Destination Rio de Janeiro, second travel to the former capital of Brazil.
Urca, famous for the Pão de Açúcar.
Cableway, with Morro da Urca (left) and
Pão de Açúcar (right)
It was agreed that we would assembly at the reception desk at two pm. Completely according the Brazilian way, the assembly took place much later. We became impatient, but almost one hour later, Vitor entered the hotel lobby. He explained us that he dozed and shook awake only ten minutes earlier. We forgave him. We were having holidays. It was already three-thirty when we arrived near the high rocks of Urca. At that time, I couldn’t have foreseen that I was about to stay there for an entire week, one month later.
A number of students wanted to buy some ice cream, we had to wait for them. We wandered around on the square in front of a small beach. This beach, about 200 meters wide, was called ‘Praia Vermelha’, Red Beach. The beach sand was indeed yellowish red, different from the pale white sand at the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. There was a statue of the famous Polish composer Frederique Chopin. The composer in a thoughtful pose. Thinking of a new composition? This monument was erected by the Polish community in Rio, as a reaction upon the Nazi invasion in Poland. The monument was inaugurated in 1944, in the fifth year of the invasion.
A thoughtful Chopin.
Next to the beach is a school for naval cadets. Some cadets with their typical hats were walking in and out. We also noticed some officers, with their stainless white uniforms, walking straight and with authoritarian attitude. This neighborhood probably is avoided by criminals, but you never know, even in Rio. Various monuments stood in the neighborhood of the naval school, as homage to the killed comrades. Many Brazilian soldiers have fought with the allied forces in Italy. Hundreds of them were killed there.
The cableway, with connections to the top of Morro da Urca and to the top of Pão de Açúcar, was at our right side. Two large cabins, with space for dozens of tourists, glided forth and back, over our heads. On the left was the top of Morro da Urca, where another cabin waited for the second part of the cable. These cableway rides are expensive, about 40 reais for four rides, one back and forth in total, to the top of Pão de Açúcar. Too expensive for us, poor students. Therefore, we were delighted that Vítor arrived just in time in the hotel lobby, to guide us on a trail to the top of Morro da Urca. Vítor was quite familiar with this region and therefore knew the trail. According to him, the climb isn’t that difficult, and even may be done using flip flops. Most of us, including myself, wore flip flops on our way to the top of Morro da Urca.
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom
- A Foreigner in Brazil (38): DEC 2006 (IV). Rio de Janeiro and Niterói: Beaches, Gardens and Rocks (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: RIO DE JANEIRO (46). Imaging Jardim Botânico, the Botanical Garden (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: RIO DE JANEIRO (44). Imaging Itacoatiara Beach, Niterói (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: RIO DE JANEIRO (45). Jardim Botânico, the Botanical Garden (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: RIO DE JANEIRO (43). Itacoatiara Beach, Niterói (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)