A blog with pictures and memories from life in Lisbon. Um blogue de recordações de Milan Perveze...

Friday, November 26, 2004

Back to Sao Paulo... In life, we fall in love with people, with places... With all its contradictions, such a beautiful country, and with such warm and welcoming people, will not disappoint anyone. I wish I could only leave Europe behind for a while and be a Brazilian for some time. Well, as a popular saying here states, we live in hope...

Final pictures before we left. The clowds came back, and the rain...

Security is such a problem in Brazil, even here. All the fancy buildings are heavily guarded and protected against theft, as we can see in this picture. We have none of that, yet, in Lisbon. Fortunately.

Pavement in Florianópolis.

More pavement pictures with the "Calçada Portuguesa"

Old part of town once again. Portuguese colonial style in the façades very visible again.

A street in the old part of town, with the old colonial influences in its architecture.

This is the view from our room, in a three stars hotel in Canasvieiras (where we paid 15 dollars for the night!) . It was around nine in the morning when I took it. It was also our last day there (and the one when we could finally swim a bit).

Now that's me taking pictures with the Casio camera. J. took this one using the low resolution Aiptek. I can swear this picture was not edited in any way! This is exactly how the camera took it, and I'm still trying to find out how the clowds can look like that with no image editing. Lovely chinese Aiptek indeed.

View from the boat. These two bridges connect the island to the Brazilian mainland.

It was a clowdy day once again. I wonder how the whole place would look like in a sunny day...

View to the docking area, Floripa.

Docking area in Floripa. We took a tour by boat from here while we were there. It shows you the bay and the islands nearby, and they charged us less than a dollar per person!

Docking area in Floripa.

Another picture for K. This is the pavement in front of those buildings in the previous picture. Even nicer than in some parts of Lisbon.

The city of Florianopolis, with its beautiful - and expensive - apartment blocks. The standard of living there and the quality of life is better than anything I've seen in the Spanish mediterranean coast, which has the most visited beaches in the world. I hope it remains that way and that massive tourism will not reach Floripa that soon.

Another beach, near Canasvieiras.

This was one of the "wild" beaches in the island, where surfers go. The sea was quite rough there.

That small car in the center is a Fiat Palio we were renting. I have never seen that model (quite basic) in Europe. Brands like Wolkswagen and Fiat (as well as Chevrolet) have models specifically made for the Brazilian market.

A small village in the island, which was colonised by Portuguese from the islands of Azores. This 17th century church could be anywhere in Portugal.

The weather was rainy most of the time during our stay. Don't believe anyone that tells you that this is a tropical country. It was a fresh as Portugal (around 17, 18 º C), and we were lucky to get one or two sunny days and go to the beach. It's early spring in the southern hemisphere.

A beach in Canasvieiras, Florianópolis.

This is a map of the island of Santa Catarina, where Florianopolis is located. You can see the lakes where I took some of the pictures. The mountains that you can see in the beach photos are located in the mainland, which is clearly visible from the other side. The beaches can look completely different from each other in the island (everything changes, the sand, the waves).

Here's a map of Brazil (in Portuguese, we write it with an "s", Brasil) A small dot shows Sao Paulo, and a bit further to the south (another 12 hours journey by bus), is Florianopolis. Blumenau is not visible, but its only a bit to the west fo Floripa, as it is known locally. It's amazing, but the borders of modern Brazil were already established in the 16th century or so. I still can't figure it out how this was done that long ago, as it is a huge country.

In case any of you, my blogger friends, needs a better idea of the geography of my trip to Brazil, I'm posting two maps here - as suggested by Mr. "Bingo" :) I have never travelled so far, and it was a 12 hours journey, in an Iberia jet. I have finally discovered what a jetlag is! (Well, Brazil is only two hours behind Lisbon). Gee, even New York and Toronto are not so far away as Sao Paulo.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Lagoa da Conceição, Santa Catarina island.

Tree near the lake, island of Santa Catarina, Brasil.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

But nothing had prepared us for what we saw a few days later... The island of Santa Catarina, and Florianópolis, with its beaches, lakes and pristine nature... More on that later...

A view to the river, in Blumenau. Hidden among the trees, although barely visible in the picture, there were nice houses as well.

The city of Blumenau is surrounded by small hills and forests, with some beautiful houses and gardens. Actually, the whole place looked like a garden wherever you looked at.

The view from our room at the Ibis Hotel in Blumenau. That elaborate building with the red bricks was for parking cars!

One of the main streets in Blumenau.

No, really, this is Brazil, not Germany or Austria. Honnest!

We were staying in the Rex Hotel, which is close to this one, in typical German architecture, as most of the town and the surrounding area.

The townhall building in Blumenau, with a Brazilian flag.

Two days later we were in the city of Blumenau, after a 12 hours journey by bus. This is a city created by German immigrants to Brazil in the 19th century, and where half of the population is blond with blue eyes. They have a famous Oktoberfest and great food. It's a small city in the state of Santa Catarina, surrounded by beautiful forests, very clean and organised. It's also the place to which part of J.'s family emmigrated decades ago, when the Empire collapsed in 1974.

Monday, November 22, 2004

That afternoon, the rain came back again, and we had to get a taxi, where J. took this picture. The day after, after the urban jungle of Sao Paulo, we would head to the state of Santa Catarina, to Blumenau, a city colonized by Germans, and the magnificent Florianopolis, which is the closest thing to Paradise I have seen yet. More pictures tomorrow!

Now thats a picture for K., who seemed to like our traditional Portuguese pavement (the "Calçada Portuguesa"). Here it is, in Sao Paulo, in the South of the world, thousands of miles away from Lisbon. It is the same thing, and for generations, Brazilians relied on Portuguese immigrants to make their streets beautiful.

This is probably the building with the weirdest shape in the Avenida Paulista... Stunning.

In the downtown, some places look like Arab "bazaars", with open markets selling everything in the streets.

Avenida Paulista, Sao Paulo's main avenue, where most of the finantial institutions are located, side by side with magnificent apartment blocks.

Sao Paulo is full of nice hotels, like this one. The tourist industry is very well organised in Brasil, and prices are very affordable to a West European or North American. A double room in a fours stars hotel like this one could cost as little as 25 to 30 dollars.

I liked this building in the downtown area. It could be anywhere in Lisbon, if only it had a third of its size...

Among so much beauty and sophistication, we can also be confronted with visions of poverty. That huge tower that can be seen here had over 30 floors, but seemed to be in ruins, such was the poor state of its façade.

A view from one of the galleries at the Pinacoteca.

Windows at the Pinacoteca museum.

Opposite the train station is the Pinacoteca, this late 19th century building, surrounded by magnificent tropical trees, which houses Sao Paulo's main museum. It has an impressive collection of paintings and statues that would rival with the best museums in Europe.

Inside the train station. Brazilians seem to prefer a very well organised network of comfortable buses to travel the huge distances between the states and the big cities. In a country with the size of Europe, the railways does not go everywhere, although the trains seemed perfectly acceptable to me.

The main train station at Sao Paulo.

Post office building façade, Sao Paulo downtown.


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