RIO DE JANEIRO – Well, that was that. Brazilians had been hungry to host another World Cup final in Rio’s historic Maracanã stadium since 1950, and although in the end things didn’t go to plan on the pitch, many have praised the country’s enthusiasm, hospitality and what turned out to be a dramatic and unforgettable World Cup.
RIO DE JANEIRO – Hundreds of football fans in Brazil for the World Cup are refusing to pay sky-high accommodation prices and instead are opting to sleep rough during the key sporting event.
In Rio de Janeiro, football fans from all over the world can be seen sleeping in the main bus station and on the city’s famous beaches, where temperatures have tumbled to 15°C at night and rain has been a regular feature.
Fans, including many from Argentina, Colombia and Chile, have come to Brazil for weeks in some cases without booking any accommodation and, for most, the risk is directly linked to hotels inflating prices during the World Cup.
GUARULHOS, SÃO PAULO – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff officially opened a long-awaited new international terminal at São Paulo’s main Guarulhos international airport on Tuesday, three weeks before the country hosts the World Cup.
Rousseff said the new glass and steel terminal represented a transformation in the Brazilian population, more and more of whom are now able to afford flying as a travel option after 46 million Brazilians moved up on the social ladder into the economic middle classes.
“The changes that we have made here are part of the work done to address the real transformation seen from when we saw 36 million people travelling by plane at the beginning of the decade, to 111 million today,” she said.
SÃO PAULO – Colour, music and hundreds of thousands of people in exotic (and often very revealing!) fancy dress flooded the streets of central São Paulo this Sunday as the city’s 18th annual Gay Pride Parade – officially the world’s biggest – rode into town.
Police estimates put the number at around 100,000, but correspondents say the figure was likely to be over a million. Organisers have yet to release an estimate but were hoping for at least 3 million revellers.
NATAL – Take it all in. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in Brazil’s northeast region.
I’m just here for a couple of days on a filming trip for the BBC, which has taken me to the far less glamorous North Zone of the city. Then I’ll head back to São Paulo and normal service shall resume.
Just thought I’d share these photos I took along the way:
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is, in a word, overwhelming – for every one of the senses. Everything gets a good pounding: your ears, eyes, nostrils, and quite definitely your brain.
For some reason it’s taken me three years to get to Rio Carnival – but it was definitely worth it.
There are those who mistakenly think Carnival is all about the samba schools parading at the Sambódromo, which celebrated 30 years of colour and dance this year, but the real heart of Carnival is most certainly in the blocos – the many, many street parties (450+ this year) that adorn Rio’s street and bring large swathes of the city to a grinding halt in a mass of sweaty, alcohol-fuelled dancing and debauchery.
Here is a small taster – click to enlarge photos. For the full gallery, see my Flickr set.