Keron Hopkins is a student at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and an ISA Featured Blogger. Keron is currently studying abroad in Florianópolis, Brazil on multiple ISA programs. She will be there for a year.
It is always exhausting to fly international, but Floripa, the name Florianópolis is affectionately known as, is well worth the effort. None of the pictures of the city on the web prepared me for the city’s urbanness. Urban cities are my passion. In fact, with the exception of the ubiquitous ocean view, the city’s center and some of its neighborhoods, with their cobblestone streets and architecture, reminiscent of Portugal, remind me of the old city in Salvador, Brazil, Pelourinho.
During the week, most of my time is spent in the city’s center because that is where the university is located. The one thing that I enjoyed most about my first week in Florianópolis was browsing through the stores, looking at the unique works displayed by the artisans on the street, and walking around the open market where fresh fruit, homemade breads and cookies, and meats are sold.
The one thing that has impressed me the most about the city is the efficiency of its bus system. For most people, one of the scariest things about getting around in a new city, domestic or international, is riding on a public bus. However, in Florianópolis, the buses are clean, the signs are clear and the drivers are punctual. What makes the stations unique is that they are not enclosed in a building. It is simply a platform where people get on and off buses. To add the quality of the bus system in Floripa, for the convenience of its patrons, the station has well-lighted bathrooms and food stations available. Que bom!