When I woke up friday morning Matze already stood in our hostal and we set out to get supplys for a breakfast in the hostal. After breakfast and catching up for a while we set out on a self-guided tour of the center of Rio de Janeiro. Our starting point was the Praça Floriano with the Theatro Municipal and the Nacional Library. Very close near buy we also visited the Convento de Santo Antônio which houses this all-golden church called the Igreja da Ordem Terceira de São Francisco da Penitência:
After a walk through a street market and lunch in one of Brasils famous per kilo restaurants (a buffet where you can combine your own meal and then pay a fixed per kilo price for it which Brasilians just some to love because these can be found everywhere here) we visited a totally different kind of church. The cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, also called Catedral de São Sebastião, is basically a massive hollow block of concrete with very tall stain glassed windows.
To our disappointment the old Bonde (tram) up the hill of Santa Teresa was under construction at the time until some time next year. So we had no choice other than to walk up and chose the most beatiful way to get there, the Escadaria Selarón. This is a staircase completely covered in mainly red tiles (recently created by a Chilean artist) but it also has some tiles from cities and countries all around the world, such as Munich 🙂
View onto some Favelas from the top of Santa Teresa hill:
The plan for the afternoon had been to see the sunset from the beach of Ipanema, but the clowds didn’t agree with our plan. Nevertheless it was nice to see the area and one of Rio’s many outdoor fitness studios (whenever we saw one there was also people excercising).
7. September – Brasil’s Nacional Day, therefore we went to Military parade in the centre of Rio, along Avenida Presidente Vargas. Most of Rio’s inhabitants didn’t seem to be very interested in to as there were not many people watching the parade. The parade was interesting to see, however Brasil’s army did not present itself as the most intimidating….
We also took a short boat ride past the city airport to Ilha Fiscal to visit the palace there. This neo-Gothic palace was the location for the last Imperial Ball in 1889:
We kept up the military theme from the morning by visiting the Espaço Cultural da Marhina where and old submarine and a destroyer from the Brasilian Navi are open and free to visit.
For a long time we weren’t sure when to visit the Sugarcone and the Cristo Redentor but finally to decided to go up to the Sugarcone that night and Cristo the next morning. This I think was a good choice because from the Sugarcone you can see some parts of Rio and it’s lit up beaches and from Cristo the grand overview can maybe be better enjoyed during daylight.
In the morning we couldn’t get a train ticket up the Cristo before 12:30 pm (next available ride). So after a short walk around a nice neigbourhood called Botafogo it was time to ride up along with hundreds of other tourists to get this view:
And snatch this pictures:
And believe me EVERYBODY wanted to take a picture like the one above. It probably hard to find another spot this small and this touristic and packed with people literally fighting to take some good (or just any) pictures and don’t forget this isn’t even high season….
Nevertheless on a clear day the view is just amazing from up there and it really shows you the size of Rio de Janeiro and the sheer beauty of it’s surroundings (the beaches are surprisingly nice for a city this big).
In the afternoon it was time to leave Rio de Janeiro and we took a bus south towards Ilha Grande.