Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Confederations Cup: Semi-Finals

Alright...


Finally we know which nations passed to the second stage.

Brazil, Italy, Spain and Uruguay
Congrats!


Following Games:

Wednesday, June 26, 4pm - Belo Horizonte 
Brazil x Uruguay


Thursday, June 27, 4pm - Fortaleza
Spain x Italy

Nobody is gonna miss this!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Confederations Cup: Pictures & Results

Hi everyone,

Are you guys watching the games?

Let's see the results, and dates of next games.


  • Brazil 3 x 0 Japan
  • Mexico 1 x 2 Italy
  • Brazil 2 x 0 Mexico
  • Italy 4 x 3 Japan
  • Spain 2 x 1 Uruguay
  • Tahiti 1 x 6 Nigeria
  •  Italy 2 x 4 Brazil
  • Japan 1 x 2 Mexico
  •  Nigeria 0 x 3 Spain
  • Uruguay 8 x 0 Tahiti

Thank you and congratulations to Tahiti, we appreciated your participation in the Confederations Cup!
Thank you Nigeria and Japan, gracias Mexico we see you again next year!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Portuguese

Oi! Are you ready to learn few words in Portuguese?


Maybe you won't speak Portuguese so quickly, but if you learn a few words you may understand what the locals are saying or what is written on the signs and will grab important information while in Brazil. You can always try Spanish if you need, but many words are similar to Portuguese with a total different meaning. So try to learn few words in this beautiful language :)

  • Airport: Aeroporto
  • Exit: Saída
  • Entrance: Entrada
  • Bus: Ônibus
  • Bus Stop: Ponto de ônibus
  • Me: Eu
  • You: Você
  • Stadium: Estádio
  • Soccer: Futebol
  • Please: Por favor
  • Thank you: Obrigado
  • Do you speak English?: Você fala inglês?
  • Good morning: Bom dia
  • Hi, how are you?: Oi, tudo bem?
  • How much is it?: Quanto custa?
  • Can you help me?: Você pode me ajudar?
  • I want: Eu quero
  • I need: Eu preciso
  • Money: Dinheiro
  • Menu: Cardápio
  • Appetizer: Aperitivo
  • Straw: Canudo
  • Restroom: Banheiro
  • Pharmacy: Farmácia
  • Medicine: Remédio
  • I'm pregnant: Estou grávida
  • I'm allergic: Eu tenho alergia
  • Pain: Dor
  • Fever: Febre
  • Bug spray: Repelente
  • Sun screen: Protetor solar
  • Beach: Praia
  • Without sugar: Sem açúcar
  • Sparklin water: água com gás
  • Ice: Gelo
  • Natural juice: suco natural
  • I can't: Eu não posso
  • Cold: Frio
  • Hot: Calor (for climate) / Quente (for temperature)
  • What time is it?: Que horas são?
  • Let's go: Vamos
  • The game will start: O jogo vai começar
  • Ticket: Ingresso

I hope this was a helpful post. If my readers want I can teach you new words later on. 
Let me know.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Immigrants: Japanese in Brazil

Japan was the first team to qualify for the 2014 World Cup and is the first team to play against Brazil at the Confederations Cup. So here is a special post about the Japanese immigration in Brazil.

Japanese are part of our history. The Japanese culture in Brazil is very significant, nowadays there are over 1.5 million Japanese descendants living in Brazil, 1 million only in São Paulo state. 
It is the biggest Japanese community out of Japan. 

1908 - 2008: 100 years of immigration
The arrival of the ship Kasato Maru in June 18th, 1908 in Santos marks the beginning of the Japanese immigration to Brazil. The first immigrants came to Brazil to work in coffee farms, specially in São Paulo state, after the end of the slavery in our country in 1888. On the other hand Japan was in crisis, the majority of the population was living in the country side, making very little money to survive. One option was to move to the cities and another was to migrate, many Japanese moved to Hawaii, many to US and Canada, Peru and also to Brazil. Their dream was to make enough money to return to their country, they didn't learn Portuguese and kept their culture within their community, but the salary was very low and they had to give up their dream. The following generations started to blend more with the locals, left the farms to work in factories, learn Portuguese and became part of our nation. From 1920 the process of immigration accelerated, the Japanese founded cities like Bastos and Tietê, in São Paulo State, they formed colonies in Londrina in Paraná and Anápolis in Goiás. During the World War II many Japanese came to Brazil but always intending to return as soon as possible, they educated their kids under their culture, teaching Japanese and by 1938 there were 294 Japanese schools in São Paulo. As the time went by many of them decided to stay, making Brazil their nation.

Sports: One of the biggest contributions the Japanese brought to our culture is the martial arts. Brazilians fell in love with Karate and Aikido, we won one gold and 3 bronze medal in Judo in London 2012. But the biggest of all is the passion Brazilians have for Jiu Jitsu, the Gracie family was the responsible for this passion, after adapting the sport, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu became very popular.

Religion: The majority of the Japanese became catholic in Brazil, but the Budism was introduced here by the Japanese and nowadays there are about 250 thousand people that follow this philosophy and practice the meditation. The Dalai Lama have been in Brazil 4 times. 


In August, at the end of the winter in Brazil, the city of São Paulo celebrates the cherry blossom.


If you are Japanese and wish to know more about the process of immigration go to the 100 years of Immigration website, it's in Japanese and Portuguese.

Japanese Embassy in Brasilia: Avenida das Nações, Quadra 811, lote 39 - Setor de Embaixadas Sul - Brasilia, DF
Phone: (61) 3442-4200 / (61) 3442-2499
email: consular.japao@bs.mofa.go.jp


Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Note About the Protests

Dear readers,

I would like to say that besides all the protests happening right now in Brazil I am in favor of those who like football and have the right to choose to either be part of this event or not.
Many Brazilians are against the Confederations Cup for politic reasons, but the fact is that the games won't be cancelled, the players and the football fans are here to have fun and enjoy the sport. I would like to keep writing my blog to those who are coming to Brazil in peace, to those who are interested in visiting our country that is so beautiful, home of hard workers, of the friendly people who are always ready to help, ready to make this a better nation, a modern nation of growing economy.
Every country has it's internal issues but the tourists should have the right to enjoy this international event that is so important to the most popular sport in the world.
I really hope we can act as a good host nation and greet you guys from so many nations with respectful behavior and politeness.

Thank you for trusting in us. We are capable of doing much better and I am sorry for the disturbance, for involving you in politic issues that should be solved between us, Brazilian citizens.

I would like to thank a few nations that are always supporting this blog: USA, Germany, Spain, Russia, South Korea, UK, France, Italy, Argentina, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and so many others.

We do want you here to celebrate with us.

You are always welcome!


Songs: Jota Quest

To close the mineiro week nothing better than a band from the city we have been talking about: Belo Horizonte.

Jota Quest is a pop-rock band that chose this name inspired on the cartoon Jonny Quest by Hanna-Barbera. The band was formed in 1993 and since they recorded their first album in 1996 they have been a great success. Well, as every mineiro, the guys are very charismatic and when they start singing everyone sings along. 


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Belo Horizonte: Traditional Dishes

Hello everyone!
Thank you for stoping by again to learn more about Belo Horizonte and it's beauties,
Today I will show you why the food from Minas Gerais is one of the Brazilians' favorite and most famous. But first you have to learn the magical words: Comida Mineira.


The traditional Comida Mineira consists of rice, beans, pork, chicken, ribs, collard greens, tutu, farofa. They use fresh local ingredients cooked in iron pans, many times under a coal or wood-fired ovens.  For desert you can try doce de leite, fruits in syrup, puddings and much more, served with white cheese from Minas. 



Here is a list of places where you can try this delicious, flavorful food:

Xapuri: this is one of the best restaurants in the city. The food is prepared with fresh local ingredients in wood-fired oven. Ask the waiter how many people the dish serves, many of them are good for the whole family. The desert buffet has over 30 choices. It's a great place to bring the kids, they can either play at the playground or go for a horseback ride. 
Free wi-fi. 

Dona Lucinha: excellent buffet, they also serve à la carte meal, and colonial coffee. There are many products you can buy from Dona Lucinha's brand, including a recipe book in English, deserts, and an apron. Remember to make reservation. 

Paladino: it's located on a small farm, it's a good place to bring the kids, there's a playground, horses and a lake. They serve Brazilian food (one plate usually serves 4 people) and during the winter you have also the option of fondue. 
You should make reservations by phone (31) 3447.6604  


Fogo de Chão: the best steakhouse of the country. It's a more expensive restaurant, you pay per person, but the place is very comfortable and the food is excellent! To begin you can serve yourself some salad from the buffet and then just wait, the meat won't stop coming to your plate!

As I said before Minas is the biggest coffee producer in Brazil, so you can't leave without stopping for coffee and some other delicious specialties like pão de queijo (cheese bread) and cakes. Check also the post about Brazilian Coffee.

Café Kahlúa: one of the best coffees in BH, they offer national coffee and beans from South America, Central America and South Africa. You can order a piece of the cake of the day to go with your coffee or any other pastries from the menu. It's located at Centro. 


Armazém Dona Lucinha: Located at São Pedro, it is a good place to try pão de queijo, the traditional cheese bread from Minas Gerais. A must-try. You will also find other typical specialties and of course cakes, breads, an excellent place to have breakfast before heading to the stadium.



Belga Brigaderia: Do you know what a brigadeiro is? It's a little ball made of condensed milk and chocolate covered with sprinkles served usually at kid's birthday parties, but everybody loves it. This place is specialized in brigadeiro, they make brigadeiro gourmet with Belgic chocolate, they offer over 40 different flavors, and you can even take home a box full of them. Yum! 


Mercado Central: Visit the Central Market, there you will find cachaça, the Brazilian liquor used to make caipirinha and you will also find fruits in syrup, like fig, guava, orange, peach, papaya and so on. 


So, dear readers... what do you think? What dish would you try for sure? Would you share with us your favorite food from Minas Gerais? Take pictures and send to me, I will add the pictures here on my blog to share your experience with the travelers. Enjoy your trip!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Belo Horizonte: Hospitality

Hello dear readers, 

I'm having lot of fun writing about BH and I'm sure you will fall in love with the city and with the mineiros. Today, let's see what are the best hotel options, both close to the stadium (Pampulha) and close to the restaurants and shops (Savassi and Lourdes). 
Savassi and Louders are very close to the Central Market and Praça da Liberdade. The distance from those locations to the stadium is about 20 minutes by car, and 1 hour by bus. But leave earlier, the traffic can be pretty bad. If you decide to take a bus it's not complicated, it's usually one bus only to get to the stadium. Later on, I will check the new options for the World Cup.
Book your hotel as soon as possible, many hotels already don't have vacancies for the World Cup.

Hotels at Savassi (blue on the map)

Hotels at Lourdes (green on the map)
  • Mercuri Lourdes - offers free wifi, gym, and has a restaurant in the hotel.
  • Ibis BH Liberdade - located close to the Praça da Liberdade, it's a new hotel that offers free wi-fi and has a restaurant in the hotel.
  • Clarion Lourdes - in this hotel if you make your check in between 7 and 9pm you get a free glass of champagne! Free wi-fi and breakfast included. 

Another location:
  • Quality Afonso Pena (Serra) - offers free wi-fi, breakfast included, restaurant in the hotel. 13.4 km from the stadium.
Hotels Close to the Stadium:
  • Pampulha - it's 15 min walking to the stadium. Breakfast included.
  • Bristol Jaraguá - if you prefer to walk to avoid traffic it takes 30 minutes. It was opened in 2012, it offers free wi-fi, breakfast and the restaurant is in the hotel.
  • Bristol Pampulha Lieu - 7 min driving or 40 min by bus to the stadium.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

World Cup Qualifiers: June 11th and 12th

Hello everyone,

Today we have exciting games going on...

Let's cheer!

Japan is already on... what teams from South America will qualify?
Today we also have the USA, Sweden, and the African countries.

* The matches time are set for local time, so for example the first game will be at 15:30 in Barranquilla, Colombia.

fifa.com

Monday, June 10, 2013

Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte is the capital of the state of Minas Gerais located at the southeast of Brazil. 

Population: 2.37 million
Person born in Minas Gerais: Mineiro - the Mineiros are in general very welcoming, relatively quiet, reserved and prudent. Oh, they are also famous for telling people that the places are "right there" at walk distance, when actually, for regular people, the place is far away! "Uai" (sounds exactly like "why") is a common expression they use, but impossible to translate. 
Distance from other cities:  
Rio de Janeiro 444 km
São Paulo 602 km
Brasília 747 km
Airport: Tancredo Neves / Cofins Intenational Airport - 38 km (23mi) from Belo Horizonte
Stadium: 
Mineirão - Avenida Abrahão Caram, 970 - São Luis, Belo Horizonte, MG

Matches: World Cup 6 matches:
- June 14th - Colombia x Greece
 - June 17th - Belgium x Algeria
- June 21st - Argentina x Iran
- June 24th - Costa Rica x England
- June 28th - 1A x 2B
- July 8th - W57 x W58


The city know as BH (/Bay-Agah/) is a beautiful wooded city to visit, with nice historical architecture, parks, markets and an amazing cuisine. The state of Minas Gerais is the country's largest milk producer, it produces 41% of milk produced in Brazil and the largest coffee producer as well, it produces 50% of the national production. It is 100% arabica beans, being the majority exported. In the past Minas Gerais was one of the biggest gold, diamond, and gems explorers.


To begin exploring the city go to the Praça da Liberdade, there you will find many museums, and historical buildings from the 19th century, it is a nice place to relax and look around.




After visiting Praça da Liberdade you can take a bus or cab and visit the Central Market (Mercado Central). There are over 450 tents selling everything you can imagine, the Market has more than 80 years. Don't forget to buy a mineiro cheese, cachaça (Brazilian Liquor), desserts made of fruits and "dulce de leche" (in Portuguese - doce de leite). You will also fall in love with the crafts.  

Save a day to visit the Complexo Arquitetônico da Pampulha, projected by the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, it has 18 km of beautiful buildings placed around the Pampulha Lake, very close to the Mineirão Stadium. Take a cab to make this tour, there's a lot to see and walking would take too long. Pay attention to the Arts Museum, Casa do Baile and the São Francisco de Assis Church. 


If are planning to stay a little longer in BH, visit the Inhotim Institute, it's located in Brumadinho, 63 km from BH. The Institute is the biggest outdoor contemporary museum in the world, the arts are exposed at the Botanic Garden. The collection has around 500 pieces of art; sculptures, paintings, installations, draws, photographies, movies and videos made by 100 artists from 30 different countries. The arts are dated from 1960 to today's date. A driver in an electric car can take you through the whole space, it costs $10 dollars and you can use it as many time as you want, it's worth it. The tickets for the museum vary between $10 and $14 dollars, grab a map at the entrance and it will be easy to find the collections.


Where can I go with the kids?
Zoo: located at the Pampulha Lake, there are over 900 animals.
Toy's Museum (Museu dos Brinquedos): the kids will have a chance to see toys from other countries and from older times.


I will talk more about BH on my next posts.

See You!

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Songs: Michel Teló

Since we are talking about Curitiba this week, I've chosen a singer from the state of Paraná for this Saturday's music post.

Who haven't heard the song "Ai se Eu te Pego" yet?
I'm sure every single one of you have. The music became famous in 2011 and the video you will watch now have been watched over half billion times on You Tube. The music was translated into several languages including Polish, Greek and Hebrew. 


The Nuggets stars danced this song and the video is at the NBA's Official Website

How about the football (soccer) stars?

Friday, June 07, 2013

World Cup Qualifiers: Matches of June 7th

What exciting Friday!

There are many matches today, just choose your favorite teams and lets go!

Remember that the time showed is local time, ok?

Today we have South America, Africa, Europe, Caribbean, and North America.

fifa.com
Vote for the best goal in FIFA Confederations Cup history from their '13 Goals for 2013' shortlist: 13 Goals for 2013


Who is closer to qualify?

What team are you cheering for?

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Curitiba: Restaurants and more...

Nothing says more about the culture of a place than it's food, correct? So that's why I insist that you come out of your bubble and let yourself go through the flavors of the Brazilian cuisine, even if it has an European influence, because it does. But there are other ingredients that you will only find here.
To beging this post I want to reinforce that I'm writing based on the idea that my readers are coming to Brazil in June / July of 2013 and 2014, and that during these months it's winter in Brazil and especially cold in the South of the country where Curitiba is located. That's why I'm suggesting the foods and restaurants that follow:

Typical food from Paraná:

Barreado: is a slow cooked meet prepared on the day before it will be served, made with cumin, black pepper, garlic, tomato, anion, bacon and few other ingredients. If you take a train trip to Morretes, their barreado is one of the most famous in the state.
The Quintana Café & Restaurante serves an excellent barreado on Wednesdays, always with fresh ingredients. Curitiba, Batel.



Pinhão: is the seed of araucária, tree that is the symbol of the city. It is served cooked or as an ingredient for other dishes such as risotto.



Café Colonial: was introduced in Brazil for the German immigrants, it's a large table set with many different kinds of bread, juices, coffee, jams, fruits, cold cuts and cakes. It is usually served in the afternoon. I've chosen 3 nice places try the café colonial:

- Neuchatel at Batel: the café colonial is served from 2:30 pm to 9:30 pm

- Chez Arnold at Mercês: with fine recipes from Holland, Germany and Austria.

- Coeur Douce at Cristo Rei - from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 10 pm



For a hot chocolate after walking through the city...

Café do Paço - located at Centro, it's said to have the best hot chocolate in the city and an amazing pecan pie with wine sauce.



Other options...

Fondue: good option for the cold nights.

- Château de Gazon (Batel) - Besides fondue, you will find delicious European food as well.

Portuguese: Is totally part of the Brazilian culture, besides being very tasteful.

Alma Lusa at Batel for a delicious codfish (bacalhau) in Portuguese Style.

Brazilian Cuisine:

Brasserie Quatro Estações - located at Mabu Royal and Premium Hotel

Cosmopolitan Influence:

 - Forneria Copacabana: There you will find a mix of culture within the decoration, the menu, the ingredients, the music and of course the customers. A very pleasant ambient, with good food.



Bars: You won find any hard to find bars in Curitiba, if you go to Batel, just walk around and find the right one for you and your friends. 

For beers, at Batel you will find two nice places, Clube do Malte and Devassa. For a happy hour with live music go to Aos Democratas or the Guffo Bar. The Aurora Bar & Piadineria is good for the single ones and if you like Jazz, Nu Jazz is also at Batel.


I hope you fell in love with Curitiba, even under a cold weather and if you have a chance, come to see us at summer time.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Curitiba: Hospitality

Birdhouse made of cabaça
Hello dear readers,
The cold weather is already here, 17C / 63F in Curitiba.

Today I will show you a few nice hotels and hostels you can stay in while in Curitiba. There are two places in the city that is close to everything, the center is close to the stores, museums, parks and Batel is close to the restaurants and bars. 





Centro

$$$$ Deville - offers free wi-fi, breakfast included, heater, indoor pool, and heater.


$$$ Mabu Royal & Premium - free wi-fi, breakfast included. There are apartments premium and thematic suites. 

$$ CWB Express - free wi-fi, but does not include breakfast 





Batel

$$$Four Points Sheraton - has spa, free wi-fi, heater, indoor pool. One of the best hotels in Curitiba - Breakfast included.

$$$ Slaviero Full Jazz - the hotel is decorated with a Jazz theme, very beautiful. Breakfast is inclued, free wi-fi.

$$ Ibis Batel (1883) - the hotel is located in a historic building from 1883, very beautiful and reliable. Free wi-fi. Does not include breakfast.

Hostels:



Curitiba Eco - associated with Hostelling International, offers shared and private rooms. Breakfast included, free wi-fi.







Roma Hostel - associated with Hostelling International, has been in activity for more than 100 years. Breakfast included, free wi-fi.







* Check also the post about Places to Visit in Curitiba




Did you know?

The players Leandro Damião who plays for Brazil's National Team and Alexandre Pato, former Milan player are both from the state of Paraná?

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Curitiba - Places to Visit


"The city of Curitiba is one of the finest examples of a bulky economic and industrial development carried out with responsibility and organization".

Tha's how fifa.com defines the capital of the state of Paraná in the South of Brazil. 

For you, who is planning to watch the games in Curitiba I can assure that your experience will be amazing. But remember to bring a coat, Curitiba is very cold during the winter, usually it stays between 19C / 66F and 8C / 47F.

Curitiba is the home for many descendants of Europeans that arrived in Brazil in the second half of the 19th century, this city may not be what you are used to hear about Brazil... it may be even better.
There is a lot to see in the city, so while you are not cheering at Arena da Baixada Stadium you can enjoy some of these attractions:

- Linha Turismo: To begin during the day you can go for a 2:30 hours bus tour that takes you to 25 of Curitiba's tourist attraction. With the voucher you are allowed to get on and off the bus four times. Check the website to see all the attractions. Linha Turismo

- Historic Center: The best way is to walk around the historic center, with a map in hands. You can walk to the Rua das Flores, a beautiful street where you can shop and stop for a beer in the evening, Rua 24 horas where you will see the 24-hour clock, you can go to many nice places without wasting time riding a bus or taxi. To get there you can take the Leva e Traz, free vans at your hotel that take you to the restaurants and bars.

- Oscar Niemeyer Museum: Among all the other museums in the city, this should be your option number 1. The museum has a nice architecture, of course signed by Oscar Niemeyer. But that's not all, there are nine rooms of contemporary exhibitions and one room dedicated to the architect. On Sundays you can meet many young locals at the garden in front of the museum. At walk distance you can also visit the Bosque do Papa João Paulo II, it's a park made in 1980 after the Pope John Paul II visited the city, it is about the Polish Immigration in Brazil.

- Botanic Garden: The Botanic Garden is the main destination to those who visit Curitiba, it is known by the beautiful art-noveau style green house inspired by the London's crystal palace, and the geometric garden. In the main green house you will see many species of plants from the Atlantic Forest, the other one is used to researches purposes.
- Museu Ferroviário (Rail Transport Museum): Is a beautiful museum where you can bring the kids.


If you have an extra day in the city take a train trip from Curitiba to Marretes (3 hours) or to Iguaçu Falls (7 hours). Serra Verde Express is an option, and the Great Brazil Express (video) is another. Check the websites and decide which is the best option for you.  

Monday, June 03, 2013

World Cup Qualifiers: June 4th and 5th, 2013

Hi guys!

The qualifiers are back this week... are you excited?

There will be 7 qualifiers games in two days, Tuesday and Wednesday. The time is set as local time:


Kenya x Nigeria
fifa.com

Vote for the best goal in FIFA Confederations Cup history from their '13 Goals for 2013' shortlist: 13 Goals for 2013