Monday, May 16, 2011

Rio de Janiero - Day 8

Another cloudy day and what are we going to do? We discuss what we are going to do today and it is decided not to head to Pao de Acucar (Sugar Loaf) as the the skies are gray and cloudy. I guess the blue skies we are looking to enhance the view from the famous peak will have to wait until my next visit to Rio. Yesterday during downtime / computer time, I did some searching for things to do and found that there is a Carmen Miranda museum in Rio and so I suggest heading in that direction. I also suggest heading to Fiscal
Island to check it out and we decide that is a great option for tomorrows adventure and put Carmen on our radar for today.

A quick bus ride and we find ourselves in the Flamengo neighborhood where the museum is located. We walk around to see more of the amazing architecture and history abound. We soon find the Carmen Miranda Museum and enter to find some of her costumes and the story of her life. Carmen was an internationally known samba singer/dancer who was born in Brazil. With accolades on Broadway and Hollywood, she is well known for the hats she wore and these elaborate costumes.        An interesting tid bit from what I read, is that her work experience was in a hat shop in Rio. I found it interesting that she spent most of her career in the United States and the Brazilian public criticized her for being Americanized. I will leave the rest of her story on the walls of the museum for your reading when you visit the museum yourself. On the other end of the museum there was a television playing some of her shows. We decided to sit for a while and enjoy the entertainment. We kept saying we would leave after this one but the next clip was worth staying for and needless to say we stayed a little while.


 When we finally leave, we proceeded to explore the Flamengo neighborhood and all its beautiful art-
deco buildings. We have spent sometime exploring this neighborhood but with over 300 acres of parks
and middle class neighborhoods, there is plenty for us to wander around without doubling a single step. I fall in love with flowering trees and plants as they add splashes of color throughout the Flamengo neighborhood as well as other areas I have visited in Brazil. We stop to eat at a cute little restaurant Fornalha (stove). (at least this is what I believe it was called). It ended up being the second true unique find of the day. With no English menus and having only been open a little over a year, the food being excellent with great service and a well decorated restaurant as well.

 We continued on our journey and came across another large Catholic Church we had seen several times from the bus and decide to take a peek inside. Currently being refurbished, it was interesting to spend a moment watching the ladies brush the delicate details of the church. I think to myself, I wonder just how many ornate Catholic Churches there must be in Rio. You could probably spend a whole week just touring them all if that is what interested you.

 Margarete takes the lead at this point as she had been to this area before and knows of an old used book store. Her cousin had lived in the neighborhood and Margarete had spent some time in Rio visiting her. It was a beautiful store with a wide range of used books. This day was turning out the be a good change of pace. After the book store we headed toward the Metro and returned to Copacabana.

After freshening up at the room – we headed towards Princess Isabela Avenida and had dinner on our mind. Along the beach past the Avenida into the Leme neighborhood. The restaurant "La Fiorentina" is well known as a celebrity hot spot (though we won't be seeing any this evening). There are signatures on the walls as well as photos to prove they have ate there. We get a seat by the  window and enjoy some
people watching as we nibble on some appetizers. What is on the menu for the evening is pizza as that is what the restaurant is known for. It is a nice evening and a great way to wind down as we enjoy our meal and once again decided that a walk on the beach is in order. Despite the over cast skies, it is a wonderful night to be along the ocean enjoying the cool breeze and people watching. It is again a beautiful
night despite the over cast skies. Tomorrow we will be doing some boat tours on the bay and I am excited for the change of pace. (riding in a boat verses walking). It is time to retire for the evening and get ready to greet another day. I cannot believe we have been in Rio this long but am also disappointed it is about the end. (Read Rio de Janiero - Day 9)

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