Center of Maceió III
Destination Maceió, second travel to the capital of the state of Alagoas.
Back in downtown Maceió. Visiting Feira Artesanato, a handicraft market.
A railway worker with a red flag
Our visit to the historical city of Marechal Deodoro lasted only a few hours. Since the city didn’t have any opportunity to have a warm meal, we decided to return to Maceió. One employee of the local tourist office advised us not to take the regular bus, but to take the van. This van had a service between Maceió and Marechal Deodoro; the fare almost had the same value as we had to pay for the regular bus. The van (with windows covered by dark foil) was much faster, and had much less stops. The van didn’t stop in the center, but just outside, near a railway. A train was just passing when we got out of the van. The train crossing was not protected by bars, but an railway employee used his red flag to stop the traffic. The small windows of this train were covered by fine mesh gauze, probably to prevent problems along the railway.
Er wordt van alles aangeboden op deze markt
We started our walk to the center. A few hundred meters further, we stopped at a small restaurant, where a Chinese buffet was offered. Indeed, there was a buffet with a handful Chinese dishes: fried rice, pasta made of rice, and meat in soy sauce or sweet sauces. We had to pay eight reais (about three euros) for the buffet. The food was quite tasteful. We now were close to a feira de artesanato, a fair where you meet local handicraft. Ornamental handicraft, souvenirs, clothes. Almost all was in the typical style of Alagoas and neighboring Pernambuco. An employee of the city tourist office already had told us that the products at this fair were much cheaper than at such a fair near Pajuçara Beach.
We had to cross this railway
But before we could reach this fair, we had to walk along a street that was flanked by dozens of small barracks. The vendors were offering literally everything: from plugs to lighters, from fruit to fries. A joyous chaos, with marketers yelling loudly what they were trying to sell. Potential customers calmly wandered along the barracks, in their search for interesting bargains. This street was cut in half by the railway, which follows a curve line along the center. The railway was flanked by miserable dwellings, at very short distance of the rail track. It looked very disorganized; litter was spread on the earthen pavement, garbage bags were piled along the dwellings. Despite the atmosphere of poverty and despair, we still felt quite safe there, although we were warned beforehand to be careful here.
Houses closely flanking the railway
The fair really was worth our long walk. The building – with two floors – housed many barracks with a huge diversity of artesanato, handicraft. Most impressive for me were the hand crocheted shirts. I asked the women how much time they normally spend to finish such a shirt, and I was quite shocked to hear that they spend more than two weeks for only one shirt. In this respect, the price of 35 reais (15 euros) is a real bargain. Here in Alagoas, these colorful shirts generally are worn over the bikini, and are very popular among beach goers. We spent quite some time at this fair, before we returned to the center of Maceió.
Broad assortment of artesanato (handicraft)
Clothes made of natural cotton that is grown in
Making a basket…
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom