Saturday, November 30, 2013

Songs: Engenheiros do Havaii

Today we will listen to a band formed in Porto Alegre in 1985, one of my favorite Brazilian Bands, Engenheiros do Havaii that in Portuguese means Engineers of Hawaii. The guys were students of architecture and the name of the band is a joke. 

"The band also was a success at the controversial Rock in Rio II, being the only Brazilian band positively mentioned by The New York Times." iTunes Store

The singer / songwriter Humberto Gessinger is a very intelligent and multitalented man who contributed a lot to the band. Since 85 he is the only original integrate of the band. 

Hope you guys enjoy it!

Ladies and Gentlemen... O Papa é Pop

Friday, November 29, 2013

Rio Grande do Sul - Highlands

Gramado by Fiero
Today's post is for those who are coming to Porto Alegre during the World Cup and for those who would love to discover a different side of the Tropical Brazil… 

Welcome to the Highlands of Rio Grande do Sul. With its German influence, I should actually say "Willkommen".

The winter in Brazil goes from June to August, exactly when you'll be here for the WC. So be prepared  to enjoy the cold weather while visiting these charming cities of German architecture and culture.

The cities of Gramado and Canela are not far from Porto Alegre, an average of 130 km and they are 7 km apart from each other. The ride through the road BR116 is already very charming and beautiful, and  you can make a stop at Nova Petropolis, the most German city of the state. 

Colina Verde Restaurant
Address: Rua Felippe Michaelsen, 160 - Nova Petropolis - 3 km from the city center. Website
Owned by the Schwantes family, the restaurant offers a nice banquet of German, Italian and Gaúcho dishes at a fixed price.

Continuing our trip is time to visit Gramado.
This trip is something totally different from what you have already experienced in Brazil. The city has European style, Alpine architecture, many sophisticated restaurants and several shops. One of the most visited site is the Lago Negro Park, it was inspired on Germany's Black Florest, even the trees were brought from there. Another option is the Joaquina Rita Bier Lake with many threes and flowers.
Gramado is also known for its 30 chocolate factories. There are 60 chocolate shops and some of them offer a tour. The Reino do Chocolate offers a magical visit throughout the time telling stories and making this an unforgettable experience. Another store that is also worth visiting is Florybal, there three thematic stores in Gramado.
O Reino do Chocolate by Mapa de Gramado
Mini Mundo by Viaje Aqui
Another place that will please adults and children is the Mini Mundo (Little World). A cute outdoor park with replicas of buildings, lakes, trains from all over the world. The Little World even has its own currency, that is 24 times cheaper than the  Brazilian Real.

On your way to Canela you will find more attractions worth visiting such as the Super Carros, where you see and even drive super cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, among others. And you can make a stop at Hollywood Dream Cars Museum, where you will find many classic cars such as Cadillac.

Parque do Caracol by CHERLY_DF_BRASIL Flickr
The city of Canela is also very charming with many pleasant hotels where you relax and enjoy some leisure time…
But if you are not looking for something like that, no problem. For the adventurous there are some natural parks where you hike, rappel, climb, take pictures of the most famous waterfall of Rio Grande do Sul, the Cascata do Caracol. 
After all the adventures, you can stop for lunch at one of the restaurants of Italian or German cusine, like the famous Cantina 28 (Italian) or Strudelhaus (German). Both serve wine and have fireplace. Cozy right?

For the curious and for children a nice place to visit is Mundo a Vapor, there you will see replicas of steam powered machines and other engines, industrial machines, there is even a replica of a German steel industry from 1940. Very interesting. 
Mundo a Vapor by Arrumando as Malas
During the afternoon you can't miss a Colonial Coffee.
Gramado Café Colonial
Café Colonial: Is a German tradition brought to Brazil that became very popular over the years. In the afternoon the table is set with a large variety of bread, cakes, pies, waffles, coffee, fruits, yogurt, jam, cheese and so on. I highly recommend! 
Gramado Café Colonial serves more than 80 types of Italian and German food on a large table, they even make the shuffle between your hotel and the Café. Located at the Canela - Gramado Road.

The Italians who colonized the state in 1875 brought with them the passion for grapes and wines. That region called Vale dos Vinhedos is the biggest wine producer of our country, it includes 3 main cities Bento Gonçalves, Garibaldi e Monte Belo do Sul. If that's also you passion you should visit the city of Bento Gonçalves, located 128 km from Porto Alegre.
Vinicola Luiz Valduga & Filho by Viaje Aqui
Here are the wineries that offer tour, where you can taste, learn about the process of making wine and even be part of the harvest party.

 - Casa Valduga - website
 - Miolo Wine Group - website
 - Vinhos Salton - website
Vinhos Salton
Learn more about the capital of Rio Grande do Sul:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Porto Alegre - Typical Food and Drinks

Rio Grande do Sul is a state with many particular characteristics, it shares some habits with its neighbors Uruguay and Argentina, among those habits is chimarrão, a mate infusion that the gaúchos drink hot, all they long, no matter if it's winter or summer.

To experience a chimarrão you need a cuia (bowl), a bomba (pump), mate, and hot water. Before adding water it will look like the following picture.
I suggest you to ask a local to show you how it is prepared. This is so cultural, that you don't experience chimarrão your trip won't have its true value... It is that serious! 

Another tradition that won't be difficult to try is the churrasco… the gaúcho way of making barbecue. It includes steak, lamb, veal, and many other delicious meat. Where should you go to experience the typical churrasco gaúcho?

Na Brasa - Rua Ramiro Barcelos 389, Floresta - Porto Alegre
They offer 12 different meat cuts, besides fish, and a huge variety of wine. You can make reservations on their Website or thru the phone (51) 3225 2205. During the World Cup the restaurant will be opened from Monday thru Friday 12h - 16h and 18h to 13:30. On Saturdays, all day from 12h to 23:30 and Sundays from 12h to 22h
Na Brasa
Galpão Crioulo Steakhouse - Parque Maurício Sirotsky Sobrinho, s/n - Centro - Porto Alegre
The place accommodates 600 people, besides the amazing meat, you will also enjoy traditional gaúcho and latin american dances and shop for typical products in their small shop to take home with you. They do take reservations. Website
Galpão Crioulo official website

Constantino Café - Rua Fernando Gomes 44, Moinhos de Vento
A cosy restaurant serving mediterranean food. If it's a cold evening, you can choose a seat by the fireplace.  Check more pictures here.
Constantino Café
Now, if you are more interested in nightlife, relax! Porto Alegre has many bars, pubs,  and I chose a tapa bar to suggest:

Rambla Tapas and Music - Rua Félix da Cunha, 977 - Moinhos de Vento - Porto Alegre
The bar was opened in January 2012 and was already elected one of the best cousines in its category.  They try to keep the Spanish atmosphere in it's decoration and on the menu. On the upper level there is music and you can taste a good beer or caipirinha.
Rambla - official website
For more steakhouses around the country check this post: Steakhouses 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Porto Alegre - Hospitality

Today I will give you some hospitality options. I selected the hotels and hostels considering it's availability, price, location and comfort.
All of them are between 15 to 25 minutes from Beira Rio stadium.

Here they are:

Deville Porto Alegre Aeroporto - website 
25 minutes from the stadium, very comfortable, the hotel offers gym, tennis court and restaurant.
Deville by

Mercure Porto Alegre by Expedia
Mercure Porto Alegre Manhattan - website
Very comfortable hotel, close to the stadium, 20 minutes. There is a restaurant in the hotel and gym.

Bordini's Residence - website
Very well located, at Moinhos de Vento, 20 minutes from the stadium, where you find nice restaurants, shops and bars. 

Porto Alegre Eco Hostel - website
Located 15 minutes from the stadium, this hostel has shared kitchen, the breakfast is included and offers wifi in every room. 

Hostel Por do Sol - website
This hostel is pioneer in the city, located 20 minutes from the stadium… if you like it, book it soon… there only few vacancies available for June 2014.

Hostel Por do Sol official website

To check the matches that will be played in Porto Alegre click here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Porto Alegre - Things to do

What to do in Porto Alegre? There are many nice things and many attractions there, here I posted just a few. If you have some more suggestions, we will be more than happy to hear from you.

Mercado Público
Because tourists love to go shopping! With its beautiful neoclassical architecture, the public market was built in 1869. There you will find cafés, crafts, restaurants, many stores, fruits and local products. Don't leave the city without making a stop there.  

Mercado Público by Viajar pelo Mundo
Santander Cultural
The Santader Cultural is located near the Public Market. Just the architecture is already worth the visit, but there is more. Music presentations, arts, photography exhibitions, are one of the attractions. There is also a cinema and a café.

Santander Cultural by Panoramio
Science and Technology Museum - website
"Life is more fascinating than you can imagine" this is a must-go. Very interactive, there over 700 experiments to interact both kids and adults.

Science and Technology Museum by Repensando Museus
Sunset at the Gasômetro
The surrounds of the former power station is the best place to watch the sunset in Porto Alegre. Located by the Guaíba River, the building was delivered in 1928 and generated electricity to the city until 1954. It's chimney is 117 meters hight. Nowadays, the cultural centre hosts many plays, dance presentations, arts exhibitions and more. It is also one of the most beautiful places for a bike ride.
Usina do Gasômetro by portoalegretche.blogspot
Parcão or Paque dos Moinhos de Vento
Moinhos de Vento in Portuguese means windmills, there are several of them in the park . This calm park is surrounded by trees where you join yoga at 8 am, or just enjoy it at anytime! While there, you can have some fun shopping and walking through Avenida Goethe and Padre Chagas or at Moinhos de Vento Mall, a very cool neighborhood.

Moinhos de Vento by Wikipedia
Parque da Redenção
The favorite of the locals. They enjoy going during the day to have their traditional hot herbal tea, chimarrão, and to relax, to watch people,  appreciate arts and crafts or to buy organic food from the local farmers' market. 

Parque da Redenção by Revista Viajar

Dear readers, I wish I could stay here all day posting about Porto Alegre… in the next few days I will show you other nice places you can visit in this beautiful state. See you!

If you would like to learn more about other cities click on the links below:
 - Cuiabá

Monday, November 25, 2013

Porto Alegre - Rio Grande do Sul

Hello everyone,

This week I introduce you to Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, the 5th most popular, and the southernmost state in Brazil. It is the birthplace of famous people like the supermodel Gisele Bündchen, the soccer player Ronaldinho Gaúcho* and Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. The state is the home of Beira Rio stadium, with capacity for 48,849 soccer fans, it will host 5 games during the World Cup. 
*Gaúcho is the name given to those born in Rio Grande do Sul and have a particular culture and lifestyle that you only see in that state of Brazil.
Porto Alegre by Revista Viajar
Border with Argentina and Uruguay the state is different from anything you've heard about Brazil, beginning with the cold weather and the landscape, Rio Grande do Sul is a very traditional state, its process of colonization was late, until 1807 the state belonged to Spain while most of the country belonged to Portugal. They've battled hard to become independent from Brazil in the past. It's main characteristics are the heritage from the colonization process made by Italian, German and Polish farmers. You can notice that on the architecture, by the Gaúcho accent, their appearance, clothing, and cultural characteristics. 
There is a lot to see in this beautiful state, and I will make sure to tell it all.

Airport: Salgado Filho International Airport
Distance from other capitals: 
  • Curitiba - 714 km
  • São Paulo - 1122 km
  • Rio de Janeiro - 1573 km 
  • Belo Horizonte - 1724 km
  • Brasília - 2113 km

Weather: Because of its location on the south, Rio Grande do Sul tends to be, most of the time, colder than other capitals during the months of winter, June, July and August. In some cases we can even experience some light snow. Click here to check the climate in Porto Alegre.

Beira Rio Stadium by copa2014rs
Let's review the dates and games* that will be played in Porto Alegre:
  • 15 June - France x Honduras
  • 18 June - Australia x Netherlands
  • 22 June - Korea Republic x Algeria
  • 25 June - Nigeria x Argentina
  • 30 June - Round of 16 - 1G x 2H

Beira Rio address: Av. Padre Cacique, 891 - Menino Deus - Porto Alegre, RS

*After the groups have been decided, on December 6th, the information above about the games will be updated.

To learn more about other host cities and stadiums click here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Qualifier's Almost Over!

I want to congratulate Ghana, Croatia, Greece, France, and Portugal, they've made it to the 2014 World Cup! Congratulations!

Cristiano Ronaldo scored all the 3 goals what an amazing player! 
Will he win the next Ballon d'Or? 
Cristiano Ronaldo by

It is nice to be part of the biggest event on Earth and we, the Brazilians, are waiting for you.

French Flags -
Today we'll have Mexico and Uruguay confirming their spot we are cheering, guys!

Next month ---> Final draw on December 6th, 2013
The groups will be defined and you will be able to book your flights and hotels :)

So exciting!

I'll leave you with Sweden x Portugal highlights

Thank you guys!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Hello! Hello!

Today is the day...

This is the last chance for France to prove they can make it to the World Cup.

Last game they lost to Ukraine 2 x 0, now the Bleus need a difference of 3 goals to win. Will they make it? 

Watch tonight from Saint-Denis - 21:00, local time.

Portugal won at home, Cristiano Ronaldo scored… tonight Sweden will give their best at home.
The game will be broadcasted from Solna at 20:45, local time.

Today you will also watch:
Croatia x Iceland
Romania x Greece
Egypt x Ghana

Monday, November 18, 2013

Music Contest

If you love music and football there is a very cool contest coming soon… 

This nice contest is about submitting original songs that will be chosen and recorded by Ricky Martin to be in the next World Cup.
Starting on December 2nd, 2013 you can submit your video to The songs should be in one of the 2014 World Cup official languages: Portuguese, Spanish or English until January 6th, 2014. The winner will be announced in February 2014.

From FIFA's official website:

"The winner will travel to Puerto Rico to work with Ricky Martin and a top music producer on the final version of the song, which will be recorded by Ricky Martin & included on the Official Album of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, to be released by Sony Music Entertainment in 2014.

The winner and a guest will also travel to Brazil where they will be VIP guests of Sony at the final match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in July 2014 and also receive additional prizes from Sony."

Isn't it cool?
Who's going to give it a try? Good Luck!

* The official Word Cup Song will be released in mid-2014.