A Journal, with Pictures

Rio de Janeiro

by on Feb.10, 2016, under Happenings

Rio de Janeiro our last stop on our South Amer­i­ca adven­ture is one of the most beau­ti­ful cities in the world and I want­ed Joyce to see and expe­ri­ence it. To make things more inter­est­ing it’s Car­ni­val week and prepa­ra­tion for the Olympics is in full swing. We are met by our guide Venil­ton Mar­i­ano or Veni, and our dri­ver who gets us right to our hotel. The plan was to vis­it the Pao de Acu­car (Sug­ar loaf) on the way in but we elect to do that tomor­row. We check in to the fab­u­lous Copaca­bana Palace (built in 1923), then do a lit­tle quick sight see­ing on the famous beach, before anoth­er great din­ner at the cel­e­brat­ed Cipri­ani restau­rant in the hotel.

The next day way do the tourist things, Christ of the Redeemer on Mount Cocava­do and Sug­ar Loaf ( Pao de Acu­cra). The views from these two icon­ic sites are breath tak­ing, par­tic­u­lar­ly the Sug­ar loaf which is 1200 feet above the city. After our tour­ing we have lunch at Apraziv­el fea­tur­ing Brazil­ian cui­sine and a great view of the city from the hill­side. After some more sight see­ing, includ­ing the Ipane­ma, we return to the hotel and then have din­ner at the amaz­ing restau­rant Lasai.

Our last day we cov­er the eclec­tic artists neigh­bor­hood and the cob­bled streets of San­ta Tere­sa. We see the Escadaria Selaron a set of world-famous steps cov­ered in over 2000 tiles from around the world. This is the work of the Chilean born artist Jorge Selaron, who was a bit eccen­tric. We then vis­it Rio de Janiero’s mod­ern cathedral.

Then its to the old down town and port area that are have lots of new addi­tions stim­u­lat­ed by the upcom­ing Olympics. Rio is a city of con­trasts with the Fave­la’s (slums) much improved from my last vis­it, but in close prox­im­i­ty to the city and some of the most mod­ern struc­tures and nicest neighborhoods.  We also learn about the Car­ni­val which is not a event but an indus­try, with thou­sands of par­tic­i­pants many from the Fave­la’s and tens of thou­sands of view­ers. Our hotel is being dec­o­rat­ed with venues priced from $700 to $1200 per person.

The con­trasts of the city are numer­ous old vers­es new side by side, colo­nial archi­tec­ture verse the most  mod­ern, a city that out­lawed casi­nos but you can buy an ille­gal lot­tery tick­et any­where and always with a vibran­cy that is unique­ly Brazilian.

We have lunch with Veni our guide then fresh­en up before our night flight back to the Unit­ed States. Its been a great incred­i­bly inter­est­ing and edu­ca­tion­al trip, but as always it will be good to get back home.


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