We started the morning early, grabbing a cheese & ham croissant with a coffee and jumped onto the metro towards Glória.
Having unexpectedly been here before, we had a vague idea of which direction to head in. However a nice Brazilian guy kindly pointed us in the right way and walked with us until we made it to the Selaron Stairs.
These tiled stairs are the world famous tribute to Rio and it’s people created by the famous architect, Jorge Selaron.
Magnificently designed with a wealth of colour, each tile depicts a different world event. The magnitude of this is simply incredible; over 2000 tiles from 60 different countries having been laid by hand over 200 steps!
Bumping a few other tourists out of the way, we managed to grab some amazing pictures and even smashed out a quick tribute to Rocky Balboa, running up the steps and dancing to Eye of the Tiger at the top! It’s safe to say that we had a few odd looks from some concerned locals… haha!
We decided to explore Lapa, the area where the stairs are located, a bit more and we were so glad we did.
We stumbled into a bustling local food market, selling a huge selection of fruits, vegetables and meats, many of which we had never seen or heard of! The traders were keen for us to try their goods and happily sliced off bits of fruit for us to eat.
We needed a drink so headed for the nearest bar, which we were pleased to find had live music from an impromptu samba band. We ordered a litre bottle of Anlantico, which the beer of choice in Brazil, and sat down outside in the shade. The atmosphere was great, people were dancing, enjoying the music and generally having a great time. The Brazilians have an enticing outlook on life and just want to enjoy every moment!
Feeling happy and relaxed, we jumped on the metro and headed back to our hostel.
Ben had a quick dip in the pool and chatted away with our new friends, Jack and Jemima. They explained that they were looking to move to the Shoreditch area when returning back to the UK, so Ben was able to chat through their options…. we can take the boy away from the estate agents but not the estate agent out of the boy!
A quick graft (and hopefully securing a deal!) we both got ready to visit the Sugar Loaf Mountain for the third time! Bags secured, money prepared, cameras in pockets and all our fingers and toes crossed for good weather, we ordered the Uber and headed off.
The queue for the attraction was really small and only after a few minutes, we were in the cable car and heading up to the first of two mountains.
We were greeted by the most astonishing view of Christ the Redeemer and the various surrounding areas of Rio. The sheer beauty of the many beaches such as Ipanema, Botafogo and of course Copacabana really was breath taking and we were lucky enough to capture this in some amazing pictures.
We grabbed a very strong espresso from one of the local vendors and boarded the next cable car, beginning the final approach to the world famous Sugar Loaf Mountain. We’d timed our visit perfectly and the sun had just started to set as we exited the second cable car onto Sugar Loaf. The view from this point outdone even the first, something which we thought not possible. The sun setting over the surrounding mountains, the waves lapping at the various shores and the lights of the City bouncing onto the Favelas proved that this trip to be nothing short of absolute perfection. It was well worth the wait!
Final attempt – success!
As the sun came down, we finished the evening by discovering a tiny meze place, Restaurant Arab. We ordered enough food to feed an army, including meat wrapped in vine leaves, homemade kofta kebabs and an industrial amount of hummus and bread!!
Bellies full, we headed back for drinks, goodbyes and a quick game of Sequence with our friends as the next day we are heading off to Ilha Grandhe, a small island about 4 hours away.