I didn’t have high expectations for this city. Brazil wasn’t meant to be part of my itinerary, it was simply a jumping off point to get to Argentina.
I was in for a rude suprise. The last week has shown me this was a city with a rich culture and high energy from the favelas (slums) to the modern city centre, beaches, forests, street parties, dancing – Rio is incredible and I’ve fallen madly in love with its attitude.
In the last week I’ve spent lazy days at Ipanema beach, where you go not to just sunbathe, but also people watch. Its also fair to say that the brazilians are ever so confident in bikinis, no matter what size they are. On the beach, various vendors sell their wares (mainly food), including the amazing Acai, an iced slushie-type drink that is deliciously good. The locals will spend all the day at the beach – eating, sunbathing, playing soccer, dancing.
When not at the beach, brazilians love a good party. The famous Lapa street party is the place to be on a Friday night. Lapa is a district full of history, charm, culture and nightlife (its also renowned for crime). On a Friday the people of Rio pack its streets for dancing, food, and drinking. The atmosphere is buzzing, and people from all walks of life come together to simply just have a good time. During the day, Lapa (and Santa Teresa, the posh hillside neighbourhood above it) is a feast for the eyes with its graffiti-stained walls, working tram, cobble-stone streets and colonial architecture.
One of the main tourist attractions is the Christ Redeemer statue. I was one of the lucky few to be able to go to the top on a magnificent clear day and look down on the city of Rio. The statue itself is simply amazing and I can see why the locals are so proud of it.
Today, I reluctantly say goodbye to Rio and am in for a 23hour bus ride to Iguazu Falls. I’m looking forward to the falls, but not the bus ride!
All photos in this post were taken by the author and subject to copyright.