Hostel: Ipanema beach house

As I told earlier our hostel visit in Ipanema would be my second in life. The hostel was pretty nice and very friendly. Before we started our trip I was afraid that living in hostels would be the hardest thing but it is with no doubt the mosquitoes.

But let’s take a look at the first hostel in this trip.

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As you can see the hostel had a pool, and plenty of areas to socialize with other guests. Overall it was very clean and both the guests and staff was very friendly. We paid about €10 per night which must be considered good at this location.

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The last evening in a very good restaurant with two new people from the hostel. It sas a nice evening/night.

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The hostel had tips how to cure a hangover. This hostel can be found here.

A very closed Centro

Our last day in Santa Teresa was last Sunday and we went out in the afternoon to get some Arabic food that we had read about earlier and to visit the museum CCBB. It was a bit empty in the streets but nothing that we thought of as much until we were hungry. The whole city seemed to be closed. No Arabic food for us and we had trouble to find something at all.

At last we found an open restaurant that served seafood. A bit pricey if you took a quick look at the menu but to save our or/and others life we decided to take a chance. A good one it turned out. The restaurant that we found was called Porto Novo and can be found here.

IMG_4606FJONFISK The interior was stylish and the staff was very friendly and helpful. After a little problem to order, due to the language we had a good fish called “peixe amorada” – “boyfriend fish” and lots of beers. You always get so much food when you order food here in Brazil. We shared a fish dish and the staff was like “if you’re hungry – don’t share”. It was an amazing fish but no way we’d eaten more than we did.

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Happy and satisfied we went on to the museum. Frightened by the incredibly long lines to the house before we knew it was a special exhibition. We went to the other two exhibitions (one good and one about the history of Banco do Brazil and all their coins – all in Portuguese).

Later on we understood that the brazilian people had a long weekend off and that may have caused the long lines as well as everything being closed.

Favela

We had a great night out with some new friends from the hostel. They talked both Portuguese and English and we where able to fully understand the menu and what people where asking us. Maybe a little too many beers and some shot of Cachaca later we went back to the hostel. We were a bit hungover this morning but it could be worse. The hostel is great and lots of nice people hanging around all the time.

This is our last full day in Rio for a couple of months and we decided to take a Favela tour and save the sugar loaf until later because it was a bit rainy.

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On the tour we visited a school that the tour guide is a big sponsor of and most of the money we paid him for doing the tour, he is donating to them.

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We visited the biggest favela, Rocinha.

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We went a bit up in the favela and it was maybe the best view Rio has offered us so far.

IMG_4628utsiktfavela After a shopping stop and like 100 pics of this view and some history about the favelas, we went back to our hostel. We can really recommend the favela tour of www.favelatour.com.br at €18

Moving on

It’s time to leave the apartment we rent via airbnb. Two weeks of some sort of vacation and getting used to the climate, to have an ocean between us and Sweden (the first thing Jon said to me after we arrived: “I want to go home”), to the traffic and how extremely slow people are in stores. We have enjoyed our stay here. The apartment as said before is located in Santa Teresa/Lapa/Centro and that location is pretty great. We have been able to walk most everywhere. We are happy that we didn’t stay in the Santa Teresa mountains – it would have been harder to reach bars/clubs/stores in the night.

Some pictures of the first two weeks from the neighborhood

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The room – it’s small but it works (I think this is what we in Sweden refer to as “effektiv planlösning”).

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A cinema in Santa Teresa.

 

 

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On our way up to Santa Teresa.

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We are ready to move and explore more. We are staying in Rio for a couple of more days before we leave for Ilha Grande. Tomorrow a new era will begin for me – the hostel life. I have only stayed in a hostel once before in Barcelona and that was a non-pleasant experience. But this hostel near the Ipanema beach looks fine and have good reviews so I’m in a good mood. Jon thinks I’m a bit ridiculous and I am sure that I am.

Restaurant: Lapamaki

We read that Brazil is supposed to have a lot of good sushi restaurants, and after a day in the sun on Ipanema which left Linn a little red here and there and me red as a stoplight we thought that we deserved some really good sushi.

We were gonna post something about Lapamaki on Rua Riachuelo 67 a few days ago, but forgot the memory card in the computer. Today we brought both camera and memory card! Lapamaki is a very popular place because of its great sushi and not too bloody prices, but it is easy to book a table online at their website www.lapamaki.com.br, which we did.

After spending some time convincing our waiter that we wanted to have some salmon with teriyaki sauce as a first course and then a large combo as a main course we felt happy to soon receive a real treat!

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Sooner rather than later we were served a small plate with two tuna tartars. Hmm, did we order the wrong thing? No! “On the house” was the comment from the chef! These were delicious, but raises the question how we are supposed to finish the rest of our order…

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After the small appetizer arrives our first course, salmon lightly roasted with a propane torch, topped with some spring onion and sesame seeds and served in a dab of teriyaki sauce. It is as tasty as it is beautiful! The price for this course was about €7

 

 

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Okay, so we are 6 rather large sushi-pieces in to the meal each. And then this boat, or maybe cruiser, of sushi arrives. 36 pieces of assorted sushi, from the roasted salmon skin in the corner to the tuna and salmon sashimi in the other end.

This part of the meal was as excellent as the ones before, and the best thing about it is that it never seems to end, and this is the smallest of their combos! Linn gave up after a while, but I managed to cover for her and we left no piece behind. The price of the combo is about €16.

All in all, Lapamaki is a place to recommend, the food is great and the prices are on par with what you get as far as we are concerned. Be sure to book a table in advance!

Lazy beach day

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Great (lazy) day on Ipanema today.

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We rented two beach chairs and bought some drinks of a vendor. You will find a number of them on the beach selling everything you need (and things you don’t need).

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A vendor selling bikinis from a lager collection than I’ve seen in Sweden for 6€. Score. And I didn’t need to move from my chair.
In retrospective we should have bought some sunblock (we have three excellent from ACO that we left in the apartment). I feel a bit sorry for Jon this evening.

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To cheer him up we went to the excellent sushi place once again. 48 pieces later we ended this good lazy day.

Restaurant: Talento do Trigo

Today we went out on yet another search for lunch, the target was a good comida a quilo, a buffet which charges by the kilo. Some quick searches on the web let us know that a place called Talento do Trigo is located just four blocks away from where we stay. The restaurant is at Rua do Ubaldino do Amaral 92. It also has good reviews on some obscure Brazilian website!

So, what was it like?

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This picture which sadly isnt as sharp as the food it depicts, shows one third of the buffet. You find anything from feta cheese salad to an assortment of cakes to sushi. And dont forget the churrasco, the barbecue! Our journey through the buffet started with one plate each of sushi, the size of a large appetizier, this cost us about €2 each. The sushi was good, but it is still buffet-sushi.

Our second plate was more intense, mine consisted mostly of different kinds of potato and some rocket salad. Then I went up to the guy manning the grills, he brought forward different meat skewers and asked me things in Portuguese. I stood there looking stupid. We finally agreed that filet mignon is a good choice. He removed some from the skewer, cut it into smaller pieces, fried it with some garlic and laid it on my plate.

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The whole buffet felt very fresh and the different things were cooked well. The fact that you easily can get three courses out of the buffet and all will be very tasty is another positive thing.

The food was very good. The meat especially! We were very happy finally finding a good buffet here in Rio de Janeio. The lunch totaled €13 for two persons including a can of coke each, not bad considering the extraordinary quality.

Cristo Redentor

It’s warm but not so sunny here the last couple of days (Jon edit: the last week) so we decided to visit one of the seven wonders. The only problem was that Jon is a little afraid of heights and the statue is 700m above the sea. After a deliberation with himself we took the bus to the wonder.

After one hour of waiting for the train to the top, spent at Bob’s burger, we could finally get on and begin our trip up to Cristo.

IMG_4525trin Jon was a little quiet on the way (he told me later that he was thinking about the best way to escape if the train would break).

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An amazing view from the top. This was great because you would not get your money back if you got up there and didn’t see a thing. We where more than satisfied with this view.

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And here we go. No selfie-stick needed.

After a while we had around 1000 pictures of the statue, the view and a little souvenir. Jon had noticed that the train was made in Switzerland and was a bit calmer.

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I was a bit skeptical to go (overrated and something like Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower) but it was more than worth €10. So if you go to Rio this is in fact a “must-see”.

The same evening we had one of our best meals so far. A sushi place in the neighborhood but more about that later. (Yes, we took the camera but left the memory card in the computer).

Escadaria Selarón and Bonde de Santa Teresa

We are staying in Rio in an apartment that we found on airbnb on Rua Costa Bastos which is right inbetween the old neighborhoods of Santa Teresa that cover the mountainside, Centro which is the downtown finance districs and finally Lapa which is known for its many clubs.

One day we decided to take a walk from Lapa up to Santa Teresa, and what better way to do this than by the beautiful stairs of Escadaria Selarón. This is a staircase that has been created by local artist Jorge Selarón who began repairing the stairs with colorful tiles and eventually covered it all in tiles from all over the world.

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This place of course attracts hoards of tourists and the ubiquitous vendors selling mixed junk to the tourists. Even so it is rather enjoyable to walk up the beautiful stairs and take in the view.

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Some of the more political pictures in the work reminds me of street art, which the whole staircase more or less can be said to be.

When we reached the top of the stairs we took a minute to rest before continuing on upwards to find a place where the Bonde stops. Being both clever and lazy we took a shortcut down a small alley staircase and found a sign that said the tram would stop there.

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Confirming our cleverness the tram did stop there to pick up passengers, but the fact that it is more or less only a tourist attraction makes sure it is always very tightly packed. It stopped and let us know that there is one seat left, we both didnt want to part and leave the other one at the stop so we passed on that offer. Hmm, not so clever after all. We now had to walk all the way up the tracks to catch the next tram.

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It was quite far, but we did catch the one after the next! Below is a view from the bridge over Lapa which the tram passes, the big pyramid is actually Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião.

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Jardim Botânico

We went home early after a good street-food dinner out on saturday night. A bit tired from the day before and a lot of walking during the day (thank you mum for the running shoes, Converse is not to be recommended). Jon fell asleep and I watched the FIS worldcup opening (yey- it worked outside of Sweden!).

After a good nights sleep and a lunch nearby we took the bus for todays goal – Jardim Botânico. A confusing thing about the busses here – they all have numbers and an end destination visible (so far, so good) but all the stations between are not specified. We went a little bit too far but it was totally worth it when we found it.

IMG_4495web At the entrance. The palms are over 200 years old.

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Thematic gardens in the park. Our favorite was the one with cacti (I guess the desert would be more of the right name). Compare to the Amazonas part it is no risk for dengue or malaria fever either. Hehe.

 

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We ended the visit the same way we started: with some questions about the bus.