Why There’s More in Bahia Brazil than Stunning Beaches

 On our trips to Brasil, I really regret that we did not have the time to make it to the Northeastern Province of Bahia. Our expat friends went to the Salvador Carnival in Bahia before they took us to the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.  They told us the Bahians know how...

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Casa Mathilde, The Best Portuguese Bakery in Sao Paolo

Given that Brasil was a colony of Portugal, you know that there are going to be Portuguese influences everywhere in the country especially in the food.  For example, the Mercado Central has rows of vendors selling bacalao (salted codfish).  I'm not such a big fan of...

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The Selaron Steps, an Homage to Catalonia’s Gaudi

What do you do when you get tired of how rundown your street is looking? Most people would call and complain to the city council. In Rio de Janeiro, though, rundown streets are a dime a dozen and probably not that high on the financially-strapped city's list of...

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From Dawn until Dusk on the Beaches of Rio

Although you think that you may have seen the scene from movies and photos, nothing prepares you for the real thing. A mass of sun-kissed humanity prowl, pose, and play on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro in Brasil. The water crashes in effervescent waves spraying their...

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Exploring the Caraca Nature Reserve in Brasil

The nearly-full moon lent its glow to the oversized metal gates and the front garden path to Caraca monastery at the Caraca Nature Reserve in Brasil.  The gardens themselves were dark, the shrubs creating shapeless forms and safety for the scurrying of little...

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Photo Gallery: The Carnival Parades at the Rio Sambadrome

The first thing I notice at the Rio Sambadrome is the crush of humanity.  People are packed into the stadium seating with just enough room for little Brasilian surgically-enhanced bottoms.  Personal space, as we Americans like to call it, is disregarded. Luckily,...

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Top Tips For Carnival in Rio, the Greatest Party on Earth

Like many people I thought Carnival in Rio de Janeiro in Brasil was just one giant party over 5 days.  In fact, Carnival in Rio consists of a number of different events (samba parades, balls, and blocos).  Here are my top tips for Carnival in Rio if you are thinking...

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Family Fun at Rio’s Carnival Bloco for Children

The first thing our children noticed at the Banda de Ipanema Kids Bloco was the shaving cream being squirted by gleefully chuckling Brasilian children.  Then, they noticed the confetti being thrown around.  Our children have never thrown confetti (or squirted shaving...

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The Best Street Art in Sao Paulo

In a city known for the high quality of its street art, Batman Alley stands out as particularly awesome.  Located in the trendy neighbourhood of Vila Madalena, Batman Alley is an outdoor gallery with every spare inch of space covered in street art.  The work is ever...

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10 Fun Facts About Iguazu Falls in Brasil and Argentina

You can hear the thunder of Iguazu Falls long before you can see them.  The Iguazu River appears calm as you watch it drifting along between Brasil and Argentina and then suddenly it drops in a spray of noise and water. Fun Facts About Iguazu Falls in Brasil and...

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A Memorable Capoeira Demonstration in Sao Paulo

The first time I heard of Capoeira it was a fitness class described as Brazilian dance exercise. Sort of like Zumba but from the last decade.  Since I have zero co-ordination, I never took the class. In Brasil, I discovered that capoeira was more than dancing and...

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The House of The Brazilian Gaudi

It's not often a place leaves me speechless.  Looking around at the trinkets cemented into the walls which were curved every which way, I was at a loss for words. We were at a house in Parasaipolis, the second largest favela in the largest city in South America, to...

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A Fantastic Football Museum for The Beautiful Game

Confession:  I have limited interest in football (soccer).  Scratch that.  I have zero interest in football.  I pretend to pay some interest when my son starts going on about Arsenal, his favourite team but, only because I am being polite.  Besides, I am good at...

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Paraisopolis, This Side of Paradise

The walls surrounding the houses get higher and higher as we drive closer to the favela.  Then suddenly there is a road with no walls.  The road's dusty flatness comes us a surprise after the well-paved streets of the main city .  Welcome to Paraisopolis.  Somewhat...

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The Must-Visit Destination for Foodies in Sao Paulo

The Mercado Municipal in the city of Sao Paulo in Brasil has pretty much spoiled me for any fruit for the rest of my life.  I knew much of the fruit we got in Europe and North America came from South America  I had, however, never tasted the fruit when it was fresh...

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Where To Hang Out With the Residents of Sao Paulo

Getting into Ibirapuera Park on the weekend is a challenge in itself.  You need to cross the pedestrianised walkway encircling the park which is a steady stream of people whizzing by on their bicycles, roller blades and skateboards.  With my friend's children in hand...

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The Truth About Toucans

I've been a big fan of toucans ever since I was introduced to Toucan Sam, the mascot for Fruit Loops cereal at a very impressionable young age.  (Hey - it was the 70's! No one knew sugar cereals were bad for you.)  Apparently, I'm not the only fan of toucans.  These...

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