Celebrating Women of African Descent

Travelista in Brazil

I recently travelled to Brazil, I am sure that anyone who has ever gone to Brazil on vacation or for  a destination wedding has probably packed a bathing suit, lots of SPF lotion, and lots of energy for going to the beautiful beaches of Brazil. Well, this is if the sun is out, and there is beach perfect weather.

My boyfriend and I was in Brazil from mid to end October for a friend’s destination wedding, and like many other people, I was ready to hit the beach everyday. Alas, that was not so. Although I did my research and knew that it is was spring time in Brazil in October, I envisioned nice warm spring weather. However, it rained everyday when we were in Brazil. Because I came a long way to Brazil and was not going to just hang out in the hotel room because of the rain, we decided to enjoy each day, under the pouring rain. First on the list of things to do was to buy a poncho. I came to like this invention very much. Why had I never thought of ponchos before? It is light, you can easily fold it tofit the smallest purse, and once you put it on, your hands are free. Because of the rain, we changed the whole itinerary for the trip. We decided to do more old city tours, see museums and monuments, and enjoy Brazilian food at various restaurants. We completely scrapped the beach part of the vacation.

Sao Paulo is  a very big city, and the best neighborhood to stay in while in Sao Paulo is Jardins. It is packed with restaurants, cafes, art galleries, bookstores, wine bars and offers a huge shopping district for the shoppers at heart. Rio de Janeiro of course has it’s main tourist attractions, which every tourist must make a point of visiting. The Sugar Loaf Mountains and the Statute of Christ the Redeemer are a must see if you are in Rio de Janeiro.

Also, there is this magnificent art district, which rose out of a poor debilitated neighborhood, where all the artists live and work. A must see is the staircase formerly known as St. Theresa staircase in the Lapa neighborhood. This massive living artwork, which is now known as Escadaria Selarón, or Selaron’s staircase, is 125 meters high and includes colorful tiles from all over the world. (http://www.petertsaiphotography.com/blog). We were so amazed by all the mosaic on the tiles, including mosaic of campaign posters for Obama/Biden 2008 elections, fall of Berlin wall, little Mermaid of Denmark, Great Wall of China, and the list goes on an on. Definitely a must see for art enthusiasts.

Additionally, anyone visiting Brazil who does not speak Portuguese should think of bringing a small Portuguese dictionary. I learned very quickly that most Brazilians only speak Portuguese, with a small minority speaking Spanish and not so many people speak English. It was fun learning some basic Portuguese, as this is very important while ordering food in restaurants, or bargaining for a taxi. All in all, despite the rains, Brazil was great.

By Caroline Onyango 

Caroline Onyango is a lawyer in Washington DC.  She practices real estate law, and decompresses from the law by writing a travel/relationship/fashion blog. She loves to travel and has visited many countries.

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