The trip to Brazil was my very first trip on my own. I had nobody to come with me and I had to deal with every possible problem by myself. To make it clear, I did not go just for a trip without preparation. And what more, I had a friend living in Sao Paulo who I went visit. This was the best opportunity to feel the proper Brazilian lifestyle in a Brazilian family.
Because this was my first trip to Brasil, I have decided to visit Sao Paulo during the Carnival. This is the best time of the year so why not to take an opportunity!!! I was recommended to come at the end of the Carnival. Because there would be fewer people and I still can enjoy it 🙂 I have arrived on 14th Feb. Romantic right?! I flew to Sao Paulo, where my friend was waiting for me.
First impression: OMG this is huge!!! Second impression: this smells tropical, I gonna love it! Of course, I had more impressions but these two were the strongest ones!!! 🙂
The time difference was not so bad and I was a just little bit tired, so my friend took me to a shopping mall near her home. The excitement supposed to start the next day! 🙂 I got to know the city and suburb. The structure of Sao Paulo differs from cities I know. Basically, it is like small towns (neighborhoods) in one big city. It doesn´t have any city center (like officially). This makes it less complex and more interesting.
Also, the Carnival is not just the parade as we know it. I have experienced two Carnivals. The first one was a street carnival, there was music to dance, drinks and people were dressed up in costumes. It was more chilled and very friendly!!!
The atmosphere was amazing and even though, it was raining for a while, it didn´t stop people to have fun.
Maybe it is worth to mention one fact about Brazilians. Well, I don´t want to say that they are crazy people, but they are, as any other Latin nation, are passionate. This is a little bit increased during the Carnival. So, it is absolutely normal, that a guy will approach you and kiss you without any words. I consider it very cute!! 🙂 And yes, this is personal experience hahaha.
And the second Carnival is the fancy one – with all those amazing parades. Samba schools are competing in the Sambadrome and the result will then affect their reputation upcoming the next year. Samba schools are usually structured as a guild than a school and usually are associated with a neighborhood. These schools usually practice all the year for this main event. There are several requirements that need to be done. The structure of the group, the song, the theme, everything is carefully chosen and decided. A first group is always a group which introduces the theme. The second judging group is called the allegorical floats. This is supposed to represent the elements of the plot of the theme as well as the symbol of the school. The school has to work and cooperate with one body. All members have to move/dance in the rhythm and in good timing. The got penalized if the parade speed is slower or quicker. the flag of the school is introduced by mestre-sala and porta-Bandeira. An important part of the group is the drumming section which leads the pace of the parade. Other members of the group are queen or the Rainha de Bateria, the singer, ala das baianas (ladies that represent old aunts of the first section) and old-guard. This description is very short I hope it is true since I do not remember every single detail…
So, each of the Samba school has its theme for the performance. This could be f example: Alice in Wonderland, Olympic Games. Its performances are always very interesting and the parades are amazing.
Once you are in Brazil, you should see more than just one city. In my case, I have made just two trips. Unfortunately, I didn´t make it to Rio de Janeiro. My second trip was to the South, to the Iguacu falls and Itaipu Dam. This was definitely worth it!!! Iguacu falls are one of the most amazing places in the World. Amazing, breathtaking, incredible…
I and my friend took a flight down so I had an opportunity to see Sao Paulo from the top. This picture can describe the city just a little bit. skyscrapers and tall buildings are pretty much everywhere. I call it lego city cause in this picture it looks like this right? 😀
Iguacu Falls are the largest waterfalls system in the World and are situated on the border of the Argentina and Brasil.
There is a trail along the river Paraná and you can see lots of amazing falls and nature. You need to buy a ticket first. They have student discounts and group discounts but every penny worth to see this amazing nature complex. The trail will take you to the biggest one in this complex called The Devils’ Throat. But be careful! There are also lots of monkeys which are hungry and annoying. So I would recommend nothing to get their attention. I had a plastic bag and they were very interested what I have inside and at least four approaches me and almost jump at me 😀 little scary 😀
And one last tip!
Do not forget to put sun cream on a high factor of protection!!! Especially if you are from central Europe and you are blond and have very very light skin. I kinda forgot about this and was all burnt (belly, legs, arms…). 😀