Today, after consulting with a map, we took the shortcut towards the Maracana stadion. It was still quite some walking on very different sized streets. Maybe because the weekend was starting or for some whole other reason the city was full of people. Way more than yesterday and suddenly the streets felt way creepier. Constantly looking over your shoulder to make sure no one is running after you or following you is very exhausting.
Still, we decided to walk to the stadion, even when the walking road got really narrow and was placed next to a really big road. With some twists and turns, getting a bit lost and then finding the right road again, we made it to the stadion.
It is huge. Although covered with fences and construction people. The closest we got to the stadion was walking a circle around it. But we did manage to take some pictures to prove that we finally made it there.
Building the face of Rio
Walking to the stadion, Sambadrome and also around the city center we noticed a lot of construction work. Most of it is building up and fixing facades of different buildings. Around the Maracana stadion they were busy fixing up the look of a street corner with plywood and paint.
In some places, they are just building up nice walls without having a house behind it. But not everywhere. The funny thing is that only some houses and walls are being fixed. Maybe they just looked the worst. 😀
It is 2 weeks until the start of the Olympics and cleaning up the city is in full pace. Next to the facade and temporary fix up houses, the streets are also being very thoroughly cleaned.
The streets still smell like a mix of petrol and urin and no one clearly cleans after their dogs… at least I hope it’s dogs…., but otherwise there are people sweeping the streets everywhere.
The reason why I am in doubt is that there are a lot of homeless people. You can see them sleeping on the streets, under bridges, on park benches or relieving themselves in a bottle in front of a big tourist attraction.
Interesting finds in the city center
After a trip to the famous football stadion we took the metro back to the city center. The metro trip was sweet and short, once we managed to buy tickets. It is a great challenge for us, because we do not speak portuguese or spanish. Body language and a few words, which we have picked up already, are the only means of communication we have. This does create some comic situations as people are not that good at english here.
Walking through a park we found some trees that had weird looking fruits on them. After taking a closer look (in Google) we found out that the tree is called the Cannonball tree. It has got its name from the shape and size of the fruits and the sound they make when falling down. People don’t normally eat the fruits, due to a potential funky smell and therefore it is used to feed pigs. 😀
Next to the cannonball trees was a monument that was very heavily guarded by police. It is the National Monument to the dead of WW II.
Next to the fancy monument was really nice views to a yacht harbour and to the Sugarloaf mountain.
Although shortly after taking these pictures a woman walked past us and told us that it wasn’t safe for us to be there. And she was right, there were two young boys walking behind us and the area was nicely excluded and empty of other people. We started walking back towards the guarded national monument and then away from there.
Last time walking up the tiled stairs and strong drinks in Santa Teresa
From the park we decided to head back to our B&B. We are changing to another hostel tomorrow, so this was the last time we headed towards the famous tiled stairs. On our way there we met and guided a danish family there too. That was really unexpected both for us, and for them. 😀
After conquering the stairs and the hill again we saw another two young dudes that looked like trouble. I was feeling fine as long as they were walking in front of us. Still, we decided to slow down a bit. We caught up with them a bit later, but then realised that we weren’t the only ones that thought they looked like trouble. The military police had stopped them and were looking at their documents. That went well. 😀
In the Santa Teresa area we decided to have a drink in a local pub. It looked cool so Stig got a water and I ordered a mojito. The water had a welcoming logo but the mojito did not feel that welcoming. When usually bars are cutting back on the amounts of alcohol they add to the drinks, then this bar went all in.
Firstly, they had no ice, so we tried it without. The cocktail I received was in a Martini glass and probably only had rum and lime juice in it, It was reallllly strong. Note to self: buy a soda next to a cocktail next time.
Otherwise it was another 10 km walk today. Tomorrow will start off with 4 hours venue training for the Olympics and then moving closer to the Copacabana beach.