So, how did you fair in FIFA’s initial electronic lottery phase of ticket sales for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil? Yeah, I didn’t fair so well, either, but I did manage tickets to one game, in Natal, on June 16. My wife and I scrambled to buy what we could salvage during the first-come, first-serve sales phase in which FIFA sold approximately 220,000 tickets in seven hours. We bought the tickets teams unknown, but thanks to the World Cup draw on Friday, we now know that we’ll be enjoying USA vs Ghana!
Buenos Aires, hometown of literary heavyweights from Jorge Luis Borges to Julio Cortázar, is a reader’s city – porteños are known for their love of books. Naturally, the capital abounds with bookshops: join the well-read local crowd at three of my favorites.
Photo: Brian Gratwicke
Since there was just too much art to fit into one post, it’s time for Part Two of our introduction to Colombian traditional artisan work and handcrafts – just in time for the holiday season! These pieces and traditions come from the western and southern parts of the country, where the strong influence of Afro-Colombian and Andean indigenous communities is clearly visible in the art. As with most other traditional handcrafts, the legitimate versions of these artesanías are created by hand over days or even weeks by local artisans, who often learned the craft from previous generations of their family. They serve as beautiful decorative pieces and accessories, but even more than that, these crafts are a way to preserve and transmit the unique traditions of some of Colombia’s oldest cultures.
Photo: Bridget Gleeson
When you’re visiting one of the largest cities in the world, it’s easy to feel lost in the crowd. But a wave of new businesses are scaling down to offer travelers more personalized experiences in Buenos Aires. Here are a few of my favorites from this spring, including a closed-door restaurant with a gorgeous communal table and a sophisticated townhouse-style hotel with only a handful of rooms.
Photo: Natalie Southwick
Colombia’s diverse landscape and cultural influences have inspired thousands of different artisans across the country to create stunning handcrafts and pieces of art. These artistic products are seen as vital expressions of the country’s talent and diversity, and represent the different groups of people and regions that make Colombia what it is. From the colorful handmade mochilas of the indigenous Wayuu people in La Guajira to the carved wooden instruments of the Amazon, each region of Colombia produces its own beautiful, unique creations. Because there’s too much ground to cover and too much to see for just one post, we’ll start at the Caribbean coast and work our way south, saving the Pacific for next week.
How can you compare the beautiful places of the world, and decide which one is the most beautiful? Virtual Tourist ran a contest to have participants choose the 8th wonder of the world, and Chile’s vast Torres del Paine National park won. About 500 million votes were cast, and Torres del Paine beat out Guatemala’s Tikal, Belize’s Great Blue Hole, and Old Town Dubrovnik, as well as about 300 other nominated wonders.
Photo: Ilan Greenfield
Papallacta is only about an hour from Quito by car, and some 30 minutes from Quito’s new international airport, as one makes their way towards the eastern slope of the Andean mountain range. Continue along some 3 hours on the same highway and you reach the Amazonian rainforest basin. Papallacta, however, lies somewhat higher in elevation, but its natural dimension is breathtaking nonetheless, and its proximity is even more of a reason to visit, even if your stay in Quito isn’t long.
Photo: Crystian Cruz
To call Brazil Surflandia would be a gross understatement: Anywhere boasting a coastline of over 4600 miles is bound to have a swell or 50 to satiate the most avid of surfers.
Your resident Brazil expert happens to be close friends with professional Brazilian surfer Sergio Lima, who runs Island Style Surf School on Hawaii’s North Shore. Lima hails from Fernando de Noronha, one of Brazil’s surfing Meccas, an island 200 miles off the coast of Recife in Northeastern Brazil, and he knows a thing or two about Brazilian ondas (waves).
Chile’s long, narrow geography with 3,000 miles of coastline, mean visitors and locals can have beach access almost any time they want, and even go from the Andes to the Pacific in a single day. Every beach, from north to south (and on Easter Island) has its own personality, with some being connected to fishing villages, while others are right outside of cities, and bring together families on weekends and all summer long. Some are protected, shallow coves with calm water, and some frothy and rocky. And then there are the surf beaches.
When applications for the initial electronic lottery phase of ticket sales for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil closed on Oct. 10, football’s Zurich-based governing body was deluged with some 6,164,682 ticket requests from 203 countries, all vying for the estimated 1 million tickets that are available for purchase in this initial phase.
And just days before Nov. 4, when we were originally to be informed if they picked our lucky numbers, FIFA announced a delay of the electronic draw. So it will be a further week – by Nov. 10 – when we all find out if we hit the jackpot or not. The chances?
Não são boas!