Rio de Janeiro

Arriving in Rio de Janeiro on a grey rainy day isn’t exactly the Rio one expects. We found our accommodation immediately, although we booked a hostel in a favela with an amazing view over Leblon and Ipanema beach. In hope of better weather we went to sleep.

The next day it was the same – grey and foggy. The Cristo on Concovado was barely visible, that’s why we decided to stroll around downtown. There’s actually a lot to see:
– Cathedral de Sao Sebastiao
– Real Gabinete Portugues de Leitura
– Escadaria Selaron
– lots of beautiful buildings

In the evening we did something special – we went to a football game to the one and only Maracanã. It was a brazilian cup match between Vasco da Gama and Sao Paulo. The athmosphere at the game was amazing, althrough  it was pretty empty. Tickets? The cheapest were 20 BR, the most expensive 60 BR. The end score was 1-1, so everyone went happy home – at least this is what we think. After this experience we can tell that Brazilians really live for football.

On Estádio Maracanã
On Estádio Maracanã

On the second day the weather was nicer – beach time on Praia Vermelha, from where there’s a good trail up to the Urca Mountain. When we got up, Jesus greeted us shyly and hid behind the clouds. Not cool after that hike. From there we went to Copacabana beach for dinner, a drink and home to our favela.

The shy Cristo
The shy Cristo

The next day was partly sunny and clear – this was our best chance for Corcovado. At the ticket office it was written “no view”, but we bought our tickets (51 BR = 11,60€) and hoped for the best. On the train be sure to sit on the right side going up (the side with just 2 seats) for better view over the city. Once up, take the steps and you’ll approach Cristo from behind. Amazingly it cleared up and we could admire the view. This was our best chance for Sugar Loaf on the other side of the city. We took the bus to Botafogo and walked to Praia Vermelha again, from where the trail leads up the Urca mountain. We got up right on time for sunset. Amazing … When night falls the lights of Rio started to light up and Jesus glowed in all his glory, standing proudly and looking down on the city. If you didn’t know – the cable car is free for going down after 7PM – just a tip for saving 71 BR=16€ 😉

Us with Cristo
Us with Cristo

We didn’t have enough of hiking, so the next morning we hiked Dos Hermanos, the hill our favela is built into. The path was again very good with interesting views over the neighbour favela which is the biggest in South America (200k-300k people – no one knows). When you reach the top, you’ll be awarded with an amazing if not the best view over Rio.

View from Dos Hermanos
View from Dos Hermanos

The afternoon we spent on Copacabana and Ipanema drinking caipirinhas and “coco”, trying to find answers to these questions:
– Did Rio fulfil our expectations? Yes, but we were missing the beach vibe (because of bad weather)
– Will we come back?  For sure!

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