Just the Pictures (Brazil) Iguaçu Falls, seen from Iguaçu National Park in Brazil – the other side of the river is Iguazú National Park in Argentina. Looking down at the Garganta do Diabo Walkway, which allows visitors to get a better view of the Devil’s Throat (i.e. the upper-most portion) at Iguaçu Falls – this walkway is accessed from the Brazilian side in Iguaçu National Park. Approaching the Garganta do Diabo Walkway to get a better view of the Devil’s Throat. Closer view of waterfalls, seen from the walkway. Another view of the Devil’s Throat from the walkway. Looking downstream at Iguaçu River, from the walkway. Yet another spectacular view of the Devil’s Throat at Iguaçu Falls, where the longest drop is measured at 82 meters. Waterfalls nearest to the walkway, on the Brazilian side of the river. Hotel das Cataratas, which is located inside Iguaçu National Park. Looking up at the canopy in what is classified as an Alto Paraná Atlantic forest. Leaf cut up by leaf-cutter ants. Chestnut-eared aracari. In a tour boat heading upstream to Iguaçu Falls. Another boat passing by in the Iguaçu River. Waterfalls on the Argentinean side of the river. The tour boat entering under one of the lesser waterfalls at Iguaçu Falls. Approaching the waterfall on the right so the boat’s passengers can take another shower. Entering under a second waterfall for our boat tour – NOTE: at the boat dock, passengers have a choice between a wet or dry tour. Looking toward the waterfalls in the Devil’s Throat, which lie beyond the safely navigable portion of the river, before turning back downstream. Funicular that takes passengers up from and down to the boat dock on the Iguaçu River for boat tours of Iguaçu Falls. Street performer showcasing his talents in front of cars stopped at a red light in Foz do Iguaçu to make some money. Rua Galvão Bueno in the Liberdade district of São Paulo, which has a sizeable Japanese community. Platter of sushi, sashimi, hosomaki, and a bowl of yakisoba, as well as sides of gyoza and soup with a cold beer to wash it all down – enjoyed in a Japanese restaurant in the Liberdade district of São Paulo, which is (by many estimates) home to the world’s largest ethnic Japanese community outside of Japan. Statue of St. Paul in front of São Paulo Cathedral, in the city named after him. Inside São Paulo Cathedral, which was completed in 1967 AD in a Neo-Gothic style. Mosaic and statues underneath a stained glass window in São Paulo Cathedral. Tall palms lining the Praça da Sé near the Cathedral. View of São Paulo Cathedral, seen from one of the pools in Praça da Sé. Reflecting pools in Praça da Sé. Memorial da América Latina (“Latin American Memorial”) in São Paulo. Festival costumes from Mexico, Venezuela, and other Latin American countries in the Pavilion of Creativity at the Latin American Memorial. Artwork inside the Pavilion of Creativity at the Latin American Memorial. Traditional dress from Boliva, in the front and center; the other dresses to the sides come from other Latin American countries. Candelabra created for the Day of the Dead in Mexico. Bust of Simón Bolívar in front of the auditorium that bears his name at the Latin America Memorial; the bust, titled ‘El Genio’ was created by Oscar Niemeyer. Sculpture of a musician at the Latin America Memorial. ‘The Hand’, a seven-meter high monument created by Oscar Niemeyer and located at the Latin America Memorial in São Paulo; the red represents the blood of martyrs who gave their lives for freedom in Latin America. Rio Tietê with the Anhembi Sambadrome in the distance on the left. Baianas (or “whirling ladies”) in the samba parade performed by the Barroca Zona Sul samba school at the Anhembi Sambadrome in São Paulo for Carnaval 2020. Flag bearer and her escort for Barroca Zona Sul. One of the giant floats for the Barroca Zona Sul samba school. One of the Passistas (or “samba dancers”) for the Barroca Zona Sul samba school. Couple more samba dancers for Barroca Zona Sul. Another float (this one with revolving heads on top) for Barroca Zona Sul. More members for Barroca Zona Sul in one of the sections called “alas” (or “wing”) in their samba parade. Close-up of one of the last Passistas in the Barroca Zona Sul samba school’s Carnaval parade. First float for the Tom Maior samba school parade. Members of Tom Maior samba school singing and dancing along in one of the wings of the parade. Different set of costumes for another wing of the Tom Maior samba school parade. Third giant float for the Tom Maior samba school. Fourth, and final, giant float for the Tom Maior samba school. Passista posing for a photograph. First float for Dragões da Real samba school. Second float for Dragões da Real samba school. Members in one of the wings for Dragões da Real samba school’s parade. Many different colored costumes worn by members ahead of the fourth float in the Dragões da Real samba school’s parade. Close-up of more costumed members. Side view of the fourth float for Dragões da Real. Even more ostentatious costumes by the Dragões da Real samba school. Side view of the fifth float (out of six) for the Dragões da Real samba school, which is obviously celebrating the art of Charlie Chaplin. Close-up of one of the men on the lead float for the Mancha Verde samba school parade. Full-view of the lead float for the Mancha Verde samba school. Close-up of singers on the third float for the Mancha Verde samba school. Some of Mancha Verde’s costumed members. Fifth (and final) float for the Mancha Verde samba school parade blowing confetti out to the audience. Sound truck at the tail-end of the Mancha Verde samba school’s parade (similar trucks are at the end of each school’s parade and are stocked with musicians and singers to keep the rhythm and beat of the samba song played during the entirety of their procession). Lead float for the Acadêmicos do Tatuapé samba school parade. Colorful costumes for Acadêmicos do Tatuapé samba school members. Second float for Acadêmicos do Tatuapé samba school blowing out confetti from the top. Confetti raining down on everyone. Flag bearer and her escort for the Acadêmicos do Tatuapé samba school. Fourth float for the Acadêmicos do Tatuapé samba school. Nearing the end of the procession for the Acadêmicos do Tatuapé samba school; the sound truck is off to the side of the long alley, in the center of the Anhembi Sambadrome, performing for the master of ceremonies and guests of honor, while their fifth (and final) float can be seen further down the alley. Backside of one of the Passistas for the Acadêmicos do Tatuapé samba school – it looks like she’s wearing dental floss. Fifth (and final) float for the Acadêmicos do Tatuapé samba school parade. Members from Império de Casa Verde samba school singing in the lead wing of the parade. Close-up of a mermaid singing on the lead float (out of four) for the Império de Casa Verde samba school parade. More colorful costumes from Império de Casa Verde samba school. Even more crazy costumes worn by members in another wing of the Império de Casa Verde samba school parade. Passista in front of the drummers near the end of the Império de Casa Verde samba school parade, which was the last parade to perform this night at the Anhembi Sambadrome in São Paulo. Workers preparing the long alley at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro for the parades that will begin in roughly seven hours (officially, the venue is named “Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí”). Flag bearer and her escort for the São Clemente samba school’s parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro for Carnaval 2020. Passista for the São Clemente samba school showing her tan-lines. Members of the São Clemente samba school wearing money costumes. Giant Pinocchio figure on the sixth (and final) float of the São Clemente samba school parade. From left to right: 1st Princess, King Momo, Queen, and 2nd Princess that were selected for the 2020 Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro. Passista at the beginning of the Vila Isabel samba school procession. Lead float for Vila Isabel samba school’s parade Members of Vila Isabel samba school wearing costumes with leopard heads. More creative costumes by the Vila Isabel samba school. Vila Isabel samba school’s Baianas in banana dresses. More colorful costumes on display in Vila Isabel’s samba school parade. Samba dancers in one of the wings of Vila Isabel samba school’s parade. Close-up of the fourth float (out of six) in Vila Isabel’s samba school parade. Long procession of floats in Salgueiro samba school’s parade. Man dressed up as the ring leader as part of a circus theme in Salgueiro samba school’s parade. Fourth float in Salgueiro samba school’s parade. One of the Passistas for the Salgueiro samba school. Eighth (and final) float in Salgueiro samba school’s parade, where the arm of the giant figure facing the front moves to cover and uncover his face with that white carnival mask – NOTE: there is a time limit for each parade, so they can’t build endless floats and they have to ensure they don’t move too slowly. One of the last of the Passistas for the Salgueiro samba school posing for a photograph. Impressive float created by the Unidos da Tijuca samba school that had a recreation of the ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue rise up, move His arms, turn around, and descend back down. The Unidos da Tijuca samba school had many members dress up in costumes inspired by cultures around the world; this wing is paying homage to Ancient Egyptian culture. Passista dancing for the Unidos da Tijuca samba school. Members of the Unidos da Tijuca samba school dressed up like naval ships of the Portuguese Empire. Unidos da Tijuca samba school’s Baianas dressed up in costumed designed to look like the Cathedral of Brasília. Float depicting the Cathedral of Brasília and Michelangelo’s ‘Pietà’ in Unidos da Tijuca samba school’s parade. Close-up of singers dressed up like the Cathedral of Brasília on one of the floats in Unidos da Tijuca samba school’s parade. Flag bearer and her escort for the Unidos da Tijuca samba school. Another float (one of many) in Unidos da Tijuca samba school’s parade – this one depicting an oil spill in an environmentalist theme. Members of the Unidos da Tijuca samba school carrying umbrellas as part of their costume. Passista with a scarlet macaw figure dancing in the Unidos da Tijuca samba school’s parade. Final float of Unidos da Tijuca samba school’s parade reaching the end of the long alley at the Sambadrome. Giant green float in Mocidade samba school’s parade. Close-up of singers on the float representing Mocidade samba school. Members in a wing of Mocidade samba school’s parade. Glittery Passista dancing in Mocidade samba school’s parade. Impressive float with a crystalline-looking hummingbird on top, created by the Beija-Flor samba school. Bright costumes worn by members in a wing of Mocidade samba school’s parade. Third float in Beija-Flor samba school’s parade. Fourth float in Beija-Flor samba school’s parade. Colorful costumes donned by members in a wing of the Beija-Flor samba school’s parade. Fifth float (out of seven) with a giant crown on its tall top, in Beija-Flor samba school’s parade. Members of Beija-Flor samba school dressed up in costumes inspired by Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Spectators flooding the long alley at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro after the six samba schools that performed throughout the night finished their parades around 04:45 on this Fat Tuesday morning in 2020. Looking up at the ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue in the morning while walking back to my hotel along Rua São Clemente after a long night. Praia de Ipanema (“Ipanema Beach”) at night full of inebriated people celebrating Carnaval. People celebrating Carnaval in the intersection at the southeast corner of Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz in Ipanema. Best costume I saw during Carnaval. People marching down a street in Ipanema. Bottle of Brazilian Merlot. Brazilian white wine made from Chardonnay and Viognier grapes. Dinner of shrimp with limes and seasoning, as well as tapioca daddies made with coalho cheese and served with watermelon jelly and arugula pesto. Palácio Pedro Ernesto – built in 1923 AD, it serves as the Municipal Chamber of Rio de Janeiro. Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro, which was built in 1909 AD in a Parisian style. Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian, which is also simply known as “Rio de Janeiro Cathedral.” Interior of the Cathedral, which was completed in 1979 AD and designed by Edgar de Oliveira da Fonseca in a modern style based on Mayan architectural style of pyramids. Another view of the interior of the Cathedral, which has a height of 75 meters. Statue of Christ inside the Cathedral. View of the altar inside the Cathedral. Exterior view of Rio de Janeiro Cathedral and its bell tower. ‘Equestrian Sculpture of D. Pedro II’ by Francisco Manoel Chaves Pinheiro (1866 AD), located in the National History Museum. Imperial badge made of silver that belonged to the old throne room in the Imperial Palace of Rio de Janeiro and which originally came from Portugal (19th-century AD). Combs made from different Brazilian tribes (20th-century AD). ‘Quarup Trunk’ that was made by the Kanayurá tribe for a quarup ceremony in 1993 AD; quarups are painted tree trunks that represent the dead and are placed in the center of the village during the ceremony to liberate the souls of the departed and emphasize their importance in this life. A sugarloaf mold – this shape is why Sugarloaf Mountain has its name. ‘Expulsion of the French from Rio de Janeiro in 1567’ by Armando Viana (1940 AD). Courtyard of the National History Museum (which used to be a fort) with many cannons on display. Wooden sculptures representing types of walking sellers who could be found hawking their products along Brazilian streets until the first decades of the 1900s; these were carved by Erotides Américo de Araújo Lopes (in the late 19th- and early 20th-centuries AD). ‘Festive Sunday on the Farm’ by Hans Nobauer (ca. 1920s AD). Meeting table where the members of the Chamber of Deputies of the Empire of Brazil met to promulgate the first constitution in 1824 AD. Revolver that belonged to Giuseppe Garibaldi, who came to Brazil as a refugee in 1835 AD, joined the rebels known as the Ragamuffins (“farrapos”) in the Ragamuffin War, and took up their cause of establishing the Riograndense Republic and later the Catarinense Republic. Throne of the Supreme Court of Military Justice that was used by D. Pedro II. Mold of the right hand of D. Pedro II, crafted out of bronze by Marc Ferrez (19th-century AD). ‘D. Pedro II’ by Jules Le Chevrel (1862 AD). ‘The Chaco Passage’ by Pedro Américo (1871 AD). Different historical uniforms worn by the Brazilian military. ‘The Illusion of the Third Reign: The Last Ball of the Monarchy on Fiscal Island’ by Aurélio de Figueiredo (1905 AD). Carriage used by Empress Teresa Christina in the 19th-century AD. Cannonball tree (Couroupita guianensis). Part of a fountain designed by Mestre Valentim that is located next to Praça Quinze de Novembro. Olympic Pyre built for the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, with Candelária Church in the background. Praça Mauá (“Mauá Square”) with a statue of Irineu Evangelista de Sousa, the Viscount of Mauá, who established the modern Banco do Brasil and was one of the richest men in the world in the late 19th-century AD. Entrance to the Museu do Amanhã (“Museum of Tomorrow”), a science museum designed by Spanish neo-futuristic architect Santiago Calatrava and built in 2015 AD. Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat, which is more commonly known as the Mosteiro de São Bento (“Monastery of St. Benedict”); this is a Benedictine abbey located on top of Morro de São Bento (“St. Benedict Hill”). Interior of the abbey church, which was built in 1671 AD. Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, inside of the abbey church. Another view of the interior of the abbey church, which is covered in gold leaf gilding. Main altar inside the church at the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat. Exterior of the Museu de Arte do Rio, seen from Praça Mauá. Narrow street (named “Rua Eduardo Jansen”). Brazilian flag painted on steps at the end of Rua Eduardo Jansen. Statue of Mercedes Baptista (1921-2014 AD), who was a Brazilian ballet dancer, a choreographer, and creator of Afro-Brazilian ballet; located in São Francisco da Prainha Square. Looking east on Rua Sacadura Cabral near the intersection with Rua Camerino. Monument in front of the excavated remains of Cais do Valongo (“Valongo Wharf”). Remains of Valongo Wharf, which was built in 1811 AD and was the site of disembarkation and trading of enslaved Africans until 1831 AD, when the blockade of Africa banning the Atlantic slave trade to Brazil occurred. Buildings on the side of Rua Camerino. Central Clock, located above Central do Brasil, a major train station and the last stop of Rio de Janeiro’s railway network. Portuguese red wine made from a blend of Aragonez, Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira, and Syrah grapes. Cable car coming into the ground station, at the base of Morro da Babilônia. Viewing the Botafogo district, as well as the ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue in the far distance, during the cable car ride up to Morro da Urca. Cable car descending from Pão de Açucar (“Sugarloaf Mountain”), returning to the station on Morro da Urca. Common marmoset on Sugarloaf Mountain. Watching a descending cable car pass by as the cable car I’m in ascends to Sugarloaf Mountain. Red Beach (the closer and smaller one) and Copacabana Beach (the longer one), viewed from Sugarloaf Mountain. Praia de Botafogo and ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue, seen from Sugarloaf Mountain. Guanabara Bay with Rio-Niterói Bridge in the far distance. What looks to be blue ginger (Dichorisandra thyrsiflora) flowers and fruit. Looking east across the inlet to Guanabara Bay, from Sugarloaf Mountain. Another view of Rio de Janeiro from Sugarloaf Mountain – thanks almost entirely due to geographic location, this is certainly one of the most beautiful cities. Looking out toward Praia de Botafogo (“Botafogo Beach”) from the cable car while descending from Morro da Urca. Cable cars going to and from Morro da Urca, the peak visitors must go to first before continuing on to Sugarloaf Mountain. Sugarloaf Mountain, seen from Praia Vermelha (“Red Beach”). Inclined railway that takes visitors up to Corcovado Mountain. ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue at the peak of Corcovado Mountain (700 meters high); the statue was completed in 1931 AD. Backside of the ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue. Filet Mignon medallion with risotto of saffron and almonds, as well as a side of sweet potato cubes.