Well I’m back! I had a nice holiday weekend with the in-laws in Curitiba. I had not been back to Curitiba for two years and all I can say is that I really missed it there. To be honest I hope to live there someday. It is much more my style than São Paulo, not that I dislike São Paulo, it is just hard because I‘ve never lived in a big city and São Paulo is really big!
Curitiba is also a big city with 1.75 million people but it has the feel of a smaller city. Curitiba is very green and has neighborhoods similar to that in America. There are many parks there and the pace of life is much slower than in São Paulo. One of the loveliest things about Curitiba is the many Paraná Pines or Pinheiro trees that grow there. These are a specialized species of evergreen tree that are indigenous to Southern Brazil. The female trees have large pine cones which have seeds similar to pine nuts and are edible but I have not had a chance to try them yet.
My in-laws have several Pinheiros on their property and told me that they are endangered and a protected tree. If you plant one on your property then you get a tax break, however if you cut one down you get a fine. These are truly beautiful trees and a symbol of Curitiba.