Sao Paulo, Oscar Niemeyer, Rua Oscar Freire…it’s all about the Oscar’s ;-)!

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All Oscar's go to Sao Paulo! Join us and visit the auditorium and Oca, both designed by Oscar Niemeyer, eat at Santo Gráo in Itaim, stroll along Rua Oscar Freire and have dinner at Nakka Jardins.

Which area:  Sao Paulo, Ibirapuera Park and Itaim.

How to go: Take an Uber to the park. The park has several entrances. Opposite entrance 2 you see the Bandeiras Monument. A tribute to the explorers who first came.

What to do: Visit the auditorium designed by famous architect Oscar Niemeyer in Ibirapuera Park. The Pavilion Lucas Noguerira Garcez, known as "Oca" due to the shape of brazilian indian traditional homes, is an exhibition structure in Ibirapuera Park. Worth a visit! At the time we were there, Oca, also designed by Oscar Niemeyer, was under construction. So we only saw the outside of Oca.

Where having lunch? You can have a delicious lunch in the garden of Santo Gráo. There are seven locations of Santo Gráo in Sao Paulo. We picked out the one in Itaim. Very friendly staff, good wine and food and a sereen place to sit under the palm trees in the garden.

Stroll around: It is a joy to stroll around Rua Oscar Freire. Luxury shops, small shops, coffee bars and galleries are all over the place. It feels a little bit European. And the top of the shops is, of course, the Havianas flag ship store. You will find flip flops in every imaginable design and color. They have more than 350 models!

Cooling down: After you spend your credit card on Rua Oscar Freire you will cool down with a nice cup of coffee at Tostado Café Club.

What to eat for dinner: A great suggestion to have dinner is at Nakka Jardins. A place where a lot of green surrounds you and you can eat the most delicious gyoza's and sushi's. Highly recommended are the sushi's with salmon and truffle! Bom proveito!

Watch our vlog of Sao Paulo!

Panama and Taboga…Tobogo, Tabago…no it’s Taboga Island ;-)!

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Escape to Taboga, a tropical island you can reach in just half an hour sailing from Panama City!

Panama - Isla Taboga: also known as the "Island of Flowers", is a volcanic island in the Gulf of Panama about 20 km from Panama City.

Which area: Isla Taboga, Panama City.

How to go: The day starts at the ferry terminal on the Amador Causeway in Panama City, where boats cross back and forth to the island all day long. You can buy the ferry tickets in advance on the side of Taboga Express.

What do you need: You need ferry tickets in advance, a lot of sunscreen, a hat, swimwear, water, a credit card, some cash.

What to do: There are seafront boutique hotels and beach bars. You can sniff some culture by visiting the St. Peter’s Church (Iglesia de San Pedro) which is conveniently located in the centre of town. There is only one road and almost no traffic, which makes it the perfect escape. From hiking to spectacular viewpoints to relaxing on the beaches...it is up to you!

Nice to know information: The French painter Paul Gauguin lived on the island of Taboga. There are some nice wall paintings as a hommage, you can find them in the centre of the little town. Nothing remains to bear witness of his stay here apart from a vibrant plaque, donated in 1995 by the French Embassy of Panama. Perhaps there are yet undiscovered works on Isla Taboga itself. So...go for it ;-!

Watch our vlog of Panama!

Buenos Aires, it’s all about murals, art, books and wining & dining with grandeur

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Buenos Aires

"Don't cry for me Argentina"...Evita Peron said those words when she gave her famous speech from the balcony of the 'Pink House' in the city of great grandeur: Buenos Aires! And a city it is. We saw a lot of highlights allready so we wanted to explore some new things. With Martin from buenosaires-vintage.com we drove an extended vintage 2cv to some of the famous mural paintings in Buenos Aires. Argentine muralist Alfredo Segatori likes to paint buildings featuring portraits of the people who have given him permission to paint them. It features portraits of real-life workers, neighbors, pets, and even the artist’s son, Teo, with the world in his hand. We recognized an owner of a small eating spot in one of the paintings on the wall. We verified this and it was exactly the same man who has been painted giantly on one of the walls. You could imagine that a selfie with this man was a must! The mural of Frida Kahlo in Palermo Hollywood is an artwork that measures 9 metres high by 7 metres wide and depicts Frida smoking a cigarette in a classic pose. The mural took the collective of three artists: Julián Campos Segovia, Jean Paul Jesses and Juan Carlos Campos. Frida's head is made from a wooden panel attached to the wall.

Named for the chic Buenos Aires street on which it’s located, Casa Cavia is a new concept boutique that brings together a somewhat unexpected combination of local tastemakers—a florist, a chef, a perfumer, and a bookseller—under one historic roof in a gracious 1927 home that has been thoughtfully updated. Great food and wines in a beautiful setting. Have lunch in the garden or inside if you prefer. And if you want you can buy a parfum or flowers afterwards in the tiny stores inside Casa Cavia.

Speaking about flowers, Floralis Generica is a beautiful metallic sculpture that popped up in Buenos Aires back in 2002. The amazing aluminum and stainless steel art piece was created by Argentine architect Eduardo Catalono. Measuring 20 meters high Floralis Generica is the city's first mobile sculpture and is controlled by a hydraulic system and photocells. Through hydraulic mechanics and a series of photocells, the 13-meter long petals were designed to open at 8am and close during the evening each day. It is located at Plaza de las Naciones Unidas.

We visited the Malba. The Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires is a museum located on Figueroa Alcorta Avenue, in the Palermo section of Buenos Aires. With an impressive permanent collection and a continuous stream of new and exciting temporary exhibitions. The temporary exhibition of Yoko Ono was the one that captured our imagination ;-)! The Buenos Aires Japanese Gardens are a public space administered by the non-profit Japanese Argentine Cultural Foundation in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and are one of the largest Japanese gardens of its type in the world outside Japan. At the end of the garden you will find restaurant Möoi to have lunch after visiting the gardens. Möoi is build under a train bridge, so during your lunch you can hear and feel a train above your head. Nice to check out!

El Ateneo Grand Splendid is one of the best known bookshops in Buenos Aires. The Guardian placed it as the second most beautiful bookshop in the world. Having retained its original frescoed ceilings, ornate theater boxes, elegant rounded balconies, detailed trimmings, and plush red stage curtains, the interior of the building remains as stunning today as when it was first envisioned by architects Peró and Torres Armengol. You can buy and read books or drink a coffee on stage, where the great grandeur of early ages still exists.

Just one more thing, because otherwise you will be overloaded with to much information in one compi: If you already visited hidden restaurant Florería Atlántico...please also visit his little sister Brasero Atlántico. Family matters ;-)!

Also watch the vlog of Buenos Aires!

Sao Paulo, the old masters, vintage, flip-flops and dinner in a green environment.

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Sao Paulo

We visited the MASP in Sao Paulo. The Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo is a private nonprofit museum founded by Brazilian businessman Assis Chateaubriand, in 1947, as Brazil's first modern museum. The museum is a landmark with its glass and red pillars built out of concrete. When we we're there unfortunately the pillars were covered in plastic for renovation. But the exhibition was what impressed us most and stole our hearts. What a beautiful way to exhibit art!

The return of Lina Bo Bardi’s radical crystal easels to the collection presents a selection of 119 artworks drawn from the museum’s diverse holdings, spanning from the 4th century BC to 2008. The easels were first presented at the opening of the museum’s current venue in 1968, and withdrawn in 1996. We also saw our famous Dutch old masters Rembrandt van Rijn and Frans Hals exhibited on the crystal easels. Next to Degas, Cezanne, Monet, Velasquez, and Picasso. The statement of taking the paintings off the wall and placing them on the easels making them more accessible to the public. Moreover, the placement of the labels on their backs allows for an initial direct encounter with the work, free from an interpretive framework.

After our museum visit we explored the Jardim Paulista from Avenida Paulista to Rua Augusta, one of the most famous streets in Sao Paulo, and checked out the nice store B.Luxo Vintage. This vintage shop is perfect for those who appreciate vintage objects, decorative items, accessories and clothes. Founded by two people who work in the fashion industry, this vintage shop is beautifully decorated, stylish and organized. The shop is so famous that even actress Sarah Jessica Parker visited B. Luxo Vintage. Famous Brazilian artists are also regular customers. It is worth a visit and the pieces are one by one beautiful gems.

Rua Augusta is a feast for the eyes with its colour painted walls, hip stores and coffee shops. The further you walk to the Oscar Freire the more stylish hip and rich people you will notice. A must see is the store where you can find the most famous flip-flops of Brazil: the Havaianas. These colourful, rubber-soled flip-flops have become a global phenomenon and this 300 square meters flagship store designed by Isay Weinfeld is the best place to find them.

We had dinner in one of the hottest new restaurants in Sao Paulo, the much talked-about restaurant KAA. KAA is a magnificent example of a beautiful use of space. The main restaurant is narrow and long. It is nearly 800 square-meters and has a high-ceilinged space. A massive green wall with more than 7,000 live plants, a retractable roof over a section of the space, a staircase leading to a mezzanine-level lounge, and a dividing wall behind the bar, all add to the magnificent feeling of airy relaxation. And the food is delicious! The wine menu is showed on an iPad, how modern. The brie tortellini with fig compote was excellent. We recommend that one in specific!

Watch our vlog of Sao Paulo, the old masters, vintage, flip-flops and dinner in a green environment!

Rio de Janeiro

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Rio de Janeiro
We had a great day in Rio de Janeiro! Unfortunately we spent a lot of money on taxi rides. On Sunday you have to pay the double amount. But it was worth it. We went to the hippie market in Ipanema, only open on sundays. We stayed there for a short while and after that we drove to the harbor where we took the ferry to Niterói. We visited the Contemporary Art Museum designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Unfortunately this gorgeous building was under construction after twenty years of total neglect. With the ferry we went back to the main land. At Felice in Ipanema we had a delicious lunch. Then on to the beach were we consumed the traditional caipirinha. We enjoyed the sea, the sun and the great view over Ipanema beach.

Guayaquil

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Guayaquil
Guayaguil is hot and the humanity is almost ninety percent! At the Plaza del Centenario you will find a whole collection of lizards. This place is famous for that. The city is not really spectacular and has not much to offer. We walked to the river and spotted some statues of early brave people who concurred the place or had the power to have impact on their citizens. Not much to tell about Guayaquil in our opinion. So if you have a different experience please share it with us!

Quito

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Quito
Quito is situated at high altitude, so be aware! We went to the impressive Basilica del Voto Nacional. Instead of christian ornaments you will see lizards, snakes and tropical animals from the Amazon as ornaments on the outside walls. We visited the old city as well. On Plaza Grande o de la Independencia we had a coffee of a quality you could absolutely do without. La Ronda is the hip part of Quito with a lot of art shops and local handcraft products for sale. Thunderstorms made us go back to the hotel. We arrived just in time before heaven opened her doors and a lot of rain came down and changed Quito into a pool!

Buenos Aires

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Buenos Aires
We had the ‘Last Supper’ before flying home after spending a wonderful week in Buenos Aires. Eating at Milion… well…the entourage was top notch but the staff was really uninterested and dull. The ceviche, as an entree, was delicious, but the main course was disappointing. But we had fun and it was such an amazing wonderful stay in Buenos to celebrate. Nothing could spoil that for us!

Buenos Aires

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Buenos Aires
Busy schedule … woke up, had breakfast and continued with a 2CV tour through Buenos Aires. Too bad it was raining but nevertheless it was a fun tour with Martin, a former catwalk model, who lived in NYC for six years. We learned that the 2CV’s Brasilian nickname is ‘la rana’l, which means the Frog. In the Netherlands we call her ‘Ugly Duckling’. La rana bravely drove through the streets of BA while we admired her in all her splendor. We stayed in a coffee shop brainstorming about our proposed project together. Then we went to the San Telmo vintage market. How cool and what a wonderful relaxed atmosphere. The two of us bought a vintage siphon, including it’s inherited story, told by a nice gentleman.

Buenos Aires

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Buenos Aires
Fuerza Bruta is SENSATIONAL. YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS!!!! Inspiring, spectacular, brutal, beautiful performers, visual explosion in all its facets…fantastic! After that great experience we talked to some of the cast and afterwards went to bar Isabel, the place to be. A very hip place but make a reservation, because otherwise you will have to stay on your feet the whole night without being allowed to sit. And don’t miss the restroom!

Buenos Aires

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Buenos Aires
La Boca, a kind of tourist trap, but still nice to wander around. Via La Boca we went to Plazo de Mayo where we saw the tiny balcony where Evita Perron was spotted in early days. We walked along the streets and saw beautiful imposing houses and had a drink at cafe Tortoni, the oldest coffee shop in the world where we were had a glass of wine instead ;-)! We continued our way to the famous Recoleta cemetery and visited the family tomb of the Duarte’s. A beautiful cemetery.

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