Igor Travels Abroad

"In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take."


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Brazil

Hey everyone! So I’m back and will be blogging and I hope you will enjoy reading these new posts. I would like to spend time and cover some more countries that would be great travel destinations and some history about them. So I went to Google and found a random country generator! The Random Country of the Day is (drumroll)

Brazil

 

So after researching, here are some great things to see and learn about this great country in South America. I actually have a friend from Brazil that I met in Germany and I have emailed him about telling me some great places. So in the near future, I will be able to share some more specific info that locals know about 😉

brazil

Brazil

A beautiful picture of the coastal cities and terrain spanning across the capital.

 

Brazil Listen officially the Federative Republic of Brazil is the largest country in both South America and the Latin American region. It is the world’s fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population. It is the largest Portuguese-speaking country in the world, and the only one in the Americas.

 

Some Cool Facts and History:

The origin of Brazil spans back to the 1500’s when the Portuguese claimed the land from local indigenous tribes and began colonizing the 7,491 km coastline. King Dom João III split the county into 15 territories, which caused much turmoil and a little more than a decade later, it was reunified into one colony, called the Govornate General of Brazil. In 1807, the Spanish and Napoleonic forces threatened Brasil and forced the royal bank to be moved from Lisbon to Brazil, which established some of the first financial institutions, banks and monopolies. In retaliation, Brazil went to war. Portuguese conquest of French Guiana  and then later Brazilian War of Independence, which was solely fought for the independence from Portugal. Still, Brasil was led by an emperor. On 15 November 1889, worn out by years of economic stagnation, in attrition with the majority of Army officers, as well as with rural and financial elites (for different reasons), the monarchy was overthrown by a military coup. It was now a military dictatorship without common rights for the people. Military leaders rose to power, even in the early 1930’s, especially a particular leader by the name of Getuilio Vargas. Many terrible things happened under the rule of Vargas; he was very brutal tyrant. Finally, even after rising to power in 1950, Vargas committed suicide in 1954. Some brief governments succeeded Vargas, but finally, in 1956,  Juscelino Kubitschek became president and assumed a conciliatory posture towards the political opposition that allowed him to govern without major crises. Throughout the years, until now Brazil is undergoing a slow repression and recovering from the economic collapses and dictatorship that was forced upon it for many hundreds of years. The peaceful transition of power from Fernando Henrique to his main opposition leader, Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, who was elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, proved that Brazil had finally succeeded in achieving its long-sought political stability. Lula was succeeded in 2011 by the current president, Dilma Rousseff, the country’s first woman president and as such one of the most powerful women in the world.

 

Geography:

“The Amazon Rainforest is a very important part of the world’s natural resources. It is home to an estimated one-third of all known animal species and makes up about half of the world’s rainforests. The Amazon River carries more water into the Atlantic Ocean than any other river does to any other body of water. This river winds for more than 3 200 kilometres (2000 miles) within the country and holds about one-fifth of the world’s fresh water.

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The Brazilian Highlands (also known as the Brazilian Plateau) are, in general, under 4 000 feet (or 1 220 metres) above sea level. They cover most of the central, eastern and southern parts of the country and are home to an astounding array of fauna and flora. The highest point in Brazil is Pico de Neblina, which measures an impressive 9 888 feet, which is equivalent to 3 014 metres  ”

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 Brazil covers about 47% of South America.

São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are two of the largest cities in the world, and are both prominent destinations in Brazil. They enjoy a rich culture and heritage as well as modern amenities and established infrastructures.

The climate of Brazil depends on the various areas’ elevation and proximity to the ocean. However, most of the country can be defined as being tropical and sub-tropical. In general, this means hot, humid conditions, although some areas can be fairly dry and even fall victim to the occasional droughts. Many areas experience only a wet season and a dry one, instead of four distinct seasons.

Brazil boasts five marked eco-systems:

• The tropical rainforest
• The Pantanal (a tropical wetland)
• The Cerrado (a tropical savannah)
• The Mata Atlantica (the “Atlantic forest”)
• The pampas (fertile plains)

Central Brazil is made up mostly of woodland savannah.

Brazil’s natural resources include: gold, iron ore, manganese, bauxite, nickel, phosphates, uranium, petroleum, platinum, tin, hydropower and timber.

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San Paulo

(source)

 

So enough about the facts, what is something that you should try if you visit Brasil?

 

1) See Christ The Redeemer

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2) The Beaches of Rio

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3)Caldo de cana,  Pamonha and Espetinho de camarão

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4) The San Rafael Falls

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5) In Search Of Iguassu

JBR

 

Th last one is a really neat 17 day quest that is described as, ” Get your South American rush with other young travellers not afraid to embrace the new. You’ll kick off the adventure in sophisticated Buenos Aires before getting back to nature on day hikes at a working Uruguayan ranch. Marvel at Iguassu Falls, then hop a flight to São Paulo on your way to the Brazilian coast—no gruelling bus ride means more time on the beach. We’ll wrap up in the party in Rio, where you’re free to embrace the carnival atmosphere from our centrally located Copacabana hotel. ”

Now that you know a little about Brasil, make it the next stamp in your passport, go for a walk on the beaches of Rio and try some traditional street foods. Be safe and have fun!

 

Until next time!

Igor Bayluk

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Rise and Shine! Time to get off to school, well actually not this early at 4am.

Today will be my returning year in American school after the CBYX program in Germany as well as the first time for my host-brother Marc. I remember when I was just in his shoes last year going off to the Herchen Gymnasium and it was definitely a crazy experience, because I didn’t even speak the language. Marc is almost fluent in English so that makes life much more easier. He hasn’t got a schedule yet so we will be in search of a guidance counselor today.

 

It is fun having Marc as a host-brother and we enjoy playing chess and playing speed mitten, watching movies and socializing in German/English. Due to my studies, I can’t spend a whole lot of time currently with Marc, but since he will be doing Cross Country too, I feel that is great because we will get to spend at least some more time together. He is a great, kind kid and very smart. I have had a few schedule errors (which I need to fix today), but for the most part will be taking 5 classes, almost all AP or Honors and I would really appreciate taking the small business/entrepreneurship class this year.

 

Piano has been going well too and I enjoy playing music. After about 5, 45 minute lessons, I am playing Bach and Tsheykovski but I want to do much better than now, because even though my teacher says it sounds great, I am displeased. I’ll upload a Youtube clip sometime too.

 

Tomorrow will be our first big cross country meet and this evening we have a pasta party, which will be cool and hopefully yummy 🙂 It’s amazing it’s my last year, but I am ready to get off to a university as quick as possible.

 

I wish everyone else a great start and welcome back or to the parents who have to haul all the kids around,

Have Fun!

 

Best,

Igor


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My Best German Friend Damien Goes To Netherlands for the Day….

Damien is one of my German Best Friends and I asked if he could write a little about his Netherlands Trip. We went to many places,  had many adventures in Germany and played around with computers and PC’s. Here’s his trip 🙂

 

July 23rd, 2014

We (My little sister, my Dad and me, Damien) went on a trip to the Beach t’Gorsje at the Brouwersdam between the Rheindelta-Islands Goeree-Overflakkee and Schouwen-Duiveland in the Netherlands. The special thing about the trip was, that it was a one-day-trip, having the destination ‘beach’ and swimming there, then driving home at night. From where I live, Windeck-Dattenfeld, Germany, it were a bit less than 360 kilometres.

We wanted to start at 6AM, some of us (my sister) being able to go on sleeping in the car. Yeah. I could never sleep in the car. It’s not possible for me, I don’t know why, but i sleep very bad, and in car, i don’t sleep at all. So. 6AM? Well, as my Dad explained to me, while waking up and seeing 7:30 at the clock or something, he was too tired and thought it would be better to start later. So we started at about 8AM.

We drove about half an hour and had to fuel our car in Hennef. I reminded my Dad not to overdrive, having in mind, that gas is less expensive in NL. It wasn’t, more about that later. It took us about 34 kilometres to reach the first Autobahn and leave our home ‘Siegtal’. We drove through the City of Bonn, because the GPS trolls us. It was a horrible mistake and added half an hour. Why not just stay on the Autobahn, GPS? GPS: Beeep. Well, leaving Bonn in the direction of Aachen, Mönchengladbach, Eindhoven NL. But before leaving Germany, we did some Geocaching to have a break from driving. More information on the hobby Geocaching on http://www.geocaching.com and Wikipedia.

Now it’s near! The border. Borders are not very spectacular in middle europe, due to Schengener Abkommen and so on. The only thing there is, is a sign which, in this case, says ‘Nederland’ and has the european stars around it. And the signs no more being in German language and having another style. And some speed restrictions. Speed limit in NL is 130 on Autobahn and 80 on smaller roads.

So I told my Dad to slow down a bit, however he didn’t. Anyway, we were on the A67 between Eindhoven and Tilburg, later between Tilburg and Breda. We listened to dutch radio, understanding no more than that it will be ‘achtentwintig graden’ (=28°C) later on. In fact, it was 30. Very good. Due to the position of Holland being near the sea and a bit more northern than Germany, it is rare, that it’s warmer there than here, but it was. It was, one can say, a perfect day for swimming.

After leaving the last Autobahn, it took quite a while to get to our destination, due to none of the roads going the direct way, and also due to the speed limit. I recommend you to browse Google Earth to find out about the geographical conditions. And also to see some pictures. So, finally, at least me being completely tired, we reached the parking area near the beach. Man it was warm!

We went to the beach and had a great time relaxing, swimming in the quite cold water and eating some ‘snacks’ for meal. My Dad asked ME to order the food, because he kinda thought that I would be able to speak the dutch language, I didn’t and I refused. We bought some classical dutch unhealthy meal like ‘Frikandel’, ‘Kip Nuggets’=Chicken Nuggets and some french fries. For a relatively low price, we ate and soon went back to our stuff at the beach, having another break and later going on swimming and relaxing.

Later in the evening, we went to another bar to be surprised, that, on the menu, they told us that ‘real’ food could only be ordered until 5PM, but the employees didn’t mind and gave us, what we wanted, a very nice man was even able to speak German quite well, as many dutch people do, they can learn German at school. We ate ‘Poffertjes’ for dinner, google that, please.

It was great and, after taking pictures of the sunset, we slowly went to our car, being proud of having had a nice day at our favourite beach, where we already have been twice, once during 2-week-vacation at nearby CenterParcs in 2007, when we discovered this beach, once in 2012, on a similar trip as today.

beach

So we drove back home at 10PM. My sister was already very tired and slept soon, whereas I never could. We took the same route as in the morning, we were almost out of gas and unfortunately, we were too far away from the border to not to fuel in NL, so we went to the next gas station. 1.84! One Euro and 84 cents for one litre of Euro95. That was insane. At home, we had like 1.53. ‘Well, never mind’, my Dad said and we drove another two hours to finally arrive at home.

gas

Tired. Wanna sleep. That was the day. I recommend all of you going to a dutch beach one day, maybe even two!

I enjoyed the warmth and swimming, but in the end of a trip you always feel tired and want back home, because you don’t have a hotel to rest in. You want to go to the bed you know and sleep 😀

Thank you for reading.
Damien