Christ the redeemer, Beaches and Hang gliding

On Tuesday morning Kike took me to a park there in Santa Teresa, Parque das ruinas. Santa Teresa is the name of the neighborhood we are living in, and it’s located on a top of a hill. In the park there is a viewpoint there with a view over almost the whole city. Really cool.

View over the center from the viewpoint in Parque das ruinas in Santa Teresa. That cone-thing there is the cathedral!

View over the center from the viewpoint in Parque das ruinas in Santa Teresa. That cone-thing there is the cathedral!

View over Rio and sugarleaf mountaing from Parque das ruinas in Santa Teresa

View over Rio and sugarleaf mountaing from Parque das ruinas in Santa Teresa

Christ the redeemer seen from Santa Teresa

Christ the redeemer seen from Santa Teresa

I was expecting rain in the evening once again, but since the sky was really clear I took advantage of it and went to the Corcovado mountain, the highest in Rio with it’s 700 meters. It’s on that mountain top that one of the seven wonders of the world – Christ the Redeemer is located. I took the famous Corcovado train up (expensive 56 reails.. not so special…but ok) once up there, cooool. I was actually impacted by the statue of Jesus Christ.

It is considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world, with it’s 30 meters, not including the 8 meters pedestal. Just between the arms it is 28 meters wide.. and it weighs 635 tonnes!!

The corcovado train

The corcovado train

The famous Corcovado train that goes up to the christ.

The famous Corcovado train that goes up to the christ.

Christ the redeemer, one of the 7th wonders of the world!

Christ the redeemer, one of the 7th wonders of the world!

The view from up there is spectacular too. Since Rio have many mountains and hills there are many view points over the city, all with different perspective.

It’s quite difficult to get a good picture with Christo, there are so much people there on the platform and the statue is so high. And the people are really baaaad photographers too! Haha. I took a few pictures for them, and they are good. But when they take a picture of me, they always cut something of or get some head in the middle. So in the end, I took my own picture with timer, haha. I think it was a better result ;)

In the evening I hanged out at Kike and Vickys place, fixing a little with the computer. We were all three being nerds haha. But it’s needeable sometimes :)

When I let someone else take my picture with Christ

When I let someone else take my picture with Christ

Hello Christ the redeemer. I think I'm best at taking my own pics. haha

When I take a picture with Christ

View over Rio and Lagoa

View over Rio and Lagoa

View over Rio from Corcovado

View over Rio from Corcovado

Having LAN. Hahah.

Having LAN. Hahah.

Next day I got a message from the instructor I had been in contact with about doing Hang Gliding over Rio de Janeiro, he said “the weather conditions are really optimal for today, so I would recommend to hang glide today instead for tomorrow!”. Haha. So I did!

Hang gliding is a popular activity in Rio because of it’s geography, the steep mountains and the beaches provide perfect take-off locations and great landing zones.

My instructor showed me some pictures, one with Kurt Cobain. Apparently he was his instructor too and flew with him two times here in Rio, how cool is that?! :)

We went to Pedra Bonita where there is a take off-point. It wasn’t really much more then putting on a weird suit and then “just look at the horizon and run when I say to run, and never stop running” haha. Then, just like that, you were flying!

The take off at Pedra Bonita

The take off at Pedra Bonita

Soooo cool. I was really surprised (and a little bit sad) that I didn’t feel any adrenaline kick at all, it was just super calm and quiet with an amazing view, no problems talking up there at all. The flight was about 13 minutes total, and it actually does feel quite long.

It costed 250 reales to fly, and additional 100 reales for video and photo. But the instructor forgot to tell me about that, so I didn’t have enough money… and they gave it to me for 50. :)

Hang gliding over Rio de Janeiro!!

Hang gliding over Rio de Janeiro!!

From the Praia do Pepino in São Conrado I took the bus to Ipanema beach and met up with Kike. It was late afternoon and it was a very comfortable weather. We sat there and talked a few hours, then walked to Copacabana beach in the sunset, went to the handycraft market there and then found a place to eat some dinner before heading back home.

With Kike at the beach

With Kike at the beach

Helluu!

Helluu!

Sunset over Copacabana beach. Brazil is the world leading in volley boll.. they play it everywhere

Sunset over Copacabana beach. Brazil is the world leading in volley boll.. they play it everywhere

Next day I didn’t really have anything planned, so I went to the beach again. Kike said that Copacabana is more crowdy and more dangerous then Ipanema since sometimes people from the favelas around go there. Also, he said that I should find some tourists or a nice couple and ask them to watch my stuff if I go down to the beach to take a bath. And so I did. And guess what, they were Swedish!! Haha. So fun. So we hanged the whole day there in the sun, they were leaving at night so they were also enjoying the last sun before going back to the winter.

Ipanema during the day is… buff! Too loud. The Ipanema beach was selected the best city beach of the world by CNN… but yeah.. to me it was too loud. So much people walking around selling stuff, it’s nice that you really don’t need to leave your place and still can get food and drinks or jewelry or clothes, but it get’s really tirening to hear people scream what they are selling every two minutes, and some people even have a megaphone!

Anyhow. The sun was shining and the water was really cold, so I can’t complain too much when it’s winter storm in Sweden ;) And I enjoyed talking Linda and Johan (?), they were very funny and crazy haha.

Typical brazilian!

Typical brazilian!

Typical brazilian2!

Typical brazilian 2!

With these two funny swedish people, both from skåne. The girls name is Linda, the guy I think Johan..

Typical swedish! Haha.

Later I walked towards Copacabana and visited the rock between the beaches, a nice hang out in the city. I was about to go to a couchsurfing meeting, I was in the area, but I didn’t have the address, so I went back home instead (with the metro for the first time, which works really fine too!).. and phew! I’m so glad I did that, because about 1 minuted after I arrived inside, it started to rain SUPER heavily! Vicky came like 15 minutes after me and was soaking wet just by walking from the bus stop and home, a walk of 30 meters, haha.

View from the rocks between Ipanema and Copacabana beach.

View from the rocks between Ipanema and Copacabana beach. The clouds are getting heavy!

Yesterday we were all sitting by our computers, and asking ourselves what we would do if we didn’t have computers. Today we got the answer, because the lights went out and so the did internet. Me and Vicky exchanged some handy craft, she gave me a pair of beautiful earrings she had made herself, and I gave her a bracelet I’ve made. Kike sang and played some music for us. So super nice and cozy evening too :)

20131211-112526.jpg

When the lights are out, we lit some candles and get creative!

My last day I spent shopping a little bit. First I did my first Brazilian wax in Brazil, hehe. You have to do it when you are in Brazil, right? :) It went super fine, didn’t hurt almost at all compared to the ones I’ve had in mexico, peru and argentina… here they are pro ;) And it was cheap too!!! 25 reales (in Jericoacoara they wanted 80 reales, so I didn’t do it there).

Then I had a lovely sandwish around the corner there, with cheese, banana and canela. LOVE!! Why don’t we have that kind of sandwish in Sweden?!?!

MmmmM!!!! Love the sandwiches here. This one has banana, cheese and cinnamon!

MmmmM!!!! Love the warm sandwiches here. This one has banana, cheese and cinnamon!

Then I walked towards Rua Buenos Aires where it’s filled with small stores. I was looking for a small Christ to add to my collection around my neck. After visiting many jewelry stores, I finally found the one I liked – and it was also the cheapest one. Never give up! ;)

I also visited an armador-store, where you can by stuff for bracelet making.. he he. Can’t help myself. I also bought some lace to organize Vickis ear rings, because she have them all in a box and barely uses them because it’s a mess. Also I found a nice world-map that I got for Kike. ;)

In the evening we went out to the local pub/restaurant here in Santa Teresa for a good bye dinner. We shared a big veggie pizza and some beers. :)

Street art ;)

Street art ;) Hehe.

I organized Vickis earrings a little. Most of them she had made her self! But she stored them in a box and never used them!

I organized Vickis earrings a little. Most of them she had made her self! But she stored them in a box and never used them!

Good bye dinner with my lovely hosts. Had veggie pizza at the local restaurant/bar

Good bye dinner with my lovely hosts. Had veggie pizza at the local restaurant/bar

My last night in Santa Teresa. All this street-hang, gonna miss!

My last night in Santa Teresa. All this street-hang, gonna miss!

Actually, I feel that Rio is one of the safest big cities I’ve been in. There are many hobos here sleeping outside, but they are not dangerous. And if you don’t visit the favelas, then it’s no difference to walk around in Stockholm or Barcelona.

It’s a little sad that It’s time to leave.. Now that I know how to get around in the city and that I feel at home here. I have really enjoyed my stay here in Rio… there are many more things to do here too. But time’s up! :(

 

Rio de Janeiro – Free Walker Tour and Sugarloaf mountain

Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state with the same name. It was Brazil’s capital until 1960, when Brasília took its place. It’s the second largest city of Brazil and it lives about 6.3 million people within the city and about 11–13.5 million in the state. Residents of the Rio are known as cariocas.

I arrived in the morning to Rio and took the airport bus to the center for 11 reales. When I arrived in the center it was raining. Buhu. I got of in Cinelandia and walked towards Lapa to take the local bus to Santa Teresa where my host Kike lives with his girlfriend Vicki. Both of them really super sweet and the apartment is super cool. We had some fresh expresso coffee and toasts and talked and got to know each other a bit :) It stopped raining so Kike took me out for a walk in the neighborhood, we went to Gloria where they have the Sunday food market and I bought some fruit and bakery stuff.

IMG_5997

Sunday market in Gloria

IMG_5998

A stand in the market

It started to rain a little bit again and we went back and Vicky prepared a nice vegetarian meal (yes, they are both veggies, woho :) Around 15 Kike went to work and me and Vicky stayed and had some more coffee and some sweets, love to have coffee after food!! I have so missed it! Haha.

Having lunch with Vicky and Kike in their lovely appartment!

Having lunch with Vicky and Kike in their lovely appartment!

Coffee and the local pasteries I got in the market earlier :)

Coffee and the local pasteries I got in the market earlier :)

Then I went out for a walk around the neighborhood which is really calm and charmy. It’s filled with art galleries, handy craft shops and a lot of bars. In the evening me and Vicky passed by Cafecito where Kike works and had dinner there together with Domingos, their friend who is a supercool artist. After that we grabbed a few beers out on the street. Apparently Sunday is a party day here. Haha. Then home to sleep… I was really tired! Haha.

IMG_6010

Streets in Santa Teresa a sunday afternoon. People gather outside cafés and bars.

IMG_6021

A main waiting for the bus in Santa Teresa.

IMG_6033

Having dinner at Cafecitos. I had a great cheese and parisian mushroom sandwich – with chimirchurri!! Hehe.. the owners are argentinian :)

IMG_6035

Outside the local bar. :)

IMG_6036

Having a few beers :)

Next day I started with a free walking tour in the city center with Walker Tours.  They have it everyday at 10.30, meeting point just outside Carioca metro station. It showed up a lot of people, around 30 or something, and I was seriously thinking about leaving because I would never hear something, but boy was I wrong haha. The little girl had a super voice, and she was so funny and sweet too. Really great guide and tour through the city! This is a good way to cover the center of Rio too, because the main tourist attractions are not in the center (sugarloaf mountain, Christ the redeemer, the Copacabana and ipanema beach etc).

IMG_6039

Our guide Luana with our group of Walkers!

The Center lies on the plains of the western shore of Guanabara Bay, which Rio de Janeiro was named after (January river). Centro is the historic core of the city, as well as its financial centre. We visited plenty of sites of interest and got a good introduction of Rio.

The evolution of the center of Rio during 400 years. I like the 1910-one, when you still could see the sugar loaf mountain from the center.

The evolution of the center of Rio during 400 years. I like the 1910-one, when you still could see the sugar loaf mountain from the center.

The center is a big mix of churches and buildings from the 16th to the 19th century together with new and modern designs of the 20th century. Since Rio was home to the Portuguese Imperial Family for many years, and the architecture has been influenced by the Portuguese, English and French. It is weird to see this old buildings together with the modern sky scrapers and then all the trees in the middle. Crazy! It is not so beautiful in the center though due to the sky scrapers which mostly are just ugly haha.

IMG_6052

One example of the mixture of buildings here in Rio

IMG_6053

I really enjoy the extremely high trees between all the high sky scrapers. Makes it a little bit easer to breath.

IMG_6109

The municipal theatre, really beautiful. I planned to go on a guided tour inside when it was going to rain, but it never did.. haha

IMG_6047

Inside Confiteria Colombo, the most famous conditory in Rio where Queen Elisabeth had her coffee when she was in Rio.

This is a little bit of a miracle here in Rio. This statue fell from the church top, really high up, and didn’t break anything but it’s finger. But the bell clock of iron, it broke in the middle. Mystical! We also got bracelets that you knot with three knots, for every knot you make a wish. Then you can’t cut it of yourself, but when it falls of, your wishes will come true. Apparently this is true :)

IMG_6066

The statue that only broke her finger when she fall from the church top. There is a little bit of the cross missing too, but it didn’t break at that time, but later.

IMG_6065

The bell clock which broke in the middle in the fall..

IMG_6068

Bracelet with three wishes :)

We walked towards Lapa, a neighborhood besides the center which also is very arty. It houses the modern Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro. Very ugly from the outside.. apparently beautiful inside but I didn’t visit it..

We visited the famous path between Lapa and Santa Teresa which is complete covered in red tiles, made by the artist Jorge Selaron. Almost every city or country has their own brick there in the red mosaic stair-thingy. Really cool!

We rounded up with a typical Brazilian lunch in Lapa – Feijoada for about 25 reales, and I had the vegetarian version, and it was really good!

IMG_6166

The colonial arcs of Lapa and the ugly cone there behind is the cathedral….

IMG_6174

Walking around in Lapa

IMG_6163

The Selaron-path. Really cool with tiles from all over the world!

IMG_6146

The swedish and the spanish (barcelona) was just beside each other :)

IMG_6164

The graffiti street in lapa, haha!

IMG_6178

Having Feijoada. This is the australian couple, Ray and Lori!

In the evening it was supposed to rain so I had planned in a few museums, but since it turned out to be a clear evening, I took the opportunity and went to the Sugar Loaf Mountain.  I went with a really sweet couple from Australia I met on the tour who also were completing their bucket list before going home to build their family.

But guess what? When we jump of the bus at the Sugar Loaf mountain, I notice that I don’t have any money left!! I knew I had a 50 reales-bill there but I must have dropped it  when I paid something, the bus or the food or something. I was like… well.. I’ll do this another day then. But, oh, the Australian couple said they would pay for me, that it was no big deal for them. Such a nice gesture. I wanted to be able to pay them back, tried to have a meeting point so I could pay back another day, but they just said that I should pass it on and help another fellow traveler who is in need instead :)

 

IMG_6180

The first mountain. Lets hike up there!

Our guide gave us a tip about how to do the Sugar Loaf Mountain for half price – you can do a hike there to the first mountain, and from there take the cable car to the next mountain, then it will only cost you 26 reales instead of 53 for the whole thing.  So you only pay for the one between the mountains, because after 19, the cable car back is for free too. :) I did that by myself… and I had got to understand that it was quite easy, but it really was in the middle of the forest, and it was about 50 minutes hike, straight up hill, climbing up on roots and it was all muddy and jungle-like haha. A sweaty experience!

IMG_6183

It started with a paved nice path, and then I came to this….time to get into the forest!  and this is the eeeasy part!

IMG_6226

View from the cable car over to the Sugarleaf Mountain

But once there on the top… the view… amazing!! Made me I understand how Rio de Janeiro is connected… it’s huge, but still there are so many green parks and lakes. Very nice! And so calm up there. I took the cable car from the first mountain over to the other higher mountain, the sugarloaf mountain, and I met the Australian couple there. We talked for like a few hours about everything and just enjoyed the sight over Rio and then watched the beautiful sunset there.

Cloudy Christo

Cloudy Christo

IMG_6263

View over Rio and lakes in a dizzy sunset

IMG_6283

Copacabana and sunset

IMG_6298

View from the cable car on the sugarleaf mountain to the other mountain I hiked up to :)

IMG_6304

Rio at night.. the white thing at the top there is Christ the Redeemer

Lovely first day!