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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