Rio - beautiful and dangerous
Our Flight from Foz do Iguacu to Rio de Janeiro with LATAM went this time luckily without any delays. In Rio we booked our stay at the Copacabana because it seems to be quite safe. We read and heard a lot that Rio is quite dangerous, a lot of pickpocketing and robbery happens during daytime on the streets, also the German foreign department explicit warn to visit the poor area which are calles the “Favelas”. We were of course a bit strained and nervous how it would be like in Rio. This was also the reason why we booked a city tour with local people and not to visit all sights on our own. We were glad that we booked a tour with also local Brazilian tourists. Our guide Regina luckily speak English and made this tour bilingual, in Portuguese and English, she is really a smart lady, we really had fun that day. In our group we were about 15 people, not too big. With the tour we could enter some facility faster and didn´t need to organise anything else, it was also cheaper rather than if we would do the sights on our own and buffet lunch was also included.
In Rio we visited of course the beaches Copacabana and Ipanema, both are really beautiful beaches, but also very crowded now in summer and during the school holiday. With the tour we visited the Jesus Christ statue “Cristo Redentor”, but unfortunately the view was not good when we were there, it was cloudy. After this place we visited the football (or soccer) stadium Maracana, for the Brazilian people this place is almost holy, well those of you who are into football (or soccer) might better understand what all the hype is about… We also visited the Samba-Carnival parade street Sambodromo da Marques de Sapucai where every year around end of February during Carnival time the big Samba school have their huge parade. Our Tour guide Regina told us that we should come here again in the evening because now the big Samba school are having their trial run to practise for the big event end of February. And of course we went that evening again to that place to see that practise parade, we saw the school Paraiso do Tuiuti. It was very full that evening, the tribunes were almost up to 80% full and it was really a great experience. The parade of the Samba school Paraiso do Tuiuti was huge, approximately 1000 club members took part. The size, dynamic, the colourful costumes and the music was amazing, we never saw carnival in this scale, can´t imagine how it will be during the real carnival end of this February. Unfortunately I didn´t take my camera to the event, I was too scared that it could be stolen. The two pictures were taken by an old smartphone.
With the tour we also visited the cathedral San Sebastian, the colourful stairs with the fired clay tile Escadaria Selaron and of course the Sugarloaf with a Swiss cable railway from where you have a beautiful panoramic view over the city. We also visited with the metro the places Uruguaiana and Botafogo.
Culinary we think Brazil has some great dishes to offer. Some dishes have their origin from Africa, they were brought by the slaves to Brazil. We like the food here, although some are quite salty but some flavours are interesting. You can also get plenty of tropical fruits, most of them are really sweet.
We enjoyed our stay here in Rio, the city with the lovely bays and it´s nice beaches and the beautiful mountains on the background. Also the people here were always in a good mood, they are friendly and helpful, although communication in Portuguese is not always easy. We are also glad that we didn’t get robbed or our stuff got stolen.
We will continue our journey from Rio to Sao Paulo by bus. We are very keen how the trip will be like. As usual we will keep you updated, next time from Sao Paulo.