When travelling you really need to know which day and which time it is. You need to catch trains, busses and planes. And you need to be at sights and museums while they are open. While being in Brazil I had two big surprises concerning day and time.
Different times I’ve been asked how I got around in Brazil without speaking Brazilian Portuguese or even Portuguese. The answer is quite simple: Sometimes with hands and feet, sometimes with English; but always with a smile. And of course: Badly pronounced Spanish.
There are some things I would never ever do at home, like walking around without a shirt or wearing flip-flops. I still remember this annoying sound of (mostly female) students walking around with these minimalistic sandals in front of my office door. But coming to Brazil makes doing those things a pure necessity because of the high temperature, especially if you are arriving from a much more chilly country like Germany.
As I was looking for a destination in South America, I quickly decided to go to Brazil – mainly because I wanted to see Rio de Janeiro. But the first place I’ve in fact seen was Foz do Iguaçu within the triangular Brazil / Argentina / Paraguay, because I started at the Cataratas do Iguaçu.
The currency of Brazil is the Brazilian Real (plural: Reais, spoken: “Reaisch”). It is maybe one of the most beautiful currencies in the world because it has animals on every bill, showing the deep connection to nature. It has been introduced in 1994 (following the Cruzeiro) and the subunit of a real is the centavo.
Foz do Iguaçu is a town, built solely for tourism. There is also the giant Itaipu embankment dam, so there are some electrity workers around – but most people in Foz do Iguaçu are living from tourism. The Hotel Pietro Angelo is in the center of the town.
Maybe the smallest airport I’ve ever landed on. They airport is 17 km away from the city center and also called “Cataratas”, because it is the main entry point to las Cataratas do Iguaçu – the fantastic waterfalls of Iguaçu in Brazil and Argentina. It is tiny, has only one security control point and you can arrive pretty late. And eat some last Pão de Queijo (cheese balls) before entering the plane.
The airport of São Paulo (called Guarulhos) is located 26 km afar from the city center. It is a big airport with long distances to walk and nice restaurants. The airport is connected to the city by busses running from the lower level of the airport. Like on any airport in South America you’ll have to wait some time for immigration control.
The Frankfurt International Airport can be found 12 km south-west of Frankfurt am Main. It is the biggest hub in Germany and I consider it my airbase. From no place in Germany you can reach so many destinations and nowhere you will find such a high density of flights. The airport is easily reachable by regional and long-distance trains which run from two different railway stations.Continue reading “Frankfurt International Airport (FRA)”
There are not too many good reasons to go to Essen, Germany. One of these is the Folkwang museum located 2 km south of the city center. The museum from 1902 hosts 50.000 photographies but only 600 paintings, because 1.400 were lost during nazi times.