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Published: November 8th 2019
During breakfast this morning we made a last minute decision to switch our plans for the day and do an historical walking tour. We were very pleased that we changed our plans. We learned a lot about the history of Rio. Our guide was English speaking and was very informative.
Our first stop was the Convent of Saint Anthony. It is the oldest religious site in Rio. We learned an interesting fact about St. Anthony in Rio. She asked what people pray to St. Anthony for. A couple from New York and I both said he helps find lost items. Not here though. She said he is the Patron Saint of Marriage. The story goes if you want to find a spouse you fill a bowl of water and put in a statue of St. Anthony upside down in the water. You pray to him and let him know he's not coming out of that bowl until he answers your prayers to assist in finding a spouse. Valentine's Day is celebrated here the day after his Saint's Day in June.
Colombo's Bakery was our next stop. It is the most famous bakery in Rio. It
was founded in 1894 and much of the interior decor remains. It was a meeting place for intellectuals and government officials in the past. It has even been visited by Queen Elizabeth.
The areas we walked through were crowded with vendors under tents selling their wares. One of the neighborhoods we went through was called Centro with many business's housed their with plenty of working people. The streets were packed with people as it was lunch time for them as we passed through this area. We stopped to see the National Library which is the largest in Latin America. The library has close to 9 million items. There is a law here that every book published must submit one copy to the library.
Around the square we were in was also the Municipal Theater which was built at the beginning of the twentieth century. The outside was beautiful trimmed in actual gold. Tours are offered at many of these buildings but not at times we could fit in.
A brief stop was in front of the building where Congress now meets and is used for government business. The final stop of
the tour was at the Selaron Steps which we had visited yesterday. All throughout the tour our guide was giving us the history of Rio. She had a wealth of knowledge.
When the group broke up we made our way back to the hotel to make arrangements for our middle of the night pickup to return to the airport since tomorrow we are off to Buenos Aires.
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