This summer, travel destinations will not be about temperatures – Celsius and Fahrenheit that is. The locations for mega sporting events and entertainment will be the hot spots this year. The biggest inspiration for travellers in 2014 will be sports!
From Golf to Football and the entire athletic spectrum, it is sports that will have folks packing their bags, booking their tickets and accommodation for such diverse lands as Brazil and Scotland.
The ‘beautiful game’ has kicked off in one of the most beautiful countries of the world. The 2014 edition of the FIFA World Cup has generated huge excitement across the globe. It is not entirely because of the game either. This is one terrific opportunity to combine passion for the sport and the chance to see Brazil.
The country has amazing beauty that includes huge tracts of forests, stunning white beaches populated by beautiful people, iconic mountains, thundering rivers and ultra-modern cities. While the football matches will be played in 12 different stadia across the country it is two cities that stand out for their uniquely attractive features.
Rio de Janeiro
The very mention of the city’s name sets the blood racing and raises the pulse rate. This huge metropolis is dominated by the iconic, gigantic mountain top statue of Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain. They look down upon the marvellous Guanabara Bay and Botafogo region.
Every year the city goes mad to the throbbing beats of samba that drive the Carnival parade as it winds its way through the streets to the Sambadrome. It’s possible to catch some of that ‘Carnival’ spirit, when not watching the football, at the Plataforma Samba Show. The show is famed for its brilliant costumes, infectious rhythm and dazzling footwork – its samba time all year round!
The World Cup Final will be played in Rio on 13th July. The world will be watching and the city will surely put up a super show – footballing and otherwise.
Manaus is the capital of the state of Amazonas and the furthest north of the host cities. It sits on the confluence of the rivers Negro (Black) and Solimões (how the Amazon River is known in this part of Brazil). The Encontro das Aguas is where the black waters of the Rio Negro meet the muddy yellow flow of the Rio Solimoes. The two rivers flow side by side for more than 6 km, their waters divided as though by an invisible barrier. This is one of the most remarkable sights in the world.
If that is not astounding enough there is the Victoria Regia. This is an extraordinary giant floating lily for which Manaus is famous. Another famous highlight of the city, man-made this time, is the fabulous Teatro Amazonas. The dome of this architectural and cultural landmark is covered with 36,000 green, blue and yellow glazed ceramic and glass tiles, all of which were made in Alsace, France.
Four World Cup matches will be played at Manaus’ Estadio Amazonia. Other than football, you could explore the nearby jungles of the Amazon with its amazing flora and fauna. There are scenic river banks and serenely beautiful lakes where you could spend a lazy afternoon away from ‘it all.’