Friday, 11 June 2010

Black Gold.

Ouro Preto is my main hub. The first capital of the state, the place where a leper artist with no hands gave form to the earth and gained eternity, the city with 26 churches, one more imposing than the other, with the steep cobblestone streets where teenagers gossip in conspiring voices and the yellow and white houses hanging bravely on the edge.

The beauty of the place is difficult to describe. Sharp, rusty crosses rise through the morning fog, ominously suggestive, just like the overlooking mountains. The cold is dry and penetrating, yet fresh and welcoming. On the way to the town you pass one, two, several churches with ancient cemeteries and fresh flowers on the tombs. Slowly the air is clearing up, old ladies in skirts and blouses take their stroll. And when the sun arrives gloriously over the town, a flood of colours and small doors, steep alleys and shops, more churches and unexpected vistas of rooftops, small colourful matchboxes lined neatly upon the slopes across and an endless green are breathtaking. The air is pure, the looks straightforward and honest, the streets ablaze. The subtle smell of burning wood is hinting at the winter we're in. Time is slow, endless and generous. And the days as
beautiful and rewarding.