Destination Rio de Janeiro, second travel to the former capital of Brazil.
The bus travel through the city of Niterói, on the way to Itacoatiara Beach.
We had arrived in Niterói. We noticed a weird object near the shoreline. It was if there was a panorama restaurant on a high tower, but there was no tower. The base is very narrow and continues in a curve to the top. With a dark band in the middle. With some fantasy you could imagine a flying saucer, which had accidentally landed here. It is indeed the nickname of this building, ‘disco voador’ in Portuguese. The building hosts the “Museu de Arte Contemporãnea (Museum for Contemporary Arts). If the collection might be as weird as the shape of the building, this museum must contain a very interesting collection. .
The bus drove past the almost deserted beaches along the shoreline of Guanabara Bay in Niterói. Only few beach lovers were there on the narrow beaches. But we hadn’t reached our destination yet. The bus ride to the distant beach of Itacoatiara would last at least one more hour. Like Copacabana Beach, the beaches along the Guanabay Bay were flanked by tall buildings. There was a wide boulevard parallel to the beach. The boulevard was paved in mosaic patterns of cobble stones of different shades. The bus entered the city of Niterói. Some of us already started to complain that they were hungry and thirsty. When the bus driver had to stop and ask a bystander for the correct route, one of the complainers sneaked out of the bus. He bought two cans of ice-cold beer at the gasoline station. He didn’t care that he had paid much more than he would pay in a supermarket.
Not everyone was happy with the delay that this guy was causing. The majority was longing for fresh, salty air and wanted to arrive at the beach as soon as possible. A road sign showed that we indeed didn’t pass the only beach in Niterói: there were four more names of beaches on that sign: Piratininga, Camboinhas. Itaipu, and the tongue twister Itacoatiara. Unfortunately, the sign didn’t indicate the distances to the beaches.
Sign with the direction to various beaches
We arrived in what it seemed like a shopping center, with a shopping mall, a language center where they offered five languages, and another – modern – shopping mall. One window of a furniture store clearly showed me that I may have some important mission in Brazil: improving the English skills of Brazilian people. Because the text on this window not only showed some familiar Portuguese terms, but also some in English: Closet’s: if this is a drawers, then closet may be a wrong term, since in Brazil closets generally are built spaces inside a room. Not to mention the plural form, which is wrong. The hype of the 21st century also was misspelled: home theather’s. One ‘h’ too much, and the apostrophe must be removed. Probably, the creator of these spelling mistakes never had seen a packing box of this electronic toy before.
We hadn’t arrived yet. The bus driver tried to enter a rotunda. There was a small office of the military police of Rio. In front of this office, there was an improvised nativity. Two heavily armed policemen forced the driver to stop. The bus driver had no other choice than to continue the rotunda and to make a very sharp curve. The grumpy bus driver was very skilled and managed to take that turn. We had to get out of the bus. Since the bus had to stay in front of the rotunda, we had to walk the route to the beach. The police officers with their guns ready watched our group while we followed our leaders on the way to the beach. Fortunately, nothing happened. However, I had some idea that one of the police officers was somewhat nervous…
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom
- Travel in Brazil: RIO DE JANEIRO (41). The Bridge Between Rio and Niteroi (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- A Foreigner in Brazil (38): DEC 2006 (IV). Rio de Janeiro and Niterói: Beaches, Gardens and Rocks (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012): Contemporary Art Museum, NITERÓI (RJ) (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: RIO DE JANEIRO (40). Along The Harbor of Rio (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)