Sunday, June 6, 2010

Some São Paulo Exploring

Exploring Sampa is a little more difficult than exploring Rio was - the city here is much more spread out, and I don't have a car. But luckily I have friends who don't mind taking me around!

There was a holiday last week so Javier and his friend Luis Carlos set out with me to do some sight seeing! Our fist stop was the Saint Benedict Monastery. This ended up being fitting because of the holiday - Corpus Christi. We were just checking out the inside of the church when the all of a sudden the mass processional began. We stayed for a little of it and then ducked out the back - On the way out, I managed to trip over an altar and face planted in front of everyone, so that made my visit even more special.

A view of the entrance to the church from the outside. It also extends quite a bit more to the left of this and the back. I actually remember coming to this church before when I visited São Paulo a while back which was really neat since my memory is generally horrible!

Here is me being completely disrespectful to the monastery and my religion by snapping a quick picture during mass. If God brings it up to me, I'm going to play the foreigner/tourist card.

After seeing the monastery we walked down Rua 25 de Julho (a bustling street with tons of really cheap merchandise/clothing vendors) and headed over to the Municipal Market (Mercado Municipal). This place is amazing, guys! It is a HUGE farmer's market in the city - there are tons of stalls with the most amazing fresh produce, cheese, meats, and nuts. There are also tons of little restaurants, cafes and food stands mixed in, too.

Here is one of the rows, decorated subtly with the Brazilian know, in case you forgot where you were?

I am not exaggerating at all when I tell you that I had a sample of each and every one of these fruits. It was ridiculously tasty - I was seriously in heaven. And I mean, who doesn't like free lunch!

I don't remember the name at all, but this one was SO good - a really mildly tart taste!
I wish I could tell you that I ate one of these bad boys, but I was too full from the fruit. So I took a picture as a reminder to go back!

After we left the market we did stop for lunch and then headed to see some museums. I have no photographic evidence of this, though, as my camera was in the car - whoops! Our first stop was the Museum of Sacred Art, which is full of religious relics and artifacts. It was so cool to see all of the really old altars and artwork. The museum is located in a monastery (yeah, I am practically a monastery expert now) and there is also an exhibit of nativity scenes. This was the coolest part, I thought! One room houses nativity scenes from artists all over the world - the different depictions and styles of art were really impressive. Then another room houses the largest nativity scene I have ever scene - it depicts a small town in Rome and only a tiny part of it is the nativity scene we think of. The rest shows life in this place - it was so impressive.

We tried to go to 2 other museums but so did a lot of other people - the lines were really long so we decided it would be best to come back another day!

We ended up at an enormous bakery, instead, where we had coffee and pao de queijo :)

This weekend I also did some exploring of night life in Sao Paulo :) I went out with my friend Fabiana (Roberto's sister, who lived in Champaign for a while too - for those of you playing along with the Brazilian/American connection game at home) and her boyfriend and friends.

It was really nice to see a familiar face, especially one that was so kind and so fun. We both agreed that it was a bit strange to have known each other in the US and to now be hanging out in Brazil speaking only Portuguese (and of course we both agreed that we missed Hobby and wished he was there). We went to a bar for appetizers and drinks and we ended up dancing into the morning - I had so much fun and it was great to hang out with such welcoming new friends!

Me and Fabiana

Me and Paulo, Fabiana's boyfriend

Fernando, Diego, Paulo, Fabiana - Everyone was so nice and fun...They made me so comfortable that I sort of had the overwhelming feeling that I knew everyone already

I have an exciting trip ahead of me this week - on Thursday I am heading to Buenos Aires, Argentina to visit my friend Josh! I will stay there through Tuesday and can't wait to get to know the city (read: eat a ton of meat and drink a ton of wine)!


  1. San,


  2. I think God got his revenge for the picture taking when you face-planted on your way out of the church! Also, the UD library has an entire floor dedicated to nativity scenes if this is your new thing. I'll take you there. Also, I just googled that to make sure I was right, and I found the official website, copyrighted in 2007, and I was visitor number 2. Awesome.