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Published: October 24th 2018
Left the hotel today at 11:00 on the first uber we have ordered ourselves using the hotels wifi. The driver couldn’t speak English at all but it didn’t matter. Our first destination today was Brazil’s version of The National Museum of Fine Arts. Mainly Brazilian artists but we enjoyed our visit and we both got Seniors 50% discounts this time for just being over 60, so cost was only 4 Real each ($AUS 1.52). Once again, a marvelous grand old building.
It was 13:05 by the time we left for the short walk to the Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro and it’s quite a spectacular modern building. We spent a short time walking through and taking photos before walking to the Lapa area where we had dinner last night with Pierre.
Just around the corner from that bar was a street covered in street art and it looked a little seedy at first but no-one seemed to bother us and then we came across quite a nice looking café, Cortico Corioca where we decided to have lunch at around 14:00. The waiter spoke good English and we had our best hamburger in South America so far in this place.
We then continued our street art walk until we got to our destination, the famous Selaron Steps (Escadaria Selaron). The 215 steps are covered in ceramic tiles and mirrors and was completed by Chilean born artist Jorge Selaron. It started When Selaron decided in 1990 to renovate the steps outside his house and he quickly became obsessed with the project and covered all the steps which connect the Lapa and Santa Teresa areas. He had to sell many paintings to just fund this project but many of the tiles were given to him by travelers. We even found tiles representing Australia and New Zealand. It was fun walking up and inspecting the different tiles some which were hand painted by Selaron.
At the top of the steps we then had to walk up a very steep hill to our final destination, The Ruins Park which is the ruins of a mansion owned by Belle Epoque who was like an arts patron who hosted artists and intellectuals to her mansion in early 20th
century. The mansion was abandoned for 40 years and became a ruin until 1993, when the Rio State Government purchased it and an architectural competition was organized
for the site. It was transformed into a Cultural Centre by architect Emani Freire, and is now used as an Art Gallery and performance space. It also has extensive views over Rio. We had a good look around walking up all the different levels when we decided to go, had to figure out, the best way for us to get home.
Taxi was the best idea but the street was relatively quiet so I decided we should walk back to the Selaron Steps as it was more likely to have taxi going by but when we got to the top of the steps, we figured Daisy;s knees wouldn’t be too keen on going down 215 steps so we decided to take an easier route down when suddenly a taxi came past and we hailed it.
We picked a random place on Copacabana Beach to get dropped off as we had time to walk along the beach back to out hotel. It was about a 25 minute walk but we took longer as we thought we should at least get on the sand and put our feet in the water before leaving. Then decided to have a early dinner
at a place called 55 Copa where Diasy just had a light entrée of fried Cod fish balls and I had a lovely pepper filet steak with what tasted like salsa sauce and mushrooms. We then had a look through the night markets which is on every night and we reached our hotel at the early hour of 19:00. We had a very satisfying last day in Rio, on our own walking tour around Lapa, Santa Teresa and Copacabana.
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