The journey from Sao Paulo and Foz do Iguaçu is a long 15 hour one. In order to break the trip into two parts, I decided to make a stop at Curitiba.
I got to the bus station in the early evening and took a short cab ride to the hostel, located in the middle of the historic center. Since it was on a pedestrian street, I cab driver left me a block away without really telling me where it was. I wandered around for a bit but eventually found the place after asking someone for directions.
The first thing that struck me about the Curitiba Hostel was that almost everybody in there was Brazilian. Most of them didn’t speak English so the language barrier was there. Another thing was that it had my dreaded triple bunk beds. Let me elaborate on this. I really hate triple bunk beds. I think they should be banned from all hostels. I consider myself fairly athletic and I always thought that getting to the top bunk was not an easy task. At least this hostel had high ceilings so you didn’t have to perform a difficult maneuver to swing your body onto the bed. A fall from the top bunk would certainly cause serious injuries. I couldn’t imagine trying to manage it if you were coming back to the hostel drunk in the middle of the night. If you had the bottom bunk, you could at least spread your stuff out and organize. Since I was on the top one, I had to try to do everything inside the locker which is always a pain in the ass. Anyway, enough complaining. Aside from these things, the hostel was nice and the owner really tries hard to be helpful and make everyone happy.
Curitiba is a very nice city. It has a more modern vibe than the other Brazilian cities I’ve visited it. The following day after arriving, I took the Lilha Turismo (Tourist Line) Bus around town. It takes a large circular route through all the city’s tourist sites and parks. The ticket costs R$29 and allows five trips total.
My first stop was the Botanical Gardens. Being a beautiful and sunny Saturday, there were many locals out there with their families.
Next up was the Train/Bus Station to get my bus ticket to Morretes, and the return trip ticket for the Serra Verde Express train.
The third stop was the Oscar Niemeyer Museum, designed by the famed Brazilian architect. I enjoyed both the architecture of the place, and the exhibits inside. It’s mostly modern art, and included a very interesting collection of pictures of Frida Kahlo.
My last stop was the Panoramic Tower for a view of the city during sunset. The ride there goes through some of the very beautiful parks throughout the city. They were picture perfect with their bike trails, bridges, lakes and perfectly maintained trees and grass.
Unfortunately, when I got to the Panoramic Tower at 5:30pm it was not possible to go up anymore. If I understood the security guard’s Portuguese, he said that since there’s a limited capacity at the top of the tower, people couldn’t go up until people at the top came down, and since everybody up there wanted to see the sunset, the people already standing in line were most likely not going up before the 6:30pm closing time. Resigned, I made my way back to the hostel.
The following day I was going to embark on the Serra Verde Express train journey, the main reason why I came to Curitiba.