In the spring we took a cruise on the Amazon River. We started in Manaus, Brazil. Manaus is the capital of the state of Amazonas in northern Brazil.
Manaus became a rich city in the late 1800 with the rubber industry.
This is the Customs House on the port.
The rubber boom ended when seeds of the rubber trees were smuggled to Southeast Asia. Manaus has been trying to recover ever since.
The Cathedral Metropolitana was getting some needed repairs.
Manaus is located in the middle of the Amazon rain forest. There are very few roads through the jungle or bridges across the river so travelers come by boat or air. This busy port city is a supply center for villagers and travelers in the Amazon.
The Mercado Adolpho Lisboa, the central market founded in 1882, is right on the riverfront. It is the city’s oldest market.
The top tourist attraction in Manaus is the Teatro Amazonas, the Opera House. It was built to be a jewel in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Begun in 1885 and finished in 1896, cast iron, steel, glass, marble, tiles and the interior furnishings were all shipped from Europe for its construction. It’s opulence was a taste of home for the transplanted Europeans. Now it’s home to the Amazonas Philharmonic Orchestra.
There’s a pretty plaza across the street. The tiles are a clue to Manaus’s Portuguese heritage.
Palacio Rio Negro was the home of a rubber baron of the 19th century. Now it’s a cultural center for the city.
We could see the opera house and the cathedral from our ship.
The reason we were here, of course, was to see the great Amazon River. Manaus is where two rivers, the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimoes, come together. This “meeting of the waters” forms the Amazon River. The city of Manaus is situated on the bank of the Rio Negros, the dark water, because it provided inhabitants with clear water coming from the mountains. The muddy brown waters of the Rio Solimoes flow into the Negro just past the town. Our ship could not take on water from the river once we left Manaus until we were out to sea.
The two rivers run side by side without mixing for 3 to 4 miles. It is thought to be because of the difference in the speed of the current, the volumes of water and the densities of each river.
From here the Amazon River runs for almost 900 miles to the Atlantic. We spent the next 4 days cruising down the river.