Rockin´ in Rio
Trip Start Aug 03, 2007
88Trip End Aug 01, 2008
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We arrived to rain and left in rain with about 1 day of decent weather for us to actually see the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer from behind the cloud layer! That was a fun but expensive touristy visit to the top of the mountain from where the statue looms over Rio with its outstretched arms, and we definitely had a few laughs at the things tourists will do all for a picture! (Of course, we have done some pretty silly things as well so no pointing fingers here...)
Our first stop when arriving in Rio was to try to get a hostel in the beachside area of Ipanema (the beach from which the song comes from, "girl from Ipanema")
We enjoyed visiting downtown Rio, wandering through the streets and seeing some wild architecture in a building that looked like a Rubik's cube and a cathedral that looks more like a modern pyramid. Inside is huge stained-glass windows going from the floor to the ceiling. Quite a unique place of worship. One of the best parts of that day, however, was nearly being extras in the filming of the upcoming Hulk 2 movie starring Edward Norton! We had taken a streetcar ride up to a small community called Santa Teresa that overlooks Rio and were on our way back, trying to find these famous stairs leading down from the monastery that are covered with mosaic tiles. We found them and on our way down were stopped by movie crew asking us to wait for the filming of the scene to finish before we made our way down the steps. Turns out as we were running down them trying to quickly get out of the way before the next filming, we ran right past Edward Norton! We didnīt seem him at the time because we were in a rush but when at the bottom we watched for a while and turns out they were filming him walk down the stairs
Another super event in Rio that we got to be a part of was a concert for the Alma Surf Festival. It is a surf festival showing off the latest surf films and art from the surf culture and it just happened to be traveling through Brazil. We found out about the concert from a magazine James was reading at our friendīs house in Sao Paolo. We knew 2 of the 4 musicians (all Americans) playing in the show and that was enough for us to find our way there. It turns out that the other 2 bands were amazing as well so the concert was well worth the effort, dinero, and late night that it required! In case you are curious, the musicians were Donavon Frankenreiter, A.L.O. (Animal liberation Orchestra), G. Love, and Matt Costa. It was a great night and we were so surprised that so many of the Portuguese-speaking Brazilians knew the English words of the songs and sang along. Seems like many of the younger generation speaks English. We also got a kick out of a kid that was wearing a T-shirt that could have only been purchased in our home town of San Clemente. We asked him about it and he said he was there recently on vacation. It was a "Stop the Tollroads" shirt referring to the saving of the world-famous Trestles beach just south of San Clemente. He had no idea what it meant!
Due to the poor weather conditions, we didnīt get too much beach time in Rio. We walked along the beach one night, however, and saw kids at soccer practice! Apparently it is quite common for people to play beach soccer (with goalposts, jerseys and all) in Brazil. Love that! Must be quite a calf muscle workout running in sand...