The best way to start a Sunday morning is to slip into your gym outfit and have a go in the parc near the centre of Londrina, you can not miss it. It has a trail, nice flat asphalt and on the side of the road you can see how many meters you laid back!
Before turning around, have a pauze at one coco-gelado or caldo de cana, sugar cane water,m fresh with a little lemon, it is delicious!
The museum is a project of the State University of Londrina (Universidade Estadual de Londrina - UEL) and is located in the old train station - which no longer has any track going to it. The location is just north of downtown. The museum survives entirely on donations and the university, as there is no admissions charge.
The fenced and gated outdoor area features a number of attractions, including two old wooden railway coaches.
There is a small alcove outside the building to the east of the main entrance which features a little something special for those interested in railway history. Just take a close look at some of the metal plates mounted to the wall of the alcove to see what I mean.
Inside the main entrance, there is the old ticket window desk, which is remarkably intact including much of the internal equipment.
The west wing of the station includes a number of historical displays relevant to the development of the region, and includes a few peeks into specific stores or other enterprises (such as the newspaper) that helped build the city.
The east wing of the museum features special displays, and it appears that many, if not all, of these are changed on a regular basis. As of this writing, there are several photographic displays there, including a collection of photos by one of the early photographic studios in the city. In another room there are photos submitted from a photography contest, with the best in show and other award winners located in the center of the room.
Connecting the core of downtown Londrina with a street that is a dedicated pedestrian walkway has proven to be a huge success here, and along the sidewalk you will find a number of shops (both large and small), various restaurants, a number of banks, and various other businesses of interest to those visiting the city.
The Calçadão is also the home of the Sunday Craft Market which I have discussed in a separate tip.
The walkway runs east and west on what would be Rua Paraná if Rua Paraná were a through street through the middle of downtown.
The name Calçadão literally means "Huge Walk", which is appropriate to the Calçadão.
The western two blocks of the Calçadão have been completely rebuilt in 2010. This has involved replacement of the old Portuguese paving stones with a smooth paving brick surface. The far western end of the Calçadão now also has a fountain. Where once several banks of news stands and permanent coffee houses once were there is now a playground and a plaza.
The rest of the Calçadão still has the old Portuguese style white and black paving stones but it is likely this will eventually be replaced with the newer brick style stones as money is available. It is both good and bad: the new paving stones are more attractive, but at the same time they are a much easier walking surface and much less likely to cause people to trip.
Also as part of the reconstruction, new public phones were installed in a few places. "Londrina" means "Little London" and so "British" style public phone booths were installed to make a somewhat more British curiousity to the city.
NOTE: This tip is still in progress and efforts are still being made for various parts of it. Photos will be coming later.
Located far to the southwest of the city, and in fact located in the countryside quite far outisde the urban limits, Parque Estadual Mata dos Godoy preserves a small section of the original forest of the state of Paranã. Surrounding the state park is what you find has replaced the forest in most areas: corn and other monoculture farmland as far as the eye can see.
The state park is a project of the State University of Londrina (UEL - Universidade Estadual de Londrina). Resources at the park include:
Visitor's Center - a small building which is the first place you come to after walking from the Parking Lot to the entrance to the forest.
Native Forest Trail - they have had quite a lot of problems with people wandering off the trail in the area where the native forest has been preserved, and so people are no longer allowed to go there on their own. Instead, one of the park personel (most of which seem to be university students) must accompany people that take this trail. This trail is a loop through the forest and visits a few of the more impressive surviving trees in the area.
Replanted Forest Trail - this trail is well marked, wide, and it isn't as easy to damage the replanted forest as it has already been disturbed from its native condition. Therefore, those who walk this trail are allowed to do so without anyone from the park. It ends in a cornfield and to return to the visitors center you must walk the same way you came in.
Picnic Shelter - there is a very good picnic shelter that is fairly good sized. The two trails above start at this picnic shelter, which has restroom facilities behind the structure.
Outdoor Ampitheatre - A small outdoor ampitheatre is used for special programs, especially for local school groups.
Getting Here: This is a fairly complicated process, and is really best done with some local assistance. You have to follow the roads southwest from the big Carrefour shopping center on the south side of the city. You need to follow Rodovia Mabio Gonçalves Palhano southwest past the big Events and Exposition Center. Don't let the grand name fool you, as despite the name as a highway (rodovia) it is only a two lane rural road with no lines painted on it yet. The road gets more and more rural, and several resorts are rural restaurants give way to farm fields. You will pass through two villages: São João and Património Regina. This last one is the last spot where there is frequent bus service to the area near the park (bus route 211). Here, the road changes names to Rodovia Estadual Álvaro L de Godoy and adopts the number PR 538. There is a sign indicating the change of name just outside the community of Património Regina. Continue past this small community a short distance - approximately 3 km on the kilometer posts, and you will come to a large entrance "gate" of sorts that crosses the road. Just past this gate indicating the entrance of the road onto park property, you will need to turn right into the true park entrance. The road is only a single lane, so be careful of oncoming buses that carry school children to the park for educational purposes.
There appears to be bus service to the park, as there is a bus shelter right outside the entrance. However, it does not appear to be served as frequently as Património Regina. There is no good place to walk next to the road, so just be advised that if you decide to come out here using bus route 211 you will need to be careful, and face a 3 km walk next to a busy road. I did see some people doing it this way.
It should be noted that while various Londrina memorabilia talk of "Lake Igapo" the fact is there are really four Lakes Igapo, numbered I, II, III and IV.
Not long ago, on a visit to Londrina, Lake Igapo II was still a considerable mess, with a lot of trash around the park.
However, in the last few years since that visit, the area around the park has been completely rebuilt into a park setting, similar to what may be found at Lake Igapo I, only more so. Unlike Lake Igapo I, no development right next to the lake prevented a park from being built around the entire circumference of the lake. A trail next to the lake, again similar to what may be found at Lake Igapo I, was constructed, this time encircling the entire lake.
The results are an amazing contrast to the neglected tangle that was at one time at this location.
One of the great features of this new park around Lago Igapo II? Some of the bridges are completely separated from automobile traffic, so that there is much better relief from traffic noise than there was when visiting the lake some years back.
There are actually several lakes called "Lake Igapo". They are called, naturally, Igapó 1, 2, 3, and 4.
There are several parks along the several lakes, but Lake Igapó 1 has the most well known. This park runs alongside the northeastern side of the lake, between Rua Herodoto and Avenida Amithas de Barros. Crossing to the north side of Avenida Amithas de Barros you come to what is called the "zerão" (big zero), which is another park that has a number of sports facilities.
Lake Igapo Park (or, more correctly, "Parque José de Azevedo" on the official city maps, but I have never actually heard anyone in Londrina call it that) has a paved trail that runs alongside the lake through the entire length of the park. There are a number of park benches here, and it is fairly common to see a number of people outside here enjoying the weather when it is warm.
On the maps, you will actually find several parts of this park called different things, but the fact of it is that "Parque Municipal Arthur Thomas" is the most well known name, and I have never heard anyone in Londrina use any other name for this area.
The park is the city's preserved forest area, there is a small lake in the center of the main part of the park where it is possible to rent pedal powered paddle wheel boats - at least on certain days in the warmer season - at least it was possible at one time. They were available when I visited in 2000, but when I visited in June of 2011 there was no evidence of these boats on the lake. There is a paved trail that runs completely around the edge of this lake. A further trail runs beside a waterfall and heads downhill through the forest by the old hydroelectric plant that once was the reason for the creation of the lake.
The park generally closes a little before sunset - 5 in evening in the winter months, and slightly later in the evening in the summer months.
There are fish in the lake, but it is not permitted to fish in this park.
Along the trail between the main park entrance and the lake there is a tower that goes up several floors, and commands a view of the city from the top deck. There are severe limits on how many people are supposed to be on the structure at the same time.
The park also has a small lunch counter, where it is possible to purchase some drinks, and hand made chocolates and other candies made right there at the lunch counter.
Several different types of wildlife live in the park, including certain types of monkey, and capivari. The forest around the lake and down the hill to the hydroelectric plant is inhabited by an assortment of bird life as well.