It’s been a crazy 3 weeks since I returned from Brazil. It was one of those trips where I needed a vacation from my vacation, you know what I mean?!
To recap, I was in Rio for New Years’ Eve with two of my best friends from dental school. We wanted to experience the NYE fireworks on Copacabana, up close and personal. And it was awesome. The Brazilians really know how to do fireworks! Of course the stunning back drop of Copacabana beach and Sugar Loaf mountain really helps the atmosphere.
While NYE was amazing, the week didn’t go without it’s share of frustrating events, which is just unfortunate because these issues were mostly related to tourism (don’t ever stay at the JW Marriott on Copacabana, Portuguese is a b*tch of a language to learn and the cab drivers/waiters can’t/don’t want to understand you in English or Portuguese, and bring cash – we only found 1 ATM the entire week that would accept our debit cards, and then it malfunctioned). These issues were troubling because Rio is hosting the World Cup this summer and the Olympics in 2016. From my perspective, there is A LOT of lot of work to be done before Rio can successfully welcome the world for those two events, so think carefully if you’re considering it.
Anyway, without further ado, a week in Rio, in photos.
Copa. Copacabana. With Sugar Loaf mountain way in the background.
A stick of prawns. Horrifying for this vegetarian. (I don’t eat anything with a face or anything from the ocean)
Drink shacks along Copacabana. You could get the ubiquitous caipirinha, of which many were drunk, but also straight up fresh coconut water, right from the source! Awesome treat after some hot runs!
At the end of Copacabana looking back towards Sugar Loaf.
Havianas heaven! (They’re made in Brazil)
Being tortured with meat and seafood at the Churrascaria Palace. Nightmare! Brazil is NOT vegetarian friendly. I could NOT imagine having to eat vegan in Brazil, it would be VERY difficult.
This is how you buy bikinis in Rio. I was feeling heavy pressure to get a Brazilian bikini (fio dental – dental floss!) but I’m happy to report my bum stayed covered the whole week 🙂
The New Years’ Eve double rainbow!
For NYE in Rio the tradition is to dress in all white for good luck. Then you can accessorize with colours depending on what your wish is for the new year: red for passion/romance, yellow/gold for prosperity, green for health. We were told to wear pink underwear for love, so….
On Copacabana beach for the countdown! Glass of champagne (of course). Flowers to throw in the ocean for good luck and as an offering to mama ocean. And then after the fireworks you jump over 7 waves and make 7 wishes (I’ve forgotten what I wished for already!)
The fireworks were set off in sync from 11 barges out in the bay. It was an amazing show!
The view of Copacabana from Sugar Loaf.
Another view from Sugar Loaf.
Running in 38c! More like “running”. It was hot!
Sunset at Ipanema. LOVED Ipanema and Leblon. Highly recommend!
Ipanema. Just makes you want to sing The Girl from Ipanema, doesn’t it?
Rocinho favela. The tour dropped us off at the top and we walked all the way through the favela to the bottom. Quite an experience to see how some people have to live.
Rocinho favela. From extreme poverty to multimillion dollar condos on the beach, just by crossing a highway.
In exchange for the all meat ordeal at the churrascaria, we got to eat one dinner at a Brazilian vegetarian restaurant in Leblon. Loved it!
Christ the Redeemer/Cristo Redentor. Obviously. Impressive.
The view towards Sugar Loaf, from Christ.
Escadaria Selaron. Steps in the Lapa district of Rio, completely covered in mosaic tiles, sent to the artist, Selaron, from all over the world. A really cool spot!
View from Ipanema of some islands off the coast.
At a samba club in Lapa. I still have no idea how to samba!