Rooftop terraces in São Paulo are starting to become my specialty. I explored two more with M, and have now seen the São Paulo skyscraper view in daylight, sunset and darkness with millions of lights. In addition to that, we walked on the central main street, Avenida Paulista, travelled some more with the metro (no bus this time), went shopping and ate sushi, like we always used to do in Paris.
Pics from Avenida Paulista business district, where it was impossible to find lunch.
I cancelled my hostel in Vila Madalena, because my flight is so early in the morning that I wouldn't have time to sleep anyway (why is this becoming a habit??) and because M had booked and Airbnb where I could leave my things. She had randomly chosen an apartment that happened to be in one of the most famous residential towers, called Copan building. They offered a free walking tour on the rooftop in the afternoon, so we went.
M wanted to check out some shops so we took the metro to a shopping mall (not the South America's biggest one though). It was very classy but a bit too chic for our budget, and for M's idea of buying something for a music festival she is going to. However, we had some fancy afternoon coffee with champagne truffles and, this is the best part: there was a Sephora!!! Ah, what a great surprise.
For the evening I had googled a list of São Paulo's best cocktail bars with nice views and we ended up in a place called Skye Bar, at the Unique hotel. I could get used to this: breathtaking views, this time from a bit lower, but also good cocktails and excellent sushi. Once more I found a place to add on my favorite bars in the world - list, I'll post my top 10 soon. Ps. I'm tanned, see. :)
I still can't take this in, São Paulo is so big and beautiful. It was good to take a deep breath and feel relieved after Rio: we survived. Contrary to what people had told me, I preferred São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro. Maybe I felt safer there because nothing bad happened but I don't think it's only that. Sao Paulo felt in some way more sophisticated and I could a lot easier relate to people's lifestyle there. When Rio was fun it was a lot of fun but mostly it was just too chaotic and messy, while São Paulo appeared more human.
These are my first impressions only and I would need to explore more to know better but still, I didn't like Rio. I mean yes it was an interesting place to see and we did some cool things. But I just didn't get good vibes and I didn't feel at ease. Rio has a reputation of a seriously dangerous city and I could sense it. Even without mentioning the episode I will maybe tell you about in another post, I didn't like the atmosphere in general. I was constantly afraid, cautious, and on guard, except for the first night partying in Lapa. I could never live in a place where I'm holding my breath, night and day. Always being afraid that something will be stolen, but at the same time thinking that being robbed really is nothing compared to what could happen. Living in a place like Rio would mean never being able to wear more expensive jewellery or handbags, and what's the point of having nice things if you keep them in your closet? When going out, day time or night time, I hesitated if I should take my phone with me or not, and if I should take a handbag at all. I always wrote my address on my wrist and put some money in my bra, just in case.
Rio has great beaches, especially Ipanema, and certainly nice parties and good music but no, it wasn't for me. For what I saw (mostly in Copacabana and the centre) it is not a beautiful city, except for the views from high up. It is not a place where you walk around admiring buildings, parks, or whatever. Where you stop at nice shops, cafés, or restaurants on your way, nothing like that. It is just chaotic. However, I would not want to live in São Paulo either because it's just too big and the traffic would drive me crazy. But let's not be too judgemental. All the Brazilians I talked to were very nice and friendly so I will sure come back one day and take a look at some other regions, it is a huge country after all.
I'm glad I saw Brazil and it was most of the time fun, but I'm honestly very happy to be traveling back to Colombia. I want to get back to my normal life that I enjoy a lot, being in Brazil was like being on a completely different planet.
Read the next story here.
I'm Emilia, Finnish-Parisian, a recent Master's graduate. I'm currently traveling around the Caribbean and on a volunteering mission in Colombia. I'm passionate about writing, music and different kinds of sports. I can't wait to discover new places and cultures - and share my adventures with you!