Brazil and its people
The hospitality and 'alegria' is what makes Brazil unique. Every time we went out to dance and listen to live music, we paused for a moment in order to watch the people. It is incredible how easy it is to start a conversation with people here and everybody dances with everybody, also partner dances, not necessarily with 'hidden' intentions or an ulterior motive- it is a very carefree atmosphere, and I wish we could bring it with us to Germany. Maybe it is the sun, maybe it is the music or the Caipirinha- whatever it is, we need it back home.
Dinner at Le Vin
While traveling, we have been very lucky with the people who crossed our path. Once we reached Rio de Janeiro, we were giving the possibility to dine at a high class restaurant called 'le vin' in Ipanema- one of the wealthiest areas of Rio- all for free! They offer very good french fusion and the food was so good, that we recommend it to anybody who comes to visit Rio and does not want to have Brazilian food for a change but a fusion instead. This place would have not been in our budget otherwise, so we were really lucky, thanks to the Brazilian hospitality. Also, somehow we ended up with new names on our trip in Bazil- Johannes was too difficult to pronounce so his name was changed to Giovanni ( even the reservation at the restaurant was under the name of Giovanni) and I was called Isabella once or twice. So now we are Giovanni and Isabella exploring the world;)
A Knight in shining Armor (almost)
Another time when we were proven right about the hospitality was when we were looking for our hang glider. Our mobiles didn't work so I decided to walk up to a guy and to ask if I could use his phone instead. Emerson, or 'Amazon' as we like to call him (simply because we misunderstood his name) was so helpful and really tried his best, he even went out of the metro to help us find the meeting point. It also turned out that out of the 7 Mio. people living in Rio city, we picked someone who actually have been knowing our hang glider since he was little! What a coincidence!
UBER with extras
Even our UBER drivers were incredible. For everybody who wants to travel cheap and safe with a good service, we recommend using UBER in Brazil! The price is lower, but more importantly, the drivers are nicer and in addition, it is more difficult to rip tourists off as the price/route is usually fixed upon departure to a certain extend, so you know roughly how much the trip will cost you. We also found out that during recession, many people lost their jobs and several of our UBER drivers ended becoming a driver instead to have some kind of income for the time being. As UBER is not legal in Germany, this would not have been an option for German people if a recession hit us.
Our time in Brazil was coming to an end and on our last day in Rio de Janeiro, due to some issue with the airline, we were left with only 2 hours of spare time prior to our boarding. We took an UBER from the airport with Christiano to the Ilha de Governador in order to have something to eat at the beach called Praia da Bica- nothing compared to Ipanema as it was relatively dirty, but it was better than the airport nevertheless. Christiano was so friendly and instead of just dropping us off, we decided to spend lunch together and listen to his stories about his work, life in Brazil in general and other topics, before he drove us back to the airport. Thanks Christiano for our great last hours in Rio! We learned a lot about corruption, the police, the favelas, the financial crisis and many other topics related to your country!