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Hiking the trails of Rio

Hi all, There is no question that Rio is a great city in which to party. After all, it’s home to the largest Carnival celebration in the world. It’s also a great place to relax, with its many famous beaches. But sometimes you need to get in a bit of exercise, and one great way to […]

Beaches of Rio de Janeiro

Hello all, When you visit Rio, one activity which will certainly be on your list is a visit to one (or more) of the city’s wonderful beaches. The beach most frequented by tourists is Copacabana Beach. Copa was evidently selected a few years ago by the city government to be the focal point of tourism for […]

A Brief History of Rio

Hi all, Yesterday marked the 450th anniversary of the establishment of Rio de Janeiro – by the Portuguese. Few people are aware that the first settlement in the area was actually French! Rio was born at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain. The first settlement, founded in 1555, actually was French and was named “France Antarctique”. […]

New Year’s Eve in Brazil

Hi all, Happy New Year! Or, as we typically say here, Próspero Ano Novo. New Year’s celebrations are similar here to those in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world. Typically Brazilians congregate and often eat and drink too much. There are over-priced affairs at bars and restaurants, or simpler affairs at friends’ homes. There […]

Real Premium Auto Onibus

Hi all, Taxis in Rio, while still cheap compared to many cities around the world, have become more expensive in the last couple of years. It used to be you could get from Galeão Airport to Copacabana for maybe 50 reais. Today, depending on where exactly you are headed, you might pay 75. If you […]

The girl from Ipanema

“Tall and tan and young and lovely The girl from Ipanema goes walking And when she passes, each one she passes goes – ah“   Hi all, Without a doubt, the most famous Brazilian song would have to be “The Girl from Ipanema”. But did you know that the song is based on an actual […]

Attitudes toward gays in Brazil

Hi all, Sunday, the 19th annual Gay Pride parade was held in Rio, along Copacabana Beach. I don’t believe I’ve ever written about attitudes towards gays and lesbians in Brazil, and thought this a topic worth writing about, because perceptions may not match reality. I’ll say up front that I’m straight and not really in […]

Crime in Rio

Hi all, Carnival has just wrapped up for another year. They were even more tourists in Rio than usual. As tourists anywhere can become targets of crime, this seems a good time to write about crime in Rio. Would-be visitors to The Marvelous City often worry about safety here. There was, after all, the rape […]

Bloco das Carmelitas in Santa Teresa

Hi all, This Friday afternoon I’ll be meeting several friends and friend of friends to watch one of Rio’s most popular blocos (Carnival street parades), As Carmelitas. Although somewhere around 400 blocos now perform during Rio’s Carnaval, As Carmelitas has been a favorite since its inception back in 1990. I think there are several reasons […]

Holey moley!

Hi all, After living in Brazil for more than 5 years, most of that in Rio, you’d think that nothing could surprise me anymore. But never say never. Yesterday I was on my way to teach a class in Ipanema – by day I’m a mild-mannered English teacher – when the bus ground to a […]