Brasil – 2015 – August 19-20

RIO, RIO RIO!

The 19th started with a trip up to the neighborhood of Santa Teresa.  Again Marcella was driving the van.  This region is very close to the centre of Rio, and is famous for its winding, narrow streets which are a favourite spot for artists and tourists.  In the 19th and 20th centuries this area was  an upper class neighborhood.   Santa Teresa ceased being an upper-class neighbourhood long ago, but it has been revived as an artistic hotspot. It is home to several art galleries and interesting restaurants and bars.  As we headed up the hill, we came across a burned out bus that was a result of a “protest” to the government poor sending practices.  At the top of the hill are the remains of a beautiful mansion which have now been converted into a art museum and “lookout”.  I took many pictures of the city from the top.  Included in this pictures is the Rio cathedral, tram on the aqueduct and the Santos Dumont Airport.

Next to this mansion was an art gallery which happened to be open (and free).  This art gallery was in the home of “”” a very wealthy art collector in the 1950s.  He has many beautiful painting and a very impressive library.

Included in this library are original sketches by the french explorers (Charles Marie de la Condamine) who visited the amazon region of Brasil in the 1740s.  After a small bit to eat we headed by to Luisa’s for a more formal lunch which included such Brasilian favorites as Farofa and Carne Seca.

That morning, Liana had asked to to make sure that my parents did not leave Lusia’s place because she had planned a special surprise for them.  My cousins had hired some samba musicians to perform a private performance for us on the terris of Luisa’s apartment.

As a result, I had to “play tired” so that my parents would not leave the place.  As we sat around the living room having the remaining batitas, the band was sneaking up the back of the apartment to the outside terris.  Silvia’s friend Lozano arrived to say hello (knowing what was in store).  I headed up to help setup saying that I was going to take a nap.

When all was ready we called them up.  That was the start of our very own private samba party.  There was a lot of great music, dancing, food and of course drink.  During our “party” a storm moved across, and we saw our first bit of rain.  Lightning was flashing all around us.  It was all most serial.  The rain only lasted about 15 minutes, and we where back to clear skies.  Many thanks go out to Luisa and her lovely daughters for planning this great surprise.

The next morning Solange  took us on a tour of the Urca region of Rio.  We stopped at the church it which my parents where married (back in 1958).  The church was unfortunately locked but I did push my camera through the window to take at least one indoor picture.

We also got a chance to check out the bay.  An older fisherman was gutting fish which he used to feed the local birds.

After lunch, we used our remaining time to pack and say our goodbyes.  It was a great trip all around, and I can not wait to return.