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Published: October 23rd 2018
We are getting use to South American time. Went down to breakfast at 9.30am and back to write blog before meeting with Pierre at 10 45am. We hopped into an uber to go to one of the areas that was redeveloped for the Olympics. Unfortunately most of the museums are closed Mondays (as usual) so we just had a walk around the new Museum of Tomorrow which is next to the Brazilian Naval base.
The uber driver was a wealth of local knowledge and told Pierre to take us to the Church and Monastery of Sao Bento (St. Benedict) so we found our way there via an entry through a modern building and up a lift. The church is one of the oldest churches in Rio and looks fairly plain on the outside but what a surprise we got going inside. It was one of the most ornate churches we’ve ever seen, Pierre was even surprised so this church must be a hidden gem.
We then walked down a long driveway which was also opposite a large multi-storey pre-school and made our way to the Bank of Brazil Cultural Centre which the uber driver had
told us was one of the few museums opened on Monday and there was a special exhibition of work by Jean-Michel Basquiat who also worked with Andy Warhol. The building itself was nice and had a large central dome and the exhibition was very extensive and interesting. We also had lunch at the cafe there before the exhibition because a group of noisy school children came in and we thought it best to go in a little later. We had a traditional Rio meal called Feijoada consisting of rice, beans, orange pieces, corn flour, shredded kale with a beef and chorizo stew. It was quite different but nice.
It was around 3:30pm when we left and then had a walk around the CBD area and looked at a special confectionery store before catching a taxi to see the famous Christ the Redeemer statue which is situated on Mount Corcovado inthe Tijuca National Forest. Pierre had booked 5pm session tickets online and we arrived there at 4:40pm and they let us board the funicular early which meant we had a bit of extra time. There a few stairs to climb but we discovered later there is also a
lift and escalators available. The statue is massive and bigger than the pictures indicate. The framework is concrete and the outer skin is soapstone and was constructed and transported up the mountain in pieces in the 1920s. Views are also spectacular from here as expected.
We stayed until the last ride at 6:40pm and caught an uber to an area which has a lot of restaurants with live bands but being Monday only one was open the Reviano Bar. When we arrived they told us we could go upstairs and watch a group of people who were rehearsing for a big festival in February. There was a guy singing with an electric guitarist and a large group of people of all ages playing percussion instruments. They were split into 3 groups with there own conductor, so that was pretty cool to witness before going back downstairs and ordering a couple of mixed plates which we shared and watching a samba band. One of Pierre’s friends also popped in to say hello. They had met as volunteers for the Rio Olympics and she was the one who gave Pierre the info on what was open.
We then caught an uber back to our hotel and said our very appreciative goodbyes to Pierre and hope we can meet again on our travels. It was so nice of him to fly down for the weekend and have a day off work to spend time with us.
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