We’ve spent the last few days checking out Rio, and have to say first impressions are that it’s a really cool place. Yesterday we walked the entire length of Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. It was a national holiday so the people of Rio were down the beach chilling out. All good cept all the blokes wear Speedos, especially the old fat ones (who told them this was a good look!). Of course there were other spectacular views to admire, both on the beach and the great cityscape!
Copacabana is about 3km long and is, much to my surprise, a very nice beach! Golden white sand, nice and clean, with blue waters – Barcelona could learn a thing or two here. The beach has lots of little bars, kinda beach huts where you can get cocktails and ice cold drinks and there’s lots of signs saying ‘No Stress Allowed’ – all good.
The city is full of skyrise buildings and once your a few blocks away from the beach your very much in the city. But its quieter than Buenos Aires, no hustle and bustle of European cities – probably due to the amount of Speedos! We headed into Ipanema to see the large lagoon, another strange sight in a city and to an Irish Bar where we watched the Liverpool v Chelsea game. A couple of really expensive Guinness’s later, and after plenty of shouting at the TV by Russ, we headed out to Copacabana to have a few Caprihnas (local cocktail) and relax – not a bad day to be honest.
This morning we were up early to do a day tour of the cities main sights. We have been shirking at that kind of thing all trip, but we want to relax here so decided to do the tourist thing and let someone else show us round. We started off by going up Rio landmark of Sugar Loaf mountain, via Cable Car, to see the great views over Copacabana. You will all of seen it in the postcards, its the knobbly looking rock overlooking the beaches.
The views over the city are fantastic and the cable car ride is fun to, it makes it too the top in three minutes – daredevil Russ was quite scared! Here’s the view overlooking Copacabana – not a bad cityscape eh.
After descending from Sugar Loaf we headed into the city for a traditional Brazilian meal – grilled meats, as much as you can eat! If you’ve never eaten Brazilian style you deffo should – its superb! Grilled beef, pork, lamb, and sausages – all tender and gorgeous! Deffo putting weight on here! After then had prised us from our seats we headed to the national stadium, known as Macarana Stadium, where most of the big footy games are played. They had a hall of fame with feet imprints of some of Brazil’s best players, here’s me standing in Peles feet!
After viewing the stadium, which is pretty big, we headed to the cities cathedral. Different to any other cathedral I’ve seen, its a concrete tower with four large stain glass windows – not really into Churches but something different was good to see. We then went and saw a street lined with grandstands that allow people to watch the famous Rio Carnival, which brings the city to a standstill for five days in late February. Its a big thing for the Brazilians, seemed a bit strange to me – they have a carnival in Harbury too you know!
From there we were driven up to the famous monument of JC that overlooks the city from 700m. The JC statue is visible across the city, apparently given to the people of Rio by the French in 1930 it deffo adds a spiritual element to the city.
The view made the sugar loaf look like a pebble, and you could see for miles. Deffo one of the best city scenes I’ve ever seen.
A really cool day, can you believe it I did the tourist thing and had a good time! Took lots of photos, which you can view here.
Into the last few days now 🙁 chillout time me thinks…….