Memoirs of a random traveler- Part IV-Brasil
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Memoirs of a random traveler- Part IV-Brasil Rio de Janeiro Reviews
Jul 03, 2007
Now, more about Rio…1st night there we went to this restaurant on the corner (we were pretty hungry so found a 1st place to eat we could) It was a place called "Pigalle" (just like Pigalle Place in Paris) it was right on Ave de Atlantica, which is right sort of Ocean Ave of Rio, right on the beach. Pigalle is right on the cusp of two beaches Copacabana and Ipanema, by Sofitel Hotel.
I had grilled Salmao (Salmon) with what they called brocollied rice, it turned out to be the best dish I've ever had (sorry mom) 1st of all the size of the fish was gigantic, so fresh and seasoned to perfection, not to mention there was about 5 lbs of rice! Lol
Anyone going to Rio, I highly recommend this place, especially that dish, little pricey for their standards or if you're on a budget. My dish was 38R$ ($1=2R$) Pricey, especially considering they have 11R$ all you can eat (choice of 15 different dishes..but no that one was not included)
With beers, caipirinha's we dropped about 100R$ per person, waiter was so happy (they include 10% tip) plus any extra, not expected but highly highly appreciated, he brought us free shots of their liquor. We went back there again couple of times, everytime I had the same thing..typical of me J
Later that night we went to Bombar (Ipanema) it was Tuesday and supposedly is the best night to go there. You pay 35R$ to get in but it gets you free beers and caipirinha's (for those who don't know caipi's it's their drinks..sort of a mojito but way better…I lived on this stuff. It's lime (smashed) spoon of sugar and liquor called cachaca…brandy/rum like in taste) They have two other types of that drink using vodka instead of cachaca is called Caipivodka or caipiroska and Caipirissima (using rum)
Anyway..free those drinks until 1:30 am…it sounds like a long time…but 1:30 most people are not even in the club yet…so good deal? ONLY if you get there early, but they don't open until 11-11:30PM.
They have a different system at the clubs there, which is sort of cool. You don't fork out any cash until you leave. When you walk in they give you a card (like a credit card) you use that at the bar everytime you order a drink, at the end of the night, you go to the cashier and check out. After you pay (always is way more that you anticipate)
This system accomplishes two things (in my opinion) Bartenders do not have any opportunity to steal money or rip you off with change 2) you don't use cash while paying for it so you tend to spend more that you want. Caipirinha's are 8R$ and beer 5R$ but you end up spending about 100-150R$ at the end anyway..so be aware.
Next day, after all night of partying we hit the beach…by accident we ended up with all the locals where everyone was drinking, smoking (not only cigarettes) dancing, just really having fun. Not to mention that everyone was in perfect shape and model-looking like would be a crime, so I had to do itJ
This beach is on Ipanema right next to Caesar Palace Hotel, but not the hotel side of the beach, right next to it. If you go there, you are guaranteed to have fun, they bring you everything you want, from food to drinks to well anything..they cater to all your needs.
Plus the views are spectacular for more reason that one.
If you are traveling to Rio and looking for a place to stay, I highly recommend Ipanema over Copacabana. It is tons safer, less touristy; more posh and clean, restaurants are nicer and better plus all the cool clubs are there too (like Bombar, Melt, Baronechi, etc) plus the best sushi places in Brasil are there also.
Now, for sightseeing…two of the best sites I've ever seen are Cristo Redentor (Statue of Christ) atop Corcovado mountain and Pao de Acucar Mountain (Sugar Loaf) where you take cable car to the top (awesome) you can also rock climb (1,300 ft) to the top for those looking for more adventure. Statue of Christ is huge, 125 feet tall and it's at the peak of the mountain (close to 2,500 ft) it's in the national forest called Tijuca. Open arms of Christ (I was told) represent the warmth of the Brazilian people, rightfully so! Interesting fact is that it was designed by a French sculptor of a Polish decent (Paul Landowski) I guess French like city symbols (their Eiffel tower, Statue of Liberty, and Christ)
Two places you can do in one day (make sure you do Sugar at the end and stay to see the sunset) it's 35R$ entrance fee but well worth it. I recommend taking a tour with a guide to hear the history and facts/figures of both. It's 85R$ for both sites including transportation. We did that and it was well worth it, plus you never have to wait in lines.
Views from up there are just breathtaking. From Corcovado you can take a helicopter ride (5, 10 or 20 min tours) above Christ, Sugar and the beaches. Starts at 120 per person (you need 4 people)
Anyway, sunset from Pao de Acucar was like nothing I've ever seen!! You can grab a beer or a drink at the bar there and sit on the bench overlooking the whole city from all the angles and see the sun set on this gorgeous city is just like nothing other!
On that note, I will end Part IV here. More on Rio in Part 3
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