no country ignites the western imagination as brazil does. for hundreds of years it has symbolized a primordial, tropical paradise. from the mad passion of carnival2 to the vastness of the dark amazon3 , brazil is a country of mythical proportions.
roughly the size of the us ( excluding alaska) , brazil is a huge country encompassing nearly half of south america , and bordering on most of the continent’s other nations — ecuador and chile are the exceptions. after 40 years of internal migration and population growth, brazil is also an urban country; four out of every five brazilians live in a city. sao paulo, with more than 17 million inhabitants, is the world’s second most populous city. brazil’s population is clustered along the atlantic coast, and much of the country, including the massive amazon basin, remains scarcely populated and hard to access.
for most, the brazilian journey begins in rio de janeiro4. one of the world’s great cities, rio has developed a highly advanced culture of pleasure. it revolves around the famous beaches of copacabana, and is fueled by the music of samba 5 and the athleticism of soccer. this hedonism reaches its climax every february or march, during the carnival — five days of revelry, unrivaled by any other party on the globe. rio de janeiro state is blessed with some of the country’s best beaches. inland, the coastal mountains rise rapidly from lush, green, tropical forest, culminating in spectacular peaks. the mountains are punctuated by national parks where you can enjoy brazil’s best hiking and climbing.
the amazon jungles are the world’s largest tropical rainforest, fed by the world’s largest river, and home to the richest and most diverse ecosystem on earth — a nature lover’s ultimate fantasy! though threatened by rapid deforestation, the rainforest still offers years of exploration for the adventurous traveler.
wherever you go in brazil, you’ll see brazilians at their beaches playing. the beach is the national passion. fortunately, with over 8, 000 km of coastline, there are an incredible number of superb beaches, so you should have little problem finding your own tropical hideaway.
brazil may not be the paradise on earth that many travelers once imagined, but it is a land of often unimaginable beauty. there are still stretches of unexplored rainforest, islands with pristine tropical beaches, and endless rivers. and there are the people themselves, who delight the visitor with their energy, fantasy and joy.
Ⅰ. fill in the blanks with proper prepositions:
1. his words bordered_______ rudeness.
2. the feminine talk revolved mostly_______ clothes, bargains and small scandals.
3. he is blessed_______ good health.
4. the science fair culminated _______ the awarding of prizes.
5. he delighted the audience_______ his performance.
Ⅱ. answer the question in your own words :
why is rio de janeiro so attractive to travelers?
Ⅰ. 1. on 2 . around 3. with 4. in 5 . with
Ⅱ. because it has developed a highly advanced culture of pleasure , with beautiful beaches, samba , soccer, annual carnivals and national parks.