This was taken from the office window in Rio de Janeiro during my last trip. Today here in Italy is so freezing cold that my brain wanted to escape…
Friday I woke up at 6am due to the jet lag. I took it as a great opportunity for an early promenade on the beach. It was great. People jogging, a nice fruit market improvised on the walkway, and nice weather. After work, we had dinner at Ipanema and then walked to Copacabana. Lots of people were walking, chatting, drinking agua de coco, having beer and caipirinhas, playing soccer on the beach, strolling through the souvenir market.
Several workers where busy preparing kiosks, towers and stages for the reveillon, the big new year’s eve party on the beach. There’s going to be a concert by Black eyed peas on Ipanema beach, for free. And 24.3 tons of fireworks. 1M people are expected to gather on the beach for this event.
The strange thing about Rio de Janerio is that even in the most elegant and wealthier place, you always have a direct view to a favela on the nearest hill. Very rich and very poor people live side-by-side, as nowhere else. The crime rate here is very high, but you don’t really feel it. Besides, our hotel is in Barra da Tijuca, a very calm place far from the touristic hot spots. To get to Copacabana we need a 40 mins taxi ride.
Yesterday morning I went jogging and then soaking sun on the beach. It was really crowded. Few people were swimming (maybe scared by the strong waves) but there were lots of surfers. And girls. Nice girls. I got burnt. By the sun, I mean Carioca girls believe that tissue is ugly, so they try to wear the least possible amount of it when they are on the beach. They have no shame: ugly women wear the same minimal bikini than stunning beautiful bodies do. None the less, nobody was topless. They have a strange sense of decency.
Then we spent the afternoon on a trip to Corcovado, the rock with the big Christ Redeemer statue on top. It’s really big and from there you can enjoy amazing sights in every direction.
For dinner we’ve been to Porcão, a huge all-you-can-eat steakhouse chain where you pay 59R$ (20 EUR) and you can eat everything as much as you want, until you explode. At the end of the day we were so tired that we slept on the taxi on our way back.
So I finally landed in Rio De Janeiro this morning. 27 degrees and cloudy, not bad for Christmas time. People here have cocoa trees decorated with xmas lights and Santa sledges near pools and girls in bikini. For lunch I have been to a place where you can pick any kind of meal and you pay by total weight, 29 reais (slightly more than 10 EUR) per kilo. They told us this place was expensive. After work we’ve been on the seaside drinking cocoa water directly from coconuts opened using a machete. Everybody told us we should be careful when walking or taking a bus in Rio. Meanwhile 18 where killed today. Our hotel is very nice, with all the comforts and view to Tijuca beach.
We moved our office to a new building. This is what we see from the window.
On top of the Empire State Building, looking at New Jersey.
This has been taken in Riga (Latvia) over the Daugava river. The sun was setting right in the middle of the single pillar of this amazing bridge.
I love sunsets. This wonderful picture has been captured from the window next to my desk. I’m lucky enough that from my desk I can see Florence in all its glory, including Brunelleschi’s Cathedral Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, Palazzo Vecchio and Basilica di Santa Croce. And when this amazing landscape is completed by a such a sunset, you gotta believe me, you completely lose your breath.