Saturday, 13 December 2014

Rio de Janeiro

About six months ago my parents got the news that they were moving to Rio de Janeiro. I of course was thrilled but it's been a bumpy ride for them, they've had a lot to organise and a lot of paperwork to deal with. We're waiting on their permanent housing to come through so I'm posting this from the balcony of their temporary holiday apartment.

My brother and I flew in from Heathrow on Thursday afternoon, I already feel like I've been here for weeks just because we've seen so much. Rio is a fascinating city. The buildings aren't stereotypically beautiful, in fact everything is quite old and a little rough around the edges but the people, the weather and atmosphere make it one of the best cities I have ever been to.

On Friday morning mum woke us up from our jet lagged sleep and took us to the local market which happens every Friday. It was probably the best introduction to Rio that we could get.

Honestly, I had no idea what to expect from Rio. Once I knew my parents were moving there I avoided reading the news about Rio and I specifically did not watch City of God. Rio gets a lot of bad press for it's lack of safety and the fevelas. I kept my expectations low and essentially non existent, meaning that I have been pleasantly surprised.

Most people do not speak English so you have to attempt to communicate in Portuguese but the locals are friendly and helpful. It's amazing how far you can go with gesturing and speaking slowly. At the food market out foreignness really didn't matter. The sellers handed out fruit for us to try and if you hovered so much as a minute by their stall they would pass you lychees, cherries, strawberries and the most delicious pineapple pieces. Everything tastes so much better here. Everything you could ever want to eat here is sold here, including meat and fish but the lack of refrigeration is scary to my european sensibilities.

We came home laden with the best fresh fruit you could imagine, I've never tasted such good mangos and British strawberries pale in comparison to the ones we bought. We feasted like kings. The whole experience was a little bit of a sensory overload. I kept tripping up because I couldn't stop looking around. Brazilians are loud people by nature (so I fit in perfectly) but it can sound intimidating because none of us speak the language, but everyone is ready with a smile and is patient with us.

We rounded off our day with a walk along the beach, my parents are living in Ipanema and it's really beautiful. Their new flat will be overlooking the beach, so they're pretty excited to settle in properly.  My poor pale skin was stretched to it's limits by the afternoon heat so we headed back indoors and surfaced later on in the evening for dinner and of course lime caipirinhas on the beach with bossa nova music playing. Spoilt beyond belief!

More pictures coming soon, I can't wait to share more from this fantastic place with you!

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  1. It looks amazing Nina! I am super jealous, I've been wanting to visit Brazil for ages. xx

  2. This sounds wonderful! How very exciting as well! I'm very jealous of the sunshine, I'm not going to lie!

    ruth // excusemeforawhile

  3. these photos are absolutely gorgeous!!!


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