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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Manaus - Day 1

Sadly the ship didn't arrive until 4pm.  far too late for our Manaus city tour.  It's been rescheduled for tomorrow, but because of the way the times work out, we won't be able to do that plus the Amazonian Experience tour in the morning, so we've had to cancel the city tour.  Which was a shame.
Actually, it worked out rather well. Knowing that we wouldn't see the Opera House via the tour, and also, because we know where the Opera House is and how to get there, we decided to belt it into town and find out guided tour times, costs,opening hours etc. 
 I think we were dashing in the vague hope that we might get there in time for a tour.  We walked in, asked, and it turned out that a) the was dirt cheap, about £5 each, and b), an English tour had just literally started, one guide and two Americans.  We grabbed our tickets and dashed over to join them.
The young tour guide was lovely, not the best english speaker, but he got his point across, and the building is quite amazing.  Inside the main theatre, he explained how the building was air conditioned in 1896 (when it was built) and now.  He explained how the stage was motorised so that it could recede to provide spacing for a 60 piece orchestra, he explained the ceiling paintings and so much more.  Everything we could see was beautiful and opulent.  
He showed us the reception room upstairs where the wealthiest and most important gentry would collect at interval, or for functions.  Marquetry floors, marble, opulent plaster and chandeliers with crystal glass shades from Italy. 
An amazing place, with a lego model of itself inside.  Turns out the model started in Denmark, was sent to the lego factory/shop in Manaus which then closed.  Coca Cola took over the building, found the model in one of the rooms and donated it to the theatre.  What a brilliant story.
So after our bonus visit, we made our way back to the ship and to find the wi-fi here in the terminal that we had been promised.  Hey presto, here we are updating our blogs.  
We stay in Manaus overnight, and have a tour in the morning.  It's the same as the one we did last year, less lunch. We had such a brilliant time before, we had to do it again. I can't wait.

Manaus visit day 1 2011         Manaus visit day 2 2011        Manaus visit day 2 2012

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