What to do in Jerusalem

It was not easy to decide how we would spend our time in Jerusalem. We wanted to make the most of it. We planned, researched and this was the result of what we managed to do in 4 full days in this incredible holy city, which also served as a base for other tours to Jordan (Aman, Jerash and Petra), Bethlehem and Masada / Ein Gedi / Dead Sea. <3

Experiência israelense

Israeli experience

1st day:

The arrival in Jerusalem was quiet, after the initial feeling of discomfort at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. I say this, because I was approached by security agents as soon as I left the plane, and still in control of passport, for another so many minutes. My impression is this over-control was due to the fact that I arrived in Israel by myself. Do what!? Young women traveling alone are still seen in a “different” way in countries not as “closed” as Israel, so we can imagine …

Leaving the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, just to the right, I picked up a Sherut, which is like a small bus that you indicate where you want to stop. In my case, I signalized that I would go to Jerusalem and stay at The Post Hostel. And so it happened.

Sherut

Sherut

The first impact when arriving in Jerusalem was to see the sun reflect on those predominantly beige buildings, especially on the walled part of the city. Beautiful!

After I stayed at the hostel, I did not even feel like exploring the city. It was cold. Yes, Jerusalem in March, to my Northeastern brazilian standards, is a cold city.

So, I decided to go into the Middle Eastern cuisine and ate a shakshuka, in the hostel itself, which was delicious.

Shakshuka

Shakshuka

2nd day:

In Jerusalem, at some moment, there  will be necessity to contract a guide service. So I took advantage of the Free Walking Tour that left the Jaffa Gate, one of the best known in the city, to get an overview of the place.

Vista da cidade muralhada nas proximidades do Portão Jaffa

View of the city near the Jaffa Gate

It was a 2 hour tour, where we had the opportunity to pass through the Armenian, Jewish, Muslim and Christian districts. They are connected to each other. The differentiation among them will be noticed due to the constructions and the profile of people that you see walking the streets. Amazing!

Orthodox Jews on the Streets of Jerusalem

Orthodox Jews on the Streets of Jerusalem

In that same day, I took advantage of the fact that everyone was preparing for the Shabbat, a period of time guarded by the Jews, which basically begins at the sunset of Friday and finishs as far as the first 3 stars appear in the sky, around 7 pm, and hired a “Shabbat experience” to get to know more about Jewish culture. Absolutely interesting experience.

Em frente à placa do Muro das Lamentações

In front of the Western Wall sign

3rd day:

After a day and a half in Jerusalem, I began to adapt a bit more to the rhythm of the city. I do not know how to explain. Maybe that’s exactly what I heard from an expatriate in Jerusalem. She said there is so much “energy” together, referring to the religiosity of the people, that, eventually, certain things may not work normally, like the TRAM that stops because someone had a “crisis” inside some of the wagons. This I witnessed!

On the third day, I made the Via Dolorosa.

É no Lions' Gate que se inicia a Via Dolorosa

At Lions’ Gate begins the Via Dolorosa

On the evening, we went to meet the “Old train station”, set of bars and restaurants a little away from the walled city.

4th day:

We discovered “a must see view” of Jerusalem at the Austria Hostel, which is near one of the stations of Via Dolorosa. In order to have access to it, a value must be paid.

Vista a partir do Austria Hostel

View of Jerusalem from the Austria Hostel

Following, we went out to explore a little more the Holy City through a guided service. We visited again the Wailing Wall, the Dome of the Rock, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Via Dolorosa, the gates of Jerusalem, the Holy Supper room, etc …

Dentro da Igreja do Santo Sepulcro (emoção)

Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (speechless)

5th day:

Due to a change in schedule, we spent a little more time in Jerusalem, where we had to visit the Holocaust Museum called Yad Vashem. We spent a good few hours, circling through so many sad memories of stories and lives that have been changed forever by the unscrupulous power project of a few. The entrance to the museum is free and it is easily accessed by the TRAM that circulates around Jerusalem.

A única foto que consegui tirar no Museu do Holocausto (ainda fora)

The only photo I could get at the Holocaust Museum (still outside)

As hard as we tried, we could not see everything we wanted in this amazing city. Already aware of this, we did not get frustrated and took advantage of it as much as we could. If anyone asks me, yes, I would like to go back. Jerusalem is the place to be no matter the weather, the age or the reason. <3

Jerusalem’s imagery

An initial contemplation, through images, of the most intense city I have ever had the pleasure of affixing my feet.

Jerusalem, it was impossible not to surrender to you. <3

Jerusalém: impossível não se render à sua grandiosidade

‘Jerusalém: the center of the world”

Dome of the Rock

Dome of the Rock

Muro das Lamentações

Muro das Lamentações

No bairro ArmênioArmenian district

Via Dolorosa

Via Dolorosa

Seguindo os passos de Jesus

Following the path of Jesus

Venda de camisetas no bairro muçulmano

T-shirts store in the muslim district

Na  entrada do Museu do Holocausto

Entrance of Holocaust museum

Three days and two nights in the middle of the Amazon Forest

A great satisfaction in my life has been the reconnection with nature and the discovery of its curative power and energy exchange. It was, therefore, that on a trip to the Amazon, I did not hesitate and I allowed myself to spend a few days totally immersed in the forest, in contact with riverside communities, giant trees, wild species and lots of fresh water on all sides.

After some research, I discovered that I could do this at a reasonable cost, while still having a certain comfort in transportation and housing, besides, I would have the security that someone experienced would lead me to the most incredible experiences. I hired Iguana Turismo, through a partnership with Local Hostel, the hostel I stayed in when I was in the city of Manaus.

In total, it was three days and two nights totally immersed in the Amazon Rainforest, more precisely in the Juma River, without any access to the signal of celphone or Internet. I wanted to have spent more time, but these days were enough to give me a taste of the Amazonian experience and, yes, want to come back other times.

1st day:

* The saga to reach the Juma River

The sequence was exactly this: van to the port of Ceasa – boat to cross the Black River – kombi again – boat to our jungle hotel. In total, it was about 3 hours of much excitement and adventure.

Place where we made the meals and where our boat went for the tours.

Place where we made the meals and where our boat went for the tours.

 Detail of the collective dormitory with mosquito protection ;)

Detail of the collective dormitory with mosquito protection ;)

Individual bungalows

Individual bungalows

* Fishing ‘piranhas’

After we arrived at the jungle hotel, we settled in, had lunch and in the middle of the afternoon we went out for fishing piranhas. And, yes, I fished one to tell history, and this is not fisherman’s one. :)

* Alligator Experience

That was the part where I felt a certain fear. Our guide focuses with the lantern in the eyes of the alligator, which loses for a few seconds the ability to see. It is at this moment that the animal is captured with all care and without any risk, either to him or to the human. I tried to hold the alligator with my own hands, but fearing any movement of it, I preferred to leave it to the care of the experienced guides. At least I touched the alligator before it was put back into the river.

The prove

2nd day:

* Contemplating the sunrise

There is not much to say … only feel through these images the beauty of the moment. It was worth it waking up at 5:20 in the morning. <3

 On the way to the boat stop in the middle of Juma

On the way to the boat stop in the middle of Juma

* Jungle trekking

After the sunrise, we returned to the hotel, had breakfast, and then went out for a walk in the jungle. We saw a bit of everything: from ants that can be used as natural repellents, a bracelet made with leaves from local trees, to various animals, especially birds. We were still amazed with rain above our heads, which made us run to the boat in order to return to the hotel.

Flower of the chestnut we found in the middle of the way

Flower of the chestnut we found in the middle of the way

Our guide Chitão making my bracelet. :)

Our guide Chitão making my bracelet. :)

Trees that give us so much life.

Trees that give us so much life.

 * River Bath

How could it not be, I jumped into the waters of the Juma River. Okay, I came in with my peculiar caution in itself dealing with water and depth, but I could not let the chance pass. I was also on the lookout for a pair of pink dolphins, who appeared there from time to time, frightened me. But they did not show up any more.

Um brinde! :p

Cheers! :p

* Sleeping in the jungle

It was late afternoon and we began to prepare to spend the night camped in the middle of the forest. Our guide, very familiar to this experience, had everything prepared: our hammoks with their respective proctection against moquitoes; a chicken, that would be cooked with the aid of the stakes collected in the own forest; some beers to the conversations by the fire; the coffee for breakfast the next day, as well as the crackers of salt and water.

To get to our camp (read: the straw structure that would cover our heads), we took a boat and sailed for approximately 1 hour. Arriving on the site, we helped to “set up” our hammocks and prepare the dinner. After eating and drinking, sleeping time had come and along with it the expectation of sleeping with the sound of the mosquitoes and the leaves surrounding us. I must confess I was a bit afraid of leaving the hammock at night and face a wild animal. Who knew!?

When the day dawned, it was incredible to feel the sense of peace, tranquility, and serenity that filled us.

View from our camp

View from our camp

Hammock with mosquitoes protection

Hammock with mosquitoes protection

Our guide in action

Our guide in action

The dinner :p

The dinner :p

Breakfast

Breakfast

Coffee time

Coffee time

3rd day:

* Visit to the caboclo’s house

After breakfast, we organize to leave the camp and visit the home of a local caboclo.

Chitão and I, our great guide!

Chitão and I, our great guide!

In fact, the figure that surprised me the most was a cabocla, named Nazaré, in her forties and 14 children (!).

We listened and told stories. It was incredibly fantastic to try to understand how those people live isolated from everything and everyone, without any technology, other than the small radio signal that arrives there. I bought a pair of earrings and an açaí seed bracelet made by Nazaré’s family and it was just that, besides the memories, that I photographed from the place.

* Bye time

After three days living with people from various countries and in a place totally different from my natural habitat, it is natural that the intensity of the moment generates a bigger “saudade”. That was how I felt.

<3

<3

Reasons to go to Brazilian Amazon

We are tired of commenting that we, brazilians, don’t know the Amazon rainforest. I decided some time ago to leave this statistic that I was not proud of. After all, I was born so close, however I had never been there before.

No! It doesn’t take great planning or financial investment to travel to the forest, although there are many options for all tastes and profiles of travelers. I would say that a handful of goodwill and luck in finding a flight promotion are already more than enough to reach the northern region of Brazil. And that’s what happened to me.

In January of this year (just when that prison problem occurred on the spot, remember?), I spent six days, divided between Manaus and a jungle hotel in the middle of the Forest, more precisely on the banks of the Juma River. And, yes, I went by myself!

I lived one of the most incredible experiences of my life there and here are some of the reasons why I strongly recommend including Manaus and region in the upcoming travel itineraries:

1) The arrival in the Amazonian capital is one of the most incredible that my eyes have ever seen.

Reparem no mundaréu de água doce

2) Manaus is quite rich in culture and history. This city, for example, was the first capital to have electricity in Brazil. Walking through its streets and squares, it is easy to see the colorful historic buildings embellishing the place.

Vista do Largo de São Sebastião. a partir do Teatro Amazonas.

View of Largo de São Sebastião, from Amazonas Opera House

3) Manaus is full of urban art, especially graffiti. You can easily find murals with reference to the indigenous culture.

4) It is worth it to try the local cuisine. I really liked the “x-caboquinho”, a sandwich stuffed with cheese and tucumã, a fruit of the region very rich in vitamins A, B and C. They say it has 90 times more vitamin A than avocado. 😮

Salivei! :p

:p

5) You have the possibility to connect with your origins, for example, visiting Indian reservations.

Visitando uma reserva indígena próximo a Manaus

Visiting an indigenous reservation next to Manaus

6) It is possible to have unforgetable jungle experiences in a safe and organized way (I will write more about a next post), and without paying much for it.

Contemplando o nascer de um novo dia no meio da Floresta Amazônica

Contemplating the sunrise in the middle of the Amazon Forest (me: hat and yellow t-shirt)

7) There are several surprises along the way. The Amazon is superlative.

Encontro casual ;)

Casual meeting ;)

8) In the region, cultural exchange is intense.

Na foto, temos: brasileiros, uruguaio, iraniano, chinesa e guianense

Here we have: Brazilians, Uruguayan, Iranian, Chinese and Guyanese

Footprints on the Camino de Santiago

Early in the first steps of Saint Jean Pied de Port (France), where the French Way has began, I realized that I would find many details in reference to this millennial pilgrimage. No wonder, I started to photograph them.

One that struck me in particular was the floor adorned with the mark of the famous shell of the Way of Saint James by the French and Spanish cities.

Here I share my fun hobby adopted during those 31 days. :)

Quinta do Mocho: a place to go in Lisbon

In times of great discussion about graffiti in Brazil, I would like to share one of the incredible experiences I have had the opportunity to live recently.

It is a street art tour through Lisbon, more precisely, in Quinta do Mocho.

Quinta do Mocho is a social district, located in Loures, close to Lisbon airport. It was created especially to welcome families of africans, coming from the former Portuguese colonies in that continent. It comprises more than 40 residential buildings, arranged in a village or “condomínio” form, as we know it here in Brazil.

We learned of this place through a private street art tour that we hired with Filomena, from the Estrela D’alva tour, in Lisbon, where Vasco, a graffiti specialist, led us through the main interventions in the city and its surroundings.

Vasco left Quinta do Mocho for the end of the tour. It was the “grand finale”. Here’s why:

Vasco told us that the locals had made a single demand: that a mural of Bob Marley were painted. 😉 Unfortunately, we do not photograph it, but I can say that is also absolutely beautiful and inspiring.

Here’s another piece of information: Quinta do Mocho, after all these murals, is gaining a “new air”, so to speak. Bus lines have started to circulate to the place. Small businesses have begun to emerge within the neighborhood. The residents are prouder to say that they live in Quinta do Mocho.

It is now known as an open-air art gallery. After all, there are more than 43 large murals occupying the space of existing buildings. I have read in some blogs, that it would even be the Europe’s largest open-air art gallery.

My personal impressions: I felt something very special walking through the alleys of Quinta do Mocho and every moment come across those huge murals. The cheerful songs that played inside the houses, whose high sound reached us, made me delve into the difficult reality of the residents of the neighborhood and their hope in better days. It was intense and shocking to be on that Sunday morning at Quinta do Mocho. I want and hope to return one day. <3

New year, new chances

I believe that changes of habits and the fulfillment of new and old desires, can be influenced by the beginning of a new year. Thinking about it is that every December, I reflect on what I would like to change or accomplish for the cycle that is about to start. Generally, I write my goals on a special book note, which I can easily follow over the next 12 months.

I always remember what my friend Mara, inspired by her mother, says: “there is nothing that can not come true with will, planning and action.”

Thinking and believing on it, among other purposes, for 2017, I want to connect even more with myself. For this, I would like to practice yoga and meditate again; to practice more outdoor sports, such as trails and water sports; to continue writing some thoughts on this blog…

What about you? Do you adopt a different strategy? How do you plan for a new year?

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF US! 2017 has already started beautiful! :)

Agendinha 2017, presente do meu pai. <3

Vibrant book note 2017 gift from my dad. <3

Remo para Rumos :)

Remo para Rumos :)

My book list 2016

arte de rua no Cais do Sodré, em Lisboa

street art in Cais do Sodré, Lisbon

Once I heard that “we are the books we read, the movies we watch …” Since this time, I have realized that I do not want to be only “law books”. I wanted to be literature, self-help, adventure, travel, dramas …

From 2015 onwards, then, I had the initiative to take note the amount of books I read, in addition to those of the legal area.

Many of the books in the list below felt (literally) tears, smiled, prayed with me. All of them, however, unveiled a new vision, a new perspective, a new understanding.

Poliana - não dá para esquecer do jogo do contente. <3

Pollyanna – impossible to forget “the glad game” <3

Here’s my 2016 retrospective …

1) Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
2) Nelson Mandela (Biography)
3) O outro nome do céu (Mara Vanessa Torres)
4) Futebol-Arte (Jair de Souza, Lúcia Rito e Sérgio Sá Leitão)
5) Retalhos (Craig Thompson)
6) The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
7) O nome de Deus é misericórdia (Papa Francisco)
8) Um trem para a Suíça (David Coimbra)
9) Memórias de minhas putas tristes (Gabriel Garcia Marques)
10) Criativo e empreendedor, sim senhor (Rafa Cappai)
11)Um lugar na janela (Martha Medeiros)
12)Poliana (Eleanor)
13)Quando o sofrimento bater à sua porta (Pe. Fábio de Melo)
14)A maior flor do mundo (José Saramago)
15)O conto da Ilha Desconhecida (José Saramago)
16)Confissões de um Pecador (Santo Agostinho)
17)O mundo sem anéis – 100 dias em bicicleta (Mariana Carpanezzi)

I am almost finishing to read “Heide”, written by Johanna Spyri, and with pretensions to start some other, but the choice will depend on the mood of the day. 😉

What about you? Do you have a list of books and / or movies to share? I’d love to know in order to inspire me to compose my next lists. :)

It’s worth dreaming

In the midst of the worldwide commotion due to what happened with the Chapecoense equip, I revisited this text that I wrote last year. Football has the power to gather people around a magic that rationality can not explain.

In this space (using more words than usual), I write the details of the emotion that was for me and my family to watch a football game of our team, Corinthians, at the Arena Itaquera, a dream that came true on October 15, 2015.

Corinthiana roxa!

Corinthiana roxa!

“I do not remember when or where. I only know that from the very first days of life, as a photo below of the yellowed family album, perhaps by osmosis (!) or pure unconscious intellection, I recognize myself as a Corinthians fan.

I remember that child, with eight or nine years old, I was already accompanying my father in the afternoons or evenings of soccer in front of the TV, to faithfully cheer for our “Timão”. Not infrequently we have even recorded the most important matches on VHS, so we could watch them again and again. What happened to the final of the 1998 and 1999 Brazilian Championships “Brasileirão” and the 2000 FIFA Mundial de Clubes. Even more modern, father preferred to buy himself on an internet sales site on DVD, all the games Corinthians played in Libertadores da América that resulted in the trip to Japan and the title of World Champion of Club to Corinthians.

Esse é A foto - eu bebê com minha mãe e meu pai, esse último vestindo a camisa do Timão. :)

Esse é A foto – eu bebê com minha mãe e meu pai, esse último vestindo a camisa do Timão. :)

I remember how many times, talking about the endless jokes of fans of opposing teams in the absence of a Corinthian stadium, my father repeated: ‘Daughter, it will not be long and we will have a stadium. At that moment, the first game we’ll see on there, it’ll be all of us together. ‘

The years passed and the team announced that finally there would be a combination of efforts and our Arena would finally be constructed. It was not few times that I saw my father watching on the Internet, sitting in his office in Teresina, with enthusiasm, the evolution of that construction, through cameras installed in the place. He heard nothing but the noise of the building.

Duly ready to be one of the host of FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Arena Corinthians or Arena Itaquera was inaugurated. Each pitch or transmission on the spot made the excitement grow between us and the certainty that someday we would be in  those bleachers with other thousands of fans.

Meu pai e a Arena Corinthians frente a frente. <3

Meu pai e a Arena Corinthians frente a frente. <3

The year 2015 had began and I decided to write on my wish list of that year: ‘Watch a match with my father in the Corinthians Arena’. Ready! From that moment, it became a matter of honor to ‘take the old / new dream from paper’.

Without big plans or resolutions, the fact is that on October 15, 2015, we were together, my father, my mother and sister, sitting in the ranks JJ and KK, of the Western sector of the Corinthians Arena or “Hospice”, among another fans, affectionately named as ‘the bunch of madmen’ . To execute the idea, my sister faced the Paulista bus traffic jam from Ribeirão Preto; My parents took a flight from Brasilia the day before; And I got on a plane a few hours from the match, also coming from the Federal Capital.

No metrô lotado, a caminho de Itaquera.

No metrô lotado, a caminho de Itaquera.

Tickets in hand, we entered the Arena Corinthians, running, because the game had begun 10 minutes before. I do not remember our faces during the entrance. I just remember, while crossing a small footbridge to access the stadium and seeing more than 43 thousand people occupying each space, I looked back to them after raising their arms, as if  we were already celebrating a goal, and opening a smile to my family .

Ecstasy, enchantment, curiosity, joy – HAPPINESS was what I felt at that moment and the other 75 minutes during which we would remain in the place. During this period, I saw tear-filled eyes – on my father’s part, especially – spontaneous celebration.

Corinthians scored three times. Three moments, therefore, of uncontrolled jumps and hugs, of who only lives this experience in the stadium is able to understand. Such a meaningful experience that allows strangers, willingly and spontaneously, to forget differences and embrace themselves as old friends.

Os

Os “manos” chegaram para a foto \o/

Photos, videos, more photos and more videos. We did everything, even finish the moment with a small testimony at the end of the game. After a few hours of the end of the match, we were all back to our realities in Ribeirão Preto, Brasília and Teresina.

That moment served once more to prove that happiness exists and that, as the result of a dream, carries with it all the energy and magnitude of achievement.

It’s worth dreaming! “

<3

Speaking about loneliness…

Loneliness is a subject that from time to time permeates my world. In these almost two years living alone, it occasionally comes to pay me a visit, then I choose, depending on the mood of the day, whether I invite her for a coffee or I simply renege on her presence and distract myself.

IMG_5533

Some people say that living in Brasilia (here extending to the entire Federal District) is an invitation to solitude. They justify saying that people are cold, that living here is a hurry, that neighbors do not talk with each other … I, in particular, do not agree very much with this thought, for the simple fact of believing that to feel or not alone is something that depends more on himself/herself than on the presence of someone else. Who has never felt alone even in the presence of other people?

Brasília/DF

Brasília/DF

Loneliness for me is state of mind and, as such, makes us good or bad, depending on whether or not it is managed wisely.

I will never forget the times I went to a restaurant and told the maitre: “just one seat, please!”; Or when I went to the cinema and watched “Room” and cried a lot because I also have the habit of talking to my apartment when I left and arrive every single day; the first and exciting solo trip, but these will be the theme of other posts of this blog. Coming soon. :)

solo movie session

solo movie session

1st solo trip (RJ, June 2015). Here at the top of Rocinha, during the Favela Tour.

1st solo trip (RJ, June 2015). Here at the top of Rocinha, during the Favela Tour.

On the Camino de Santiago - 2nd and largest solo trip so far. \O/

On the Camino de Santiago – 2nd and largest solo trip so far. \O/

In Portugal, sept / out 2016 - 3rd solo trip. Save the selfie stick! ;D

In Portugal, sept / oct 2016 – 3rd solo trip. Save the selfie stick! ;D

Road trip - solo. Pirenópolis/GO in nov. 2016.

Road trip – solo. Pirenópolis/GO in nov. 2016.

Here a small and complementary reflection about solitude that I read few hours ago in the book “The world without rings – 100 days on bicycle” (free translation) by Mariana Carpanezzi, which inspired me for writing this post:

Excerpt from the book “The world without rings – 100 days on bicycle”, by Mariana Carpanezzi.