The carnival country Brasil
If you look forward to being aware of all historical data relating to Southern America or to finding out carefully, what seafarer explored this region, you are likely to search the Internet for other materials. Describing our personal impressions was the main purpose to put in writing these notes. On the one hand, we attempt to help travellers going to Brazil keep from facing obstacles disguised on all the itinerary. No doubt, it is not easy to avoid enthusiastic sobs and emotional outpourings trying to speak about this country. As a matter of fact, its best epithets may be "fairy tale", "paradise" or "an eternal holiday". On the other hand, we are willing to analyze in-depth this travel. We expect it will help you enjoy the maximum amount of pleasure with the least amount of faults once acquainted with unfamiliar culture and traditions …
Getting ready for the trip
We fancy a sceptical face of experienced travellers, although, we can't but make comments on getting ready for a trip to tropical countries. In spite of having travelled across dozens of countries, we go on forgetting something or don't take into account different circumstances. So, we are committed to suggesting before your going to Brazil:
A useful point, which is well worth attending to look through the press or the Internet data about the country before a trip (not only to Brazil, by the way). Thousands and thousands of people have already gathered them, having photographed and offered all at your disposal. Have the slightest idea of the place you are going to and what you will come across there. Naturally, the reality always differs from the written story, as any author perceives it in his own way through his individual insight. However, you'll get familiar with the language spoken there. You'll know where you may poke your nose into other people's business, and where you may not.
The electrical system tension is 110 Volt in Brazil. You are supposed to take with you a battery for charging the mobile phones, video cameras or other electric blessings of civilization, without devoting half a day to search it in shops.
Certainly, the majority of the hotels offer it at the reception. Unfortunately, you aren't expected to get it when necessary, as there are plenty of forgetful people like you, to say nothing of the limited number of batteries…
You should fetch with you a medicine chest including a standard set of habitual medicines. At least, you won't have to make sure when communicating in a drugstore with gestures, whether this colourful pack is a real analogue to the one used by you. This advice is practical for everybody's benefit, not only for painful people's one. For instance, abundant hotel breakfasts offer you tables piled high with exotic viands. Your eyes cannot stop to choose a dish and you make up your mind to sample a little of everything. In this case, you can't do without "Motilium", a medicine for indigestion. Otherwise, your first desire will be to lie down and breathe with difficulty instead of bathing or climbing a mountain… The Brazilian people have a gift to treat and to entertain. Their average restaurant portion is well enough to satisfy a soldier's platoon needs. Piles of unknown fruit on Swedish buffet make you feel low because of the impossibility to gorge for the future like some known humpbacked animals… A few words about exotic fruit. The sight of a cold coco, is a strong temptation. No tourist keeps from tasting it, moreover, it is sold everywhere at derisory prices (about 30 cents). Heavy coco eaters are recommended not to forget about "Imodium", taking into consideration the specific influence of this fruit upon the stomach. If you fail to do this, you are supposed to use bushes as a WC; but they are hard to be found in the beach area. Of course, you can't do without a sun-tan or sunburn lotion. Have them both at hand. Anyhow you'll have to smear yourself with them after getting a nasty sunburn.
About the sun. It is softer in Brazil, as compared with the African one, and does not burn, especially, near the sea. But the wisest thing, that you can do before the trip is to sunbathe in a solarium. Going to a suntan center before the sea may surprise inexperienced people. But we are aware of the fact that doing some sunbathing can guard your skin against sun exposure after our sickly sun. Not following this advice, you'll have to water yourself with kefir and peel like an Easter egg. A slightly tanned body keeps you from spoiling your holiday catching too much sun. Plenty of Minsk suntan centers offer you this service. For our part, we prefer "Elite Solar" situated near the Round Square in the everyday service establishment (40, F.Skorina avenue). An optimum price/quality ratio, in addition, enjoyable design and pleasant employees.
Don't take with you heaps of unnecessary clothes. You'll need only shorts and a bathing suit. In any case, T-shirts, gowns, jackets are to be purchased as keepsakes there. In general, the emptier your bags are the better. One is hard to keep away from bringing home some huge American Indian masks, polished pieces of beautiful stones and other souvenirs sold everywhere.
Don't fly with Air France…
The years of travels gave us an opportunity to fly with a wide range of airlines in various classes and to different distances. We flied for the first time with Air France and we can stress now with the full responsibility, that we shall never take tickets for its flights. All began at the Sheremetyevo-2 airport. When we were passing through a metal detector, the fat-cheeked security guard, Victor Viktorovich Leschinsky by name, beheld a keys charm in form of manicure knife, People name it "nailcut". He started shouting at us. Two police agents with furious faces red as a beetroot turned up as quick as lightning. They proceeded to a song about terrorism and dangers of prickly cutting objects to the surrounding. We explained confusedly that a dull stupid manicure knife of 2 centimeters long edge was hard to commit suicide. Then the Air France representative was called as a person responsible for flight. He was supposed to give the final judgment about the fact if we were terrorists or not. We had been waiting painfully for half an hour. Finally, a very young boy of trembling hands came up. His name was Kirill Sergeevich Parfyonov. Stammering from the responsibility he was charged with, he tried to convince us of endangering the plane crew because of the notorious charm. The Air France pilots couldn't carry out their duties facing such terrible threat. To tell the truth, we were on the point of considering him making a fool of us. We expected him to burst out laughing in a moment and tell: "All's O.K., no problems". Unfortunately, the boy was nervous. According to his words, the previous flight had made them take away from a passenger (horror to point out) manicure scissors. A sudden thought came up to our mind. Once on our return from Malta we had not been allowed on board the plane with a long ancient dagger bought in a local knight club. In that case the stewardess had politely offered us to take care of it. She had wrapped it up in an envelope, giving back the dagger after the landing. Naturally, we suggested this conscientious official acting in the same way. So afraid of manicure accessories, he wouldn't deprive us of a pleasure to cut off agnails during the travel. To our surprise he refused, murmuring muffledly about the Regulations and lack of time to deal with different problems. As a result our charm found itself in a police agent's pocket. We were sent to the plane with farewell words "Think over why you wanted to do away with all the passengers and the plane crew". There would be no harm in saying that such attitude of the Air France administrator to a trifling problem made us feel low. Besides, seeing insincere and hypocritical smiles of stewardesses, we were about to recall them about the year 1812 and the Berezina, a Belarusian small river where our grandfathers had sunk thousands of those observers of regulations. Sitting in the armchair, we thought, that Frenchmen had become cowardlier since the times of Napoleon, certainly. Moreover, this official's voice had something contemptuous in relation to common Russian people. But many feature films frequently illustrate, they pay much attention to the culinary art. Their careful approach to meals rates highly. That's why we were looking forward to having tasty nourishing meals after those troubles as flying from Moscow to Paris took 4 hours. The plane took off and the passengers were being served. Having opened the pack, we understood, that their scornful attitude to the passengers within the notorious conversation became obvious with the portion of hot dish. A bit of pancake, a crushed slice of stewed tomato, a few mushrooms, that's all! Any other airline had never served such tasteless dishes. But our troubles didn't stop at it. While the stewardess was serving other passengers, the juice ended, and there was only mineral water. She showed us an empty juice pack with a lovely smile upon her face, providing us with some water. That incident caused the next attack of historical reminiscences about the battle of Waterloo and other France related events. Have you ever come across the airlines that have no drinks, except water, just at the beginning of the flight? This one has. In addition to all problems, a small slice of chewing-gum pasted on the sitting by a previous passenger spoiled trousers by the end of the flight. We did not call anybody to have a big argument. We realized that it wasn't worth doing that. We would have to put the trousers in a freezer for cleaning off this damned chewing-gum. To hear their insincere words "Sorry, Sir" with a smile turning into a sympathizing look was impossible to put up with. These are their problems. We opted for never flying with Air France, this unpleasant company, far from respecting its clients. Especially, we found out later we could have flied to Rio with Varig or Lufthansa airlines as their tickets price was by far lower as compared with Air France one.
tel: +375 226-0900, 226-0902, 226-0936 Minsk BY