Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Girl Swam Ipanema

Our nights in Rio were filled with seedy barrios and samba music. At a hidden bar in Lapa, walls are painted with images of legendary local musicians. We watched from a perch above the patio as musicians sat around a table playing all types of percussion instruments: the pandeiro, cavaco, tan tan, bongos, metal tipped drums, and one we called the wikky wikky for the great noise it made. Sharing each others company, they were oblivious to the hip-shaking crowd gathering around them. The next night we went to see Bossa Nova at Rio Scenarium, a three leveled club with a bohemian feel. We watched the band play before joining the lively crowd on the dance floor.

Our days were spent on the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. Copacabana is a massive curved beach that sits under the Pão de Açúcar mountain. On the other side of a rock fortress is Ipanema beach, a stunning setting with Rio's green mountains in the background and cool turquoise water that was hard to leave. The beach was packed with groups of people playing soccer and showing an unbelievable amount of skin. We had to pull ourselves away from the sandy paradise to go to Rio's 200-year-old botanical gardens with plant life from around the globe. From the gardens we spotted Jesus overlooking the city and knew that was where we needed to be for sunset. After taking a bus to Corcovado Mountain, we hopped on a trolley going up a large incline to get to the giant Jesus with his arms spread over the city. The view was an amazing panoramic of Rio sprawling over different hills and peninsulas. As the sun set, Jesus turned orange and we enjoyed the last few moments of daylight before heading down for another night of music.


Catarina said...

So cool to see that you guys went to all the places that I went to. Except the Corcovado, the day I was there it was very cloudy so I didn`t go. I loved the Rio scenarium and samba at Lapa.
O Rio de Janeiro continua lindo!
Wish I could be there with you!

Bett Addams Williams said...

Fun to see people I love in such famous, brathtaking vistas! Cool turquoise water, near the equator, lovely detail!

biddy said...

Hey Honey, What beautiful erudite language that makes us all feel we have been with you.Love you so! Mommy