Travel: Sao Paulo, day 2 (part 3)

Note to self: don’t start a series of travel posts right before Christmas, New Year’s and your husband’s departure. Does anyone out there even remember that I went to Sao Paulo?

Well, I did. And after my epic morning of walking allll around the city, I got back to my hostel and plopped myself on the couch totally exhausted. I had wanted to go to Parque Ibirapuera in the afternoon, but my feet were hurting, and I was sweating, so I figured I’d rest for a bit first. It turned out to be a very small bit since one of the hostel employees and a couple other guests were headed to the park, and I decided to join them. Up I got, and off we went.

Sao Paulo Parque Ibirapuera

The park is about a 20 minute walk from the hostel, and the four of us enjoyed chatting. One of the guys was actually from Chico, California and living in Santiago about two blocks from my apartment during his exchange – seriously small world!

Parque Ibirapuera is home to several museums as well as plenty of open space. It’s pretty, but I am ashamed to admit that I was so exhausted by this point that I only got two pictures! The museums were closed – I’m not sure whether because it was Sunday or because it was election day – but from what we could see of the Afro-Brazilian Museum through the windows, it would be well worth a visit.

Sao Paulo Parque Ibirapuera

The buildings in Parque Ibirapuera were designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the famous Brazilian architect who designed pretty much the entire city of Brasilia, Brazil’s capital, as well as the UN building in New York. In addition to the permanent museums, there is an art exhibit called Bienal set up in one of the park’s buildings every two years. We happened to be there for it and went in – admission is free – to be totally overwhelmed. There was some stuff that I decidedly did not get, but there were also some really interesting exhibits, and with so many different works to see we barely even scratched the surface.

We went for a post-park beer and were hanging out at a bar when news started coming through that Dilma looked like the winner in the presidential race. Dilma Rousseff is Brazil’s first female president and was the candidate backed by former president Lula da Silva. Later that night, I made my way out to dinner and saw traffic all along Avendia Paulista, Sao Paulo’s main drag. People were honking, playing music and throwing confetti. Although the timing of my trip to coincide with the election had been an accident, I was glad to get the chance to be there on such a big day. After a yummy dinner at a Brazilian churrascaria– where they come around with meat on swords, and the goal seems to be to eat as much as you possibly can – I headed to bed. No free caipirinhas for me tonight – I’d walked 8 miles, no wonder I was so tired!

More in this series:
Planning Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo, day 1
Sao Paulo, day 2 (part 1)
Sao Paulo, day 2 (part 2)
Sao Paulo, day 3

7 Responses to “Travel: Sao Paulo, day 2 (part 3)”

  1. I love when you travel somewhere only to be surprised by some local event or celebration! That park looks so peaceful, despite it being such a chaotic city. USAir is in the works to start a direct flight from Charlotte to SP. Hmmmm…

  2. Ayngelina says:

    I'm with Andi, I love how in Latin America there are so many celebrations you can just walk down the street and run into a huge parade.

  3. Emily says:

    Andi, I agree, it was neat to be there and feel the energy. And I say if you can get a direct flight, you should definitely do a long weekend in Sao Paulo.

    Ayngelina, I think I've lived in Latin America too long because my initial reaction was "doesn't that kind of celebration happen everywhere?" Umm no, I've never seen people in CA get in their cars and go around honking and waving American flags when their candidate wins.

  4. Chile is on my list– everyone and all the signs are pointing there (even NY Times says its the #1 destination for the year). The park looks very peaceful (agree with Andi). So glad I met you through Twitter.


  5. Vince says:

    how do you get the photos to stand on their edge. they are lovely btw

  6. Emily says:

    Charu, maybe when you come to Santiago you can make it over to Sao Paulo and see the park for yourself. Parts of it were peaceful, and parts of it were really bustling.

    Vince, do you mean with Blogger's new (stupid) uploader? I have to not rotate them in any kind of photo editor so that they're still sideways on my computer, and then Blogger somehow knows which way up they should go. I don't get it at all. And thanks!

  7. Ceri says:

    Catching up with your Sao Paulo posts. 😀 It’s definitely a place I’d love to visit.

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