Just a two-hour bus ride from Porto Alegre is the beautiful town of Gramado, Brazil.
Thanks to the Portuguese, German and Italian immigrants who settled here in the 1800s, the town’s architecture, food and culture makes you feel like you’ve landed in Europe rather than Brazil.
I arrived from Porto Alegre early one morning and decided to indulge myself in the many beers and chocolates that are produced in and around Gramado.
That proved to be a more difficult task than I had anticipated thanks in large part to a lunch fit for a small army.
Local friends in Porto Alegre told me that while in Gramado I had to try a traditional Cafe Colonial lunch, but they never told me what to expect.
It was an endless train of delicious pastries, meats, cheeses and wine… lots of wine.
Eventually I waved the white napkin at Bela Vista Restaurant and passed through a beer factory on the way to another town called Canela.
I kept seeing signs for a famous waterfall on the way, so I asked my taxi driver to stop at the park so I could take some photos.
Unfortunately, the park was closed when I arrived, but somehow I convinced the guard to let me in for some photos.
Once inside, a man (who hopefully worked there) asked if I wanted to go zip-lining. I agreed and walked my tipsy self up a hill where I was strapped in and let loose.
It wasn’t the most intense experience of my life, but I got a nice view of the waterfall during the 10-second ride.
I finished the day in Canela doing absolutely nothing until my bus arrived to take me back to Porto Alegre.
I had a very good, gluttony-filled day in Gramado.