Sao Paulo, despite being the most populous city in Brazil, always seems to get slighted because of the glamour and glitz that is Rio de Janeiro. Rio’s gorgeous beaches, urban jungle (with an actual jungle in the middle of it), and relaxed Carioca ways seem to attract more tourists than Sao Paulo. I had a number of people tell me prior to leaving for this trip that they were excited for the Rio and Iguazu Falls portions, but much less so about the Sao Paulo end. That makes me pretty sad because despite our short time in Sao Paulo, I really enjoyed our time here and only wish we had more time to explore its many facets.
The most striking thing during our short visit to Sao Paulo was by far the number of incredible street art murals we saw all over the city – during our (like New York-priced, sadly – we weren’t lied to by Cariocas when they told us that cabs were expensive in Sao Paulo!) cab rides and our strolls. Some appear more like glorified graffiti, some are caricatures of famous celebrities around the globe (with what appear to be political or challenging questions scribbled in Portuguese), others look like they took painstaking efforts and several dozen different colors (and hours) to produce. The last place where I remember constantly seeing street art was in Philadelphia, but because Sao Paulo is obviously far larger (and felt more spread out) than Philly, it was almost overwhelming. It was almost similar to how I felt when we were at Iguazu — when you thought you had seen the best, you walked a few more feet and realized… you hadn’t seen the best yet and were constantly being impressed and having the last sight out done.
I guess as I have thought more about it, the one word that constantly reappears when I think of our time in Brazil is “overwhelming.” It was so overwhelming in some of the most positive ways.