2019-04-17

At the Jordans in Brazil


Cosmos climber partly in bloom at the entrance to the garden in the lower section of Fabiola and Jose´s home. Fabiola is Marcello´s sister and Jose her husband and live on the second floor which also holds the main entrance. Mother Impi lives on the bottom floor of the souterraine house with this lovely open plan kitchen and livingroom right next to the garden.  



Marcello and I met a little over a year ago. This is the first time I have the chance to see his family. He has met mine already last April. 

My mother Marianne came to our Studio in Stockholm to exhibit her suede collection. Impi Marcello´s mother is second generation Finnish. Which makes him third generation Finnish. Marcello came to Scandinavia to find his past and therefore we met in Stockholm.
Say Hi to Impi 








 This amazing flower is from Bastao do imperador that greets you to the right as you enter. 




Right now in this region it is time for Pinhão. 



Bromelia in bloom from Fabiola´s garden. 


Check out the open plan kitchen and living room with sliding doors to the garden,  that even gives room for the family parties and easily hosts 15 people. 








There are even tools for this delicacy. 


The female Araucariá you see below a forest of where you at the end see the jurassic diva style bark this pine tree has.  





 We enjoy Fabiola´s fab cuisine for many days and this tapas type of well tasting local Pinhão that you find this time of year is the main attraction this dinner. 

 Inhame is the white root looking veggie in the  middle and the yellow veggie is a wonderful fried pumpkin. Together with the local sausage with cheese along with more than fresh sunflower sprouts from a friend of the family this is a meal to remember. The taste of  Pinhão is a unique one that I want to try again. A nutty type of strong root combo that I enjoyed immensely. 






The male Araucária is the producer of the Pinhão. There is a female and a male version. In this photo you see a male Pinhão. 





Marcellos sister Fabiola have Gurkmeja/tumeric root in her garden. I have never tasted fresh tumeric so i want to dig up some to taste.

 Check the video. If you want to read more on the magic of tumeric. Check this article in Kurera










This beauty is from the Heliconia family. 





Marcello on the bridge where you enter into the magic Kingdom over the river into the garden, home and studio of Ville Virkkilä in Penedo, Brasil. Penedo was created by men&women migrating from Finland before and after the second world war. Both the Jordan and the Virkkilä of that time helped in  shaping this part of the world into what it is today. 




The Flamboyan tree that bowes over the river that surrounds the Virkkilä home and studio in Penedo as you enter over the main entrance bridge. 


Picked from the outstanding Virkkilä garden by us are Alpinia in the coffeepot and Bromelia, Tillandsia on the sofa table. 

The stone flooring along with the hammered metal open fireplace show off the wood sculptures I assume are mostly from Ville Virkkilä. 


The majestic garden  starts right outside the veranda with the gorgeous leaves of the Anturio plant,  with a flower in blom and a blue bell type of weed looks just as lovely here in hiding as to show off the luscious leaves. 

The natural stone set in cement is a theme throughout the houses of Virkkilä home and studio, Penedo. 

There are three buildings close to each other and then one more connected by a high path running along the edge of the mountain not visible for anyone.  







We added the vases, took out furniture from under the covers and found the flowers, branches and beauty that this magic garden Kingdom has to offer.  

In the green short ceramic vase is a Rhipsalis, but the stem to the right I have no idea what it is. 
It just fit. 

If it was not for the tropical botanic knowledge of my man I would not know more than 20% of all we are experiencing in this unique universe of greens. 





The second bridge of this island type of property is where the neighbor´s dogs come to visit. 


Hibiscus-crespo/Japanese lantern



I am so humbled by the possibility to stay in the home and studio and overwhelmingly gorgeous gardens of Ville Virkkilä. 

Thank you Virve Virkkilä for making it possible and all of you amazing adventurous Finnish families that migrated to Brazil in the beginning of the 1900´s. 


Stay in touch

Jimmy 






Three generations of wonderful Jordan women. From the left Mother Impi, Fabiola-sister of Marcello, Ana-Julia daughter of Fabiola. Thank you so much for a fine Birthday Party for Jose. 




2019-04-11

Rio de Janeiro

The view of Rio at Vista Chinesa that is easier and faster to get up to than Corcovado. 

The rains that has fallen the last week have put Rio in the media spotlight. Sadly many buildings in Rio are built without proper construction and without being approved by the Municipality. When the heavy autumn rains start pouring down these buildings collaps and kill people caught inside. It is so sad and unjust and my heart goes out to all of the families affected here in Brazil. 


 Being back in the magic metropolis founded 1565 by the Portuguese, Rio de Janeiro,  I marvel at the view of this extrodinary landscape that takes my breath away just as it dit over 10 years ago I first saw this city. 







When you drive uphill to Vista Chinesa its easy to understand why this long and winding nearly vertical road was included in the 2016 Olympics Cycling competition. 

The road called Estrada da Vista Chinesa runs between Jardim Botánico and Parque Nacional &Foresta da Tijuca. 

When you get up here it feels like flying over the green hills of Rio and the enormous Atlantic with the islands accompanying this gorgeous green hilly land





Giving me the feeling of the deserted overgrown palace where Baloo of the Jungle book might come dancing out at any time is Mesa do Imperador. 






Just uphill a few more meters you find another viewpoint called Mesa de Imperador.





Nowadays this mesa/table is not used so imperial, but the view is still amazing over Rio. 



Naturally the fauna as well as the flora is richly dense
with life. So  happy to see this cute monkey having a great time
showing off in the closest tree. 
Jack tree with fruit. 

Here in the National Park of Tijuca where Vista Chinesa or the Chinese Pavilion as I call it is located, you really have to look up at times just to see that a Jack fruit does not fall on your head. 

They turn into really big things of over 5 kg that you do not want on your head, but if you look for recipes of cooking this big decorative fruit check our recipes from India, cause this is where this funny smelling delicasy is from originally.   



Jack fruit grows directly from the trunk of the tree an is like the pineapple a Multiple fruit, 
also called 
collective fruits that is fruiting bodies formed from as a cluster of fruiting flowers.

André is an english teacher in Rio and I will visit his school later this month to talk about my experience of learning english and how it has made a big impact on my life. 

Taking us uphill yesterday was André who is a friend of Marcello (my love) and today he is  taking us to Niterói with a boat ride from downtown Rio. 

This fantastic french renaissance building in down town Rio hosts a collection of paintings by Brazil's finest contemporary artists as well as an impressive array of folk and African art.
The name is Museo Nacional de Belas Artes






Brazil is a very religious country compared to Sweden. The Saint of Rio is San Sebastian and Saints are an important part of everyday life I would say. There are several beautiful both traditional and modern churches to see and whole bunch of ugly ones too... 






Mosaics is a part of life here as well as in Portugal. The streets of Rio are filled with mosaics of different kinds and often in combination with plants like this terassed greens here. 








Founded in 1894 Confeitaria Colombo is the  bucket list café for many of downtown Rio. 





The whole building is worth seeing although a coffee here is probably among the most expensive ones you find in Rio.

Really love that this place is intact and still such a tourist attraction. 





If you are in the mood for a more up to date type of café, not far from Colombo you find Fika(!)




On R.do Carmo 58, in Centro Rio de Janeiro you find Fika Cafés especias

This cosy spot has great coffey and cakes and food as well as a lot of fun interior details. Check out the rake/krattan as a wine glass holder. 
The owner has lived in Sweden and 
therefore the name FIKA. 



We have made it down to the harbor and here we take the boat to Niterói which is much easier and faster than going around the bay area by bus or taxi. 





To the left you can see Corcovado with Jesus overlooking the whole city, 
as we leave downtown Rio this dramatically cloudy, hot and humid day. 



MAC 
Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Niterói is the saucer-shaped modernist structure, it has been likened to a UFO by many as well as me. 

Set on a cliffside at the bottom of which is  a beach where bathing is not encouraged, so follow me to Ipanema later. The 50 meter in diameter building is created by Oscar Niemeyer along with the structural engineer Bruno Contarini. 



In the film "Oscar Niemeyer, an architect committed to his century" Niemeyer is seen flying over Rio de Janeiro in a UFO which then lands on the site, suggesting this to be the origin of the museum. 





We are heading to Ipanema and the beach close to Farme de Amoedo which street is close to where I stayed the first time I came to Rio.  This cute little street also still hosts the same café I became very fond of called Cafeina. At the end of Farme de Amoedo is where the gay beach starts.  


The heritage of Roberto Burle Marx, a Brazilian landscape architect as well as a painter, print maker, ecologist, naturalist, artist and musician whose designs of parks and gardens made him world famous. I will most certainly dedicate a post about this productive and influential man who was born 1909 and died in 1994



As I mentioned in my post about 
Figueira da Foz, the famous promenades of Rio has its origin from Portugal as this type of mosaics inspired Burle Marx that in 1970 created the Copacabana promenade pavement which is a 4 km long mosaic. This mega mosaic has influenced how the pavements look all over Rio and has also become the trademark of Rio. 


Emiliano at Copacabana


Newest and trendiest hotel in Rio 
right now I would dare to say is :  




Really like the facade that dubbles as a mobile shade. Each room can decide how much sun they want and by doing so the facade never stays the same. 






The lounge in the lobby at Emiliano is an eclectic mix of Brazilian and international design from 60´s to now. See the view from their rooftop pool on their site




Next stop for us is Penedo, the home town of Marcello 
(M&me in the photo)  and the first time I meet his family. André - thank you for the photo and  a fantastic time in Rio. See you soon!

Stay in touch


Jimmy 






2019-04-05

Comeback of Coimbra


The entrances of the faculties at Coimbra University all has lots of art&sculpture,
but this mural stood out in my opinon. 



When you read below you might think that, Jimmy knows a lot about Coimbra...but you know...I had no clue. 
Not about the Harry Potter connection either... 

Had it not been for our outstanding hostess Ludimila Poirier, Marcello and I had not seen Coimbra on this trip on our way to Rio via Lissabon with TAP. 

Coimbra is nowadays considered the third most important city in Portugal. From 1139-1260 Coimbra was the capitol of Portugal and the key position in history is found evidens of in the extensive roman ruins found in the archeologic finds here buried under the city. 

In Roman times the name for Coimbra was Aeminium and the city developed into an important cultural center, much due to the University of Coimbra. 



These stairs lead from the University on the hill to the Cathedral below

Walking down the stairs from 
the University to the Cathedral.




The old city around the University is narrow and cute and is made for walking around. 





Video above from the University of Coimbra. 

All super fans of the Harry Potter series probably know that J.K Rowling´s was inspired by the University of Coimbra and lived here with her husband in Portugal. 

It´s easy to see the resemblance to Harry Potter´s Hogwarts at the University of Coimbra established in 1290. 

This is one of the oldest educational faculties in the world and has some the most unique traditional practices still intact.
For example, you can step on (or more kick)  to the University of Coimbra seal to gain wisdom.    



Coimbra University





Our hostess of the mostest Ludimila relaxing with a Portuguese white wine in the shade telling us that we are invited  in the fall to celebrate her masters degree after intense law studies here at Coimbra.  

Coimbra University if filled with amazing sculptures.



Cork is both grown and made into so many different kinds of products in this region. These shoes and bag are made from cork. 


The Cathedral of Coimbra is worth a visit. 


The narrow streets and corners around the Cathedral of Coimbra. 
The majestic entrance of the Cathedral.  

A river runs through Coimbra


The Mondego river  is the largest river in Portugal. It orginates from Serra da Estrela at 1525 meters, goes through Coimbra and down to the Queen of Beaches, Figueira da Foz (see previous post) where it hits the Atlantic. 


I will come back to this part of Portugal for sure. That I can promise. A comeback of this fantastic city is due. Thank you Ludimila!

Stay in touch

Jimmy