Trip Start Nov 14, 2010
82Trip End Nov 13, 2011
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Unfortunately the next day it wasn’t too bright out after the thunder and lightening we had received over night. Mum and decided to head to Starbucks again and got to catch up on everything which was great. Rob went training for the first time and trained in the pro MMA class for 2 hours so was worn out when he got back. That afternoon we decided to head to the neighbourhood of Catete. This area was developed in the 19th century when nouveau riche coffee barons built mansions here. Catete was the political centre of the country for 60 years until it moved to the purpose built city of Brasilia. Mum brought a great guide book for Rio which had neighbourhood walks in it so we decided to do this one. Instead of getting the metro there we walked through Flamengo park to Catete. Our first stop was the palace built in 1862 as a private residence of a coffee baron but later became the presidential office and home of 18 Presidents. It is now a museum. Unfortunately not a whole lot was written in English, but itis a beautiful building and the gardens are lovely too
When we left the palace we continued walking down the main road lookign at teh 19th century facades to the buildings and then stopped in a cafe recommended, called sandwicherie. If it hadn’t been recommended we would never have stumbled across is as it is tucked away in a shopping centre. The menu is small as is the restaurant but the food was great. We all had quiche and got a huge salad with it. Ordering was quite amusing as we tried to use what litle Portuguese we have.
Following Rue do Catete we then tried to visit Oi Futuro, a building with a 100 year old facade but a modern building at the back. Unfortunately it wasn’t open so we got to see the outside and then headed to largo do Machado. This landscaped square is dominated by the Nossa senhora de Gloria church and is a popular place for locals to hang out. From there we walked to Parque Guinle, a real surprise to find in the centre of the city.The park, now open to the public, formed part of the gardens to a luxurious mansion whichw as once privately owned but is now occupied by the state governor. It is a really tranquil place and beautifully landscaped too. It was amazing to see Orchids growing on the trees.
Instead of getting the metro back, we decided to walk and on the way we saw Ronys Torres, a guy who fights in the UFC. We knew it was definitely him because he had his name tatooed on his leg!
Wednesday was a bit of a nightmare because it was a national holiday
The weather had really perked itself up the next day and so mum and I got to the beach in the morning
That afternoon mum and I headed to Ipanema to look around the hip and trendy shops. Ipanema is an upscale neighbourhoodand is supposedly home of the beautiful people. Not so much! We didn’t see any beautiful people.
In fact we had been expecting Rio to be full of beautiful people with amazing toned bodies but so far had been sorely disappointed. The only people that we had seen that were toned were the gay men at the gay pride festival
Along the main road in Ipanema there are loads of shopping malls and shops. We looked in a few and then came across Amsterdam Sauer, a gemstone museum and shop. While looking in the window, a man asked us if we wanted to see the museum and we thought, Why not? Neither of us realised how gemstone rich Brazil is. All different types are mined here and on display is the private collection of Mr Sauer. It is widely believed that at one time, many moons ago, Brazil and Africa were connected and both places are extremely gemstone rich. Once we had been guided around the museum they asked us if we wanted to go to the showroom so we headed up. It was a tad embarrassing because everything was really expensive, but we looked anyway and just tried to pretend that we were rich! They had some beautiful pieces of jewellery including a diamond ring that I later told Rob I had my eye on. He only has to save up $40,000. By the time we came out the weather had turned and it had started to rain so we walked a little further and then decided to head back home. That night when we were sitting eating dinner we heard an almighty racket from outside, later realising that it was from the people in the bar below watching football. They are absolutely football crazy over here and there are matches on almost every night!
The rain didn’t last long and on Friday morning the sun was out in force! Before we headed to the beach, mum and I walked to the Carmen Miranda museum just around the corner from us situated in Flamengo park. It’s a small, low key museum that exhibits a collection of the Brazil’s first international superstar’s clothes, head dresses and accessories
By the time we left the restaurant the rain had stopped and it was only a short walk up the road to Escadaria do Selaron, the Selaron steps
Once we had walked a little way up the steps, we headed back down again and towards the Praca Paris, a French inspired garden in the neighbourhood of Gloria and then onto a lovely little church perched on a small hill with fantastic views across the bay. Even with the clouds the view was great but I can imagine that on a clear day the view would be even better. The church, Outerio da Gloria, looks out over the marina that will hold the water events for the 2016 Olympics. On our way to Catete metro stationw e passed the Hotel Gloria that has a fabulous facade, although the back of the building is very ugly! A much more successful trip than the last one!