Our first destination was for two nights in Manaus, the capitol of Amazonas State.
I expected to find a smaller jungle town, but instead we entered into a large city with about 1.7 million people. The houses were beautiful while the modern apartment buildings and lively atmosphere were surrounding us wherever we went.
was situated on the edge of the Negro river. It gave us beautiful sunsets, as almost every evening did on our trip.
We took a city tour to the beautiful Amazonas Opera house.
This theatre was built during the city's rubber boom in the late 1800's. According to our lively guide, Gilberto (who is the owner of the Otter, our house boat for the week), this was a modern beautiful building built in a time when barely 20,000 people lived in Manaus.
It's wood floors were sent to Portugal to be hand carved, where they cut each piece, brought it back to Manaus, and recreated the floor. There are Venetian glass chandeliers
and the best tapestries are on it's walls.
Today, there are many modern companies, including American Ballet Theatre, performing there. Many performances of local origins are free to the public! What a way to bring art into the community.
The next stop was to the Natural Science Museum. It was interesting place that gave us the precursor to what we would see on the Rio Negro! There were interesting stuffed creatures:
fish of all sorts including piranha, bugs and insects, so big that most of us actually hoped we wouldn't see, and then some live fish, including the pirarucu, a very large Amazon fish!
It was a great trip to see some of the city of Manaus.