre bem-vinda, Elena!”
What a heart, what a soul! I love Adma !!! All enthusiastic, and with real “saudades” is how I end up finishing my creative mosaic workshop with this sweet lady here in Porto Alegre. Maria Luiza, Cinthia & I have arrived in the Avenida Bage 189, Porto Alegre’s Petrópolis district. It is here where local artist Adma Cora lives with her family. Despite – or because of? – her son needing intensive care, she is full of life and positive energy! It is thanks to her efforts that we find her ceramics atelier & workshop fresh & inviting, the sunny inner courtyard full of greens leading us on to her house and workshop. Once more, we have come home. Once more, the passion & enthusiasm of Adma encourages us to develop our own sense of creativity, expressing the inspiration that Porto Alegre has for us. As a mosaic, it is, this time. My cute little masterpiece, which I end up finishing in only a few hours, deserves to be shown: Muito OBRIGADA, Adma querida!
Looking for further creative-culinary travel inspiration on Porto Alegre? Here is my hand-picked selection of creative foodie travel tips for you, as shown in this Flickr Photo Gallery:
Disclaimer: I have been invited by Porto Alegre Turismo Criativo to enjoy the creative city of Porto Alegre in Brazil. All opinions are my own.