I Go To Rio…

Actually, I’ve been and come back – to Rio, that is. But these are the words, from the fabulous Peter Allen song, that played in my head over and over again during my visit so it seemed an appropriate title (versus the more mellow and perhaps obvious The Girl from Ipanema) for this first cursory brag about squiz at my week in Rio de Janeiro.

Yes peeps, that’s where I’ve been.

I went for work – to visit our team there (sigh…I love my job) – and I took some time last weekend to have a wander around and explore a little. I had planned to post in situ but the wifi wasn’t great for photo uploading and having only arrived back yesterday evening, I’ve only just managed to do the necessary chores and sort my photos so this post is a ‘best bits in pics’ and I will follow it up with a little more detail on a couple of specific things in posts to come. So here we go…

On Saturday morning, I got on one of these…

…to see what the man on the mountain…

Christ the Redeemer – or Cristo Redentor in the local lingo – sits atop Corcovado (the hunchback)

 …was looking at.

Windswept selfie!

 It was pretty bloody good if you ask me.

The view from the top. That’s Ipanema on the other side of the lagoon, where my weekend digs – the Ipanema Inn – were located.

I came down the mountain and explored some more…

The largo do boticario, an oasis of colour off the main road in Cosmo Velho

 …before meeting someone for a local ‘brew with a view’ in the evening.

View of Copacabana beach from the Arpoador Fort

The next day (that’s Sunday – are you keeping track?), I wandered a block from my hotel to Ipanema Beach…

…before hitting the back streets to find a little musical history…

Previously Bar Veloso, the bar Garota de Ipanema at 49 Vinicius de Moraes, is where Moraes and Tom Jobim were inspired by the 17-year-old Helo Pinheiro, the original Girl from Ipanema, to pen one of the world’s most ubiquitous tunes. 

…and local expression. 

The Hippie Fair in Ipanema (or Feira de Artes de Ipanema if you are practising your Portuguese) has a whole gamut of arts and crafts for sale as well as some local vittels if you get a bit peckish. It’s also a mecca of artistic expression for local painters – this was one of my favourites.

 Heading back towards the beach, I walked out onto Porto do Arpoador

…and then back to the hotel for a short rest before setting off for the Botanic Gardens.

I passed a pleasant couple of hours here before heading back towards the hotel, my path taking me around the lagoon.

And then it was time to enjoy a glass of wine overlooking the lights of Ipanema before packing my suitcase to move to my ‘work hotel’ in Barra de Tijuca on Monday…

View from my room on the 10th floor of the Sheraton Barra (pronounced Ba-ha)

 …and while that was the end of my personal meanderings, a very early flight to Sao Paulo Tuesday morning meant I got to see this from the taxi… 

Ipanema dawn

…as well as this…

Copacabana sunrise

…before taking this photo from the plane.

That’s Ipanema beach on the left and Copacabana beach on the right.

So if that hasn’t inspired you to google travel deals to the carnival city, I’ll leave you with the original shoulder-shimmying boy from Oz…

If that doesn’t do it, nothing will!

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