Rio de Janeiro !!

In my early travels of my life, the intensity was gear towards Latin America big cities as was closer, and fewer pictures…. And later base in France, the trips were done to other smaller towns all over Brazil, (see posts) ,One of my favorite destinations as to big cities was Rio de Janeiro; this would be sort of an introduction to the city.. And not to forget my adreline visit to Niteroi across the bay of Guanabara ! I like to update this older post with new text and links to revive old wonderful memories for me and you maybe. I found some personal pics of this adventure ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

rio-de-janeiro-high-over-niteroi-overlooking-copacabana-brazil-1999

Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The city was based originally on the Bay of Guanabara, discovered in 1502 by Gaspar de Lemos and Gonçalo Coelho, captains of the fleet of the Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who discoverered Brazil. The inhabitants of the city are “Cariocas”. The inhabitants of the State of Rio de Janeiro are “Fluminenses”. It is known worldwide for its carnival, its beaches (Copacabana, Leblon and Ipanema) as well as its statue of Christ the Redeemer at the top of the Corcovado. Rio de Janeiro was the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, following the escape of the Portuguese court during the invasion of the Napoleonic troops (1808-1821), then of the Empire of Brazil (1822-1889), of the República Velha (old Republic) (1889-1930), of the Estado Novo (New State) (1937-1945) and the beginning of the Second Republic until 1960.

You really need about two weeks to see it all and I only had four days and busy with business rdv but nevertheless had a great time, In my opinion , the things to see here are the Sugar Loaf (Pao de Açùçar) a rocky peak at the altitude of 395 meters ,always been the symbol of Rio. The famous statue of Christ the Redeemer (O Cristo Redentor), a cross-arm, stands on the peak of the Corcovado with a height of 710 meters and can be seen from all areas of Rio. The statue measures 38 meters high. The work, dates from 1931.

The many wonderful beaches such as my favorite : Copacabana (see post) and its extension to the north, the Leme, with its 4.5 km of length that describe a perfect curve is certainly the preferred beach of foreigners. It was in the 1920’s that it gained its notoriety, with the construction, in 1923 of the prestigious Copacabana Palace, the only luxury hotel in all Latin America at the time. And this is the area I normally stayed while visiting the city. At the Othon Palace Hotel (see post)

Ipanema Beach is located in the most exclusive residential area of the city. Today, Ipanema is the center of fashion and sophistication. The most luxurious shops in Rio line the streets of Ipanema and Leblon. Ipanema Beach, less extensive than that of Copacabana, is the venue for the golden youth of Rio and the homosexual community. Less lively and less noisy than Copacabana, Ipanema is arguably the most romantic of the twenty-five beaches in Rio. São Conrado is located in a cove surrounded by mountains covered with dense vegetation. This is where the Pedra da Gávea rises, a huge block of granite much more impressive in its shape and size, with its 842 meters, than the famous Sugar loaf. The beach enjoys a certain popularity with the youth of Rio, the young people of the favelas and the intellectuals. With its 18 km long, the beach of Barra da Tijuca is at the same time the longest, but also the least frequented in Rio during the week. At the end of Barra, the small beach of Recreio dos Bandeirantes stretches in the shelter of a natural pier that forms a real miniature bay. From the Recreio, a road climbs into the mountain before descending to the beach of Prainha, frequented by the surfers, then that of Grumari, wonderfully secluded.

The mountain of Pedra da Gávea peaks at 842 meters of altitude. It overlooks the long beaches of fine sand. It is accessed after the Botanical garden.  The hill of Urca (Morro da Urca), this small mountain formation of 220 meters above sea level is located at the entrance of the Bay of Guanabara. The Hill also offers a great view of the Bay of Guanabara and offers a cable car that makes it possible to get to the sugar loaf. Each of the 141 hectares of the Botanical garden hosts specimens of the Brazilian and world flora. The neighborhood of Santa Teresa, with its cobbled and tortuous alleys, with its spectacular views of the bay, is certainly one of the most picturesque in Rio. The most attractive way to access it is to take the famous tramways built in 1896.The forest of Tijuca (Floresta da Tijuca) ;the largest urban forest in the world, with an area of about 3 200 hectares, includes hundreds of species of flora and fauna found only in the “Mata Atlantica” and many of which are endangered. Places such as the Cascatinha (small waterfall), the Mayrink Chapel , the Mirador Excelsior, the Baracão, the Paulo and Virginia Caves, the Fairy Lake and the Solitudes pond. The Sambadromo-Marquês de Sapucaí, bordered by concrete bleachers, was built in 1984 to host the prestigious Rio carnival, which was held previously in the streets of the city, most often on the avenue Presidente Vargas. Designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Avenue Marquês of Sapucaí, usually open to traffic, is transformed for a few days in the Passarela do Samba (passarelle of Samba)  and sees the most prestigious samba schools in Rio de Janeiro.

Rio de Janeiro has many museums ,of all sizes, I have been briefly to the top major ones such as these : The National Historic Museum .This palace painted in pink, emblematic color of imperial buildings, is one of the oldest buildings in Rio. Tower Fortress (its Subterraneans serve as a prison for black slaves in the 17C and 18C), Arsenal, weapons factory, Siege of the military academy, it was only converted into a museum in 1922. Its collections, spread over fourteen halls, retrace the history of Imperial Brazil (19C). It has a library of 70 000 volumes. The National Museum. This ancient palace was once the home of Joao VI and the imperial family, until the proclamation of the Republic in 1889. It contains the largest scientific collection in Brazil: Zoology, mineralogy, archaeology, ethnology. It is possible to see the meteorite fallen in the state of Bahia in 1888, the Bendego, which weighs 5 300 kgs as well as a curious mummy of an Egyptian woman: her legs are covered separately with strips (traditionally, the body is wrapped in one piece) . The Museum of Fine Arts the largest collection of art in Rio, it presents paintings of the Italian, Flemish, Spanish, Portuguese, English and Peruvian schools of the 16C, 17C and 18C. The Brazilian gallery presents paintings from the colonial period, the 19C and the 20C: Portinari, Di Cavalcanti, Pancetti, Anita Malfatti, Alfredo Volpi, Manabu Mabe and Djanira.

And beautiful Churches , passed by them, such as, Church of Nossa Senhora da Glória do Outeiro white and graceful, the Church of Glória dominates from its height the bay of Guanabara. Built in 1739, this chapel was intimately linked to the life of the imperial family. In his arms, Joao VI carried his granddaughter, Princess Maria da Glória, to present her at the altar, and Don Pedro I made the same with the future Emperor Pedro II. The decoration is made of carved wood and azulejos. The Monastery of Saint-Benoît (Mosteiro de São Bento);  Gregorian chant can be heard every day at 11h. and 17h30. Built in 1641 by two monks who wanted to base their order, this monastery is a characteristic example of colonial Baroque. It is possible to see in the Church a work of carved wood, covered with gold leaves. The Church of the Third-Order of Saint-François-de-la-Penance (Igreja da Ordem Terceira de São Francisco da Penitência): Very baroque, fully sculpted by hand . Jacaranda Furniture and solid silver chandeliers that illuminate, at dusk, the panel painted in the roof of the nave, representing Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy receiving the stigmata.

In all a wonderful place, however, the pictures I gathered and kept of a personal nature were on my hanggliding trip to nearby Niteroi !! It is easy to cross the Bay of Guanabara to get to Niterói or the islands, from where you discover a magnificent view of the city of Rio and the lush mountains that crimp it, Briefly, Niteroi was the village of São Lourenço dos Índios was recognized by the central government and given the new name of Vila Real da Praia Grande in 1819. On March 6, 1835, Vila Real da Praia Grande was officially renamed Niterói, It is 13 km from Rio link by the Rio-Niteroi bridge and a catamarans service. The main thing to see here is the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC), housed in a building built by Oscar Niemeyer. For an anecdote, Niteroi is the birthplace of Leonardo Nascimento de Araújo, footballer and former player and sporting director of Paris Saint Germain (PSG). However, as said for me was a trip to paragliding off Niteroi, and this was the place ! You can do the paragliding tandem flight in the Parque Da Ciudade of Niteroi (city park) with Rio Tandem, Their webpage http://www.riotandem.com/paragliding-in-niter-i.html

And the Parque da Ciudade of Niteroi: https://www.nitfly.com.br/parque-da-cidade-niteroi?lang=en

rio-de-janeiro-from-niteroi-to-copacabana-c1988

rio-de-janeiro-bay-to-copacabana-pf-c1988

The official Rio de Janeiro tourist officehttps://riotur.rio/en/welcome/

The Rio de Janeiro prefecture local govt on tourismhttp://www.rio.rj.gov.br/web/smc/museus

The Brazil tourist board on Rio de Janeirohttps://www.visitbrasil.com/en/2022/02/18/destino-rio-de-janeiro-rj-ingles/

There you go folks, a wonderful city to visit even with few pictures, however, the memories lingered forever. Hope you enjoy this oldie post on one of the world’s loveliest city ,Rio de Janeiro. And who knows back to Niteroi. I always looking forward to be back, eventually.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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