Cidade do Samba

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    • Day 11

      Carnaval Experience

      September 11, 2023 in Brazil ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      A behind the scenes tour of how Carnaval is organised inside a huge area called Samba City.

      Samba City is a huge area of warehouses dedicated to the top league of Samba Schools who scored the highest points in Carnaval.

      These huge warehouses are where the floats and costumes are designed, prototyped, built and rehearsed.

      Because they had already started the building for next year's floats, no photos were allowed in that area. But we went up to see the area they had put together that contained last year's costumes and designs for that school.

      We got up close and personal to the experience because we booked it private. Learning about the time line for the year, the history, the culture

      But that's when we got too up close and personal, they dressed us up in some costumes for a photoshoot. Before attempting to show us the basics of the Samba before two professionals came out to dance with us. In that moment we realised just how much of middle aged white guys we are. Yes there is a video, no it will never been seen.
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    • Day 17

      Rio de Janeiro, Day 1.

      January 19, 2020 in Brazil ⋅ ☁️ 79 °F

      We started our day at 6:00 AM today. Got all the way to the top of the ship and watched the sailing toward the city. The view was fantastic: Sugarloaf Mountain, panorama of the city. It was a little overcast, but still very pretty.
      After breakfast we met our group and got out of the ship. We have been in Rio two years ago, but spent there less then a day.
      The weather promised to be good today. Around 80F. We were told that last week was 120F. I guess, we are very lucky.
      At 8:30AM we met out guide Rafi and proceeded to the van. Again, there was no room for a wheelchair. I managed to take wheelchair apart in small pieces and stuff it in the van. Rafi promised to have bigger van for tomorrow. We will see.

      We stopped at the Mirante do Leblon, it is a popular lookout of Rio where we could see the ocean-side, the beaches of Leblon and Ipanema and Cagarras Islands. There were a stands and cafes where people were having drinks mainly the hydrating COCONUT WATER.

      Then we headed west to reach the wetlands of Marapendi.  It is just a curious neighborhood of Rio, very green and with quiet alleys, no cars there and it has some wildlife. We boarded a little boat that local people using as a buses. In that part of the mangrove the smell is horrendous but at least we could take good pictures and for your surprise, we did realize that there are some animals so close to the city. In one of its seven islands called Gigoia we stopped for some drinks and snacks. The name of the restaurant is CAIS BAR. We had some typical Brazilian Empanadas filled with cheese, shrimp, beef and crabs. Some people in our group had beer.

      We continued our day and we drove to Tijuca Forest, it is one of our oldest National Parks, it was created by our Emperor in the 1800s. It is a great area, sadly with almost all the roads closed because of the last storms and the city is doing anything to fix it, so our driver had to use a lot of improvisation. But we managed to see the small Tounay Falls which provides a gorgeous scenario.

      And finally, we arrived at the Botanical Gardens which in Portuguese we say JARDIM BOTANICO DO RIO DE JANEIRO. It is also part of the Tijuca National Park, it is the starting point of many trails to explore the Forest, and also the home of many Brazilian Seeds to replant any species that might disappear, the place also preserves very old trees of the flora from many different parts of Brazil, such as the Samaumas, and the Amazon Palm trees. There we could learn more about Nature Preservation and the importance to keep it untouched. We also had a brief of History as the complex was imagined by the Portuguese King Don João VI and designed by very famous naturalists in that time Saint Hilaire and Von Martius. This place has very high importance to Brazil, because it was part of Charles Darwin's studies and it is one of the top 10 Botanical Gardens in the world.

      That was the end of our tour for the first day in Rio.

      More pictures in the link:
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    Cidade do Samba

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