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Honeymooners We travel, we see sights of awe. Home is where the heart is. My heart is with Briel.

Rio de Janerio

BRAZIL | Sunday, 20 January 2008 | Views [1722]

Full name of the city: São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro ("Saint Sebastian of the January River") and it is the second major city of Brazil, behind São Paulo. The city is capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro.

The city was once the capital of Brazil (1763–1960) and of the Portuguese Empire (1808–1821). Commonly known as just Rio, the city is also nicknamed A Cidade Maravilhosa - "The Marvelous City".

We took an overnight bus from Sao Paulo to Rio arriving early morning at Rio's interstate bus terminal "Rodivaria Novo Rio".  From here we took a local bus to Copacabana beach where our hostel was a 10min stroll away.

The city itself is a beautiful city.  Perhaps one of the most beautiful I have ever seen from a high point.  It boasts many islands lining the coast line, many long beaches, green hills, stone mountains (made from the crashing of the continents forcing the strange lovely structures which appear to rise suddenly around you). 

The view from the Corcovada "The Christo" statue is heart stopping.  The statue was voted one of the modern wonders of the world and rightfully so.  You are stunned as the mighty tall Chrsito gazes over the whole city in protection and hope.  It magnifies the glory of the city 1000 times more.

Copacabana is the main tourist beach that streches a long 4km.  The sand is bright yellow, the waters cold with strong waves.  Often it brings with the waves so much seaweed that the water colour is that of jade marble.  Here you see many a lazing in the sun, or playing the popular footvolley, volleyball and ofcourse football(soccer).  So many play and can't help but smile at the local talent they all have to play such games.  Locals also sell sarongs/towels, bikini's, food, fresh coconuts to drink all along it's black and white paved boardwalks.  The effect is a fun, stunning, lively beach full of laughter and gringos.

The neighboring beach is Ipanema beach. The word "Ipanema" comes from the old Tupi language, meaning "bad water"; in the sense of bad for fishing, since the waves die too close to the sand, pushing fish away.  The beach is far from bad though.  Personally was my favourite beach in Rio.  Here is easy to find a quiet place to fall asleep to the heavy sounds of the water crashing.  While still  having the little luxuries of the fresh coconuts and icecreams.

The city also can boast one of the largest football stdiums in the world "Maracana Stadium" and great shopping either in the malls or fun markets.

On every corner you can find Sukos bars "Juice Bars"  which make some of the best juices I have ever tasted.  The perfect combinations of fruit with the perfect consistancy of thickness and smoothness.  The Manga(Mango) or Morango con Leite (Strawberry with condensed milk) are spectacular.  However the local drink is "Acai" (unknown fruit to me)often eaten with Granola.  Not my cup of tea but it is many others favourite juice.  The bars also have great sandwhiches, burgers, light snacks and desserts all of great backpacker prices.

With all this wonder it is a shame that there is many favelas "shanty towns"  which are too dangerous for anyone NOT from there (even city police) to enter there.  The military police patrol some of the more dangerous favelas trying to keep the civil gansters at some kind of truce.  I am not sure how much of a success it is.  It is a strange site to see mansions with the next street having tin houses viewable from the mansions window sill.

Rio could be the more beautiful city in the world.  It certainly was worth to go and see. 

Tags: Culture

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