Last Wednesday I finally got to see the ocean again. My boyfriend’s parents were going to see some relatives in Santos and they invited us to come along so that I could see the city and some places close to it. São Paulo isn’t a coastal city, so seeing the ocean and feeling the ocean breeze again was really great! Of course we have some wind here in the big city, but it doesn’t feel that clean and fresh, if you know what I mean?
We got up really early to beat the morning traffic, but here in São Paulo beating the traffic is not an easy task. Even during day time on weekdays you get stuck in traffic. For me it’s madness, but here it’s completely normal. We decided to get breakfast at a padaria, a bakery where they sell everything you would want for breakfast. Padarias are very typical for paulistanos (people from the city of São Paulo) and they go there all the time, for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, for a snack etc. After breakfast we could start our trip for real. Santos is actually only 80 kms from Grajaú (our neighbourhood in São Paulo), but because of traffic it took us a couple of hours to get there.
The first place we visited was São Vicente which is Santos’ neighbouring municipality. São Vicente and Santos share the island of São Vicente and São Vicente was the first village to be funded by the Portuguese in America (in 1532). Oscar Niemeyer (more about him later) designed a very cool viewpoint there which is called Monumento dos 500 anos do Brasil, or «Brazil’s five hundred years’ monument», and the view from there was beautiful:
Oscar Niemeyer is very famous for the gaps in his architecture, like the one in the picture above. This gap is under the monument/viewpoint in São Vicente.
This is so great! People feeding wild birds and animals with fruit!
A little further down the street there was a roundabout with this view! What what?!
Afterwards we drove through Santos and then took the ferry to Guarujá, an island with lots of tourists, mostly Brazilians. It was interesting, but also very sad, to see how different Santos and Guarujá are. As Guarujá is for tourists a lot of money has been invested there and everything is so pretty, but in Santos it seems like they don’t even collect the trash. This is only one example of the big social differences in Brazil today.
After visiting Guarujá we decided to go back home to São Paulo. It took a couple of hours and it started to rain so heavily that we hardly could see anything! Luckily we got home safely, but extremely tired. Santos is the closest beach to the city of São Paulo, which means that it’s the most common place for paulistanos to go for the weekend when they want to get out of the city. What I’m trying to say is that I’ll probably go back to Santos during this year and then I’ll take more photos and hope for better weather!
Since my last post we’ve been to the biggest park in São Paulo, the Ibirapuera park, and I have some really nice shots to show you guys! And I also have some great news about our living arrangement, so stay tuned!