About an hour outside of Belo Horizonte (Brazil’s third most populated city), you’ll find a small town called Ouro Preto, neatly nestled in the lush, green countryside. Preserved to near perfection, besides the cars and other obvious signs of modern day technology, driving into this town was like taking a step back in time; with its cobbled streets and old architecture, I instantly fell in love. The name Ouro Preto means Black Gold, which is what brought Portuguese settlers here way back when. Not trying to turn this into a history lesson by regurgitating all that the tour guide said, but this was initially the Minas Garias states capital, and when mining of gold stopped (as it was depleted) and Belo Horizonte became the new capital, they took to preserving the town and its history. Now this yellow precious stone is all that can be found here. Being a very religious town, they have many chapels and cathedrals that are beautifully designed and decorated. Some with the most amazing paintings covering their walls & ceilings and others with solid gold covering the sculptures and everything else. I also got to experience the scrumptious food, which included ingredients I already know, just prepared in yummy ways I’ve never tried before, and the infamous summer showers, that had me rushing to grab my jersey the one minute and jumping in puddles the next; the way it became so hot and humid after the 10mins showers has me hoping I won’t be sick by the time I board my flight home. I heart this place!