Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

Typical apartments above shops on the ground floor in downtown Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde), the nation_s second largest city

Typical apartments above shops on the ground floor in downtown Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde), the nation’s second largest city

 

With live morna music making center stage every night at local bars and nightclubs along Rua Santa Antonio, legendary singer Cesária Évora’s birthplace of Mindelo has earned a solid reputation as Cape Verde’s liveliest city and unofficial cultural capital; with a population of 70,000 (the majority of the island’s 92,000 people), Mindelo is the nation’s second largest city.  Evenings are for enjoying morna, the country’s popular music genre, and for people-watching along the Rua Lisboa, while days can be spent kite surfing along the archipelago or fishing for giant blue marlin.

 

Praça Nova is the main city square of Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde), Cape Verde_s liveliest city and unofficial cultural capital

Praça Nova is the main city square of Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde), Cape Verde’s liveliest city and unofficial cultural capital

 

A beautifully restored, colonial period-designed building in downtown Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde), near the Torre de Belém and fish market

A beautifully restored, colonial period-designed building in downtown Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde), near the Torre de Belém and fish market

 

On our cultural tour of the city we visited the handicraft museum in the historic center and walked by the Torre de Belém – a quarter-size replica of the original tower in the river in Lisbon — (which houses a maritime museum).  Our walk also included visits to the vegetable and fish and markets, where at the latter we were able to watch the local fishermen delivering their daily catch.  The highlight of the tour was a specially arranged visit to the workshop of a local guitar maker, Luis Baptista, to learn about the traditional methods still employed in making stringed instruments; afterwards, we got to hear some Cape Verdean music performed by Luis Baptista and some friends in his atelier.  After the tour we had a delicious lunch at La Pergola focused on local cuisine and local fish, with an order of chachupa (the Cape Verdean slow-cooked stew of hominy, beans, cassava, sweet potato, and fish or meat).  We also had an appetizer of another local favorite, goat cheese (sometimes served with fresh papaya and then known as Romeo and Julieta).  We also had a tasting of the local grogue and poncheGrogue is Cape Verde’s national drink, distilled from sugar cane. While most production takes place on Santiago and Santo Antão, the drink can be enjoyed across the islands.  Grogue is used as a base in various medicines and in some versions of the caipirinha (a cocktail very popular in Brazil).  Ponche is a local Cape Verdean preparation (comparable to a similar product in Madeira) that is a combination of grogue (rum) diluted with the addition of molasses (and lime), lowering the alcohol content.

 

The harbor of Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

The harbor of Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

 

Typical retail stores in downtown Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

Typical retail stores in downtown Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

Behind the fishing boat on the beach is our ship (on the horizon), docked in Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

Behind the fishing boat on the beach is our ship (on the horizon), docked in Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

 

A store in downtown Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

A store in downtown Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

 

Torre de Belém – a quarter-size replica of the original tower in the river in Lisbon -- which houses a maritime museum, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

Torre de Belém – a quarter-size replica of the original tower in the river in Lisbon — which houses a maritime museum, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

 

A card game being played by locals just outside the city_s fish market, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

A card game being played by locals just outside the city’s fish market, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

 

Fishermen delivering their catch to the city_s daily fish market, Mercado de Peixe, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

Fishermen delivering their catch to the city’s daily fish market, Mercado de Peixe, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

 

The African Market with local goods for sale, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

The African Market with local goods for sale, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

 

Two boys in a local neighborhood playing soccer, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

Two boys in a local neighborhood playing soccer, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

 

Mercado Municipal Mindelo (Municipal Market) is a two-story covered market set in a colonial building with locals in stalls selling spices, fruits, and vegetables), Mindelo, São Vicent

Mercado Municipal Mindelo (Municipal Market) is a two-story covered market set in a colonial building with locals in stalls selling spices, fruits, and vegetables), Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

 

Two ladies at their stalls selling fresh vegetables in the Mercado Municipal Mindelo (Municipal Market), Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

Two ladies at their stalls selling fresh vegetables in the Mercado Municipal Mindelo (Municipal Market), Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

 

Praia da Laginha, adjacent to the cruise terminal docks, has spectacular azure-colored waters, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

Praia da Laginha, adjacent to the cruise terminal docks, has spectacular azure-colored waters, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

2 thoughts on “Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

  1. From the painted storefronts, this town looks like fun. Plus the fresh fish coming in and fresh vegetables in the market – what more does one need?

    Like

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