Sunday, December 25, 2011

New years eve in Rio de Janeiro

For the ones not making it to the new years eve for 2011 it is a good idea to think about not going next year. As there are so many people on the beach this particular date it can be easy to blend in even for Gringos. Remember this is high holiday season also for Brazilians.

With this being holiday also for brazilians it is good advice to try to stay several days AFTER new years eve. If you rent an apartment (which may be a very good option) the minimum retal period generally is 10 days so very short stays can become very expensive counted on a per day basis. Particularly also if you arrive from another continent. With this time also being a vacation period for Brazilians most of them have to go to work on the first work day after the celebrations. THIS is the time to calmy visit the major tourist spots.

In addition your air travel also become far more comfortable if you can avoid the airport during the first days before and after.

When that is said - yes it is much cheaper to arrive after new years eve and avoid all the problems.
However, atleast once you should experience new years eve on Copacabana beach together with hundreds of thousands of other locals and visitors.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Catacumba Park

Catacumba Park or "Parque da Catacumba" is a place rarely visited.
It is located in Avenida Epitácio Pessoa 3000 in Lagoa.

If you are arriving to the Lagoa from Copacabana or Ipanema away from Leblon, the park is only a short walk away and provides a great view to the Lagoon and Gávea. Going to the left inside the park leading to the view point you also will receive ample information about the history of the area. An interesting story also for people who are not history buffs.

One warning though - If walking to the 15th floor via the stairs is beyond your reach. This park is not for you. It is not long to the top of the park. However it is all via the stairs. If you intend to take photographs of the Lagoon and Gávea from the top be aware that Lighting conditions are very difficult mid day.

With all that said. IF you enjoy walking and are staying not too far from the park it is well worth a visit.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Favela visits

As this is the first post I assume noone will actually read it as noone knows about the blog:-).
I´m writing this on a monday after I went to the favela Santa Marta on friday.

This particular favela has a great view from the road leading up to it and from within the favela itself.
It is also famous as part of the music video of Michael Jacksons "They don´t care about us" was taken here.

In the larger schemes of things there are difficulties with favela visits though. Particularly about what the visit should be about. The easiest for a tour guide and the option he or she almost has to take is to give the general history and talk in general platitudes.

The interesting topics like how to solve the inequality and discussion social mobility has to be avoided as the guides underlying political views will shine through. Result is that the tours becomes more or less a little tacky by seeing how poor people lives. Still it is good to experience though as reading it in books don´t give the same understanding.