This is the start of a new section on Endless Summer, which I will call „Being Tourist in Santos“. Now that the (felt) temperatures dropped from almost unbearable 35+ degrees around noon to easily manageable 27+ degrees and my first reaction outside is not anymore seeking refuge in a shop with air-condition, there is time to explore the city. My goal is not only to visit all touristic highlights in the Santos/São Vicente area which are about 50 (including several shopping malls and other absurdities), but to also show some of my favorite places and things to see. I will start with my last trip which led me to Praça Patriarca José Bonifácio (see map below article).
This place I didn’t visit because it is conveniently located between two other touristic highlights which I will have to write about in the future namely Monte Serrat and the Cathedral, no I went to this very unspectecular place because the Ministerio do Trabalho (Ministery of Work) is located here and I had to pick up my Carteira de Trabalho (work card) here.
So what about this place? It is nothing special and that is exactly what I like about it. No tourist highlights or no shopping malls, only a very normal place with a lot of everyday Brazilian life. There is a nice and old used book store on the place in one of the barracks, some shops around (a nice bike store on the south-western corner as well as a store for beach chairs, umbrellas etc., in case you want to go to the beach on the western part). On a small set of fixed chairs old men were playing cards, surrounded by other old men watching them. However since the place is in the downtown area I did not feel absolutely secure. Some poor people sleeping on the square and the run-down and trashy atmosphere of the downtown of Santos added to this feeling. But there are some restaurants and it is definitively a nice place to spend some minutes, have a snack in one of the lanchonettes if you are around or want to have a quick stop on the way from the cathedral to Monte Serrat or other highlights in the downtown area (or ony our way back from the Ministery of Labor). A place to enjoy relaxed Brazilian daily life.