Sugarloaf Mountain Proves Popular with World Cup Fans

As an expected 600,000 people flood into Brazil for the FIFA World Cup, the country’s tourist destinations have never been as popular – with Rio de Janeiro’s Sugarloaf Mountain one of the most visited sites. While there are 12 host cities throughout Brazil, it’s been Rio that has been the most popular destination for visitors arriving in the country from various corners of the globe.

With the famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and Christ the Redeemer, there is no better place to view Rio’s incredible sights than from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. Thousands of World Cup fans have taken the two short cable-car rides to the top of the landmark, or the significantly longer climb, reaching a summit that offers panoramic views of one of South America’s most iconic cities.

Cable car (Creative Commons)

With fans from all four corners of the world helping to create a unique and festive atmosphere in and around Rio, it’s little surprise to see Argentines talking to Algerians at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain while a Cameroon fan takes a picture of a Columbia supporter in the background.

At the end of a day of sightseeing at the top of the mountain, it’s a breath-taking cable-car journey to the bottom before heading to the fan park at Copacabana Beach to watch the action on one of the big screens. And if all the football action is keeping you on a tight schedule, helicopter rides are available in order to ensure you don’t miss any of this thrilling tournament.

While Brazil are still the favourites with many to go on and win the tournament for a sixth time, there is still a nervous feel about many Brazil fans watching their side’s opening couple of games. If the hosts can go all the way and win the final on July 13 in Rio’s Estádio Maracanã, there will be no better place to be in the world to watch the celebrations than on the top of Sugarloaf Mountain.

Join the World Cup madness in Brazil

Sao Paulo (Creative Commons)

Sao Paulo (Creative Commons)

If you’re travelling this summer, there’s surely no place better to spend the month of June than in Brazil. The FIFA World Cup is returning to take place in Brazil for the first time since 1950 and the whole country will be party central for the duration.

Of course, you may not get to watch any of the matches in person – the tickets have probably all long been sold, but even if you can be in any of the 12 different locations where the matches are taking place, you’ll be able to soak up the atmosphere while you watch the games in one of the local bars. And if you visited to all 12 World Cup venue cities, you really would experience a true taste of Brazil.

The first match is in Sao Paulo, with Brazil facing Croatia on 12th June. During the group stage, the top two from each of the eight groups will go through to the knockout stages, and the final will be played in Rio de Janeiro on 13th July.

It would seem that there’s already something of a foregone conclusion on which nation will win the 2014 World Cup. If you check the odds on a site like Betfair, you’ll see that the host nation is favourite to win at 11/4, followed by Argentina, Germany and Spain. Brazil holds the record for number of times the country has won the world cup – five to date. Added to its impressive record in this competition, Brazil will have the home team advantage in every match that it plays.

If you’d rather pick a team that is a longer shot, but still has a chance, see betfair.com for all the participating nations’ odds and other bets that can be placed – such as top goalscorer for the tournament or top European team or England’s stage of elimination.

And if going to Brazil is only a pipedream this summer, wherever you are still be able to watch the games, get behind your favourite team and perhaps plan a future trip to Brazil. After all, Brazil might not be hosting the World Cup when you go, but that just means you won’t have to share this beautiful country with as many tourists as this summer.

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon is located in the Pacific Northwest area of the United States. It is considered to be one of the best cities in the USA to live in, mainly due to its great climate, good quality of life, and cultural scene. Portland also has a great deal of wilderness and outdoor activities available within a close distance of the city. Here are some things that you can do to make your Portland vacation the best.

 

Portland Japanese Gardens

Portland Japanese Gardens

 

Parks and Gardens

There are more than 200 parks and gardens in Portland, so it may be hard to choose which to see first. The Portland Japanese Garden is one of the city’s most popular and most beautiful. At more than five acres it contains a Japanese Tea House, bridges, streams and walkways as well as some authentic Japanese trees and plants. Portland also has a traditional Chinese garden. The Lan Su Chinese Garden is built in the Ming style, it also has a tea house, as well as plants and walkways created in the traditional Chinese style.

Portland also offers several wildlife refuges to please the bird watchers in your group.

Food and Drink

Portland is well known as a culinary haven in the USA. There are many top chefs in the region who are ready to delight you with their wizard skills in the kitchen. While it might not seem like haute cuisine, Voodoo Donuts is a very popular donut shop. Arrive early as the lines can be long. There are also several farmer’s markets offering the best of local produce, flowers and prepared foods. Attending the market events is a great way to get a feel for the city and its residents.

You might think that Seattle is the coffee haven of the USA, but Portland can hold its own in the coffee wars. Try a cup and see what you think.

Portland also offers a great nightlife scene, and for those of you who are beer lovers, Portland has microbreweries galore. Comedy clubs and LGBT clubs round out the scene.

Museums

The Portland Art Museum is the oldest in the Pacific Northwest, and offers rotating exhibits all year around. The Oregon Museum of Science is another great place. It’s one of the top science museums in the country and has loads of interactive displays. It’s especially fun for kids, or to while away a rainy afternoon.

Sports

Portland has a long history of sporting events. Some of the events you could while you’re there are the NBA team, the Trailblazers, the Winterhawks hockey team, or the local roller derby team, the Rose City Rollers. Portland also offers soccer matches and horse racing. There is a lot to do in the world of Portland sports.

Whatever you do while you’re in Portland, Oregon, you’re bound to enjoy it. Come and visit this amazing northwest city and see what kind of fun you can have!

 

 

A Tale of Three Cities

North America, and the US in particular, is such a large place, with many different options in different climates and settings. Here are three cities in the US, each one unique, but all offer something special for your next trip.

NYC

New York City by Jay Reed

North America Tour Locations

1. New York

If you are seeking an exciting vacation, New York is one of the most convenient places to spend a holiday with your better half. New York stands out as a centre of business and is riddled with architecture  of the 21st century. To make your stay comfortable hotels are furnished with state of the art technology, and are equipped for entertainment. Anyone looking for luxury cannot fail to locate a hotel that is perfect for a stay in this amazing city.

2. Jackson Hole

To experience luxury at its best, it is imperative to book a skiing holiday at Jackson Hole. It boasts of some of the most spectacular scenery in North America. Its powder filled bowls are acclaimed the world over, making it one of the most sought after destinations for anyone who loves skiing and  a laid back lifestyle. With its high altitude, the place is convenient for tourists from wide range of backgrounds. For refreshments and accommodation you have a wide range of options to make sure that only excellent service is provided. Ranch Inn Hotel, Snow King Resort and Love Ridge condos are just but a few of the options where you can be greeted with a courteous welcome.

3. Miami

Miami is one of the most exciting North American tourist destinations where one can enjoy the finer things in life. The calibre of service ensures that you reap the most during your stay, but fun is also a way of life here. From water sports like swimming, snorkeling, sailing and diving, to family activities like the zoo and theme parks, Miami has something for everyone.

These are just a few of the amazing destinations that North America has to offer. Which one will you choose?