This is just the start of a life revolving around watching futbol! We arrived in Porto Alegre on Saturday and found our way to the Airbnb we booked. Thankfully with the world cup in full swing we were still able to find a place to stay that wasn’t too outrageously priced. Our host for the next two days was named Felipe. He was awesome and very accommodating. Farima wanted to catch the Iran vs. Argentina game so we headed to an area called Lima e Silva, a street lined with a bunch of bars. After the game we made our way to Rua Padre Chagas, home to upscale bars, restaurants, and shops. Along the way we came a across a beautiful park lined with multiple stands selling all kinds of various stuff. Of course we had to stop and have a look! While in Padre Chagas we stopped in a sports bar called the Malt Store for a beer and to watch yet another game (Germany vs. Ghana). We headed back “home” to get ready for a night out. We convinced Felipe to come out with us and show us all the local spots in Porto Alegre. First, the three of us went out to dinner in Padre Chagas at a Thai food restaurant, a nice change from what we’d typically been eating. Then we walked down the street to a bar named Thomas, but the line was really long and Felipe told us he could take us somewhere better. We headed to Lima e Silva where at night the area turns into a big street party. All the locals come here to hang out and drink on the street. There are various vendors selling beer, as well as a local Brazilian hot wine drink, Quentao. I love to try local food and drinks, so I ordered a Quentao and it was perfect for the cold night. It tasted like a mixture of hot apple cider and wine. After hanging out for a bit on the street, we went into a bar and all got a Caipirinha, another local drink made up of cachaça (sugar-cane liquor) mixed with fresh lime, sugar, and ice. An interesting thing about Brazilian bars and restaurants is that you are given an individual card upon entry where everything you order is documented, then you must pay and show your validated ticket at the door when you leave.
The following day was game day! First we met Farima’s friend, Douglas, who she originally met when we were in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We walked around the waterfront with him for a bit and browsed the various food stands. Then Farima and I headed to Fan Fest to watch the USA vs. Portugal game. At first we couldn’t find any other American fans, but after a little searching we spotted a few in the distance. We all started to go crazy in the final seconds of the game as we anticipated the USA win over Portugal. But then came a moment of disappointment as Portugal scored in the last few seconds. Still proud of our team for playing a good game, we all headed to Lima e Silva to celebrate.
The main reason we came to Porto Alegre was to watch the world cup games at a Fan Fest. Fan Fests were set up in all the major cities where games were being held as a way for fans who didn’t have tickets to watch the games. Therefore on our last day in Porto Alegre we headed to Fan Fest one more time to watch the Brazil vs. Cameroon game. We thought Fan Fest would be filled with Brazilian fans, but we found more Argentines than Brazilians, which we later found out was because of the Argentina game on Wednesday in the Porto Alegre stadium. It was an awesome first stop in Brazil, really immersing ourselves in all the excitement the world cup had to offer.