Hello everyone! Vivian here.
It was with a heavy heart that we had to say goodbye to the city we had spent a whole month in. We had become accustomed to the Rio good-life but it was time for a new destination.
We chose to spend our last night in Rio at an airport hotel which doesn’t sound appealing but it was actually very enjoyable. We had great views from our room and the rooftop. Sami and I even got to have some sushi in a great setting. Check out the photos.
Another reason we chose the hotel apart from its convenient location, was that breakfast starts at 4 am and since we had an early flight, that was perfect for us. Have a look at our breakfast. We missed the sunrise by a few minutes.
We took our time at breakfast since we were literally connected to the airport terminal! Our hotel checkout was super quick and we had already done the online check-in for our flights so the only thing necessary was to weigh and dispatch our bags, which was done in 5 minutes.
This was one of the easiest flight experiences I have ever had, everything was quick and smooth, no long waits in any part of the process and the take-off had incredible views.
Well, an hour or so later, we land in the city of Curitiba – the capital of the state of Paraná.
Pronounced Cur-itch-e-bah. Here the average temperature during summer is 21º C. That’s a 10º drop from Rio at this time of the year.
Apparently, Curitiba is the biggest city in southern Brazil and the 8th most populous city in all of Brazil.
Furthermore, according to US magazine Reader’s Digest, Curitiba is the best “Brazilian Big City” in which to live with crime rates comparably low. We hope we’ll be able to confirm that by the end of our stay here.
That said and despite how pleasant the surrounding area feels, I don’t think there is that much for us to do here so we’ll see what the weather has in store for us (currently sunny but not too hot) and we’ll look into the attractions Sami researched last week.
The surrounding areas looked flat from an aerial view. Confirmed in our first city walk. As was the pleasantness of the surroundings and the “look” of the people.
When we landed, Uber was showing “comfort” level for a slightly higher rate so we chose this option to get from the airport to the hotel. This, in turn, happened to provide us with a lovely driver in a brand new Honda Civic and with the most hilarious reaction to something we said to-date. Towards the end of our 30-minute drive, the driver asks, in Portuguese of course, how long we were staying in Curitiba. I answered with honesty thinking nothing more about it. “We don’t know yet”. At that point, he chuckles out loud and even turns his head to us in the back.
“What do you mean?” he asks. “How can you not know how long you’re going to be here for?” I explained we were travelling a bit and he said during his 4 years as an Uber driver he’d never had that response before which made us all laugh.
Our hotel is in the centre of the city. Despite this, the price per square metre seems to be very good. Take a look at the size of this room that we bagged for £32 with breakfast.
The Jardim Botânico de Curitiba, in Portuguese, or the Botanical Garden of Curitiba, in English is the major tourist attraction and landmark of the city, and it houses part of the campus of the Federal University of Paraná. Opened in 1991, Curitiba’s trademark botanical garden was created in the style of French gardens. We enjoyed a nice walk there and took plenty of pictures.
I even made friends with a fellow Amazonian…
Next up was the Ópera de Arame. The Wire Opera House is one of the symbols of modern architecture of Curitiba. Inaugurated in 1992, it was built with tubular structures and transparent ceiling and it hosts a wide range of shows from popular to classical ones. The Opera House has a capacity of 2,400 spectators.
And to wrap everything up, we went to Madero Steakhouse. Unfortunately, we were too hungry and forgot to take pictures of the food, so instead, you can enjoy a picture of us with our backpacks.
Although we love to travel, it’s not as easy as it seems. Your days are filled with logistics and financial decisions. You need to look at dozens of hotels to pick just one, you then need to get familiar with the area, know where the shops and restaurants are, plan your day and where you’re going to eat and how much money you can spend, etc. Did I mention you’re packing your rucksack or backpack what feels like every day?
It doesn’t help when you have two fussy people with different requirements for choosing a place to eat or sleep. And no matter how much you try to look for bargains, now and again you just fall into the tourist trap and end up choosing things more expensive than normal.
With all that said, we still feel privileged to be travelling right now, even with all of the COVID-19 restrictions.
We remain thankful to our house-sitters and cat-sitters.
That’s all folks!