Friday, July 16, 2010

Rio de Janeiro

Rio is a city of stunning contrasts.  Favelas (slums) across the street from mansions, steep peaks rising from the sea, beaches five minutes from the rain forest…  Seen from the top of Pao de Acucar, a peak reached via cable car, it might be the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen. 

Danielle and Claudia met us in Rio, where we rented a cute 2-bedroom apartment two blocks from Copacabana beach for the four nights we spent here (surprisingly cheap at only US$90 per night for all four of us).   We spent our first day wandering Copacabana beach (where the dogs wear almost as many clothes as their owners…I suppose that’s not much) and where we watched the World Cup final on a big screen with lots of Brazilians.  We learned that Brazilian men aren’t meant to tan lying on their stomachs lest they want male attention, which means you’ll see a lot of men standing in the sun in order to even out their tans.  

We also went on a tour of the favelas – where our tour guide debunked many myths surrounding Rio’s biggest slums – tried to go Samba dancing in Lapa (not exactly happening on a Monday night, unfortunately), and went drinking with some locals (friends of Danielle from her previous trip through Uruguay).

Needless to say, we’re sad to be leaving Rio this evening.

More pictures here:
Rio de Janeiro

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