Acai CBananaVisitors to Brazil would do themselves a disservice by leaving without tasting this drink. It is a popular purple-maroonish drink that can be consumed at any time of the day. At Cupertino Durao in Leblon, the most affluent part of Rio de Janeiro, it was Acai CBanana being consumed by Dutch, Argentina, Bosnia and English fans (and of course Brazilians) for most of yesterday morning. I bought a cup too and will be buying many more. It has a unique taste.

Copacabana thievesBeing a 4km beach free for all, just about everyone doesn’t want to miss out on the feel of Copacabana. It is a long beach, really long, with beauties in bikinis and tanned tourists relaxing away. People of all ages from all walks of life regularly visit it including locals. However you have to exercise caution while at Copacabana. The beaches of Ipanema and Leblon are more upscale and thus safer. Copacabana has far more volumes of human traffic and naturally, these include pickpockets. I was aised to hide my camera by a tour guide in sections of the beach.

Biggest urban forestChrist the Redeemer is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio. It was until 2010 the world’s largest Art Deco statue. At 98 ft, it is the iconic image of the city and is attracting more visitors because of the World Cup season. What tourists are learning as well is that the adjacent mountainous forest is the largest in the world. The natural appeal of Rio is miles apart from the hectic outlook of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city. Rio is everything Sao Paulo isn’t.

A truly global shuttleAttending a World Cup exhibition at the Maracana, we boarded a shuttle of 25 to the function. Unbeknownst to us, we represented 25 different nationalities including Mauritius, Belize, Malta, Azerbaijan and Trinidad and Tobago. The World Cup phenomenon, more than any other event on earth, brings the world together. Despite the rivalries on the pitch between Brazil and Argentina, I have encountered fans of the two countries mingling and partying regularly. This is indeed a celebration of humanity as Fifa President Sepp Blatter is wont to say.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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