Saturday Surprise — A Trip to Brazil!

Please accept my humble apologies for once again repeating a prior Saturday Surprise post.  I tried and tried, wracked my poor small brain, to come up with something new and unique, but my mood simply wouldn’t cooperate and nothing met my criteria.  But, I think you’ll enjoy this one … it dates back to just before Christmas 2017, so most of you haven’t seen it before and those who have almost certainly won’t remember it.  I hope you enjoy our trip to Brazil!


Good Saturday morning, my friends, and welcome to Filosofa’s Saturday Surprise!  This is the last day your have to complete your Christmas tasks, so I understand if you couldn’t drop by today, or if you can only stay for a minute, but I’m glad if you found a few minutes to come spend with me.  I know you  guys come from all over the world, and most of you from the northern hemisphere, though a few are from Down Under and other points south of the equator where it is now summer.  I am jealous, for it is cold here and about to get colder.  So today, I thought it would be fun to go to a warmer climate for a bit and visit … Brazil!  Have I ever mentioned that I am not a fan of high places?  I cannot even look up at the top of a building without experiencing pain in my arms, so I avoid heights, and this first place we are going to visit set my teeth on edge, but it is definitely a cool place.


Brazil’s largest water park is called ‘Beach Park’, and the crown jewel of Beach Park is the world’s tallest freestanding water slide, aptly named “Insano”, which is Portuguese for ‘insane’.

insanoBuilt in 1989, the 135-foot-high ride held the Guinness record for the world’s tallest water slide up until 1999, when it was beat out by the 193-foot Kilimanjaro in Rio de Janeiro. Still, Insano does justice to its name by being the tallest freestanding body slide and is certainly one of the most radical rides of the planet.

insano-2

Beach Park is the largest aquatic park in South America and one of the largest in the world. It has all you need to enjoy Brazil’s hot sunny days: rides, pools, saunas, ecological walks, artificial rapids or the beloved Insano, the water slide as tall as a 14-story building.

Beach Park


Travelling down the coast to Natal, we can visit the world’s largest cashew tree.  Now, I hear what you are thinking … you’ve been to California, seen the giant redwoods and sequoias, so what’s the big deal about a cashew tree.  Well, take a look …

cashew-tree-2.JPGStrolling inside the sprawling canopy, you may think you are walking in an entire lush, green forest of cashew trees, but you are actually walking within one single tree. The tree covers about two acres, which approximates to the size of five football fields, or about 70 normal-size cashew trees.

cashew-treeThe age of the giant tree is still murky. Some think it was first planted in 1888, but others claim it’s thousands of years old. In any case it still produces a large amount of fruit and nuts. (In Brazil, the cashew tree is prized more for its delicious, but alas un-transportable fruit even more than its nuts.)

cashew-tree-3.JPG

The tree’s record size is believed to be the result of two different genetic mutations. One, the branches grow sideways instead of upwards, eventually being weighted down and touching the ground. Then, instead of just growing along the earth as expected, when a branch touches the soil it sets down roots. Thus the tree spreads like a forest with multiple trunks growing over the two acres.


I don’t typically give much thought to rocks and rock formations, but while we are in Brazil, I am told we must visit the National Park of Seven Cities – Parque Nacional de Sete.

Enormous and strange rock formations taking the forms of animals and men populate the Parque Nacional de Sete Cidades, or “National Park of Seven Cities”. The park is named for a mytholigical Seven Lost Cities, of which these stones are the only remains. In truth the ancient formations took millenia to form, with the only man-made parts being the 3,000-5,000 year old rock paintings that can be seen.

rocks-2


And for our final destination of the day, what say we visit the largest street art mural in the world?  Brazil sure does seem to have a lot of “largest in the world” things, doesn’t it?

mural-1

Rio de Janeiro is not only about paradise beaches and samba goddesses. It is also a city where street art is celebrated, and by walking 560 feet along Rio’s waterfront, you can appreciate the largest mural of graffiti in world, a Guinness World Record accomplishment and a legacy of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

mural-2

The work depicts a Tajapo boy from Brazil, a Mursi woman from Ethiopia, a Kayin woman from Thailand, a Supi man from Northern Europe, and a Huli man from Papua New Guinea. They represent humanity’s common ancestors, the indigenous people from America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia.

mural-3As he carries the core values of the Olympic Games, the artist’s intention was to show that everyone is connected, We Are One. Kobra’s work makes us feel his characters’ intense and powerful gaze, so we can feel our common wisdom.

mural-4The Rio Olympics broke not only sports records, but also one unexpected one, creating the largest street mural spray-painted by one single artist. This work was commissioned by the International Olympic Committee and it is nearly twice the size of the mural that held the previous record in Mazatlan, Mexico, as artist Ernesto Rocha’s mural was just 18,066 square feet.

Kobra worked for 12 hours a day, for two months, so he could complete Etnias just before the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. About 100 gallons of white paint, 400 gallons of colored paint, and 2,800 cans of spray paint were used by Kobra and his team. But, after all his work, the artist didn’t get to stay and enjoy the Rio Olympics, as he had to fly to Ohio to complete a mural graffiti of Neil Armstrong.

mural-neil-armstrong


All of these places are great, but I think the street mural is my favourite.  What was yours?  And before we go, what would such a trip be without a bit of local flavour?

rollinia

Rollinia deliciosa, as the name suggests, is incredibly tasty. Its flavor is often likened to lemon meringue pie, a description that’s accurate, but does not do this fruit justice. It is very sweet and creamy, and does have a refreshing, lemon-like flavor, but it also contains more nuanced tropical notes like banana, pineapple, and coconut.


And now, friends, I know you must go finish up all those last minute things.  Try not to work too hard, lest you be so tired by the time Christmas happens that all you can do is sit in the easy chair and kip!  I wish each and every one of you, my special friends, a wonderful Christmas.  Hugs ‘n love!

This is one of my favourites, and an appropriate song for our trip to Brazil!

Saturday Surprise — A New Street Artist!

His name is Carlos Alberto GH, he is 31 years of age, lives in Guadalajara, Mexico, and is one of the most talented artists I think I have ever seen!  According to his bio …

“I am a street artist from Mexico. Mostly of my work is anamorphic painting, also knowing as 3D, but I like to do murals as well. The subjects I represents is on surrealistic scenes with nature, animals, and people, using bright colors and deep contrast. I can work out and indoors”

While some graffiti artists put questionable art and tags around cities, others are turning urban spaces into mind-bending art.  I did a Saturday Surprise post last April about Banksy, the internationally renown and extremely talented street artist whose fabulous art often makes a statement.  Though his style is different than Banksy’s, Carlos brings surrealistic scenes to life when viewed at the right angle. It looks like his creations are jumping out of the pavement or walls and the best part is that you can make it seem as if you are interacting with them! The artist masterfully plays with shadows and perspective to create colorful 3D optical illusions that would make any passerby stop for a second and rotate their head trying to figure out ‘how.’

Take a look for yourself …

Carlos-1

Carlos Alberto has been painting all his life but ended up as an art conservator until he fairly recently discovered 3D street art and proved that practice indeed makes perfect.

“I specialized in archaeological heritage, so I worked for some years in the Mayan Peninsula in Mexico with the restoration of mural paintings, but since I started to attend street art festivals (every year more often), I decided to pause my career and give 3D paintings a try. At first, it was a bit confusing, I didn’t quite understand how to create the perspective to make the illusion work perfectly, but as I started to practice more and more, it became easy and mostly automatic for me, so now it is part of my life and I can’t imagine myself doing anything different.”

Carlos-2Carlos-3Carlos-4

“It was fascinating for me that this kind of expression was not only outdoors, but this art was close to people, in public spaces, urban areas, so they were able to see the creation process and be part of it. It’s like a big performance. And at the end, they could interact with the final picture. This was impressive to me, so I had to try it.”

Carlos-header

Carlos-6Carlos-7

“For me, the world around me is an endless source of inspiration. Nature is filled with wonders, so I try to represent the beauty of all the creatures I see, putting them into surreal contexts, like a magical dream. But not only that, I also find that human beings can be extraordinary and inspiring. Every time I read about someone doing good, it gives me hope that a better future can be built, so while I’m not painting people very often, their actions give me the inspiration to create and try to inspire others with my work.”

Carlos-8Carlos-9Carlos-21Carlos-28Carlos-40Carlos-41Carlos-44Carlos-45Carlos-48Carlos-54

Some of these … I find it so hard to believe they are just paintings on flat surfaces … walls or streets!  Amazing, aren’t they?  These are but a few of Carlos’ works, and you can see more at Bored Panda.   I hope you’ve enjoyed Carlos’ art … now go have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Saturday Surprise — A Trip to Brazil!

Good Saturday morning, my friends, and welcome to Filosofa’s Saturday Surprise!  This is the last day your have to complete your Christmas tasks, so I understand if you couldn’t drop by today, or if you can only stay for a minute, but I’m glad if you found a few minutes to come spend with me.  I know you  guys come from all over the world, and most of you from the northern hemisphere, though a few are from Down Under and other points south of the equator where it is now summer.  I am jealous, for it is cold here and about to get colder.  So today, I thought it would be fun to go to a warmer climate for a bit and visit … Brazil!  Have I ever mentioned that I am not a fan of high places?  I cannot even look up at the top of a building without experiencing pain in my arms, so I avoid heights, and this first place we are going to visit set my teeth on edge, but it is definitely a cool place.


Brazil’s largest water park is called ‘Beach Park’, and the crown jewel of Beach Park is the world’s tallest freestanding water slide, aptly named “Insano”, which is Portuguese for ‘insane’.

insanoBuilt in 1989, the 135-foot-high ride held the Guinness record for the world’s tallest water slide up until 1999, when it was beat out by the 193-foot Kilimanjaro in Rio de Janeiro. Still, Insano does justice to its name by being the tallest freestanding body slide and is certainly one of the most radical rides of the planet.

insano-2

Beach Park is the largest aquatic park in South America and one of the largest in the world. It has all you need to enjoy Brazil’s hot sunny days: rides, pools, saunas, ecological walks, artificial rapids or the beloved Insano, the water slide as tall as a 14-story building.

Beach Park


Travelling down the coast to Natal, we can visit the world’s largest cashew tree.  Now, I hear what you are thinking … you’ve been to California, seen the giant redwoods and sequoias, so what’s the big deal about a cashew tree.  Well, take a look …

cashew-tree-2.JPGStrolling inside the sprawling canopy, you may think you are walking in an entire lush, green forest of cashew trees, but you are actually walking within one single tree. The tree covers about two acres, which approximates to the size of five football fields, or about 70 normal-size cashew trees.

cashew-treeThe age of the giant tree is still murky. Some think it was first planted in 1888, but others claim it’s thousands of years old. In any case it still produces a large amount of fruit and nuts. (In Brazil, the cashew tree is prized more for its delicious, but alas un-transportable fruit even more than its nuts.)

cashew-tree-3.JPG

The tree’s record size is believed to be the result of two different genetic mutations. One, the branches grow sideways instead of upwards, eventually being weighted down and touching the ground. Then, instead of just growing along the earth as expected, when a branch touches the soil it sets down roots. Thus the tree spreads like a forest with multiple trunks growing over the two acres.


I don’t typically give much thought to rocks and rock formations, but while we are in Brazil, I am told we must visit the National Park of Seven Cities – Parque Nacional de Sete.

Enormous and strange rock formations taking the forms of animals and men populate the Parque Nacional de Sete Cidades, or “National Park of Seven Cities”. The park is named for a mytholigical Seven Lost Cities, of which these stones are the only remains. In truth the ancient formations took millenia to form, with the only man-made parts being the 3,000-5,000 year old rock paintings that can be seen.

rocks-2


And for our final destination of the day, what say we visit the largest street art mural in the world?  Brazil sure does seem to have a lot of “largest in the world” things, doesn’t it?

mural-1

Rio de Janeiro is not only about paradise beaches and samba goddesses. It is also a city where street art is celebrated, and by walking 560 feet along Rio’s waterfront, you can appreciate the largest mural of graffiti in world, a Guinness World Record accomplishment and a legacy of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

mural-2

The work depicts a Tajapo boy from Brazil, a Mursi woman from Ethiopia, a Kayin woman from Thailand, a Supi man from Northern Europe, and a Huli man from Papua New Guinea. They represent humanity’s common ancestors, the indigenous people from America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia.

mural-3As he carries the core values of the Olympic Games, the artist’s intention was to show that everyone is connected, We Are One. Kobra’s work makes us feel his characters’ intense and powerful gaze, so we can feel our common wisdom.

mural-4The Rio Olympics broke not only sports records, but also one unexpected one, creating the largest street mural spray-painted by one single artist. This work was commissioned by the International Olympic Committee and it is nearly twice the size of the mural that held the previous record in Mazatlan, Mexico, as artist Ernesto Rocha’s mural was just 18,066 square feet.

Kobra worked for 12 hours a day, for two months, so he could complete Etnias just before the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. About 100 gallons of white paint, 400 gallons of colored paint, and 2,800 cans of spray paint were used by Kobra and his team. But, after all his work, the artist didn’t get to stay and enjoy the Rio Olympics, as he had to fly to Ohio to complete a mural graffiti of Neil Armstrong.

 

mural-neil-armstrong


All of these places are great, but I think the street mural is my favourite.  What was yours?  And before we go, what would such a trip be without a bit of local flavour?

rollinia

Rollinia deliciosa, as the name suggests, is incredibly tasty. Its flavor is often likened to lemon meringue pie, a description that’s accurate, but does not do this fruit justice. It is very sweet and creamy, and does have a refreshing, lemon-like flavor, but it also contains more nuanced tropical notes like banana, pineapple, and coconut.


And now, friends, I know you must go finish up all those last minute things.  Try not to work too hard, lest you be so tired by the time Christmas happens that all you can do is sit in the easy chair and kip!  I wish each and every one of you, my special friends, a wonderful Christmas.  Hugs ‘n love!

This is one of my favourites, and an apropriate song for our trip to Brazil!