25 August, 2009

Rio de Janeiro


They call her the marvelous city.

While Rio de Janeiro is a city of amazing natural beauty, with the emerald green water of the Guanabara Bay and the ocean forming a striking contrast with the granite hills of the Corcovado and Sugar Loaf, with only three days, I felt like I couldn’t possibly get to know it as I would like to.

Whereas São Paulo is geared towards commerce and seemed more of an international metropolis, with the sound of the waves and the beat of the samba, Rio de Janeiro felt like a beach town. Although Rio was once the only capital of a European country outside of Europe, and was also once the seat of the Brazilian Republic, Cariocas (residents of Rio de Janeiro) carry themselves without pretension and were quick to offer their smiles.

The Santa Teresa Tram / El tranvía de Santa Teresa

But for an afternoon of exploring the Santa Teresa neighborhood via its tram (called the Bondinho or Bonde), I was happy to drink caipirinhas on the beach and whiled away my time in Rio with the pleasures of the sand, the surf, and the sun.

* * *

La llaman la ciudad maravillosa.

Aunque Río de Janeiro es una ciudad de belleza insuperable, con agua verde esmeralda de la Bahía de Guanabara y el mar formando un contraste llamativo con las colinas de granito de Corcovado y Pan de Azúcar, me pareció que con sólo tres días, no pude conocerla como me gustaría.

A bikini vendor on the beach / un vendedor de bikini en la playa

Mientras que San Pablo es una ciudad empresarial y parece una metrópolis internacional, con el sonido de las olas y la zamba, Río parece una ciudad de playa. Aunque Río había sido la única capital de un país europeo afuera de Europa, y una vez también la sede de la República de Brasil, los cariocas (los habitantes de Río de Janeiro) se comportan sin pretensión y me ofrecían sus sonrisas fácilmente.

Pero por una tarde explorando el barrio de Santa Teresa en tranvía (lo llaman “Bondinho” o “Bonde”), me alegré de tomar caipiriñas en la playa y pasé mi estadía en Río con el placer de sentir el sol, las olas, y la arena.

A Santa Teresa neighborhood bar / Un bar del barrio de Santa Teresa

4 comments:

Quickroute said...

I have to admit I too forsook some of the culture and sightseeing for entertainment and caiparinas

TCL said...

@ Quickroute - it was so easy with the beaches so temptingly close.

Baino said...

Hmm, I think it's a little cosmopolitan for me. All those beautiful bodies on the beach are a little intimidating. We make caipirinhas at Christmas although we replace the alcohol with vodka.

TCL said...

@ Baino - then it's a caipiroska!