brazil, culture, history, lisbon, photography, portugal, Rio de Janeiro

An Unusual Story about Rio de Janeiro

My interest in Brazilian culture started at a very young age, which led me to listen to a lot of Brazilian music, watch Brazilian movies and TV Series like “A Coisa Mais Linda” or read Clarice Lispector and Hilda Hilst. Then, after living and studying in Portugal for more than a year and making a lot of Brazilian friends, I thought I already knew quite a lot about one of my most favourite countries.
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As you can see from my previous blog post about Rio de Janeiro, my childhood dream of visiting Brazil finally came true in 2018, when I flew from Lisbon to Rio and discovered the highly anticipated Brazilian city like a local. I realized that I still had a lot to learn about Brazil when during one simple Metro ride a local girl asked me “but did you know once we also were “officially” European?” I smiled without really understanding what she was talking about when she added: “Rio is the only non-European city in the world that has been the capital of a European country. Can you guess which one?”
My confusion mixed with curiosity made me say “Portugal?” but within seconds I started questioning the reality of my own guess, because I have been studying Portuguese language and culture for quite a while already, and no one has ever mentioned Rio being the capital of Portugal.
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After a small, nice and very informative talk in the safest transport of Rio de Janeiro, I decided to do a little research about Rio once being a European capital city.
That is how I found out that everything the Brazilian lady told me was right!
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In the 19th century following the conquest of Portugal by Napoleon, the Portuguese Royal Family fled to Brazil and established the capital of Portugal in Rio de Janeiro for thirteen years. You can see a full article and more detailed information here.

Who would’ve guessed, right?!

Make sure to share the most unknown fun-facts about your favourite travel destinations with me on Instagram and don’t forget to show me some love!
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brazil, NETFLIX, Rio de Janeiro

Netflix Goes BRAZILIAN!

Do you remember my previous post about NETFLIX and how amazing year we all are going to have in terms of TV SERIES? Well, Netflix just raised the bar by announcing the first-ever Brazilian original series that will launch sooner than you expect!

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Credits to @CoisaMaisLinda

“Coisa Mais Linda” or “the Most Beautiful Thing” as the English-speaking world would say, will be the first-ever Brazilian Netflix original Series that will air on March 22, 2019!

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Credits to @CoisaMaisLinda

What do we know so far about the Series: Rio de Janeiro, 1959. After her husband disappears, meek Maria Luiza turns his property into a Bossa Nova club and begins to come into her own as an independent woman. The TV Series will cover a lot of social issues in Brazil alongside with some typical Brazilian music and dances! You can watch the trailer here.

Make sure to Follow Coisa Mais Linda on Instagram for the latest updates.

Who else is excited to see the Brazilian debut on Netflix? Finally, it’s time to practice your Portuguese!

P.S. For love letters or business inquiries E-mail me: hello@thefedorahat.com

 

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Arctic Monkeys, brazil, Denmark, lisbon, Norway, Oslo, portugal, Rio de Janeiro, Stockholm, Sweden, travel, Trips & Other Stories

Going Places: My 2018

Do you also get asked by the end of each year questions like “So, how would you sum up your year? Did you get what you wanted?” I decided to recall the highlights of my amazing 2018 chronologically and share them with all of you.

January 2018: LISB-ON
First time when I visited the Portuguese capital to do my summer language course was in 2016, and that’s when I fell in love with the Portuguese language, culture and the city itself. Then I had a bit of longer reunion with Lisbon in 2017, but it seemed like spending 2-3 months there were never enough. I  wanted to have the experience of living in Lisbon for a longer period and also I wanted to become fluent in Portuguese. This goal of mine was finally achieved when I got the Scholarship to do the part of my Masters at FLUL.
Going back to the city where you made a lot of new friends and unforgettable memories are always one of the best things that can happen to you. Being in Portugal for the third time, it really felt like home. Arriving at Terminal 1 at the Lisbon Airport, I had a feeling that after one year of “being somewhere else” I finally found my way back home. We all have different stories in absolutely every city we’ve ever been to. That’s why we like some cities more than others. With every new visit, you realize that something has changed, that there’s something you did not notice before and always something new waiting for you. Sometimes you miss those cities like you miss a person, and you can’t wait to see them again.

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Rossio, Lisbon, Portugal

March 2018: Rio de Janeiro
While walking around LX FACTORY in Lisbon and doing some Vintage shopping I saw a quote on the wall of one shop there saying “Do you remember your dreams?” and I thought of one of the biggest dreams of mine: BRAZIL!
Since I was way closer to Brazil from Portugal than I’ve ever been from Georgia, I decided not to postpone achieving my goals for more and I booked my trip to Rio de Janeiro. It was totally worth it. Everything happened so fast and unplanned, sometimes I still question the reality of my Brazilian trip, but you can see Rio from my perspective on my first edition of the series Let’s Go Somewhere

June 2018:
OSLO
Coming back from Brazil, I immediately booked my trip to Scandinavia, because I decided that 2018 was about to be “The year of my goals”. Even though Norway is way more popular with its wild nature and mountains, I decided to visit the capitals of 3 of the Scandinavian countries: Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
with a lot of handsome people, fancy coffee shops and beautiful parks, I had a total privilege of seeing the iconic “SCREAM” live and witness the cold, rainy Norwegian summer, but it was so worth it.

STOCKHOLM
From my previous blog post, you can have a sneak peek of why I loved Stockholm so much. When I took a super long ride with a train from Oslo to Stockholm, the weather was finally nice and summerish. I got to know some of the most fun Swedes while walking around the city or chilling near the riverside. One of the main things I have realized was that Swedes are not as socially awkward as some people say they are. I have heard sentences like: “a Swede will never talk to you unless you make the first move, after that they are friendly, helpful and nice.” Well, I suppose each one of us has a completely different experience in every country. So from my experience Swedes are pretty outgoing, helpful, funny and friendly. Thanks to them I discovered some places in Stockholm where only locals hang out and I was also lucky enough to celebrate “Midsummer” with my newly-made Swedish friends.

COPENHAGEN
After visiting Copenhagen I finally got it why Danes are considered as the “happiest nation” in the world.  I can’t really say that my experience in Denmark was completely different than the other Scandinavian cities, but there was something magical about the Danish capital that made me want to re-visit the city all over again. Copenhagen has this mystic vibe of attracting everyone and making it super hard for each one of us to leave.

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Nyhavn, Copenhagen

So far Copenhagen proudly has the 1st place of my all-time favourite cities. And the Tivoli Gardens deserve a completely separate post dedication because this place is really as magical as in the movies.

July 2018: LAGOS
Re-visiting the places where I have been to in Portugal was one of the best decisions ever. I visited Lagos in 2016 and after 2 years I have realized how much it has changed in a way that there were a lot more tourists and new pubs opened/owned by Brits.
The weird thing about tourism in Portugal is transportation. Even though Lagos and Algarve coast, in general, is the most touristic destination of all, they still don’t have a lot of transport options from Lisbon to there. For example, you can’t find a train going to Lagos, so if you don’t rent a car, the only option for you left is a bus, which is actually comfortable but a bit too tiring. image4
July 2018: NOS ALIVE & ARCTIC MONKEYS

Since 2007, when the FAVOURITE WORST NIGHTMARE was out, Arctic Monkeys keep being my favourite band. As music is one of the most touching pieces of art form that can influence your life, the quote of my beloved Alex Turner explains it all why I fell in love with the Monkeys: “There’s always that one band that comes along when you are 14 or 15 years old that manages to hit you in just the right way and changes your whole perception of things.”
Exactly on my flight day to Lisbon back in January, Nos Alive (The annual festival that takes place near Lisbon every July) announced that they were hosting THE ARCTIC MONKEYS. So the first thing I did after my 5 hours flight to Lisbon and being all jet-lagged, was getting the Nos Alive ticket. Hands down it was one of the most memorable shows I have ever been to.

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Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys, Nos Alive 2018, Portugal

August 2018: LISB-OFF
So let me get a little emotional here. As my Exchange Program was full of adventures, dreams and new experience, as they say, everything has to come to an end. So by the end of August, I left Lisbon full of new experience (academic and life experience as well) hopes and new dreams. Can I just mention how important it is for any student to make an exchange program at least once in their lives? Because it is so mind-opening and helps you grow culturally on a level that nothing else will ever help. Being on an unfamiliar ground makes you more familiar about your true self. Suddenly you learn how to communicate with people from different cultures, you learn that there might be someone on the other side of the world who will become your best friend. It outdoes absolutely any kind of “office job” experience that you can get by doing the same job for years and years. So please do yourself a favour and promise me to pack & discover the world right now.

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Miradouro da Santa Luzia, Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon will keep being my home doesn’t matter where I am/will be based. This city gave me so much love, friendship, experience and opportunities that it’s impossible for me to talk about Portugal without being too emotional. How can I not adore Portugal when this country received me with the warmest welcome for the third time in a row!

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Lisbon, Portugal

The hardest thing in 2018 was saying goodbye to Lisbon, realizing that this specific chapter has been closed for now.

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@thefedorahat girl in Lisbon

While writing this blog post I have realized how many things can happen in just one year and how we should always take risks and follow our paths.
Share your 2018’s adventures with me on Instagram and let’s have a fresh start of 2019!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

With love,
Ani
@TheFedoraHat

 

 

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brazil, photography, stories, travel, trip, Trips & Other Stories

Let’s Go Somewhere: Rio de Janeiro

Let’s Go Somewhere is a new project by The Fedora Hat where I will talk about the dreamy destinations I have been to. Of course, I decided to start the series with Rio de Janeiro, since it has always been a dream of mine to visit Brazil at least once in a lifetime.

Being born and raised in the capital of Georgia during the late ’90s, Brazilian culture with Globo telenovelas and Bossa Nova was very popular there, still is. Rio is definitely every Georgian’s dream destination, but if you for a second look at the map and see how far Brazil is from us, you will realize why most of Georgians think that they will never make it to South America. In my case, living in Portugal helped me a lot to achieve my goal since I was way closer to Brazil than ever before. So at the beginning of March, I booked a direct flight to Rio de Janeiro with TAP Airlines and spent the most exhausting 10H on the airplane, but oh boy, it was so worth it!

Here are some tips from me before you head off to Brazil’s most iconic city and discover Rio like a local:

  1. Rio is not THAT scary.
    First things first! Before my trip to Brazil, I read some blog posts about Rio and how dramatically scary it is. Also being friends with a lot of Brazilians in Lisbon, they warned me too about the danger in the city, but after seeing my confused face mixed with a bit of panic, they added: “To be honest, there might not happen a thing, but the CHANCES of happening something horrible are rather high.” I definitely confirm this quote, because literally, nothing happened to me during my stay in Brazil. It’s always better to be on a safe side and not to show off with your expensive cameras or phones. Try to always be and act like a local. One thing I did was keeping my phone always in my fanny pack and not wearing too many accessories or attention-catchy things.

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    Lapa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  2. The iconic touristic places.
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    Pão de Açúcar, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Of course, Rio without Copacabana, Leblon or Ipanema is a Rio wasted, but my tip would be in order to avoid extremely overpriced hotels or Airbnb in these areas, you can simply book a cheaper option somewhere close by and take Metro to anywhere. Metro is the safest transport option in Rio and is newly renovated with air-condition and some Portuguese tiles’ art going on. Unlike Europe, in Rio they don’t have daily/weekly/monthly pass in Metro, so basically you need to charge your card for each use. One way ticket costs 4 Brazilian Reais.

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    Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    While at Copacabana make sure to visit Lala’s Coworking de Beleza & Café , where you can have the most delicious Brigadeiro cake while having your nails/hair done!

    Also, unlike the European city center, the center of Rio (Centro) is pretty dangerous if you visit it after 5 p.m. During the day the neighbourhood is busy with Business centers and working people going on, but after 5 in the afternoon you might be the only one walking there, that’s when it gets a bit scary. From Centro you can walk to either Lapa and check the famous stairs, where you always have at least one Brazilian playing the perfectly out of tuned Bossa Nova

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    Lapa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Or also to take a walk and visit Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow) and check what the future holds.

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    Museum of Tomorrow, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    For swimming forget Copacabana and Ipanema and go to Barra da Tijuca instead, where usually the local people go. The beach and the water there is way cleaner, and the neighbourhood – safer. It was one of the fewest occasions where I could take pictures without my friend shouting at me to keep my phone in the bag.
    Also, you will find a lot of cosy & fancy coffee shops with (finally) free Wi-Fi in the Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood.

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    Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  3. A taste of the famous Açaí while visiting the Botanical Gardens of Rio.
    When they first warned me not to ever use my phone in the streets of Rio, my first question was “but how am I going to orientate without using GPS?” but Rio turned out to be the easiest place to walk around because basically everything has the same name. For example: for The Botanical Gardens you have the station called “The Botanical Gardens” which is situated on “The Botanical Gardens” avenue, easy-breezy. And on your way there, you have one place called BIBI, where they serve the best Açaí in the whole city!

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    The Botanical Gardens of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  4. Corcovado and Christ the Redeemer.
    Since I had a really bad experience and I almost left Rio without seeing the main attraction (Christo Redentor) I decided to share my tips for you. Being in Rio at the beginning of March it was foggy and cloudy most of the days. And if it’s sunny down on Copacabana, it might be super foggy at Corcovado, so it’s better to check out their website Corcovado ao vivo where you can see live if the Statue of Christ is visible. Because when I first went there, they were not even selling the tickets due to clouds that made the statue disappear.
    My advice would be to take the shuttle bus to Corcovado instead of the Funicular because it’s way cheaper and also it stops at one viewpoint place “Mirante Dona Marta” from where you have the most beautiful view over Rio de Janeiro.

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    Mirante Dona Marta, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    The ticket office usually opens at 8 a.m and it’s always better to go there early because around 10 a.m. there were so many people at the Statue already that you could even barely move, not to talk about how many failures we had during taking a decent picture.

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    Cristo Redentor, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  5. A day trip from Rio.
    A really cool day trip you can have from Rio de Janeiro is Petrópolis. It takes around 2H to get there and you have buses going almost anytime during the day. The trip is quite cheap and is worth visiting because from a very Brazilian city of Rio you will end up in a German look-a-like, safer and more “European” Petropolis. If you’ll read a bit of history from the early 1800s, Germans immigrated to Brazil and started spreading their culture there. Nowadays, the most “developed” parts of Brazil are exactly the German-influenced parts. Fun fact about Petrópolis is that during his last years, Stefan Zweig was living there with his wife. He ended his life there. You can even watch a movie about his life called “Stefan Zweig, Farewell to Europe” and you will see a lot of Brazil going on there.

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    Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Make sure to follow me on Instagram and be the first one to see what’s coming up next!

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