Things do to in Mindelo, São Vicente...
The island of São Vicente was only the last to be permanently habited out of the nine habited islands, but today Mindelo is the second biggest city in the country after the capital, Praia.
Mindelo owes the name of cultural capital to big events such as Carnival and Baia das Gatas, weekly music events and, last but surely not least to the fact that it was the home of Cesaria Evora, the queen of Morna and Coladeira. Many visitors come to the city hoping to find that one special bar were their favorite music will be played by a live band.
The morning and afternoon
Your day in Mindelo starts by enjoying a cachupa guisado. Cachupa is a slow cooked stew of corn, beans, cassava, sweet potato, fish or meat, and is often referred to as the country's national dish and is your perfect introduction into Cabo Verde’s gastronomy. For breakfast the dish is fried and served with fried eggs.
After breakfast walk to Mindelo’s city beach Laginha, with it’s beautiful coloured water and pleasant temperatures all year long. As you take a seat in the sand after your swim to let the sunshine dry the drops of seawater dripping of your skin the view of Ilheu and Santo Antao make you wonder what life is like on the other side of the bay. You might want to hop over to one of the beach bars to enjoy a cold beer; try a Strela, locally brewed Cabo Verdean beer!
Mindelo is a small city, so the best way to get to know the place is to go for a long walk. Discover the small historical streets of Mindelo. Visit Mindelo’s fish market, where you will find many hard working men and women trying to earn a day’s pay. Here you have a wide range of delicious fresh fish and you will also get a taste of what daily life is like for many Cabo Verdeans. From the fish market it is a short walk to Praça Estrela and also the municipal market for vegetables and other ingredients to complete your first homemade typical Cabo Verdean dish.
Be sure to get back to Avenida Marginal before sunset, so you will not miss out on the blue sky slowly turning pink. The Porto Grande bay is often referred to as one of the world's most beautiful bays, and while enjoying a truly breathtaking sunset you’ll understand why.
At night head down to Mindelo’s lively city center. Follow the music and take a seat at a small local bar where a live band and singer prepare to share their set with the gathering crowd.
And when your nipping on a delightful pontch, listening to a sweet classic Morna song you will find yourself wishing you had more time to enjoy this amazing city…
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