13 january Rio de Janeiro (BRASIL)

45 minutes flight and we're in the legendary Rio! This morning, while I was diving in the sea of the famous Copacabana beach I kept on repeating myself: "Damn I am in Rio, in Copacabana ..." while I was surrounded by thousands of boys and girls...

There are many groups of guys, but also girls, playing beach soccer... everywhere and all very good at it... Now I understand many things... They certainly have football in their blood...

Not far from us there were two girls very tanned...
One kept on calling me: "Amor" licking her lips... The other came close to me and whispered: “Voĉe muito gostoso”("you are very tasty"), after a while she asked me if I wanted to spread the tanning cream on her " bum bum " (textual words) ...
I am a bit embarrassed and I don't pay much attention to her advances...

This time we opt for a little more chic choice.

Four stars hotel just a few steps from Copacabana beach! This beach is also stunning at night when groups of youngsters play beach soccer till midnight... It's a great show!

 

14 january Rio de Janeiro (BRASIL)

Cristo Redentor on Corcovado Mountain.

By train, we climb to the top. There the great Christ seemed to expect us with open arms! It's majestic!

I have been always enchanted by that enormous statue placed almost as a guardian of the big Brazilian city... But with not very good results if we consider the poor state of most people! (see the favelas, for example ...)
We enjoy the view from that location...

Walking around the city I am impressed to see so many stadium of famous football clubs: Fluminense, Flamengo, Botafogo so small and without protections. Italian stadiums have a well articulated and powerful structure and appear as real prisons, those seem to be very small church grounds!

In the afternoon we reach the top of Pao de Açucar.

Another interesting viewpoint!

We finish this cool day with a relaxing bath in the swimming pool on the roof (19th floor) of our hotel...

Before leaving Rio I want to see the most dangerous favelas as close as I can...

 

15 january Rio de Janeiro (BRASIL)

This morning I entered the famous stadium: Maracanà! How many times I have heard of the largest stadium in the world! It had a capacity of 120.00 spectators, now diminished because they have implanted the seats...

At the entrance, as in Hollywood, there are the fingerprints of the greatest Brazilian footballers of all time imprinted on cement, from Pelè to Ronaldo, to Altafini till Zico and Kakà etc..

It has been weird to see the changing rooms, the places where football players prepare and warm up before a game until the field along the classical and historical corridor... What disappointment, however, the field! I was used to see the Italian stadiums, huge and majestic structures while this field seemed quite small...

We go on till the Ciudad do Samba. A place where the most important twelve schools of samba in Rio were preparing themselves for the parade along the Sambodrome of the city!

[Nick]: "Here I understand why Carnival is so important for the Brazilians, a year of work for the wagons that will last ten days and then will be destroyed... so much work when there are so many people dying of hunger in the street!"

Tomorrow we return to Sao Paulo... but there is still something missing for me... Beware to call them "favelas", it is a discriminatory term, you have to call them: "communities"!
We try to approach there by taxi with Nick and Carmela... but it turns to be harder than we imagined...

But now it's time to relax and enjoy these last rays of sun on the beach of Copacabana...

16 january Rio de Janeiro (BRASIL)

Before going to the airport we decide to visit the center of Rio. We go by metro. Clean, quiet and well supervised!
A Brazil without tourists...

In those huge markets there were only the real people of the "rua". Wonderful colorful alleyways teeming with every kinf of people!

We return just on time not to miss the flight.

During the flight I admired aunt Rosina, 90 years but with a force, insight and energy to spare! She's great!

In Sao Paulo I had a confirmation of what I thought: if the poor in Rio are relegated in the favelas, pardon, in the communities here in the Paulista city they are scattered everywhere...

 

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