Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Carnival history and background

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is held before Lent every year.
The Carnival is considered the biggest in the world with two million people per day on the streets.

First records of the festivities dates back to 1723.

Basically there are two parts of the Carnival. The one most on TV are the competition between the Samba Schools. Each school choose a theme and present it via a 80 minutes parade. The parades are performed in the Sambodromo.

For the visitors the street carnival is atleast as entertaining. Program which usually includes daily activities in city center and in the south zone.

Daily activities from 18th to 21nd of february 2012:
From 20:00 Concerts at Samba Land
From 20:00 Concerts in Lapa
From 23:00 Rio Scala Ball

For the Complete schedule visit - Carnival schedule 2012.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New years eve experience

This year my new years eve experience was not what it used to be.
Generally I have only good things to say about celebrating new years eve in Rio de Janeiro.

I still hold the same view - however with a few modifications.

This year I stayed in Santa Tereas/Lapa region. Which means I would have to take the metro to get to Copacabana. This experience in itself was not as bad as I thought it would be but still hardly comfortable. One has buy the tickets in advance. Due to bad weather we bought our tickets for 21-22hs. The metro was completely crowded. We left the metro in station Cardeal Arcoverde which is the first metro station on Copacabana. Leaving the tunnel propably took 20-30 minutes as it was completely crowded. Imaging walking in the speed of a 2 year old for 400 meters.

Secondly we ended up in front of Copacabana Palace. Here the crowd was much worse. In the tunnel it was orderly - in front of this hotel we were not alone in trying to get away and when it started to move one had no control - one got pushed from many sides. Some people panicked and a few got problem breathing problems.

Thirdly, the weather was bad. Despite this it was not too bad taking the metro back home.

In short, it is extremely more comfortable to stay close to the beach in south zone of Rio. This probably holds more true when weather is not optimal. Of some reason I believe I have always been away from the most crowded places on the beach previous years. You HAVE to avoid the most crowded places after 23hs.

If you can afford a hotel or rental apartment in walking distance to the beach - go for it!

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