Monday, May 16, 2011

Rio de Janiero - Day 9

Our last day of touring Rio! We know our plan and that the boat leaves at 11:00 but we start a out little early since I think we are a little anxious because this is our last day and we ant to see as much as we can today. We stroll along the beach and decide to peek in at Amsterdam Sauer. Remember earlier in the week when we were whether to head to Cristo Rendentor (Christ the Redeemer) and the gentleman (Conrad Wolf) on the street called his friend who was on the mountain top and found out that the view was worth going that day. Well, he works for this store right next to the Copacabana Palace Hotel and had invited us to come take a look. So, this became our first stop and what a wonderful store. A little out of my price range but the jewelry was beautiful, all of stones found in Brazil. After a quick look around we headed up stairs and were awed by the spectacular sculptures of birds. All carved from those same rocks found in different parts of Brazil, the artwork was truly a nice unexpected find on our journey this morning.



After our visit to the store is over, we head to the Metro and hop on the train to head towards Guanabara Bay. It takes us downtown and we head toward the wharf to get our tickets for the two boat excursion we are interested in for today. We are a little early but later appreciate this fact as other who arrive after us don’t get tickets on the second boat due to it being sold out. We wait for our trip and have coffee and browse the Brazilian Navy Museum.


12:30 comes and it is time to board the boat to head to Fiscal Island. Glittering like an emerald in the bay, it seems to have been dropped into the bay. On the island stands a castle completed in 1889 that takes up every square meter of the island.

It is in this castle that the “Last Ball of the Empire” occurred here later that year. The grand ball was celebrating the empire’s accomplishments, where Dom Pedro II (Emperor) even attending this lavish occasion. Days later the Empire would be overthrown in a bloodless coup and the beginning of the Republic would begin. OK enough about the history of this island, it is time to head there. As we wait for the boat to push off, a group of middle school students board the bus making a ton of noise end of the empire prior to the republic state. e and posing for photo every chance they can get. Their excitement is our demise as we were looking forward to a quite boat ride and it is now nothing near this. They seem not aware there are other passengers on the boat and we can only hope they have a separate tour guide once we arrive at the island. We arrive on the island and are happy when there are several tour guides and we are assigned ours without the teens. The tour will be in Portuguese so I am


handed a booklet with information in English to share with another visitor from Cologne, Germany (who speaks English). We become good acquaintances by the end of our journey on the island. The palace is filled with extravagant columns, festoons, and arches, most definitely reminiscent of the empire of Brazil. The murals by Frederico Steckel adorn the walls and the clock in the tower (from Germany) is surely amazing and delightful. We are guided around the castle and learn of the history as well as some things about the Brazilian science station in Antarctica. It is a beautiful start to our day. The tour is over and we investigate the castle on our own. I continue my conversation with my new Germany friend,  she shares about her travels as she has family in Brazil and Australia.

As we wait for our return ride, I notice a couple of teen girls from the boat ride earlier hanging around us but don’t pay it too much attention. Soon it is time to board the boat and a group of the girls are by me again listening and whispering. Finally one asks if I am American and when I say yes they all decide they want me to speak English and have their photo taken with me. It was my 16 minutes of feeling like a rock star I think as all the girls from the school soon ascended on me for a photo. Honestly I could not stop laughing as it was ironic that earlier I had thought them rude and inconsiderate of anyone else around because of their enthusiasm and now it was pleasurable. Go figure!

We board the boat and off to the main port we go.We have an little over and hour to wait until our tour of Guanabara Bay but the hour is short and soon we are off.  First passing close to the airport we had arrived in Rio at not long ago and will be departing from tomorrow.
 I surely don't want to start thinking about that.  It is an extremely relaxing afternoon on the water and a totally different view of the city we have spent the last days exploring by foot. We begin to plan out next trip to Rio as we pass by sugar loaf, fortifications at the entrance of the bay, some well known beaches on the opposite side of the bay, the Niterio Contemporary Art Museum, The Bridge crossing the bay built in honor of President Silva. There is plenty of photos to take. As we pass by the huge oil rig I think of the devastation in the gulf and hope this never happens to this beautiful place. Soon our boat excursion is over and we are goon back on shore.  We grab the Metro back to Copacabana.

We have decided to try Greek food at a restaurant near the apartment and spend the evening walking along the beach. The Greek food leaves something to desire so I won’t mention the name of the restaurant and after eating Margarete and I head to the water front for a little
 wading in the ocean. I have to share this story as we spent some time wading and after a while decided it was time to head back (as Luiz was waiting). We said 3 more waves and we are out of here. 1st wave, 2nd wave, then the third wave came in so hard and so much further then any other wave in the whole time we were there that we got caught off guard and got all wet. We laughed with amusement as what an appropriate way to end our stay at the beach. We head back to the room and on our way we come across the first signs of the animated movie Rio on the beach. Of course there is posing to be done. The final stop is for fruit salad and then off to get a good night sleep. Last night of dreaming of beach adventures for a while.  (Read Rio de Janiero - Day 10)

No comments: