YY in Brazil – Rio de Janeiro – Day 1-3

03 Nov 2012

Sitting in the taxi to the airport at 4am, I kept reaching to my pocket to check my phone and only remembered that I decided not to take it with me, nor my beloved iPad. I have to say I did feel a bit insecure without any means of connection to the world. I also realised I didn’t even have a watch, so picked up the cheapest Swatch watch at Amsterdam airport. This watch became one of my best friends on my trip.

The flight to Rio has been smooth despite its 13 hours long. My excitement has kept me going.

Even at the international airport people don’t seem to speak English. It took me a while to find the HSBC ATM, however that’s actually the easier part. Get money out of the stupid ATM was much harder and everything is in Portugese. The two European looking guys in front of me gave up trying after 5 mins and left helplessly. Somehow magically I managed to get some cash. So I proudly called them back and tried to save the day, well luck didn’t favor me the second time and I had no clue what I was doing. But at least I have cash now.

It was a raining night, I was busy checking out the city from the taxi window. I recognised some favelas as we pass by, they look nice and peacefully at night. I tried very hard trying to hear if there were any gun shots (having images from ‘city of god’ playing in my head) 🙂

I had my first meal standing at the counter of a corner shop on the side street at Copacabana. It was an interesting experience.

4 Nov 2012

I have no clue how I managed to sleep in the hostel. 10 young university grads from Sao Paolo came back from parties at 4, the air con and traffic from outside were so loud. But somehow I woke up refreshed.

Sunday morning at Copacabana was nice and relaxed. The beach was still empty, the road was closed to cars and became all pedestrian, so full of people walking, jogging, skating and cycling etc. it’s a very active city.

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It’s a fantastic view, ocean, beach, the beautiful pavement of Copacabana, open road for you to enjoy, and green mountains. I can only wish I am living here.

The nation is already excited about the World Cup and the Olympics

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The market between street are interesting, not sure if its because of the massive tropical trees and fruits, it looks so nice.

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The ‘Yao Ming’ face seems to be very popular in Brazil for some reason. lol

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I was a little disappointed with the cloudy weather so decided to join a tour to a football match between Vasco from Rio and Sports from Recife.

The area outside of the football stadium was very doggy and the stadium itself looked rather like a prison to me, I wouldn’t feel safe if I wasn’t with a group. At the gates to the stadium, every man had to lift up their to show he didn’t carry a gun, lol.

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I was a little disappointed with the game. It wasn’t the most amazing and exciting game. However the view from the stadium was absolutely amazing.

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The passionate and energetic Brazilian fans were cheering and enjoying themselves despite the face their team lost 0:3.

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5 Nov 2012

The weather forecast wasn’t good for going up to see the famous view of Rio, so I joined Rafael (from south Brazil) for a trip to the central area. We ended up walking all the way from Copacabana to central area, it’s crazy but definitely the best way to see the city.

There were all kinds of fascinating trees and plants everywhere.

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Big bird just randomly standing on the side of the road enjoying this amazing view

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The best gym ever

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And my only workout in my entire trip

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Enjoying a fresh coco on the beach. Football training on the beach.

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The central area of Rio wasn’t very interesting, just some aged and unimpressive buildings.

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The central area was said to be unsafe especially outside of working hours. There were police everywhere.

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The metropolitan cathedral is unconventional and unique. It’s probably not the prettiest, but definitely interesting. The Christ statue is standing on top of Corcovado in the background.

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Lapa, was a non-go, tawdry and terrifying area only 10 years ago. Its now famous for the night life with many bars, cafes and clubs.

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The empty space is filled with street drink and food stations, street music performers, prostitutes and drug dealers. The cathedral sitting in the background oversees all this happening.

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The Lapa stairs is probably the most popular attractions here during the day. The artist started this work from 1990 and invented this idea of constantly changing the tiles. He’s still there working everyday.

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My Brazilian guide and translator for the day Rafael

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The Scotsman playing bagpipes is of course here

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The nice characteristic side of Lapa.

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