Besides enjoying the amazing beaches in Florianópolis, I also got to visit Carlos’ hometown – Blumenau! It’s a city originally settled by Germans (even the name sounds very German) and to this day, German traditions are evident throughout Blumenau.
Nowhere is this more the case than Parque Vila Germânica de Blumenau – you guessed it, German Village. This is where the famous Oktoberfest in Blumenau takes place every October, one of the largest Oktoberfests outside of Munich. Over a million tourists come to Blumenau for the beer festival. Sadly I have yet to visit Blumenau in October, but it’s on my to-do list!
All the shops, bars, and restaurants are in characteristic German houses with timber-framed styles. The architecture is distinctively German, which I thought was very cute and pretty. We were there at night when the village was lit up with lights.
The shops sell a variety of German and beer-themed souvenirs, from t-shirts and mugs, to glass beer bottles shaped into clocks or hangers. Some of the beer steins were so beautifully and intricately carved. Had they not been hundreds of dollars, I would have carried one home. Besides those souvenirs, you can also buy homemade candies, jams, and chocolates. After going around all the shops, we bought my parents this souvenir Blumenau mug:
Of course, we could not leave Vila Germânica without having some beer! We enjoyed some nice, cold chopp, or draft beer, at the village. Carlos’ family and I shared a torre de chopp (chopp tower), while munching on snack foods such as meat and fries. I believe food and drinks can unite a group of people, even when you don’t speak the same language, and we had a great time joking, laughing, and drinking. It really reminded me of my Oktoberfest experience in Munich a few years ago. Here I am with the torre de chopp:
It was such a fun German experience overall, and it almost made me forget that I was in Brazil (but everyone around was speaking Portuguese instead of German). I would have never imagined that this would be part of my Brazilian experience, so it was a pleasant surprise.
One personal note: unlike the rest of Brazil, the population in Blumenau is not very diverse, predominantly White people. I literally felt like the only Asian in town… even the Asian restaurants in town are run by non-Asians. This was a pretty new experience for me, as I’m so used to being surrounded by other Asians, even in North America and Europe. That being said, I tried my best to enjoy being a highly-stared-at new attraction in town! Hahaha.