We got off our cruise ship in the port of Santos. We had sailed from Barcelona and crossed the equator into summer. The heat and humidity weren’t too bad because in the Southern Hemisphere summer was a few weeks away. We took a tour of São Paulo and said some sad goodbyes to our shipmates that we had gotten really close to in the previous 17 days.
São Paulo is a ginormous city. There are more than 20 million people in their metropolitan area and it’s very vertical. If you feel cramped living in a neighborhood here in the United States, where your neighbors might be 50 to 100 feet away, then don’t move to São Paulo. There are people everywhere. I was surprised how much greenery there was for such a populated city.
The image at the top of this page was taken from the top of our Airbnb. So many tall buildings that seem to go on forever. Our place was very nice and was colocated in a hotel. So it was a little strange to have an Airbnb property at a place that had a front desk. But it was very nice.
While there, we got to see our wonderful friends the Camargos. We met Gustavo, Wania and Rui while on a cruise out of Galveston. There is a slight language barrier but we use Gustavo as our interpreter. While in São Paulo, we ate at some wonderful restaurants. There is never a worry about going hungry there. I think our favorite food was pão de queijo, which is about the greatest tasting cheese bread I’ve ever had. Close runners-up were feijoada, which is an excellent meat dish, and brigadeiro, which is a chocolate dessert.
We started out being hosted at a country club where the food was amazing. It’s like those Brazilian places where you eat all you can possibly eat. Amazing atmosphere and friends. Such a great day!
While there, Gustavo took us for sushi in what appeared to be a house, burgers at this hip cafe and then he took us to the Japanese part of town for Karaoke. Brazilians take their karaoke seriously. You actually have to pay a small price to the DJ to sing your song.
We also took a tour of SP via bicycle. Ibirapuera Park was much like Central Park in NYC. Except everyone was moving. Skateboarding, walking, running, or walking. It was a lot of fun.
We stayed near Avenida Paulista, which is the main thoroughfare through downtown SP. We always felt safe and there was always something to do.
Something that was weird to us was having such high temperatures in December. And then we realized that, in Brazil, they celebrate Christmas four days after Summer officially begins. Ha. We talked to Gustavo about this and he said it’s just what he’s always known. We asked about his brother Ricardo, who moved to NYC. He said it would be different for him to be in the cold for Christmas.
During the last few days of our visit, we went to the Municipal Market of São Paulo. It was a sight to see. More food and all kinds of stuff to buy. And, once again, freaking people everywhere. Ha.
Bottom line, if you aren’t afraid of big cities, São Paulo is definitely a place to see. Lots to do and see.
Oh yeah, one more pic of Reina shopping for Havaianas.