The sugar loaf
Another point on our private bucket list, as well as on the one I got from work was to go up the sugar loaf and enjoy the beautiful view of the city. Our Brazilian friend Dafne who is a true Carioca (= someone who is originally from Rio) stated that the line is usually very long in order to get up to the sugar loaf and forecasted that there would be a huge line. We went anyway, got lucky, no queue, great weather and a great view of the city during sunset. While we could see a big rainy cloud over Ipanema, we had the best view of the city from 'our' sugar loaf!
Christ the reedemer statue
One of the most popular and impressive sights of Rio are the Christ the redeemer statue and the corcovado mountain (which looks like a jungle) on which the statue is built. As the weather was not good enough, we postponed visiting the statue until the last day. On our last day, we were told that there is 'no view' from the statue, but we went regardless. We took the van (cheaper than the train and usually less crowded, although the crowd was definitely not a problem during our stay 😀 ) to a platform with a great view of the city and then up, with another van, to the statue itself. Even there we were lucky as we could see the city, but not to the extend it would have been possible on a clear and sunny day, of course. The conditions were better than expected, however, after a while clouds came up and it was impossible to see further than a few meters. Sometimes the statue disappeared completely. On the bright side- we had some funny moments. We decided to stay there for a little longer and watched the people trying to take a picture in front of the statue. As the weather was changing so fast, some people succeeded, some people didn't and as soon as there was a little visibility, everybody was storming towards the statue to take a picture. So yes, we had our fun 😀
We went to the 10th and 6th ugliest buildings in the world - both of them in Rio and right next to each other- one of them being a cathedral that is supposed to look like a temple/pyramid from the outside, but nevertheless ugly and definetly more beautiful from inside. In addition, there are libraries, museums and city markets to see, the usual that a city has to offer. City center is alright, but there are so many more amazing things in this beautiful city.
Santa Teresa is famous for its mixed architecture due to the fact that immigrants from different countries settled there and brought their own architecture style along with them. In addition, the few is just breathtaking. One difference we noticed when looking at the favelas (slums/communities in Brazil) is that while most of the favelas in Sao Paulo are outside of the city, in Rio they are everywhere, meaning that you need to be careful of where you are going. The biggest favela in Latin America called Rocinha is also in Rio and some favelas are more dangerous than others, some are more corrupt, some have drug dealers and others don't,so they are not all the same.
We were also supposed to return to Santa Teresa on another day in order to eat Feijoada, a Brazilian/Portuguese dish made out of beans with beef and pork, but we had to look for another location due to a shooting between police and locals in one of the favelas of Santa Teresa (not that we would go in a favela anyway, but better safe than sorry), so our Brazilian friend insisted on going somewhere else.