Friday, October 02, 2015

14th - Laranjeiras, Catete, Glória

We walked a lot around Rio. Like, really, a lot. But it was so hard no to! I mean, all these neighbourhoods with their own special character! and so pleasant to stroll around and between them! Unlike my previous posts, I'll cram three neighbourhoods here instead of waxing poetic over just one. Gotta hurry and finish posting, we went to Rio in July and it's October already! Plus, this post is pretty much about a single day walk that took as through all these three, so it was just natural to put them together.

Anyhow, so, we began with Laranjeiras, one of Rio's oldest neighbourhoods with numerous 18th and 19th century buildings. To get there we had to walk downhill across the favela right beneath the place we were staying at. Did I mention before that crossing that favela was quite alright? Sure, there weren't any fancy buildings, it was mostly pretty simple brick or concrete houses. But there was lots of vegetation, and it was pretty calm. Of course, emerging from that unto Laranjeiras with its buildings and parks did make for a huge and stark contrast.

We came across this park, Parque Eduardo Guinle, which had this rather funny entrance where someone thought that putting a cherub - with this expression of "get me off this thing!" - on a sphinx,was sort of artistic? But the park itself, though small, was pretty cute, with the slopes of the nearby hill giving it an amphitheatre shape, with a few artificial lakes and waterfalls, and luscious - so luscious!- vegetation. This was one nice start to our day. 

From there, we got to Catete, another one of the old neighbourhoods (yeah, I know, it would sound like all of them were old, but that's not true, and you'll see that in some other post), with a nice leafy square (Largo do Machado) and more old architecture: rows and rows of old buildings in orange, blue, yellow, and many with a curious round shape for their upper floor windows too.

And we finished with some exercise in Glória, walking uphill through a maze of streets and steps to get to Nossa Senhora da Glória do Outeiro. This is considered one of the most important representations of Brazilian colonial art. It's small. It's octagonal. And it's got numerous beautiful white and blue Portuguese tiles depicting various scenes. Had it been a less hazy day, I guess we could have had wonderful views from up here. But still.  

Now, I'll be the first one to admit this is not a very exciting post, . But I enjoyed Rio tremendously, so I'm happy to cover everything we saw and did. Plus, there are some posts ahead that will very much compensate the blandness - but it wasn't that bad, was it? - of this one here. 

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