Posts Tagged ‘rio’

Carnival 2011 kicks off in Brazil!

Don’t try calling Brazil, they’re not in. Carnival 2011 has kicked off ,with Salvador taking the lead, as millions of people filled the streets to dance and party to the rhythm of samba there last night. Over the next week, the majority of Brazil will either be drunk or hungover as the rest of the country joins in with the annual celebrations. No-one is immune to Carnival with the nations capital, Brasilia, emptying as political and legislative worked ceased, with the head of the senate, Jose Sarney, stating that “”Brazil’s Carnival is a tradition. Nobody can resist the need to be part of it,”.

Whilst debate rages as to where is the best place to experience carnival, to many the height of the celebrations are to be found in Rio’s Sambadrome on Sunday and Monday. On these days, the samba schools of the city will perform the parades that they have spent the last 3 months planning on these nights. These parades consist of amazing floats, sometimes nearly ten stories high, topped with near-nude dancers moving to the sound of their original songs,which every samba school must produce each year. They compete to be crowned top samba school of Rio.

It means alot to the samba schools of Rio, who are made up of many people from poor areas of the city. Carnival acts as a way to express themselves and transgress their daily lives. This made it all the more sad when tragically a fire ripped through the warehouses, where many floats and costumes were being stored, earlier this year. Three samba schools were affected badly but with many donations and a lot of hard work, they have vowed to take part and no doubt the crowds will be behind them, cheering that little bit more as the affected schools take to the Sambadrome.

We’ll be posting anything interesting we hear about Carnival on here. If you’re there, leave a comment. We’d loveto hear about your experiences from the biggest party on Earth 2011!


03 2011

Watering Holes in Rio…and Salvador!

Came across a great article by Gavin McOwan on the Guardian website this morning:  ideal for anyone in search of somewhere nice to grab a bevvy in Rio.

Thought I’d add to it with a list of a few bars worth mentioning in another great Brazilian destination; Salvador.

Cantina da Lua

The Cantina da Lua is a great place to grab a drink, as well as something to eat! It is located on the main square in the historic Pelourinho district of Salvador, the Terreiro de Jesus, where you will also find the Catedral Basilica. You can relax here on the patio and watch Bahian life slip by with an ice-cold beer, or a caipirinha! You should definitely come here at night when the square is lively and the bar even more so!

Sankofa African Bar e Restaurante

This bar well and truly honours the African culture which permeates so much through Bahian life, with walls adourned with African flags, masks and artwork . Located on Rua Frei Vicente, this bar is loved by locals and tourists alike and the veranda, on the second floor of the colonial building the bar is found in, is a great place to mingle and chat to those from the area. After a few drinks, those with itchy feet can head downstairs where DJs and bands play Brazilian and Africa sounds, from Samba to Salsa, through the night.

O Cravinho

Like the Cantina da Lua, O Cravinho is also located on the Terreiro de Jesus, but is perhaps less of a tourist hotspot and you will find many Salvadorians in here having a drink, or two! You can find all your standard bar drinks here, as well as some great and inexpensive food (just head to the back where you’ll find the restaurant) but the real reason you’ll want to visit here is for the infusões. These drinks are made from the Brazilian national liquor, cachaça, infused with spices, fruits, roots, barks, and other flavoring agents to create different drinks. You can see all these diffrent infusões in wooden barrels set on shelves up high in the bar and a night spent here sampling them all, is a night well spent!


02 2011

Fire destroys Carnival dreams for many

A dark cloud hung over Rio this morning as many peoples Carnival dreams lay in burnt taters after a fire ripped through the warehouses used to store costumes and floats in the run up to Carnival. Firefighters battled hard this morning to bring the fire under control and save what they could but by the end, 90% of that which was stored here had been destroyed. It is thought that the fire will mean that at least four samba schools will not be able to take part in this years events now.

The fire began before the working day had begun which luckily meant that there do not seem to be any casualties. However, to those involved in making Carnival happen, this will be utterly devastating after all of the hard-work and passion that they have put into preparing for this years events. “We are heartbroken”, said the President of the League of Samba Schools, adding that it was unlikely they would be able to replace everything that was destroyed in time for the event, due to begin on the 4th March.


02 2011