Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Exploring Sao Paulo . . .

No matter what time of day we walk out on the streets of Sao Paulo, there's always something new to see. Today we took the METRO and made three transfers to take a walking tour in the Sampa neighborhood (see the slideshow below). Allen's gray hair causes people to jump up and offer him a seat for here in Brazil most people are younger. The METRO is easy to use and was very crowded on the way back to our hotel.

But we were able to see the Theatro Municipal with its monumental sculptures in baroque style, including Hercules, and pass by a lovely Parque Anhangabau, where once the Tupi-Guarani people called this valley, Demon's Valley, for they believed bad spirits once lived here. Today the Parque is entirely baroque in style, with a fountain of bronze horses to rival Rome's Trevi Fountain. We visited several churches and a cathedral, stopped for coffee, and then ended the day at Kazan, a highly recommended Japanese restaurant. Sao Paulo has the largest community of Japanese outside of Japan and their sushi is touted to be the best in the world. We agree!

Thanks to craigslist again and the internet, we were able to secure an apartment in Rio just one block from the beach in Copacabana, where temperatures will be in the upper 70s. By Jan 8, we'll be headed south, with fond memories of Sao Paulo to carry us. I think I will remember most the little gated city gardens, the very friendly people despite our fragmentary knowledge of Portuguese, the very fast drivers (including helmeted motorbike drivers), and with a population in the city itself of 12.6 million (29 million including the suburbs), I think we barely scratched the surface!

Enjoy the slideshow or download any picture directly from Webshots (see link to the right).

Sao Paulo, Brazil

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