The marvellous city, this nickname is no word of a lie. Rio is huge, wonderful and one of the most remarkable cities I have visited. It was a nice change to get some sun and warmth after our freezing few weeks and I could think of no better place than Rio de Janeiro to soak in the sun. The plan was two weeks here before Ruth headed home and I headed north, I however tried to leave but ended up back, staying close to three weeks which could of easily turned into a lifetime.
We got extremely lucky, in those three weeks I only had one day of rain leaving us with lots of opportunities for sightseeing. We headed up to see the big guy Christo or more correctly Christ the Redeemer, overwhelming in size and the amount of people crowded around the tiny view points. With zero organisation it was impossible for us to get a good look over the entire city and we just weren’t prepared to force our way through the packs of people, we did still manage to catch some pretty terrific views though.
After one sight seeing day it was time to relax, and where better to relax than one of the most famous beaches in the world. We headed to Ipanema, which is not your ordinary beach experience. Not solely due to the over exposed Brazilians but the availability of everything you want or need on the beach. Just sit back while people bring you anything you want from açai to bikinis. We opted for some caipirinhas in the sun as we hung around for one of the most beautiful sunsets I have even witnessed.
I took the free walking tour of downtown to get some local tips of the city. It was fascinating to hear of the corruption and displacement in Rio especially involving the favelas as well as the negative impacts hosting the world cup and Olympics is having on the city and its people. It wasn’t all negative thought, we visited some beautiful places and learnt a lot about the city, ending at the amazing Escadaria Selarón.
We spent our time in Rio moving between neighbourhoods to get a feel or the different aspects of the city. From a few days in the quiet hills of Santa Maria to a noisy weekend of partying in Lapa, and there wasn’t a single one we didn’t enjoy, although I would have to say the clean streets of Ipanema were my favourite.
I had heard many warnings about being careful in Brazil, that we were more than likely going to get robbed, I can say without a doubt, there was not a single moment in this city that I felt unsafe, I loved every single moment of it and will definitely be jumping at any opportunity to go back.