Brazil
Castelo

Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.

40 travelers at this place

  • Day10

    Ganz Brasilien ist stolz auf uns!!

    February 27, 2019 in Brazil ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Was für ein schöner Spaziergang am Militärhafen...
    Auf einmal Sirenengeschrei!!! wooOOOoow wooOOOoow...
    Der Feind steht vor den Toren Rio's.

    Ohne zu zögern rennen wir los und gehen mit dem längst ausgemusterten U-Boot "S22" auf Tauchstation .
    Durch das ganze U-Boot schallen Ramonas Rufe
    "FLUTET DAS DEEEEEECK IHR LANDRATTEN"
    Die Torpedos wurden scharf gemacht und wir gingen an das Teleskop um den Feind zu Orten.
    Aber so einfach gibt sich der Feind nicht zu schlagen, deswegen haben wir bei dem Zerstörer "Bauru" die Leinen los gemacht und uns an die Kanonen geschwungen.
    Wärend Ramona sich um die 76mm Kanone kümmerte hat Robby die Flugzeuge mit der Flag abgefangen.

    ENDLICH... Der Feind dreht ab.
    Wir kehrten in den Hafen zurück und wurden mit Jubel empfangen.

    Fertig von dem anstrengende Tag fielen wir in unsere Kojen und träumten vom Sieg.
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  • Day126

    Rio en hélicoooo !

    January 13, 2019 in Brazil ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Restant sur notre faim après le vol en avion avorté autour du Mont Cook, on avait toujours bien envie de faire une expérience un peu dingue comme ça. Et quel meilleur endroit que Rio pour faire un tour d'hélicoptère?!!
    Ce fut une expérience absolument extraordinaire. Nous étions juste tous les deux avec le pilote dans un tout petit hélicoptère et avons survolé les principaux sites: Copacabana, Ipanema, le pain de Sucre et surtout le Corcovado pendant une demi-heure. Avec les lumières chaudes du couché du soleil c'était complètement hallucinant. On était comme des gosses, complètement ébahis !!!

    Ça restera une image très très forte de notre voyage!

    On vous embrasse!
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  • Day351

    Rio de Janeiro

    November 4, 2019 in Brazil ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    Ich kann nicht sagen wie und wann der Wunsch entstanden ist. Jedoch war Rio für mich immer eine Stadt, die ich besucht haben musste. Vielleicht der Namen oder Hollywood auf jeden Fall war es ein tiefer Wunsch von mir. Diesen habe ich mir erfühlt und bin mir fast sicher, dass es ein Come Back geben wird. Die Stadt an sich strahlt für mich eine Atmosphäre, aus die ich nicht in Worte fassen kann. Es fühlt sich einfach nur richtig an. Ob es die Teressa Bahn, die Hafen Region oder der Zuckerhut ist, alles hat sein eigenen Flair.
    Der Christo Redentor ist natürlich total überlaufen, aber der weg durch den Parque Lage ist genial. Wie im Video gezeigt sind tolle Pflanzen und Tiere anwesend. Ebenso die kleine kletter Partie hat ihren Reiz.
    Die Favela Tour war hochinteressant und ich habe viele Eindrücke bekommen, die uns anders vermittelt wurden. Nach der Groß Razzia mit Panzern und 3000 schwer bewaffneten Polizei und Paramilitär von 2010 hat sich nicht viel geändert. Ebenso sind einige Bewohner der Favela nicht begeistert von der Polizei Präsenz. Ein Beispiel: als der Drug Lord regierte und eine Mutter kein Geld hatte ihr krankes Kind zum Arzt zu bringen, ging sie zu ihm. Er half ihr. Die Polizei hingegen ist nur mit reiner Waffen Gewalt anwesend und interessiert sich nicht für die Bewohner und ihre Probleme. Das Drogengeschäft läuft ohne hin weiter wie bisher. Zwar nicht auf offener Straße aber mit den gleichen Umsätzen.
    Der Fischmarkt war echt lustig. Ich habe mir dort einen Fisch gekauft und bin damit in den 1. Stock hochgegangen. Dort wurde er für einen Preis so zubereitet wie ich das wollte. Einfach mal was anderes seinen Fisch selbst auszusuchen, bevor er auf den Tisch kommt. In den Favelas gab es auch Restaurants wo man sich das lebendige Hähnchen aussucht und es wird frisch für einen geschlachtet und zubereitet.
    Bezüglich der Strände und der dazugehörigen brasilianischen Bademode muss ich glaub nicht viel sagen. Außer ich habe meine Zeit dort sehr genossen. 😂😂😂
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  • Day67

    Rio - Olympic Boulevard & Rodizio

    January 14, 2019 in Brazil ⋅ 🌙 27 °C

    Wir lassen den Tag ruhig angehen und legen uns am Vormittag ein wenig in Ipanema an den Strand. Das Wasser ist wunderbar klar und anders als erwartet, total kalt. Bei dem heißen Wetter (35-40 Grad) ist das eine wirklich willkommene Abkühlung 😊

    Am Nachmittag machen wir wieder eine Free Walking Tour, heute geht es an den Olympic Boulevard, den Teil, der für die Olympischen Spiele in 2016 komplett renoviert wurde und von dem man einen tollen Blick auf die Guanabara Bay hat. Auf der Tour geht es außerdem um den Einfluss der Afrikaner in Brasilien. Samba, Capoeira oder Fejoida - all diese Dinge haben ihren Ursprung von den afrikanischen Sklaven. An der Pedra do Sal, am Salz-Stein, wurde einst das Salz gelagert, das im Hafen ankam. Dieser Teil des Hafens ist als Klein-Afrika bekannt. Nach der Abschaffung der Sklaverei 1888 wurde die Pedra do Sal ein Treffpunkt für die Schwarzen, die sich hier versammelten, den Kampftanz Capoeira tanzten und Samba-Musik machten. Man sagt, hier sei der Geburtsort des Samba. Heute findet hier deshalb auch jeden Montag eine riesige Sambaparty statt 💃
    Am Maua Square sehen wir das stylische Museum of Tomorrow und den ersten Skyscraper Brasiliens.
    Unsere Tour endet am einst größten von einem Künstler geschaffene Graffiti der Welt (jetzt gibt es ein noch größeres in São Paolo vom gleichen Künstler). Es ist 3000 Quadratmeter und zeigt Portraits von Völkern aus aller Welt 🌍

    Gleich im Anschluss machen wir uns zu einer Churrasceria, einem echten brasilianischen Steakhouse, um hier einmal das richtige Rodizio zu testen. Wir werden gleich an der Tür von einem Herrn in Anzug begrüßt und von einem nächsten zu unserem Tisch geführt. Der Kellner kommt mit einem Tablett voller Vorzeige-Aperitifs - Caipis, Prosecco, Aperol, und diverse undefinierbare, bunte Getränke, wir entscheiden uns erstmal für ein Wasser 😅 auf geht’s zum Buffet. Und das hat es wirklich in sich. Es gibt diverse Salate, warme Speisen, Fisch, Fleisch, Gemüse, Paella, Risotto, diverse Käse- und Schinkensorten und eine Reihe von Sushiplatten und Antipasti. Das Buffet hätte auch schon ohne Rodizio gereicht 😅 Zurück am Tisch angekommen, bekommen wir kleine Schälchen mit Beilagen: Pommes, Reis, Calamari, Falafelflocken, Bruschetta, Käsebällchen und süße Bananen. Und dann gibt es gefühlt alle 30 Sekunden Fleisch. Die Kellner kommen mit ihren riesigen Spießen direkt an den Tisch und schneiden hauchdünne, zarte Scheiben besten Fleisches direkt auf den Teller. Eine Besonderheit hier in Brasilien sind Hühner-Herzen, die für mich ähnlich wie Lamm schmecken, also sehr lecker sind 😊 mit einem kleinen Kärtchen auf dem Tisch können wir anzeigen, ob wir gerade eine Pause brauchen (rote Seite) oder eine nächste Runde wollen (grüne Seite). Nik macht schon früh schlapp und ich mache alleine weiter 😜 irgendwann fühle aber auch ich mich kugelrund. Eine zweite süße Banane geht aber trotzdem noch 😅
    Auch wenn die Fleischsorten nicht so abwechslungsreich wie in Deutschland waren, war das Fleisch super 👍🏻
    Zum Abschluss kommt wieder ein Keller mit einem Tablett Vorzeige-Desserts, die wir leider dankend ablehnen.
    Zum Glück ist unser Hostel ein paar Blocks entfernt, der Verdauungsspaziergang ist bitter nötig 😁
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  • Day98

    We Go to Rio

    November 4, 2017 in Brazil ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    “When my baby, when my baby smiles at me, I go to Rio, de Janiero”. From the moment that we left Italy, we couldn't stop singing the Peter Allen song “I go to Rio”. And the Barry Manilow song “Copacabana” was soon also added to the playlist. Considering we had a brief stop-over in Frankfurt before an 11 hour journey to Rio, this was a long time for two songs to be stuck in our heads.

    The pit-stop in Frankfurt allowed us to feed our currywurst addiction one last time. Boarding at Frankfurt, we also got to experience self-boarding, which is kind of like self-service checkouts at supermarkets but less orderly. Imagine a plane full of people trying to go through three checkouts all at once. According to Lufthansa's slogan it's quick, simple and convenient – maybe for the airline! The ironic part is that ground staff are still required at the self-boarding checkouts. Maybe its about work-related injuries and the prevention of RSIs (repetitive strain injuries).

    At check-in, Jason assigned himself the window seat and Ricky the aisle seating, hoping that no-one else would be assigned in between. We sat praying that the middle seat would be allocated to a skinny person. Fat chance when the majority of people in the world are overweight. Fear grew as a slightly overweight Brazilian giant walked towards our row. No lady luck for us. Throughout the long-haul flight, the giant was wedged between us. We woke up and found him manspreading across both of us. Luckily, we slept through most of the flight because the plane bounced its way across the Atlantic from Frankfurt to Rio. If we thought we were in a washing machine on the Neapolitan trains, the plane trip was not much different. At times, it felt like the washing-machine-cum-plane was on a delicate cycle and we were gently rocking. Then, turbulence set in and the washing-machine went into heavy-duty mode, shaking and bouncing almost out of control. Landing wasn't too smooth either but we were glad to be on the ground.

    When the Brazilian giant awoke, we found out that he was actually an Argentinian who had been living in Brazil most of his life. He had lots of advice about pick-pockets and thieves in South America. We were already a bit apprehensive about Rio from all of the media reports. If the Pet Shop Boys could be robbed by a member of the LGBTIQ+ community, what hope did we have? So we decided to try and blend in, by dressing down and giving up the razor. Unshaven and dishevelled, we could have passed for itinerant vagrants. One out of two ain't bad. If we had our McDonalds/Burger King free refill soft-drink cups, we're sure people would have dropped a few coins into it to help out the needy.

    We've been warned everywhere we have travelled to watch out for thieves. The other thing to watch out for is money exchange places. Often they don't advertise their commission and in Brazil there is a monopoly, so you don't have a choice. Having just landed after 11 hours on a plane, we didn't think about the conversion rate and it was only later we realised the commission was more than 40%. Highway robbery and that was before we even stepped out onto the streets.

    It's expected that where there are tourists, there are pick-pockets or someone trying to squeeze as much money out of you. But express kidnappings was a new phenomena for us. It's where you are kidnapped, taken to an ATM and forced to withdraw money and then you are released. So at the ATM, one of us would be the look-out and the other would do the transaction. Jason would continually ask for an update as he input his pin number. “Is the coast clear?” Jason would say. The only threat was a toddler straying from her mother from off the streets. The sounds of cars back-firing, though, didn't do anything to calm our nerves. Nor the policemen with machine guns hanging out of choppers, which flew just above sea level along Copacabana beach. We're sure that the police and army presence was to provide some feeling of safety but it tended to have the opposite effect for us.

    Apart from the many hawkers selling their goods, and blowing annoying whistles, groups of Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) were scattered along Copacabana beach. This was not an uncommon sight in Europe either. It seemed every city we have visited had their own posse of JWs. And as many know, JWs aren't very accepting or tolerant of the LGBTIQ+ community. So throughout Europe, and now in Rio, Jason has been stopping and grabbing Ricky, planting a big kiss on his lips. Ricky hasn't been kissed so much in his life! Jason would then turn to the JWs and say “Out and about, spreading your hate across the World”. This time in Rio, two police officers were positioned beside a group of JWs and saw our antics. One of the police officers roared with laughter. We just continued to walk on our way, leaving the JWs to discuss our sins.

    The landscape surrounding Copacabana and Ipanema is stunning. The beaches, particularly on the weekends, are crowded with people of all shapes and sizes. Many people appear to live very active lives, playing volleyball, running or walking, and are very body conscious. Strangely, most people didn't actually swim in the ocean. Maybe they were too afraid that their possessions would be stolen. For every guy, or girl, with six-pack abs there was a skinny-fat (you know, skinny but with a slight belly) or a four-pack-fat person (someone who doesn't quite have a six-pack and has a bit of a belly). We know how they feel! Each new city brings with it a new addiction as we continue to gain weight. We now resemble a pregnant woman in her first trimester. Before we know it, we’ll be stuck with the baby bulge for life or at least for 18 years and it will be a bugger to budge. But it tastes so good!

    The new addiction in Rio was the national Brazilian drink, Caipriniha. Each day was spent with at least a wander along Copacabana beach and a stop at one of the bars for happy hour. Life is hard sipping on a cocktail and watching the eye-candy, clad in nothing but a thin sliver of lycra that leaves very little to the imagination. The stumble home was much more difficult than the walk to the bar that is for sure. The carrot dangling at the end was the treats we discovered along the way home: caramel-filled desserts, lemon condensed milk tarts or something we found at the supermarket.

    The supermarket at the bottom of our apartment was a tourist trap with prices heavily-inflated. So at our first opportunity, we headed to the supermarket where all the locals shop. Entering the store felt like an episode of Supermarket Sweeps or the Price is Right. C'mon down! Everywhere you looked, there were people and their trolleys weaving in and out of the aisles, knocking anyone down to get that bargain. One of the casualties was a Brazilian man, who Jason accidentally ran into with our trolley, clipping the back of his Achilles heel. To counter the accident, Jason's good deed was to help an elderly woman. Little old ladies in supermarkets seem to be attracted to Jason more than moths balls and crochet. This lady stood pointing at the frozen pizza in our trolley and rambled something in Portuguese. Jason figured she wanted one too so went and got it for her. It was easier than trying to explain it to her.

    Later on, the good deed was returned when we were searching for a post office. An elderly woman, again, stopped in the middle of the footpath and asked if we needed any assistance. She was unsure about the language that we were speaking but when we made it clear that we spoke English, she said “Speak slowly. I'm unfamiliar with your English”. Speaking very slowly, and in unison, she understood and then gave us precise instructions on how to get there. At the post office, we were warned once again about our safety by the lady who helped us work-out the system inside the post office.

    But what we really needed assistance with was to navigate the Rio bus system. It was much easier to catch an Über than try and figure which bus you had to catch and where you needed to change. It seemed that to get anywhere it would take at least an hour. Although public transport was apparently improved for the 2016 Olympic Games, the system is still not integrated well and the metro is limited. It did mean our step-count increased over the week.

    Once the overcast weather disappeared, we set out to see Christ the Redeemer, the most iconic symbol of Rio. The train trip up the mountain was half the adventure, as it chugged its way up the mountain, giving glimpses of Rio from above. There's actually only a couple of ways to get up the mountain: train or bus. The walking trail was recently closed because of the high incidents of robberies and stabbings. But lets gloss over that. The view alone was worth the trip. With a 360° view of Rio, you get to admire the beauty of the entire city. Christ the Redeemer doesn't seem that magnificent from afar but up-close the statue is much more impressive. It is an imposing statue, looming over you from 38 metres above. People lie down on the ground to get their perfect instagram photo, trying to emulate the iconic pose.

    While Rio is known for its beaches and beach culture, and we spent a lot of time walking along Copacabana, we were able to tear ourselves away from the eye-candy to explore other parts of the city, such as the Fort of Copacabana, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, Botofoga, Santa Teresa and Escadaria Selarón. After being dropped off in Santa Teresa by our Über driver, we were on the look-out for street art. We were unsure exactly where we needed to go, but immediately we knew that we were in the wrong area. We saw posters plastered along the streets warning people that there had been a high number of assaults and robberies in the area. Exit stage left.

    Retreating down the Selarón Steps, Escadaria Selarón, we came across an Austrian woman selling Caiprinihas on the streets. To feed our new addiction, we jumped at the chance. Our conversation with Anja the Austrian started with us disclosing that we didn't understand Portuguese in Portuguese. The conversation then proceeded through the European continent into French, Spanish, German and English. We got to know Anja a little more. But Jason and Ricky couldn’t agree on some of the content of the conversation. Did she say that she had lived and travelled around South America for three or thirteen years before settling in Rio? It was such a hot day that it called for a second Caipriniha, and was an excuse to chat with Anja the Austrian again. Apparently the world also confuses Austrians for Australians. Anja is constantly being mistaken as an Australian along her travels. We've been mistaken for many different nationalities. Add Italian to the latest list. Perhaps the Über driver could still smell the cannoli from Naples on our breathe.

    Next stop: São Paulo
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  • Day14

    Påväg igen

    October 21, 2014 in Brazil ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

    Nu åker vi till Salvador, Bahia. Hungriga efter en båttur, en busstur, två taxiresor och ett besök på fel flygplats blev vi lagom nöjda när ostbröd och dödstrött kycklingsandwich är vad flygplatsen har att erbjuda. 2 flyg och åtminstone en taxiresa kvar :) /MatsRead more

  • Day19

    Rio de Janeiro

    December 12, 2010 in Brazil ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    Sunrise om 5,21 am.
    Vlug naar boven om de opkomende zon te fotograferen. We bleven samen kijken naar de prachtige zichten tot we bijna aanmeerden in Rio.

    Vlug wassen, omkleden, ontbijten en naar de verzamelplaats voor onze uitstap: Jeep toer naar Corcovado.

    Aanbieding:
    Verlaat de pier met de jeep en ga naar de heuvel van Corcovado, in het Tijucabos, het grootste stadsbos ter wereld. U zult de Christus van Rio kunnen bewonderen. Vanaf Corcovado ziet u de stranden van Copacabana, Ipanema en Leblon. De excursie komt langs Sta. Teresa, een traditioneel district met een mild klimaat en grote huizen die dateren uit begin vd vorige eeuw, hoofdzakelijk gebouw door Engelse spoorwegmanagers. Vandaag is het een kunstcentrum. Dit is het enige district waar je trolleys vindt in Rio.
    de werkelijkheid:
    Anderhalf uur rijden via de oude stad en langs de favellas en de wijk Sta. Teresia en zo door het tropische woud naar Corcovado de berg waar het beroemde standbeeld op staat... het was een aangelegde woud want de originele bomen waren gerooid om koffieplantages aan te leggen, pas in 1861 werd er terug bebost want de overstromingen in de stad door de ontbossing waren niet meer te stoppen!We stopten op een parking en werden met shuttlebusje naar de Corcovado gebracht waar we 50’ vrij hadden.

    Echt de moeite waard, eerst met een roltrap tot aan de voet van Christo el Redemptor, er is een Mariakapel in de sokkel, en men deed juist een rondgang. Het beeld is niet te vatten in een normale foto en er is ongelofelijk veel volk! Het uitzicht is prachtig met de stranden en de bergen!
    Na de vrije tijd en de tocht via de souvenierstalletjes reden we via tunnels en de stad langs het beruchte Copacabana strand. we zaten achterin een open jeep en de omgeving was inspirerend. Achter ons reden auto’s en motoren en de mensen waren vriendelijk en uitgelaten. Dirk boog zich voorover om foto’s te nemen en één van de medepassagiers deed teken dat hij moest oppassen voor zijn camera uit schrik dat hij gestolen zou worden uit zijn handen. We zaten hoger en reden met een snelheid waarbij niemand zou in de wagen springen! Je hebt toch bange mensen! Het was een super trip, dooreengeschud en zonder veel uitstappen maar zeker de moeite waard.
    Later bij het diner vertelde Theo dat zij op eigen gelegenheid de oude stad hadden bezocht. Ze namen een taxi dan kon zijn rollator mee. Toen ze iets dronken op een terras vroeg de serveuse of zij in gezelschap waren, toe ze verklaarden dat ze een taxi genomen hadden en nog wat zouden rondwandelden zie de serveuse: niet doen, het is hier gevaarlijk om te wandelen en jullie zijn te groot doelwit als toeristen alleen! Ze stond erop zelf een taxi te bellen en hen te zien instappen, je ziet wel dat je inderdaad moet oppassen en rekening houden met de omstandigheden.
    Na het lekkere Mexicaans diner hebben we ingepakt want de valiezen moesten vòòr 12 u op de gang staan!
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  • Day3

    Day 3: Rio de Janeiro

    August 16, 2018 in Brazil ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

    A much better day, with plenty of exploring. First stop is my old hunting ground, Largo do Machado where I stayed last year. It's another unpretentious neighbourhood, the large square headed by a grand church (N.S. da Gloria), market stalls, exercise machines, card players and vagrants. Continuing northwards towards the bohemian neighbourhood of Lapa, I stop for a self-service lunch. This is a great Brazilian institution, with an assortment of dishes which meat and vegetarian alike, are charged by the kilo. So a good fill-up for R$18 (about US$6).

    Onwards to another bohemian quarter, Santa Teresa, which is reached by the old-fashioned yellow tram, the "bonde", which rumbles across the Arcos de Lapa, a former aqueduct. S.T. is a bit run down but in a charming way, with cobbled roads and late 19th century villas in mock-French and German styles. The walls are covered with graffiti or when done properly, street art, in which the bonde features prominently.

    Finally at ground level, a return to Lapa and the scenic Selaron staircase. This was designed by a Chilean artist using ceramic tiles with the colours of the Brazilian flag although later on he added reds and blacks. It's popular with tourists and sometimes musicians as well but I see only those featured in street art, or on posters such as Pink Floyd tribute bands. (This legendary band is big in Brazil and pronounced "Pink Floydge").
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  • Nov28

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    November 28, 2019 in Brazil ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

    Rio de Janeiro. Hotel Arena Copacabana.. Guide: Rayol

    Weather today is about 26° with the possibility of rain in the afternoon. Yesterday the temperature got up to 30°.
    We started the day with a lovely breakfast in the hotel. We were picked up at 9:00am by Rayol, our guide for today. Rayol is pronounced Hayol because the Portuguese pronounce the letter R as H (eg. “hestaurant”).

    We drove downtown to the district of Santa Teresa to see the famous Selarón tiled steps. In 1990 he began renovating dilapidated steps that ran along the front of his house. At first, neighbours mocked him for his choice of colours as he covered the steps in fragments of blue, green and yellow tiles – the colours of the Brazilian flag. It started out as a side-project to his main passion, painting, but soon became an obsession. He found he was constantly out of money, so Selarón sold paintings to fund his work. It was long and exhausting work, but he continued and eventually covered the entire set of steps in tiles, ceramics and mirrors. Originally, tiles for the work were scavenged from various construction sites and piles of urban waste found on the Rio streets. There are 215 steps measuring 125 metres long which are covered in over 2000 tiles collected from over 60 countries around the world. No sooner than one section of the steps were 'finished', Selarón started work on another section, constantly changing it so that it was an ever evolving piece of art. Selarón considered the work as "never complete" and claimed that "This crazy and unique dream will only end on the day of my death", He died January 10, 2013, at the age of 65.
    Rayol made it a lot of fun by giving us a challenge over a bottle of water. If we could find a tile for Toronto or even Canada, he would give us a bottle of water and if we couldn’t find one, we would give him one. Well we found about 15 from Canada and even one from Toronto so we won. He was quite surprised about the one from Toronto as he didn’t know it was there. Funny, I don’t remember getting our bottle of water!

    Next stop was a visit to the Metropolitan Cathedral. The Cathedral was designed by Edgar de Oliveira da Fonseca in a modern style based on the Mayan architectural style of pyramids and built between 1964 and 1979.The New Cathedral, as it is sometimes called, is in the center of the city. It is conical in shape with an internal width of 96 metres (315 ft) and an overall height of 75 metres (246 ft). Inside, the area measures 8,000 square meters, which gives it a seating capacity of 5000 seats and standing room for 20,000 people. The cathedral's four gorgeous rectangular stained-glass windows soar 64 metres (210 ft) from floor to ceiling. It looks like it’s made of concrete in a cone shape and every little cell is a ventilation cell.

    From there we walked to the Santa Theresa Tram station and at 20 Real per person, (approximately $4.00 USD). We got onto a replica of a 32-person tram. It started off going across an old aqueduct called The Arches of Lapa, a series of 42 Roman style arches built in the 18th century to improve water distribution. Today it serves to connect two transit stations. That was the smooth part. From there it continues, jolting side to side with many sudden stops on rails set in cobblestones all uphill for about 6 km. And then it turns around and comes back! It was a bit like a one-hour bumper car experience but very interesting. The route travelled along the side of steep cliffs lined with expensive houses many of them sadly blemished with graffiti. There were many stops along the way to let passengers on and off.

    Once back at the starting point, we walked between the Petrobras building (a petroleum company) and a bank, and Rayol said that the best place to meet a husband or wife was on the bridge that went between the two buildings. He said all you had to do is go there during lunch time and just smile.

    We walked around through a market selling clothing and some souvenirs. Then we continued through the downtown shopping area where the streets are closed to traffic.

    We stopped for lunch at the Confeitaria Columbo which was founded in 1894 by Portuguese immigrants Joaquim Borges de Meireles and Manuel José Lebrão. Its architecture, inspired by the European cafes, was representative of Rio de Janeiro's belle époque. Between 1912 and 1918, the interior halls were renovated with an Art Nouveau flair, with large crystal mirrors brought from Antwerp, framed by rosewood trim friezes. The interior wooden furniture was carved at the same time by the artisan Antonio Borsoi. In 1922, its facilities were expanded with the construction of a second floor with a tearoom. An opening in the ceiling of the ground floor allows you to see through to the skylight of the tearoom, decorated with stained glass. It is reputed to be one of the 10 most beautiful cafés in the world. Currently, the second floor houses the restaurant Cristóvão. We ate on the main floor in the cafeteria area surrounded by floor to ceiling mirrors. It was gorgeous in the extreme and packed with people.

    From there we continued walking through busy narrow streets and more open streets lined with majestic old buildings in both good and bad condition. We walked by the very modern looking Museum of Tomorrow after which we wandered along a wide promenade by the ocean and admired some spectacular mural art by an artist named Kobra. A long hustle back to the car still parked at the Cathedral where we started our tour. It started to rain as we returned to our hotel. Good timing.

    After our tour with Rayol, we put our feet up and had a brief snooze and both then worked on our respective days of tours. Rodrigo picked us up at 7:30 pm and took us to another Churrasco restaurant There was an extensive buffet of appetizers, salads, cheeses, sushi, and fish. As we were just settling in, the waiters started coming around with their swords of meat. They were all encouraging us to try their specialty. We met an American family, who were stationed in Rio with the armed services, who were out celebrating their Thanksgiving. We also met 3 young fellows from the British Royal Navy that had just come in from the Falkland Islands.
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  • Nov26

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    November 26, 2019 in Brazil ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    Rio de Janeiro First Day. Hotel: Arena Copacabana

    When we came out from the baggage area, we expected to see a driver, holding a sign with our name, waiting for us. There was no one. We called the number and found out that they had somehow missed the message that we were coming in a day early. Everything sorted itself out and we were soon picked up and delivered to the hotel. On the way to the hotel we saw Sugarloaf Mountain, the Cristo Blanco and the sensational beaches.

    We were checked in fairly quickly. The clerk came from Iceland and we were his first customer. We settled into our room and then quickly headed out to walk the Copacabana beach. It was a lovely afternoon and we just relaxed and strolled along. Lots of very buff fellows and mostly bikini clad girls (although not all should have been wearing them). We returned to the hotel and had a refreshing regional drink called Leblon, on the rooftop overlooking the Copacabana beach. Down for a shower and an hour snooze. We decided to have dinner in the hotel- a very bland Caesar salad full of unexpected chicken. Don had Crab croquettes and Lee had Pappardelle with shrimp. Portions very large so we didn’t do justice to the meal. After dinner, we took a brief walk along the Avenida Atlantica, which separated the hotel from Copacabana beach and saw many groups on the beach playing various forms of volleyball and football. We returned to the hotel and prepared for bed.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Castelo

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