Thursday, 12 June 2014

World Cup Fever - Brazil, Florianópolis {Throwback Thursday}

In light of it being the 2014 FIFA World Cup Opening ceremony and match tonight, I thought it would only be fair for me to share a bit more about our UUH-MAY-ZING holiday to Brazil back in 2012.  I have already touched on Rio here, so today's post will be all about possibly one of the best little beach cities I have ever been to: Florianópolis.  

This is actually the home town of the two Brazilian friends  we went on holiday with and they certainly showed us what a great place it is, Hamish and I loved it! We stayed with their families, which was a refreshing change from the hotels and backpackers we generally stay in when on holiday and it was great getting to know their parents and families..AND their pet animals!! I may have fallen in love with a little cat called "Yellow Cat" and the cutest Lab you ever did see "Kimmi" who just so happened to be the very best of friends.

Our Wonderful hosts on the left and Kimmi and Yello Cat on the right
Florianopolis, or “Floripa”, as the locals call it is a massive beach destination which is not surprising considering it has around FORTY TWO beaches, yup 42….not too shabby for an ol’ beach lover like me!  The number of magnificent beaches is largely due to the fact that Floripa is actually an island and is connected to the mainland via a bridge, which means it is literally surrounded by beautiful white sand and turquoise water on all sides – take me back please?!

Due to the different currents and winds on the different sides of the island, the beaches can be totally different depending on where you go – but I promise you, they ALL have something to offer.  We enjoyed a week on this little piece of paradise. We toured the island, visiting what our hosts recommended as the “best beaches” and sampling all the local and delicious foods. We ventured out to the most beautiful little part of the city called Santo Antônio de Lisboa for lunch one day. Sadly, I am not a seafood eater, but the rest of the group said the seafood was to-die-for, and my Portuguese style chicken was pretty good too! What I liked most about this part of the city was the feel of it – the little fishing boats dotting the shoreline and lazily pulled up onto the beach, the multi-coloured houses lining the streets, the lack of tourists which made you feel like you were onto something special, the beautiful old church and of course, the great shops full of bright colourful goods.  

In addition to being beach bums we also took a pirate ship out to the Santa Cruz de Anhatomiri fort. This beautiful old fort was built between 1739 and 1744 and was built to serve as a defence station – sadly, it didn’t fare too well in the Spanish Invasion of 1977, but that’s a whole other story. Aside from the interesting history, this is an absolute must-see simply because of the stunning views you are treated too.   I highly recommend the touristy pirate ship, not only because, hello,  its a pirate ship, but because on the way back you get to walk the plank and go for a swim in the clear blue water.  If you are lucky, which we were, you also get a private little Capoeira show  - seriously impressive how these guys just bounce around like they are on a trampoline. 

I loved our holiday to South America (Argentina coming up soon) and I really cannot wait to go back to that magical continent and visit more of its countries and famous destinations.  Although I love writing these blog posts and I know for certain that in 40 years’ time, I will more than appreciate having them to read and cherish, the one big downside is that they really make me miss the places I write about and the people we travel with. I guess it is better to have happy memories of things I have done than sad regrets of those I have not.  As Hans Christian Anderson famously said “To travel is to live” - I do believe I best carry on living then!

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