Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Rainy Rio

So much for sunny Rio! Two days in the most beautiful city in South America and it has been grey and overcast the whole time. Rubbish!

So what have I been up to in Rio. My first night in town was spent watching some Brazilian football at one of the municipal stadiums. Botafogo vs. Fluminense. We were supporting Botafogo who were the underdogs. 1:1 final score. Not a classic, but it was great to see some proper Brazilian football in Brazil. The fans are certainly passionate and very loud, with drums and horns going off the entire match.

Yesterday was spent touring the city, with a favela tour in the morning and a city tour in the afternoon. The favela tour was really good and very interesting. Sad to see some of the conditions they are forced to live in, but everyone was very friendly and open to visitors. You would not believe some of the construction considering the steepness of the slopes, but it does all seem to just about stay up. Interesting to see what happens where there is absolutely no building or planning control.

The city tour in the afternoon was interesting, but rather spoilt by the weather, where it was wet and overcast all afternoon. I went up to both Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain and Sugar Loaf Mountain, but both were covered in mist with zero visibility. The big JC is a very impressive monument, but unfortunately as the photos shows we could only see his feet!

If I am being honest I think that Rio is a bit overhyped. Very interesting city, but not as pretty as it is made out to be in my opinion and there is a really dark undercurrent to the city with a huge number of homeless people, prostitution, crime and no go areas. It will be interesting to see how they cope with the Olympics in 2016, as Brazilians are very good at partying, but not so hot on organisation. I imagine it will look very good on the TV, but after visiting Rio I am not sure I would want to experience it first hand.     


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