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.
The nation is already excited about the World Cup and the Olympics
The market between street are interesting, not sure if its because of the massive tropical trees and fruits, it looks so nice.
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.
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.
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.