All posts tagged: Blog

Free Range Tourism (PART 2) | São Paulo, Brazil ~ Day 15

*PART 1 OF A 2 PART STORY… HEAD HERE FOR THE FIRST BIT* * We rushed SESC to cram everything else in we had left to see, our next stop being Beco do Batman, which is a famous alley filled with loads of incredible street art (but packed with crazy tourists). The area was amazing too, a really great place for young people. We slipped into one little place that looked kind of like a place to buy furniture and groovy things but also a place to tailor and design these things. I’m not entirely sure but it was picture-perfect. Dodging Instagram girls getting that duck face selfie in front of the artwork, we walked through Beco do Batman after our brief pitstop at design heaven, stopping briefly at little stalls which sold local dairy products (mainly cheese). The colourful, vibrant and dynamic walls suited the neighbourhood, which seemed to be seething with life. Toward the far end of the alley, and just a bit more of a walk away, there was a great staircase, …

SSA > GRU | Salvador – São Paulo, Brazil ~ Day 13

We said farewell to the amazing Salvador by firstly having a quick look and the amazing hidden street art on the exact road we were staying on and the amazing painted dutch tiles on the facades of houses…. Painted tiles. AMAZING STREET ART. After the fastest photo-taking ever (we were totally blocking a one-way road) we took a quick visit to the city’s most famous market, the Mercado Modelo, which is filled souvenirs at amazing prices, food and even capoeira. Right at the bottom of the Elevador Lacerda and near the port, it’s definitely a hotspot for any tourist in need of holiday gifts. We had spent the morning just packing and saying goodbye to our magical Airbnb, so we were starved and grabbed some pastel and juice from a nearby lanchonete. It felt like the Brazilian version of an American diner; dashingly dressed old men drank coffee from plastic cups, freshly made goods were dished up on scratched plastic plates and the swivelling bar-like stools wobbled precariously when sat on. We each had a …

Tomorrow’s Museum Today

Rio’s centre is filled with both modern and historical gems to discover, and a very new one is Museu do Amanhã – the Museum of Tomorrow; a super slick and modern futurist science museum (as you could probably guess) exploring the Anthropocene and the profound effect of human civilisation’s presence on earth over the past century. Its exterior is one to be seriously impressed by, the architects having modelled its pristine white shell on the skeleton of a whale. Breakfast: orange cake and a much needed coffee. Its interior was no less impressive, being composed of large bright white expanses, undulating curves and organic shapes, all being filled with natural light. The exhibitions were impressively immersive and interactive, visitors becoming unquestionably enthralled in thought provoking games, interactive displays, 15 foot high panels of film, and stunning interior structures, art and installations illuminated with coloured lights. You leave the museum intrigued and inspired, or like me in a state of awe at the entirety of the stunning experience.

Real Rio Nights

Nightlife in Rio is as vibrant as expected, but watch out when in very busy or very quiet areas – hold onto your purses ladies. And use caution when whipping out flashy camera equipment, phones or other tech. I’ve not had the misfortune of being separated from my devices in such a way, but not many people have a Brazilian telling you angrily 109349 times a day to put your phone back in your bag – good intentions I’m sure, no hard feelings…   If without a car your nightlife should be well planned, as we discovered this night; after an interesting trip to CCBB – Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (a cultural centre with art, theatre and more) – to see some weird sound art and German photography, Feira de São Cristovão was our next stop – a famous night market filled with souvenir, amenity and food stalls and many restaurants. The market is notorious for its Northeastern Brazilian goods, unhelpful for exploring Southern culture but nice nonetheless. After an intense restaurant war, being …

Rainy Spells and Fernandez & Wells

Misty dreary days with spluttering skies seem the idyllic setting for train journeys, a perfect time to simply rest your head against the rattling train window, let your mind wander and watch the countryside roll by. These days I grow ever fonder of what should be a long and bleak journey on a slow train, which is remarkably lighter on my budget yet heavier on my time. Spring’s rainy yet warming embrace has painted the fields of England golden yellow and vibrant green, speckled with grazing lambs, calfs and ponies. Today the sky seeps down towards the earth in an enveloping fog and unannounced sporadic drizzle, but alas, it’s not such a sullen scene, perhaps refreshing, alternate, melancholic (in the best of ways). Looking downwards the carriage I glance towards fellow train goers, heads bobbing in sync with the sways and bumps of the train rattling over the tracks. A serenity fills the air. An unexpected bout of design interviews brings me back to London, and I have to peel myself away from the comfort of …

Paleta Festa

Paletas Mexicanas strikes again, but with less gusto than that of the one I devoured in Recife; I have now commenced my search for the best Ninho Trufado lolly. A creamy condensed milk outer with chocolatey fudge inner. Just down the road from my airbnb was an array of organic markets, papelerias (stationery stores), bakeries and a Paletas Mexicanas store. Although not quite the standard of the Recife lolly, it served as a good brunch-time snack en route to Praia do Flamengo – another beautiful beach on the coast of Rio: super quiet, bright white sand and clear cool water. For lunch we took a trip to Senador Camará, a neighbourhood an hours train ride away from the centre of the capital, but still in Rio – it’s a seriously big place. A poor community in the middle of the mountains, Senador Camará is where some family of my Pedro (my man) lives. So clearly we had to take a trip to meet the family, experience local non-tourist life and of course traditional food; to …

Rendezvous in Rio de Janeiro

Travelling to Rio De Janeiro super early (i.e. 5am) seemed like a good idea two months ago. I warn against this activity. Despite our 3am wake up call and late bedtime, travelling to Rio De Janeiro was seriously exciting; the iconic city of Brazil awaited us. And first thing on the agenda; see Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer). But alas, our naivety and excitement to see Jesus led us to pay an absurd amount of Reais to not even see the iconic statue; enveloped in a thick blanket of cloud and fog, you could see nothing but his head and palm.  Perplexed at our poor decision making, we stood amongst a crowd of indifferent tourists, selfie-ing like there was no tomorrow. Determined to come back when the weather was better, we descended back down Corcovado on the tram, disappointed and seriously hungry. After seeing some Naif art, primitive art from Brazil, at Museu De International Arte Naif, we somehow ended up a spooky historical house where a sketchy woman lives (and by lives we think …

LHR > REC

The ultimate white British tourist: a rucksack, a 26kg suitcase, a purse, two cameras around the neck, Dr Martens, and long sleeves. Don’t forget the airport trip to Starbucks in your extremely non-fluent/non-existent Portuguese: a long hot wait for a domestic flight change in a Brazilian airport (in São Paulo) takes its toll. Despite sitting in the wrong seat twice, subsequently having my rucksack frantically passed around the cabin by adamant Brazilians communicating in only Portuguese in attempt to find space in the overhead storage compartments, experiencing (what felt like) non-stop turbulence for the duration of the 12 hour flight and eventually locating my suitcase in the luggage carousel for a flight from Orlando in São Paulo’s airport, my journey wasn’t too shabby. Alas! I live. My joy at dodging death was manifested upon landing by the lone woman on the left hand side of the plane clapping the pilots far too enthusiastically: the small child behind her pressed her hands to her headphones harder, furiously watching her third repeat of Frozen whilst her mother took several …