A Travellerspoint blog

Day 10 - On to RIO

Who knew it was really pronounced HEE-O ?

semi-overcast 75 °F
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Actually, we learned this a while back, but perhaps you had not heard this before - the R is kind of an H sound in Brazil. The flight to Rio was fine, just the way you like it - uneventful. I got to sit next to 2 very lovely ladies - Gwen and Kate. When we get to the Rio airport, we do some money exchange, ATM withdraws, gather some tourist info, etc. and then set out to our hotel in a couple of taxis (Dean is at a different hotel, but is supposed to be nearby). This is a big city...
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We drop off our luggage at the hotel and head around the corner for an early lunch. This place sits right on a busy square, so it is lively with sights and sounds. We try Feijoada again - okay, now this is a unique dish...
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Gwen's time here is short, so we head out to try and see the Sugar Loaf while the others nap. We'll miss some games today, but hopefully catch the Germany-Ghana game. When we arrive the place is packed. We head to the end of the line which seems to be hours long - but we figure we'll just see. However, we are sadly disappointed to learn that that was not the end of the line, but just a break - across the street the line continued for about another 100-150 people... urgh.
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We pick out a guy and go do some other things to see how far he moves. After about 30 minutes, he only moves about 50 yards (still not close to crossing the street) - we guess that it would take 4-5 hours just to get through the line. One is supposed to arrive early in the morning to have a better chance - so that is what Gwen will try tomorrow (I am going to the Game).
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The taxi driver back to the hotel has the soccer game on his phone (yes, this is while he is driving - adventure, adventure, adventure).
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Back at the hotel (which is very nice), we get our room and check out the roof top area (and meet up with the others). A nice, but far away view of the Christ the Redeemer statue.
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We decide to go back to the cafe where we had lunch in order to catch the Germany game - wow, almost another upset, but luckily Germany comes back to save the tie. It is much cooler here - especially at night.
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It's been a long day, so we turn in by the second half of the Nigeria-Bosnia game, but not before Phil and Kate give a little Tribute impression - Dean & Ivan at the Germany World Cup 2006...
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Posted by wc2006 17:56 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Day 09 - GAME DAY - Sui v Fra

Last day in Salvador

sunny 85 °F
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Vacation time is odd - the days seem to last forever at first, now that it is our last day in Salvador, it seems like there's so much that didn't get done.... Gwen and I finally venture out to the Farol (the lighthouse that is right outside of our window). It has a museum as well, which included these ships in bottles that were hanging from the ceiling. The views nice even though the weather was overcast (and the rain cooperated, only raining while we made the climb up the stairs to the top). It was not nearly as precarious as other climbs that I have done on vacations, but Gwen needed a little coercion to climb the final steeper stairs to the top.
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We head back to Pelourinho early to catch the early game on TV, which meant another trip up the Lacerda Elevator (and a chance to capture the famous picture of it). It is sunny again - but as it was typically here - after the morning rain, it is quite sultry in the afternoons. Another moist day in Salvador.
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The place was even more bustling on game day, which tables and chairs overtaking the roads at various point along the cobblestone streets. We looked for another recommendation from the book - for a Brazilian dish, Feijoada - a stew of beef and pork and beans. I tried a little sample (still trying to get my stomach right) - but it was not much to speak of. We figured they must have just been overwhelmed with the crowds - this could not be the local dish that everyone speaks of... We did catch the Costa Rica win on TV here - way to go Ticos!
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From Pelourinho, it was an interesting walk to the stadium - through a dicey neighborhood, that probably any other time would not be advisable. But this was the fan route toward and the only downside was the very steep hill. It was steep enough that going down was even tough, but we made it up the other side fine and the rest of the walk was easy - and full of fun.
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Another high scoring affair at the stadium! And each team nearly won by 4 goals (not quite certain why they disallowed the last goal) - but 17 goals in three matches. Arena Fonte Nova was very good to us.
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One last photo of all of us at the game - our last one with the entire group present...
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If you happened to see these guys in the stadium, look again for Ivan - they were sitting behind them. We sat next to this really cute French girl - she was really into the game, seemed to know the players and reacted to the plays - and of course, they enjoyed the results.
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Back to the apt to pack up, catch the last game on TV and prepare for the 4am check out and departure to the airport. On to Rio - looking forward to it!

Posted by wc2006 03:59 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Day 08 - GAME DAY - Columbia

Travel to Brasilia for Columbia vs. Ivory Coast

sunny 75 °F
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As you can imagine, the 3:30am alarm came quite early. Unfortunately, I'm not feeling any better yet either. But niece of the apt owner who had agreed to take us to the airport was right on time. She took us by the shoreline on the ride to the airport. Even though it was still dark, it was still interesting to see some different areas, the long stretches of beaches and the late night bars that were still open.

A quick check-in at the kiosk and then we blend in with the tons of Columbia fans going to Brasilia. It seems like the whole flight is filled with Columbia fans going to the game.
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A few shots from the plane...
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Brasilia has a completely different feel to it, as we were told - very modern/western - the airport has a lot of open air parts. Ivan gets a picture with a group of fans with a banner of his parent's home town. We do a few touristy things, exchange some money and then lazily catch a cab to the stadium.
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The roads are open and wide highways. The cab route seemed indirect even though the route on the map was straightforward, we would find out on the way back that the ride was R$10 more than the way back, but maybe he was just trying to get us close to the stadium as he could?

Walking up to the stadium, there were still a lot of police as well.
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The stadium looked like a colosseum. And everyone seemed to be in Columbia gear (or at least yellow). Up close there were some Brazil jerseys, but they seemed very few.
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We got to check out the fan fest area - but the BBQ food wasn't really very good. We looked for Game-Day stuff - Columbia jerseys, or something with the teams names, etc - they really missed some sales opportunities. But there were nice views of the stadium and from the stadium.
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Arriving so early, we got to see the teams warm-up and as well as the "suits" testing out the Goal Line Technology.

The crowd was mostly Columbia - really a home game for them. There was a very small Ivory Coast section (probably less than 100 people). The noise from the Columbia fans was overwhelming. They all seemed as excited as Ivan - it had been 16 years since Columbia was in the World Cup - and they have a decent team this time around as well (albeit much better if Falcoa would have recovered). There was a lot of jeering whenever any of the Ivory Coast players touched the ball, which turned Gwen off.
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When Columbia finally scored, the place erupted and we got beer spilled on us as well. I would have guessed that there were less than 1000 non-Columbia fans. However, when the Ivory Coast finally scored, there was a very loud cheer as well - so there must have been a lot of Brazilian fans there (they seem to cheer whenever anyone scores).
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Some less than great airport food and an eventful trip back. The others spent the day at the beach, watching the games at some local bars, and making some caipirinhas at the apt. With the Japan-Greece tied later in the evening, Columbia advances to the knock-out round.

Posted by wc2006 15:30 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

Day 07 - Sightseeing

No games here... OLD TOWN


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Okay so today is the day for seeing Pelourinho (the Old Town). And as luck would have it, my day to be ill - so the blog maybe a bit wanting, trying to complete before an early bedtime - some of us (Ivan, Diana, Gwen & myself) leave for the airport at 4:30am tomorrow. We are traveling to Brasilia to attend the Columbia vs. Ivory Coast game (and returning tomorrow night).
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We took the Lacerda Elevator up to old town. The cost was extremely high - 15 cents each (about US$ 0.07). The views of the bay were quite nice...
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The old town is quite interesting indeed. There were nice squares and interesting buildings:
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and we did a quick bit of shopping...
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Then, we visited the Catedral Basilica, a 17th century Cathedral with a mixture of baroque, rococo and neoclassical styles. There seemed to be a theme of body-less heads, but was very interesting indeed.
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Stroll the square and admire the buildings and architecture as well as the decorations for the world cup.
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Then settle on a recommended restaurant for lunch and to catch the end of the NED vs. AUS game. The outside does not look like much, but we go on in because of the recommendation. The TV is just okay, but I hear that the food was very good (I had Spite and some bread).
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Posted by wc2006 18:58 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Day 06 - A day of rest

Trapped by the fan fest

sunny 80 °F
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Yesterday was such a long and full day, it seems that everyone was moving slowly and under motivated. I took some time to catch-up on the blog as well. With the Brazil-Mex game on at 4pm, we figured we would have to get out early and stay out late - or just stay around here. But is is a nice day out...
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We made it around the corner to the Empanada place for breakfast; it is a nice little place.
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Then on to the grocery store for some more supplies. The grocery store is an interesting place, with lots of different foods and products to grab your attention. Even the budwiser looked interesting...
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We we get back some of the others are up and ready to go for breakfast. Dean is still under the weather but doing some better. Since he is still not feeling well, we don't tease him too much about losing his new phone. He's thinking that someone might have pick pocketed him even. But the phone is so cheap it doesn't make sense either. And he needed to take it back to the store anyways, because he can receive calls and texts, but can't send any. We got Dean some bananas to help him start eating again. Ivan and Diana are gone for quite a while, which we later find out was due to them going to the other grocery store. Diana decided that with all the traffic, maybe cooking a meal at our place made more sense. We have all had Diana's cooking before, so no one objected in the least (though Dean was only up for plain rice).
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So Ivan has an interesting story that he got a call from Dean's phone. The taxi driver called, he found Dean's phone in the car - so I guess it slipped out of his pocket. We haven't arranged to get it back yet, but not only was the guy good enough to call to return it, he got the phone working for us as well - funny.

Not sure if Parsons is keeping up with this, but if you are Dave, the Brazil-Mexico game is a good example of a zero-zero game that was pretty full of drama. We thought about trying to get into the fan fest was packed to the rim. Dinner was ready just in time for us to finish eating before the start of the game - however, the fan fest was too full; as were we.
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Before and after - it filled up quickly...
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We also entertained ourselves with a Brazilian beer challenge - blind taste of several different local brands to see a) which we could identify and b) which we preferred.
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We all recognized the cheapest beer (Schin) as well as picked it as our least favorite. Various people picked the others as their favorites and we all got about 50% of them correct.

Some of us went out for a snack, but Ivan was lethal to Diana in the process - by the way, here's a picture of our elevator :)
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Posted by wc2006 07:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

Day 05 - GAME Day - GER vs POR

Plus USA-GHA in the fan fest

sunny 80 °F
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Early morning settling of funds....IMG_0160.jpg
Where the money really goes...IMG_0161.jpg

Lots of rain this morning, but hopefully, it burns off by game time. We have two options to get to the stadium (well, really 3, but no one is fond of a 5 mile walk). It seems that the bus arrives closer to the stadium, but picks up a little further from us - and we don't know when it starts running. The problem with the taxis is, they aren't allowed to get too close to the stadium. Gwen is feeling much better and going to go to the game with us...
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The taxis it is but before that, we try to make a quick trip to the bank to exchange some dollars to Brazilian reals (their money). We go through the security doors only to realize that you have to talk to the man and get a number before entering. The cost is for any amount, so we pool our cash and send Ivan back through the security to the bank. Unfortunately, the line is just too slow, so he has to abandon the idea. We just withdrawn reals from the ATM instead...

We get the taxis to take us to the north side of the stadium which takes us by the bay and some new areas we haven't seen - near the old town, but not quite through it. Enough of a taste for us to want to go there another time as we had planned.
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The Germans were out in full force and the march to the stadium was great. Since I was wearing a [old] Germany jersey, I had to take several photos for several fans - and my German is very rusty (and difficult to find when I am trying to learn some Portuguese!).
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We try to get to the fan fest area, but without any real luck as we are told we have to go around for the south entrance. But once inside the stadium, we don't have any luck getting to the fan fest as it is outside the gates.... frustrating, but I guess we'll try for the next match we have later in the week.
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The game was fantastic as were the fans. The Portugal fans got a bit upset when they went down, but all it all, handled it fine. It was great to see some of the famous players from the game...
Away from stadium

Away from stadium

Outside stadium

Outside stadium

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Unfortunately, illness found it next victim as Dean started feeling badly during the game. Leaving the stadium was interesting - walking uphill as a herd, but then again, the drummers and dancers are there for another great impromptu show.
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The taxi stand doesn't look very promising at first - lots of people and very few cabs. And many that come by are already full. But there is an official working the stand/road - ensuring that guys don't jump the line - and after several minutes, several cabs show up.
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This guy had a giant speaker system on his car andIMG_0277.jpg
made the last part of the taxi ride fun as well...

Dean makes it home okay, but skips dinner and the USA game. Hopefully, he will recover as quickly as Gwen did. Phil grabs some street food and heads into the fan fest. The rest of us try the buffet nearby for a quick meal. It had Brazilian style meats and a wide variety of new and different items. Some local Portuguese boys (young men) give us some recommendations for another day when we have more time (I seem to be attraction a lot of fans with just my hat)...A6D192EC2219AC681772CAFFAEBCE767.jpgA6D0DB542219AC681755F0118C7D05FD.jpg

Their was a good representation for the USA at the fan fest and you can probably imagine the eruption when Dempsey scored the first goal. Unfortunately, the rest of the game was not that good -
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Losing guys is never good, but a win's a win I guess - we squeaked that one out (and Portugal will probably be missing 2 of their starters)... so time for a victory toast...
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Posted by wc2006 08:03 Archived in Brazil Tagged day05 Comments (0)

Day 04 - Logistics

Rainy, Illness, Phones

rain 80 °F
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Well, unfortunately, minor illness has taken its first victim of the trip (likely to get us all one day)... and the first victim's name is Gwen. She seems to have some stomach bug or reaction to something that she had. She's a trooper and tries to make it out in the rain with the rest of us, but does not get very far without having to turn back.
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We were headed to breakfast and then on to the Pelourinho (Old Town), then to the mall where the FIFA ticket resale office is. Maybe on to a fan fest or something. I catch up with the group at the breakfast place. After some time discussing our options, we decided to save Pelourinho for another day (it was Gwen's destination pick), to do the mall/tickets and get back to check on her again. The big chunk of meaty substance in the photo is their version of bacon...
ExBacon

ExBacon

The mall with the ticket office is a fairly far taxi ride away, so we get some cabs at our new found taxi stand and head towards the mall. IMG_7551.jpgUnfortunately, we did not pick an exact location to meet at the mall after we arrived in separate cabs. However, seeing how we were going to sell tickets back, the FIFA ticket office seemed like a good place to try and wait/meet. Our driver dropped us off right at the FIFA ticket office. The other cab was not so lucky. While we waited for them to arrive, people were looking for tickets to buy as well. Unfortunately, we did not bring the tickets to the GER-POR game (tomorrow) because it was too late to resell those back to FIFA. But this one guy was so tenacious for tickets, Tenacious Tom; he was willing to hang around until we were ready to return to buy those from us.

Luckily the lines were not long, but the process was really messed up - but we knew it would be. So 1/2 of them went to sell tickets, and the others to the mall to shop. We would try to meet every hour, since we still had no phones. When we got a turn, the guy was very helpful and strove to speak both Spanish to Ivan and English to Phil - and learn new words whenever he could.

Little did we really know, but the mall was huge. They had this cool display of replica jerseys from all of the world cups.
World Cup jerseys

World Cup jerseys

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Luckily we all decided to meet at the 1st floor food court (and a particular spot) - Dean came back and told us where to meet, because there was a food court on each of the 3 levels in the mall. The mall decide open until 1pm, but it was packed. They had the game on in the food court and Tenacious Tom and his wife bought us a round of beers while we watched the end of the game.
Soccer Tom & Phil

Soccer Tom & Phil

Game at the mall

Game at the mall

Tenacious cabbed it back with Phil & Kate to buy the tickets, he picked up the taxi bill and got his game tickets - he was pumped to get them. Meanwhile, we decided we really needed to get phones - at least 2 - so that we can have some form of communication before we lose somebody :)
Brazilian Phones

Brazilian Phones

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Everything mostly worked, but it turns out that Dean's phone can receive texts and calls, but cannot send texts for some reason. But Kate also has an old phone that can text as well... At least we have some more options going forward.

Gwen had a bad day, but was feeling better. Not good enough to go out for the games and no desire to eat, but hopefully, she'll be well enough to go to the game tomorrow. We got her a few more gatorades and some crackers and headed back out along the beachside promenade. As it often it, there were some drummers out and nice views trying to find a restaurant to eat and watch the game...
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Mound

Mound

Salvador Sign

Salvador Sign

Street Food

Street Food


The people gather to watch the gorgeous sunset, at about 5:15pm Sunset

Sunset

We decided to try a seafood place for dinner - open air restaurant - and we get seated pretty quickly - in plenty of time for the ARG-BOS game. We get seated in the far back, but move up to just the "back" :)
From outside

From outside

Dinner

Dinner

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Inside

Inside

We know we are in a tourist spot now, because they have a menu in English even (mind you, it was one menu in English that we passed around). That's another interesting observation about here, they only have a very limited number of menus - so we have always been sharing - I think we only have ever had 3 at the most and often just 1 or 2 - and sometimes we are waiting on the menu to be passed around to our table... Oh yeah, the other interesting thing is that they never give you any napkins either.
Phil & Kate got a Veal Parmesan that was quite interesting (it is buried in mashed potatoes). And Ivan got mussels that seemed more like clams to us...
Family style meal

Family style meal

Mussels

Mussels

And I ended up with a mashed potato smothered dish as well (which if you know me, is not a good thing, but it was fine). But the funniest thing, was that we had all finished eating and the table cleared off and everything.... and... well, Dean gets a second copy of the meal he ordered...
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After the shock of receiving it, he was frantic that he really hadn't ordered 2 meals. We didn't quite understand it, but many things on the menu seemed to be sold in twos - but they seemed no different than the ones sold alone (neither on the menu or the price). We thought the waiter was telling us the meal was big enough for two, but apparently, they only make it in twos - and the menu price is the price for one of the two... They took the meal back, and took it off the bill later on, but all very confusing (and hilarious)...

More drummers and partiers on the walk back to the apt, and then some planning for tomorrow events... big day tomorrow!
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Posted by wc2006 02:52 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

Day 03 - Weird Day

Difficult to find places out to eat...

rain 80 °F
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More adventures today.... We got up early and sold some tickets to Monday's GER vs POR game. Then we wandered off to the beach and strolled the shoreline. Since we were out quite early, we avoided most of the crowds...
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Then we found a little bakery nearby and had a really good breakfast, although even the Hispanic had a bit of trouble knowing what they were really ordering.
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[And Daniel, you'll be happy to know that you can get Monster drinks over here.]
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They also had the schedule published in Portuguese, which was interesting for the names of the countries...
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This day was weird because we discovered many unusual things... For one, the fan fest right by us is only active on days that Brazil plays or on days when there is a game in Salvador. We had planned to watch the Columbia vs. Greece there, but that's when we found this out. So we ended up watching from the apt instead (missed the first goal). Might have been a blessing in disguise as it poured down rain during this game. Needless to say, Ivan was elated with the result - so started out pretty good.
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We ventured back out after the game to explore another adjacent area (along the beach) and ran into a couple of interesting things.... This [religious] group performing on the street was really cool (sorry, having trouble posting videos). We tried this "interesting" drink - what do you think Ivan thought of it?
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Then, we saw this group of Columbia fans and asked for a picture with them - they were really excited to be asked and broke out masks and such to pose for the camera. Then, some dancing broke out and such.
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We stumbled across a place to try to catch some of the Uruguay vs. Costa Rica game. We incorrectly assumed that it would not be much of a game. We ended up getting a nice spot in front of a good TV screen. Unfortunately, the service was pretty awful and all they had to eat seemed to be french fries - which turned out to be very good ones though. And they gave us toothpicks to eat them with. Diana went outside to get some food from a street vendor - she found the Acarajé - a local traditional food of the area. It consists of a dough made with beans or wild peas soaked and then mashed, adding onion, salt, pepper, and shrimp (but I got a veggie one); this dough is fried in plenty of palm oil, served with a pepper sauce. It was interesting and fairly good, but not really a meal.
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So we left this spot in search of green pastures - and yeah, as you might have guessed, that did not turn out too well. We had great difficulty finding any place that was really serving food. There were lots of places open and we even found a table, but no one to wait on us or that had any food. While waiting for a while, we tried some fried cheese from a local entrepreneur - it was very interesting and very good indeed. We eventually gave up on getting any food out and picked up some food and took it back to the apt to check the Italy vs. England game. Perhaps Italy vs. England was just an incredible draw? I guess we will see.
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As you might guess, we stayed in for the late game as well - had some take out pizza and tried to stay awake. Another good game and it sets up Columbia well for the next game (which will be going to).

Posted by wc2006 04:03 Archived in Brazil Tagged day03 Comments (0)

Day 01 - The Day is Finally Here!

Traveling day, all those airline miles put to good use

semi-overcast 80 °F
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So, my thrifty wife was working hard over the past few years to get us multiple credit card offers to ensure that we could fly business class on this trip. It was kind of a pain changing cards every few months, but the bonus miles now all seems worth it! Thanks, Gwennie!
We had an odd arrangements of travel plans. Oddly enough we all meet up in Miami before heading over to Brazil - but we are mostly on separate flights over there (even though the original plan was all to flight over together, but that's a whole other story...)
It had been a while since we were all together and my friends (and perhaps like you) were surprised by my appearance.... IMG_0034.jpg

And finally Dean arrived for a cameo photo before we go our separate ways...
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The view from the air was spectacular - the city rises high near the shoreline and the water awesome, crystal clear and gorgeous. The stadium was pretty cool looking from the air - sorry no pictures though. We get some of the game tickets at the airport IMG_0036.jpg and have one of the most interesting taxi rides of my life... It seems like the Taxi driver was in a big rush - darting in and out, squeezing in spaces that looked too little for half the car, motorbikes swerving and riding the "lanes" like anyone was paying attention to those! We were SO glad that we decided not to try and rent a car and drive here! [/float]

The apartment is incredible and they decided to put up a fan fest right outside of our place (presumably just for us :) ). Check out these views from our apartment window....
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[float=right]We venture out for our first meal - and right outside of the apartment is a jovial man selling street beers, so we have to have our first Brazilian beer - no better way than this! IMG_0003.jpg

We narrowly escape a pizza joint and find a local place to have a nice Brazilian meal and enjoy the sites of the passerbys...
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None of our phones are working over here (yet) and we haven't heard from Phil & Kate yet, that, and everyone being tired from the overnight flight, so we watch the Brazil game from the apartment and enjoyed the fan fest reactions to the game. The party and music is incredible, even from 12 stories up. It certainly helped Brazil got some favorable calls - we always want the host country to do well - everyone is in a better mood!

I finished the first (poor) blog entry while waiting for the final duo to arrive - hopefully they will be here soon and have some stories to tell of their journey - perhaps they even caught the game (they were supposed to be flying during it)!

Posted by wc2006 04:02 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

Day 02 - GAME DAY!

Spain vs Netherlands - The rematch

semi-overcast 80 °F
View World Cup 2014 on wc2006's travel map.

We all get out lazily this morning, a bit of jet lag for some as well as extremely hard Brazilian mattresses make for some groggy souls. I felt like I had to keep tossing and turning just to avoid bed sores :) We have some cheese sandwiches and fruit that the apt owners left us. Some head out for a heartier breakfast and the others to the grocery store for more supplies.... I'm on the grocery store team with Gwen, Phil & Kate. Our map is very high level, their is lots of construction (presumably that was to be done before the WC) and the street names did not match the map. We did not get lost - but definitely overshot it and had to wander back retracing our steps to find it. The good news was that it turned out to be a lot closer for the return trip home. There were lots of interesting foods, produce and packaged foods. We got lucky, as my new debit card finally worked to pay for the groceries. As it seems to be common here (in our long history ;), it rained pretty good for about 15 minutes), but fortunately while we we doing the shopping and finished before the walk home.
Finally, on to the game - but much later than we had hoped/planned. Without our phones, none of us brought a watch either - we are kind of time deprived - as well as lost without local communication either. We walk towards town to try to find a couple of taxis - we split the tickets up so that we can take separate taxis - 4 is a tight fit, so forget about 7 of us. We see the interesting fellows along the way:
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We walk to the nearby (<0.5 mile) shopping mall and find a couple of taxis to get us there. More adventures in South American traffic, but with everyone driving so crazy, and without us driving, it seems like the worse case will be they crunch their car and not us - hopefully. They drop us off on a very busy street which requires more dare devil tactics to cross the street. One of the taxis runs a little interference for us (blocking a couple of the 4 lanes we have to cross. We later find out the other groups' taxi driver is a bit more savvy and drops them at the overhead crossing (they avoid the frogger game). But since they are overhead and we don't know it. We figure they must have been dropped off somewhere else and head to the stadium. There are lots of people walking to the game, so the walk next to the favelas feels safe/fine but eerie nonetheless.
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There are police every couple hundred of yards as well. Finally, the glimpses of the stadium....
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We had our experience as ticket scalpers - certainly in Brazil - didn't know what to expect... We were trying to be cautious and coy at first, but no one seemed to care - somehow Dean & I became the guys - with help from Ivan & Diana for translations... But we got the extras sold and wandered into the stadium.
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We were really disappointed though to discover that even though there were plenty of signs for hamburgers, hotdogs, etc. The only food in the stadium was a bag of chips or a bag of peanuts. The peanuts were very good/interesting...

We had great seats at the game, great views as well. Did you watch this match?
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Quite the shocker, but we were also fortunate enough that all but one of the goals was at our end as well. It really worked out well for us....
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The walk back was long - we didn't have much luck getting a taxi. I guess we probably walked about 2.5 miles, without a map, dodging traffic (very few crosswalks), walking through a tunnel (I had no recollection of driving through) and up and down 1 foot high curbs... Luckily, Phil's sense of direction kept us going in the right way. At one point we were crossing a 4 lane road where the traffic was gridlocked, but as we were winding down beside a bus, everyone started moving - we were walking the line between towards oncoming cars - luckily this was one of the times that all of the cars paid attention to their lanes! One group got a taxi ride, and the rest walked about another 0.5 mile and finally got a taxi - but by that time, we probably only went about another 0.5 mile in the taxi - we are right next to the fan fest and they could get very close. Another light sprinkle on the couple hundred yards back to the apt.
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Then out for a "nice" meal - after all, nothing but peanuts since the cheese sandwich breakfast... Finally, getting our first Caipirinhas (we'll see if this works out) we relaxed after a long day.
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After some initial trouble ordering (they were out of everything that Diana kept ordering - third time was a charm)...
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We enjoyed the second half of the Chile-Australia game and waited for the hard, long rain to stop. We saw this giant moth on the walk home.
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Found some festive glasses...
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Did some accounting of funds and crashed at the end of an exhilarating day.
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Full Photos:
Day 2 Photos

Posted by wc2006 08:07 Archived in Brazil Tagged day02 Comments (1)

Day T-30: * * * Fast Forward to 2014 * * *

A lot of things can change in four years...

all seasons in one day
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Has it already been 4 years? Wow, time flies...

Ol√° meus amigos!

Well as we are about to embark on our third World Cup journey together (some have done more), there are tons of differences...

While we will definitely miss Tobias & Sina (some think they have better things to do this summer)... See you in August!

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Please join us in welcoming Diana to the group!

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Preparations

We are busy getting ready, putting the final touches on our plans - getting Brazilian Tourist Visas, shots & vaccinations, figuring out logistics of local travel, and of course, we still have to find all the right clothes for the trip as well :) And of course destroying Portuguese , which all my German friends can attest to: I am good a butchering a language (just not my forte).

If you aren't aware, here are the games that we have plans to attend (different people going to different games):

- June 13, Salvador: Spain vs. Netherlands
- June 16, Salvador: Germany vs. Portugal
- June 19, Brasilia: Columbia vs. Ivory Coast
- June 20, Salvador: Switzerland vs. France
- June 22, Rio de Janeiro: Belgium vs. Russia
- June 26, Recife: United States vs. Germany (logistically can't seem to get there :( )
- June 28, Rio de Janeiro: Round of 16 (1C vs. 2D)
- June 30, Brasilia: Round of 16 (1E vs. 2F)
- July 5, Brasilia: QuarterFinal (W55 vs. W56)

Last 4 years in a nutshell

We are now even more spread out than before; hailing from Orlando, FL, Fort Worth, TX and San Juan, Puerto Rico. So this trip is a great excuse to get together and spend some quality (and quantity) time together. Here's some photos from prior trips to see each other...

Orlando

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Puerto Rico

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And some local fun...

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Who Needs a Doctor?

Who Needs a Doctor?

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And one transition photo, from South Africa, to prep us for Brazil...

You will be welcome in RIO

You will be welcome in RIO

Adeus por enquanto.

Posted by wc2006 16:13 Archived in USA Tagged soccer sports world_cup 2014 Comments (1)

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