Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Barranco - Lima

Lima, like any other big city, has a nightlife district where the life starts after dark. Yet, it is worth visiting also during a day to see a completely different "face" of the city.
Barranco - Lima
Barranco – the name of the district began to develop in the late nineteenth century. It quickly became a seaside resort where affluent citizens of Lima spent their weekends and holidays.  You can still enjoy relaxed atmosphere where and life at slower pace.  In the early twentieth century artists and writers began to settle in Barranco.  It gave the district a fleur of “bohemian” style.
Barranco - Lima
Today, there are many cafes, restaurants, bars and discos in Barranco.  It is a paradise for both gourmets and entertainment seekers. But there are also the Bridge of Sighs (Puente de los Suspiros), the path leading to the sea (Bajada dos Baños), museums, the library and the beautiful houses.  It is fantastic area for a walk.  Bridge of Sighs is a favorite meeting place for lovers so there are plenty of young people over there.
A visit to the Barranco should be a part of any stay in Lima. The historic center is a must see. But the real charm of the city can be found in a place like Barranco.
If you want to learn more about the district and Lima itself you have found Lima Easy sight - enjoy it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

From São Paulo to Rio

Rio de Janeiro - BrazilRio de Janeiro is a good option for a getaway from huge São Paulo.  The city of beaches and entertainment lures thousands of tourists and it is just a stone throw.

There is an "air bridge" (Ponte area) between the two cities.  The connection is operated by several airlines in about 45-minute intervals each. Aircrafts take off and land at domestic airports Congonhas (São Paulo) and Santos Dumond (Rio de Janeiro).  It makes the trip even easier because both airports are located centrally. Tickets can be purchased at the airport, via Internet, by phone or at a travel agency. If you decide on the latter two then you need an appropriate amount of cash because they will not accept foreign credit cards.  Moreover most of the agencies use a regular online booking service, available to everyone.  It means prices are not much different from what you see on-line.  If you are a holder of a credit card issued outside Brazil the best option may be to buy a ticket at the airport.

It is difficult to predict price, one day it would cost you a penny and the next one it becomes expensive.  And nobody knows what a reason for such a difference is.  And just a few words about luggage.  If you need to take luggage which accesses 20 kg then you’d better have a good excuse or a ticket from Rio onward.  Otherwise you have to pay extra fee.  But they are less strict and somehow negotiable.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

El Angel from Mexico City

Angel de Independencia - Mexico CityEl Ángel is not a-must-see monument of Mexico City sightseeing tour.  Golden angel statue against a blue sky looks fantastic.  You may find it as an illustration in many guidebooks.   Unfortunately it often serves only as a nice photo.  History and information how and where to find it are scarce.

36-meter column topped with a statue of an angel, which measures 6 meters and weighs 70 tons. The official name of the monument is Monumento de la Independencia or Ángel de la Independencia. It was erected in 1910 during presidency of Porfirio Diaz.  The column commemorates of 100-year anniversary of the struggle for independence.

El Ángel is not just a monument it is also an observation deck. The column is a structure made of steel and covered with stone.  You want to admire a panoramic view you need to climb 200 steps which are inside the column.  It is a challenge for those who do practice sport on a daily basis.  Also people who suffer from claustrophobia should consider thoroughly the visit.

The best description I have found was on Wikipedia.  I rarely recommend it as a source of information but it is worth reading.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sao Paulo

A few tips on getting around

São Paulo is a big city.  And the best way to realize how big it is, is to visit an observation deck at the Edifício Italia. Whenever I travel to such a big city for the first time, I am always a little bit worried how to get out of the airport, and how to get aroung in the city.

Sao Paulo - Brazil

Let's start with airport – hotel route, which takes some time.  After leaving a plane everybody rushes to immigration control, where there is always a pretty long queue.  Passengers from Americas find the procedures similar to those back home, and they patiently wait for their turn.  But travelers from Europe are usually surprised with the amount of time they have to spend there. And they are more anxious to get out of the airport after a long flight.  Yet there is also customs clearance procedure which takes a couple more minutes.

If you do not have local currency with you, you need to find currency exchange or Cambio. Remember to have your passport ready to show at the counter.  Next step is to get a taxi.  Certainly there are some taxi drivers waiting and nagging travelers to use their services. But it is better to find a desk of licensed taxi companies outside arrival hall.  They will assist you with information on price and direct you to taxi rank.  You can pay by credit card over there or by cash to the taxi driver.  Staff at the desk may not speak good English, and then it is good to have details of your destination written on a piece of paper.  Keep that information with you and show it again to the taxi driver.  Although the taxi service from Garulhos Airport is pretty expensive I always find reliable.

If you are arriving in São Paulo on Saturday evening, it is good to exchange at the airport more than just for a taxi ride.  On Sundays all banks and exchange offices are closed.  Moreover some hotels do not offer money exchange service. And instead of enjoying your time, you will have to look for an exchange office somewhere else. Of course there are credit cards.  But using them for money withdrawal can be a challenge and not a cheap one.  I have heard stories about ATM problems so I have never dared to try.

Taxis in the city are not so expensive as those from the airport.  You can easily catch them on the street or ordered at the hotel reception. Getting around by taxi is comfortable and quick unless it rains.  Then your journey may take at least twice as much time as usual because the city becomes one huge traffic jam.  It may be very important to take it into account if you go to the airport.