Sao Paulo or 'Sampa'

Trip Start Aug 19, 2010
Trip End Aug 31, 2011

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Sao Paulo,
Monday, August 30, 2010

Sampa is absolutely humongous, it's the largest city in the southern hemisphere and it has approx 30 million 'paulinistos’ living there. There are 8 million in London, that’s almost 4 times as many people! The Edificio Italia’s (named in honour of Sampa's Italian immigrants) 42nd floor was brilliant to see the sheer scale of high rises in every direction the eye can go! There are over 150 theatres and over 250 cinemas in the city and it is known as Brazil’s New York- it even has its own Empire State building the Edificio Martinelli.
We stayed in Villa Madalena, which is known as the ‘arsty’ young and hip place to stay; indeed there was plenty of samba and live music on the street our hostel was on. It is known for the amount of galleries there are on every corner.

It was really interesting to see the different kinds of architecture Sampa has to offer from the Teatro Municipal (theatre) and Catedral Metropolitana to learning about Oscar Niemeyer’s experiments in mixed urban living through his ‘S’ shaped building and vision for socialism. Unfortunately the surroundings were less impressive then the buildings and thoughts behind them; the homes used to belong to wealthy coffee plantation owners around the centre of town in the nineteenth century and since its become more and more run down. It was sad to see so many homeless people unabashedly roaming the streets in what was once very clearly a beautifully almost regal city.

We went to meet Ellie and Steve at the Mercado Municipal (central market); we had at this point become quite confident with the metro (tube) system and thought we had it all figured out, unfortunately each map looked closer to the Mercado then the next, eventually we found each other (was a handicap not being able to just whip out a mobile phone to meet up like we do at home!) but it was well worth it! We had traditional pasties on the mezzanine floor and for desert Ellie got her much anticipated Acai (fruit granola mix thing) and Anish had a special mixed fruit juice!

Sampa is known as Rio’s not so popular underdog cousin and is said to live in Rio’s shadow, but we found Paulinsto’s friendly, we enjoyed the artsy vibe, and would definitely recommend Sampa’s urban buzz to Rio’s urban grit any day! 
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Dhara on

I've never even heard of Sampa - sounds like a cool city!

Jigna Vyas Gosal on

I have heard about the Acacia berry thing, supposed to be a "super food" was it good?!

roopa_anish on

hey! yeah golfier is from sao paulo, he wrote 'not only london has skyscrapers!' and jigs, i only tried ellies acai thingy, if u like granola and berries and yogs and that kind of thing u'd like it- but we all know i dont!! love u guys xx

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