Rio de Janeiro Journals

Thumbs Up Rio!

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A June 2004 trip to Rio de Janeiro by Mr. Wonka

Savoy Othon Travel Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil More Photos
Quote: I love Rio! Here's a little slice of my trip, from me to you.

Thumbs Up Rio!

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Overview

Chillin Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Rio was hot until the early 1980s. Hot like disco dancing. Hot like bushy mustaches and Detroit Tigers hats. Then something funny happened—crime. Brazil was heavily in debt. Tourism suffered, and Rio de Janeiro no longer was associated with carefree drinks on the beach and live bossa nova. Many people just thought of muggings and mayhem. I don't need to tell you that it all came full circle in the '90s. Today, it’s as safe as it’s ever been . . . and as dangerously sexy. Six nights were enough to hook me. Yes, Rio is hot once again. It still amazes me that I can go somewhere as mundane as Newark, NJ, get on this flying vehicle, sit there for a while and watch bad Ben Stiller movies...Read More

Savoy Othon Travel

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Hotel | "Savoy Othon"

Savoy Othon Travel Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Go-today.com has never failed me. For every trip I’ve booked through them, they’ve hooked us up in a hotel that exceeded our expectations, while also cooking up a bizarre twist. In Berlin, it was our friendly German bartender at the downstairs bar. At the Newton in Hong Kong, the house cover band, led by legendary lead guitarist/keyboardist Billy, was an experience to behold. And now, in sunny Rio, we found ourselves at the Savoy Othon, located just two blocks from Copacabana Beach. What, oh what, would the Savoy have in store for us? Our assigned room was fine enough, if a bit small, so we upgraded to a large "suite" for $50R extra a night. Our new r...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 20, 2004

Savoy Othon Travel
AV NOSSA SENHORA DE COPACABANA
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
5521 25220282

Ataulfo

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Restaurant

Ataulfo Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
So if you ever want to stuff yourself silly and have conversations about the pluses and minuses of "the buffet," and of making yourself puke, then work up an appetite and stop by Ataulfo, located just a few blocks from Ipanema Beach in Leblon. Of course, I mean this in the best possible way. Half deli, half sit-down restaurant, Ataulfo serves up something for everyone in a totally chill setting. The thing is, though we were both hungry like the wolf, we weren’t prepared to feel like we’d stuffed ourselves more than Violet Beauregarde with her three-meal gum. Whether you’re just stopping in for a coffee or indulging in one of the tempting desserts that taunt you in the front display case,...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 20, 2004

Ataulfo
Av. Ataulfo de Paiva 630
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
021/2540-0606

Pizzaria Guanabara

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Restaurant

Pizzaria Guanabara Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
As a vegetarian, my food staples were pretty much limited to fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, and cheese. I’m sure there’s some place in Rio that serves a mean tofu dish, but this isn’t New York City, where the meat-free dishes sometimes outnumber the meaty ones. Hey, I could sip on cold guarana drinks and coconuts all day, but by the time night rolled around, it was time to eat something of substance. We wanted to hit up one of the pizzerias during our visit, so one day we decided to check out Pizzaria Guanabara. Both of us didn’t eat much that day so we could pig out on pizza at night. Good move. Located on the corner of Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva and rua Aristides Espiñola in Le...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 20, 2004

Pizzaria Guanabara
Av. Ataulfo de Paiva 1228
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
021/2294-0797

Christ the Redeemer Statue (O Cristo Redentor)

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Attraction | "Christ the Redeemer"

Christ the Redeemer Statue (O Cristo Redentor) Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
If you told me that one day I’d be sitting at the base of Christ the Redeemer, which stands high atop Corcovado Mountain at 2,343 feet above sea level, casually taking notes and snapping photos, I wouldn’t have believed it. Name your top ten sights around the entire globe, and this statue, with its arms outstretched in welcome high above the city, has to be somewhere near the top. There are tourist attractions, sights that you’d rather avoid like the plague for fear of being stuffed in with annoying tourists for something totally overrated. And then there are must-see sights, where no matter how packed it is, you just have to go. A trip up Corcovado Mountain to stand at the feet of Christ definitely f...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 20, 2004

Christ the Redeemer Statue (O Cristo Redentor)
Corcovado Mountain
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ipanema Beach

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Attraction

Ipanema Beach Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
You’re likely to find more than just one girl from Ipanema Beach. Heck, you’ll even see a few guys. Everything you’ve ever heard about this world-famous beach, popularized by Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes’ 1962 hit "Girl from Ipanema," is true. The rolling waves crashing to shore with a loud clap, drawing local surfers and boogie boarders brazen enough to ignore the power of the Atlantic. The arching hills and mountains, cradling a large favela (shantytown) that lights up the Leblon end of the beach at night. Bodequims every hundred yards or so peddling strong liquor drinks and fresh coconuts. And of course, the beautiful people lying out in the hot sun or diving into the ocean. Now, there is...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 20, 2004

Ipanema Beach
Ipanema Beach
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio Scenarium

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Attraction | "Scenarium"

Rio Scenarium Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Big props to our friend Alex for pointing us in the direction of the Scenarium, a funky converted brothel in Lapa that lies in the shadow of the Lapa arches and Metropolitan Church. It doesn’t look like much from outside on the cobblestone road, but once you step inside, you’ll be glad you’re there. Before you sweep past the dance floor and performance stage, you’ll have already passed a tremendous hodgepodge of objects hanging from the ceiling, bolted to the wall—everywhere you look, there’s something different. Glittering antique Venetian chandeliers near a dangling vintage bike. A fake dinosaur skeleton lounging in the mini-library. An antique Asian armoire and stacks of old suitcases....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 20, 2004

Rio Scenarium
Rua do Lavradio n20
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Copacabana Beach

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Attraction

Copacabana Beach Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
Don’t believe the hype. Though Copacabana Beach may not hold the same lusty appeal it did back in the day, it’s still seductive. Yes, it’s the most touristy beach in Rio. And the vendors come out in droves. But that’s all part of the Copacabana experience. C’mon, now—where else can you stroll the beach and be offered a beach chair, a cold Antarctica beer, a hammock, and a towel with naked Brazilians on it, all within 15 minutes? The arcing beach, lined with the old-school resorts of yesteryear, is simply stunning, with breathtaking views of Sugarloaf and countless other islands off in the distance. One could easily while away an entire day here watching carioca life go by. I’m not sure if...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 20, 2004

Copacabana Beach

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Maracanã Stadium

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Attraction | "Maracaña Stadium"

Maracanã Stadium Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
I’d rather suffer through a dimly lit clunker at Continental Airlines Arena between the Nets and Grizzlies than attend a Major League Soccer game. Of course, outside the States soccer takes on an entirely different personality, which was never more evident than during my visit to Rio de Janeiro’s famous Maracana Stadium. The lack of MLS appeal certainly has a lot to do with talent—even the best players aren’t exactly considered international superstars—but it’s much more than that. The impassioned fan base, the wild atmosphere, the all-day tailgating… indeed, live fútbol matches in South America have a life of their own.After milling about the rustic hillside neighborhood of nearby Santa Ter...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 20, 2004

Maracanã Stadium
Rua Professor Eurico Rabelo S/n São Cristóvão
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 20271-150
+55 21 25689962

Skylab

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Attraction

Skylab Photo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quote:
One should never expect much from a bar called Skylab, which just screams uber-modern circa 1993. This spot atop the Rio Palace Hotel on Copacabana Beach may have been hot 10 years ago, but now it’s just another bar on the roof of a hotel that clings to its lone asset, the view, like an aging movie star unwilling to settle for anything less than the young lead role. Even the pool on the outdoor seating deck seemed to gasp for life, as if its sexiness in the '90s had been replaced by a kitschy appeal to parents with kids in tow to swim on a rooftop pool in Rio de Janeiro. We weren’t sure whether Skylab was even open when we visited. After taking the elevator up to the 28th floor, and finding no b...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 20, 2004

Skylab
Hotel Rio Othon, Av. Atlantica 3264
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Contemporary Art Museum (MAC)

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Attraction | "Museu de Arte Contemporanea-Niteroi"

Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) Photo, Niteroi, Brazil
Quote:
If aliens were to land and permanently park their spaceship somewhere, well, why not Rio de Janeiro? Rio is a nice enough place to assume residency on a new planet, so it’s not that farfetched to think that the Museum of Contemporary Art wasn’t really designed by Oscar Niemeyer, but is just a UFO posing as a museum. Niemeyer’s just the lucky guy they chose to take credit for it. Ah, you have to love a good conspiracy theory. Niemeyer’s brilliant concept for the museum is not to be missed. Standing on the edge of a rocky cliff across the bay in Niteroi, the museum looks as if it’s poised to take off into space and never return. Indeed, any sci-fi fan treated to a glimpse of this awesome sight wou...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 20, 2004

Contemporary Art Museum (MAC)
Pria Da Boa Viagem
Niteroi, Brazil