BRAZIL

Christ the Redeemer statute in Rio de Janeiro Brazil
Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Casa Mathilde best Portuguese Bakery in Sao Paolo

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 bacalao but Portuguese pastries

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Selaron Steps

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 problems. So

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beaches of Rio

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 foam onto soft,

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Caraca Nature Reserve

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 creatures.  The mountain night air was crisp

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Rio Sambodrome Carnival 2016

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, pretty much everyone is standing and many are

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Carnival Bloco for Kids

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 cream for that matter) so they were really happy

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Batman Alley street art in Sao Paulo

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 changing as artists

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capoeira a brasilian martial art

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 nothing like the Lambada,

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The House of the Brazilian Gaudi

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 visit

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Football Museum at Pacaembu Sao Paulo Brasil

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 maintaining eye contact and pretending

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Paraisopolis Sao Paulo Brasil

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 ironically, the favela’s name

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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 (or possibly being braver, they took

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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.

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mapquest driving directions