Mindelo, São Vicente
Cape Verde’s cultural capital is said to be in Mindelo on the island São Vicente, once home to the barefoot diva, the late Cesária Évora, the islands’ best-known singer. It’s also famous for its colourful Brazilian-influenced carnival held here each February. It’s here in the city’s cool bistros and bars, locals and savvy travellers gather to listen to morna, the islands’ traditional music, while sipping grogue, the local rum-like drink.
A few years ago I spent a Sunday afternoon there, wandering through the back streets, photographing the people and the wonderful architecture, a reminder of its colonial past. There’ a sense of history and faded glory about many of the buildings.
Wandering down the cobbled back streets, I chatted with a family playing the game of wuri. Everyone I met was happy to be photographed as they went about their daily life. As you can probably tell, it’s a very laid back place.
Click on any image to see it enlarged.
You might also enjoy A slice of lemon with your barnacles madame? A rather bizarre dish I came across in Santa Maria on the island of Sal, Cape verde.
The city hugs the crescent-shaped Porto Grande Harbour set against a stunning backdrop of rugged mountains. Down by the waterfront, hundreds of boys were practising the local martial art of capoeira. It’s said to have been developed by slaves in Brazil, who fooled their masters into thinking it was a dance when really they were practising self-defence. It’s fabulous to watch. The Torre de Belém, by the harbour, is a scaled-down replica of the 15th-century tower that overlooks Lisbon’s port. There’s a fascinating museum inside about the history of the island. Check out nearby fish market, which lies just beyond Torre de Belém, with a jetty right by it where fishermen unload their catch each day.
Looking for a hotel in Mindelo?
Also by the marina, the swanky new Pont d’Agua, a modern glass and concrete complex of restaurants and shops lined with palm trees, is a new addition to the waterfront since I visited. For something more traditional visit the Mercado Municipal, a restored two-storey food market built in 1784 on Rua da Libertad d’Africa. Also, not to be missed is the bright pink Palácio do Povo, on Avenue Baltazar Lopes da Silva, a former government building now exhibition space. Back near the waterfront, the Centro Cultural do Mindelo on Avenue Marginal, is home to changing exhibitions by local artists and has a small shop selling local crafts, music and books.
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Although I am a frequent visitor to Boa Vista and Sal I am intrigued by the how the locals live on the various islands of Cape Verde.
The people of the islands I have found are extremely friendly and hospitable,
You certainly have captured the “Vibe” with your photography Kat.
Thanks Henry. And yes, I found that too.
These are just beautiful photos. I love your portrait of the two women in the doorway. Just a lovely composition and she has a great smile.
Thank you! It was a wonderful afternoon. Such lovely people.
It looks such a laidback, beautiful place, Kat. Lovely post.
Thanks Johanna. I’d love to go back there sometime.
Thanks Cat and I love your shadows. I didn’t have time to do another one last week and don’t think I have enough photos of cocktails for this week’s theme but I’ll certainly be doing it again for another time.
What I have spotted in your photos Kat is that people smile a lot despite the enormous poverty, which is so wonderful. Love the photo with girls and the dog. The dog’s so cute.
Thanks Agness. I’m certainly no expert but as far as I’m aware there is not as much poverty in Cape Verde as there is in some of the other countries I have been to in West Africa. That being said it is still a problem. I did meet a number of people living rough (mainly young boys) in Cape Verde, which I’ve never come across in The Gambia, for instance, even though The Gambia is a very poor country. I have found in general, the people of West Africa are very friendly and nearly always have a smile for you, no matter what their situation.
Love the blue door and the old man, but they are all splendid urban shots!
Not sure how this challenge works Kat, can you Tweet the link anytime during the week or is it restricted to Fridays?
Hi Madhu, If you search #FriFotos on Twitter every Tuesday evening you should find a tweet announcing the theme for the following Friday.
Then on Friday loads of people, all over the world, tweet their photos that fit the theme with the hash tag #FriFotos somewhere in the tweet.
So every Friday when you search Twitter for #FriFotos lots of great photos on that week’s theme will come up.
(Rules are that if the photo isn’t yours you say who the photographer is or at very least where you got it from.)
The is the first time I’ve used it as a theme for a post but enjoyed so will probably do it again.
They’re great people photos – I’ve never generally taken photos of local people on my travels but vertainly intend to from now on.
Thank you. You do have to over come any awkwardness you might feel about invading people’s privacy but most people don’t mind. If you smile and indicate that you would like to take a picture of someone and they don’t want you to, they’ll make it pretty obvious! It well worth though.
Great photos Kat! So vibrant!
Just putting the finishing touches on FriFotos – pop on by and have a look!
Thanks Anita, Haven’t read the post you’ve linked to yet but will pop back there in a minute. Just had to say… those dogs are adorable!
Really delighted to see you’ve also done a post on #FriFotos.
What a wonderful set of photographs. I have never been to the Cape Verde islands but would love to visit, more so since I have seen these pictures. It seems life there is so laid back and that is in an urban setting. Time must be going backwards in the more rural areas!
Thanks Gordon. It certainly is a laid back place, although these were taken on a Sunday which should always be taken at a slow pace wherever you.