Today I begin to talk about my trip to Brazil, a country where everybody would like to go at least once in his life. During my stay in Argentina, the idea of being able to visit the home of football, the city with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, home to the famous Christ the Redeemer (one of the Seven Wonders of the World), was too strong in my head, so I could not help but to concretize it.
Before talking about the trip, I must say it was a special trip, because I did not go alone, but with five other guys met in Buenos Aires, who in some party, who in my university. The bottom line is this: At the end we ended up being two Italians, three Spanish and a Mexican. I tell you right now that it was the best group trip I have ever done.
We started with a direct flight from Buenos Aires, and we arrived in about three hours at the airport (Gig). We took a bus going towards Copacabana, since our hotel was over there, and we arrived at our destination in about 50 minutes. On the way, it was possible to see instantly the two faces “perfectly mixed” of the city, to put an oxymoron … On the one hand a city full of life, vibrant; on the other, the sad reality of the favelas, as if to signify that despite all the Brazilians find the strength to smile and move on. It ‘s also for this reason that, at least for me, Rio de Janeiro is the city of happiness.
A first milestone for those who visit Rio de Janeiro is certainly the Sugar Loaf. It is a very high hill, which is one of the highest points of the city, just in front of the Christ the Redeemer, which I’ll discuss shortly. To climb to the top is necessary to take a cable car, which consists of two stops: the first leads to Morro Urca. What about … It’s definitely worth! A breathtaking view, perhaps the best of Rio, which allows you to take really exciting pictures; the second port directly to the top, to the sugar land, from where you can admire the Christ in the distance. The ticket price is not excessive (there is also a discount for students), so if you go to Rio de Janeiro remember to pay a visit to Sugar Loaf.
However the symbol of Rio de Janeiro, which is the first thing that people go to visit, is surely the Christ Redeemer, one of the seven wonders of the modern world. You have to be lucky enough to find one fine day, at least not cover, because otherwise you risk losing one of the most beautiful view in the world. You can climb or by train or by a jeep (there are many who make the trip every day), and already from the entrance you realize the enormous amount of people present, making it difficult to move around and take pictures. But keep calm: a little patience and spirit carioca belong to you … the Maracana stadium, Copacabana beach, the many islands surrounding the city, are just a few things that you can appreciate and admire. This is undoubtedly the most emblematic symbol of the city, able to leave speechless faithful and not faithful at the same time, for its grandeur that brings a sense of smallness to anyone.
The Maracana Stadium (the home of football as they say), is a must for football fans, but not only. There are various means by which you can get there, but I personally recommend a taxi, especially if you are not alone, cause it does not cost much and takes you quickly to your destination. It is a great stadium and museum, which contains the essence of the sport, as well as the many trophies won by the Brazilian national team in history. Plus the excursion inside allows you to get even on the top floors of the structure, in the commentary room, where you can enjoy an exceptional view of the whole complex. It was a unique experience to be there and be able to visit it, even though it was empty. I dare not imagine how it should be during a match of the Brazilian team…
Rio de Janeiro, as you see, is a city full of emotion, with so much to offer and with a magic in the air that can put anyone in a good mood. But before closing, I would like to say a few words on what to eat and where to sleep in the city carioca, and conclude with the issue of security.
What to eat and where to sleep?
As for the first option, Rio offers a great variety of food. There are kiosks in the beaches, restaurants of all kinds outdoors, offering dishes at great prices, ideal especially for those who have no time to lose eating but at the same time don’t want to eat sandwiches. There are also shops selling fruit for all sides, and you can not get away from Rio without experiencing their fruit! I show you now a dish and one of the many fresh juices made at the moment (Delicious!).
As for sleep, if you do not want to spend too much in hotels, you should know that Rio de janeiro offers numerous hostals, often real chains (in the sense that there are 5-6 equal hostals scattered around the city), ideal especially for young people. In fact, they organize evenings and get-togethers at their own internal, and you can meet guys really from all over the world. Pretty cool!
As a final safety … Well, one of the few downsides of Rio, unfortunately, is insecurity. A couple of times we risked being attacked or robbed, but fortunately everything went. Try to pay close attention to where you go, do not go out at night (especially if you are alone) and avoid uncrowded areas. If you stick to these little tips, you should not have any problems, and you will surely enjoy the city without unpleasant incidents.
What I know for certain, however, is that the joy I saw in the faces of the Brazilians, their love for the life, and above all their kindness and availability, is something that I have rarely seen in other parts of the world. For this reason, at least for me, Rio de Janeiro is the city of happiness.