Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Oh Brazil...

Ok,  I know I have currently been posting about my trip to Europe in 2013 but I just had to take a minute and share current events here in Brazil.  I will get back to editing those posts from last year soon.  
It is a quite day here in Brazil. As many of you probably have seen, there futebol team was totally stunned in their world cup quarter final game against Germany.  Leading up to the game yesterday I am sure you could hear air horns being blown and cars honking as citizens made their way to where ever they were watching the game in whichever city you were.  You see in Brazil futebol is a huge deal. Since Brazil was named as the IMG_1283host country the anticipation for this World Cup has increased and reached its maximum early this year. Beating the top seated team Spain and winning the Confederate Cup after rioting in the streets last year set expectation high. Brazilians started to believe they could be days away from their 6th World Cup.   June came and the first deflation occurred when they tied IMG_1330Mexico but after that stumble they made it on to the elimination round and all was moving forward quickly.  They surpassed Columbia in the first round but lost two key players.  This did not seem to slow the fans as they looked forward to the next match.   Then Germany came to town and within a few minutes the score was 3 - 0 then 5 - 0 and finally 7-1 as the Germans obviously came to play.  It was like a huge air mattress getting deflated.  IMG_1326Brazilians really did not know what to think or how to react.  Fireworks reserved for victory became outlets for frustrations.  No crowd roars could be heard over the community where cheering fans once celebrated victory.   Even my friends who wanted Brazil to loose for political reasons were shocked at the result.  
 Well today,  I went for a wIMG_1331alk here in Goiania and found it interesting that yesterday 1 in every 10 vehicles if not more had Brazilian flags either protruding from their windows or covering the hoods of their cars. Today that ratio was 1 in 100 if not less.  Flags that once hung from balconies are no longer to be seen and vendors set up on every street corner peddling those yellow and green jerseys have packed their inventory for another day. I think the loss yesterday made this great country turn inward for reflection! We will see what tomorrow brings!

Monday, July 7, 2014

London... Need I say more?

Well,  I know this trip was almost a year ago and I do have some more recent drafts written (especially
about being in Brazil during the world cup)  so I hope to catch up quickly and finish editing my Europe trip soon.  I have decided to lump some of our days together as I am not sure I will be able to fill them all. Ok.. back to traveling.... London,  not sure I need to give any internet information about this city.  During our stay we get up daily and enjoy breakfast provided by the hostel,  one of the benefits of a hostel even if it is not much.  This trip is not my first visit to the large city across the pond and on our first day after waiting for a couple of stragglers to finish getting ready, I cannot help but realized I am no longer traveling on my own.  I will have to adjust a bit and be flexible on what I want to do or make the decision to head out on my own.  Agenda for today is to OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhead to the main tourist area and catch one of the double decker bus tours and soon those stragglers join us and we are off.  Down to the tube *subway* and before boarding we quickly figure out which direction we need to travel.  After a few stops we exit the train and soon emerge into the sunshine above.  The day is partly cloudy and I must say perfect for sight seeing.  We choose one of the tour companies which has several different routes and we are on our way with cameras poised and headsets on.  I always enjoy these bus tours as they give interesting facts as you travel through the streets allowing you to plan what you want to go back to or stop and see in more detail. The next few hours are filled with enjoying the scenery of Big Ben,  Buckingham Palace and a lot of beautiful English Gardens in OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbetween.  The bus is a hop on, hop off, so we take advantage of that and find our way to some of the usual spots and of course getting some great photos.  Some of my personal highlights are the over sized bronze horse head statue in Hyde Park of central London.  There is just something about that statue that draws my attention.  My other favorites of London are the gates at Buckingham palace,  Big Ben, and just walking through the city streets.  Spending a few hours in London and soon it seems so familiar.  After two bus tours the day winds down and we find ourselves in Piccadilly Circus with 1009862_10201747744633531_21909463_nits vibrant lights and crowds a bustling.  (OK maybe a little bit of information about Piccadilly Circus from wikipedia ... It is a circle at the intersection of several streets which was constructed in 1819 and has been a filled with people and traffic ever since.  Today the area is filled with lit billboards and on the southwestern side stands the statue of Eros on top of a fountain. It is definitely one of the circles trademarks.  During all hours of the day and night you can see people sitting on the stairs leading up to the statue.  The neighborhoods around the circle are filled with theaters and lots of entertainment opportunities. It is simply a must see when visiting the city.) On thisIMG_3858 evening we have decided to enjoy wandering through the streets and our plan is to see a show while in London so we are in the right area.  The group comes to a rather quick decision to see "Thriller".  We purchase our tickets for the next evenings performance and hang at Piccadilly for a bit.  A demonstration is going on so we move a little closer to take a look.  As we reach the curb of the street,  hundreds of bikers go peddling by with an occasional skate boarder in the mix.  It is fun to watch them as the make up of the group is full of characters and tricksters.  I can only conclude that they are riding for bike awareness.   After a quick visit to China town we head back to the hostel in hopes of a good night sleep.