The Exotic Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city in Brazil after Sao Paulo, famous for its beautiful beaches. Communities is also famous likes to party and dance. The town is in my mind, offers excitement and appeal is endless.

Visit Peak of the Mountain Called Sugarloaf
Rio de Janeiro means River in January. This name was given by the Portuguese voyagers when first discovered the Guanabara Bay in 1502. In the bay, too, he found a granite hill 395 meters high, which has now become one of the major tourist destinations in Rio. Because of its shape resembles rock candy, the hill called Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf).

To reach the summit of Sugarloaf, there is a cable car that can accommodate up to 75 passengers. By paying the ticket around 22 US dollars per person, we can see a 360-degree view of Rio. When the cable car uphill, view of the harbor at the foot of Sugarloaf began to appear. Sailboats decorate the bay, gardens beautiful city gives coolness between buildings skyscrapers lined up neatly adorn the sides of the coast and the foothills.

After five minutes, we arrive at the first stop, Morro de Açúcar. This stone hill 220 meters high. From this hill we can see the towering Sugarloaf. From a close distance, it was clear to us why the rock is so famous granite. This hill is formed of a granite stone intact. It is amazing to see the boulder as big and as high as that!

Our next cable car ride to the summit of Sugarloaf. From there we can see the famous beaches. On the southeast side, the white sands of Copacabana beach stretching along 4.5 km, followed by Coastal Ipanema and Leblon Beach.

In the north, we can see the whole face of the Guanabara Bay. It contained dozens of small islands that adorn the blue waters of the bay and the Niteroi Bridge which divides two Guanabara Bay along the 100 km. This bridge is a connecting door between Rio and Niteroi. While in the west, the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon separates the mountainous and coastal areas.

To the Top of Corcovado
Corcovado mountain is the highest mountain peak in Rio. To reach the top, there are two alternatives. First, take a taxi, bus or private vehicles. Secondly, with the antique train ride from Station Corcovado.

Our choice fell on the historic antique wagon. Construction and railway station started in 1884 as a means of transportation for the workers during the construction of a statue of Christ the Redeemer and also as a means of transporting various building materials.

Provided four trains, each of which has two carriages. Each train can accommodate up to 360 passengers. We do not have to wait too long, because the departure is done every 30 minutes. The journey to the top of Corcovado within 3.8 km from the station begins to pass through the housing population, followed by the thick foliage of the Tijuca Forest.

After a 20 minute drive, we arrived at the station. To reach the statue of Christ the Redeemer, we had to climb 225 stairs. Throughout the journey through the rungs, there are several gift shop and cafeteria. We also had lunch while enjoying the green landscape Tijuca Forest.

At the top, we can see the statue of Christ de Redeemer stands firmly as high as 38 meters. This statue looked far into the future, with arms wide open, as if he were to bless and protect Rio. We can also see the whole face of the city, the green of the Tijuca Forest, a beautiful lagoon in the city center, beaches with white sand seductive, buildings skyscrapers crowding the city center, up to dozens of favelas, slums typical Rio

Urban Forest Tijuca
We explored the Tijuca Forest, after looking at it from a distance. Tijuca forest is a forest in the middle of the largest city in the world. Therefore, this forest is called urban forest. And an area of 32 km² of forest, the forest home of hundreds of species of flora and fauna are protected. We went with some other tourists towards Tijuca with open-topped Jeep. In just 15 minutes, we arrived at the gate of the forest.

Tijuca Forest’s history began in the mid-19th century. At that time, Rio has a shortage of water resources, as a result of the expansion of coffee plantations. The ruler of that time decided to carry out reforestation, as well as prohibit the construction of homes in forest areas. After making these forests as protected areas, water resource depletion problem was solved.

Foliage gives coolness and we can hear the chirping of birds and the occasional boisterous sound of monkeys playing in the trees. This forest is very clean well maintained. We took time to enjoy the beauty of the waterfall in the forest. Clear water hitting the rocks and flows through the woods.

We are also tracking through the woods, walking along a small river between towering trees. Not feel at all that we are only a few minutes away from the metropolitan bustle

Sailing to Angra dos Reis
We also visited the islands of Angra dos Reis, which means the archipelago of the kings. This region is very famous for its beautiful beaches and 365 small islands that meets the Gulf of Angra dos Reis. The distance is about 150 km from the city. After two hours of travel by tour bus, we arrived at the port city of Angra dos Reis. The harbor is full of traditional fishing boats lined up neatly along the marina. At the end of the marina, has been waiting for a traditional sailing boat ready to take us around to enjoy the beauty of the bay.

Soon after the boat set sail, frenetic music filled the air ship. The local tourists began move body to the music. For residents of Brazil, dancing is already ingrained. Along the way, they nonstop swaying and singing. Exciting!

Our cruise around the bay of Angra dos Reis takes about three hours. We were treated to a view of dozens of small islands dotted white sand beaches. We also stopped at some islands to enjoy the freshness of the sea and down the beach with soft sand.

Copacabana and Girl from Ipanema
My mind was ‘filled’ by bossa nova melody two songs which are very famous, Copacabana and Girl from Ipanema. Both are also the name of the beach in Rio. Although the songs made famous Copacabana by Barry Manillow it actually tells the story of a famous club in New York, his own club name obviously refers to the Copacabana Beach. Located in the city center, every day the place is invaded by hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world.

Atlantica on the highway side that touches the coast, built sidewalks wide enough. Every few hundred meters, there are stalls of fresh drinks and snacks. On weekends, the whole beach full of beach chairs and umbrellas for rent. It seemed the entire city ‘spilled’ on the beach!

In addition to the sidewalk, also provided a jogging track and a special lane skateboard. Citizens of Rio love sports. Every afternoon, the line was congested by people jogging and skateboarder. At the point, we also see a lot of beach volleyball court and some special post that provided the municipality to exercise the body builder for free.

Our hotel is located on the beach in contact with Ipanema Beach, the beach that became the central gathering of young people. To get to Ipanema, we stayed on foot. Ipanema beach developed into a tourist area after Copacabana beach, so the hotel-his hotel looks more modern and younger.

Foods Tips:
Two blocks from the beach, there is a road that is filled with a variety of restaurants, stores, and shopping malls. At lunch time we are waiting for. There are two types of places to eat in Brazil. The first, restaurant. The standard portion of the food there is quite large, it was one portion for two people is more than enough.

The second type is buffet à pesos, which means the food is weighed. The first time we found a place to eat this kind is when we stroll in one of the shopping centers in the area of Botafogo, Rio Sul Shopping, not far from Copacabana Beach. In the cafeteria area, I am interested in seeing the crowd of shoppers was weighing plate of food in front of the cashier. It was the first time I saw the payment of food in that way.

According to my husband, in Angola, he also never eaten at a restaurant like that. Angola is Portuguese-speaking African countries, because the country is also a former Portuguese colony, as well as Brazil. Perhaps, payment of food to be weighed is one of the Portuguese heritage.

Finally buffet à peso became my favorite place, because it gives us the freedom to determine the type of favorite food and the portion corresponding to the ability of the stomach respectively. In the buffet à pesos, meals are served buffet. Price per 100 grams, between 3-4 estate, not including drinks. Meanwhile, the average weight is 500 grams My plate is quite economical for the size of Rio de Janeiro

The earlier book tickets, the cheaper the price. Summer in Rio began in November through April. If you want to witness the excitement of the Rio carnival, then came in early March.

Feel free to use public transport so that more economical holiday and can interact with local residents. Unfortunately, not many people speak English. So, get ready to use the Tarzan language.Do not forget to look around the unique bikini seller here.








This entry was posted in Brazil.

Trip to Scotland Balmoral Castle

I visited Scotland, as a journey designed to celebrate my own 30th birthday. Here are some notes on my trip.

After sleeping soundly in Meldrum House with exhaustion and intake of whiskey, the next morning I woke up with a fresh body. From the window of the room, I caught sight of a green nature in the shade of mist and gray skies, as if there are Dementors (vacuum happiness creatures in the Harry Potter series).

Our main goal is to Aberdeen to visit Balmoral Castle, privately owned castle Windsor family (name of family dynasties who ruled the British Empire at this time). Queen Elizabeth II and other royal members will stay at Balmoral Castle over the summer, namely August to October. This castle is a favorite of Queen Victoria who ruled the British Empire in 1937-1901.

Balmoral Castle is located in Deeside, Aberdeenshire, which is taken almost 3 hours drive from Medrum House by car. At Balmoral Castle, visitors are not allowed into the private rooms of the family work. Visitors are only allowed to see the ballroom, where a display of miniature history of Scotland: weapons, tartan, emblem of the noble families, jewelry, until highland games. There is also shown Fashion Queen Elizabeth II using materials typical of Scotland.

After getting an explanation from the staff of the castle, I had lunch at Café Balmoral. In April, May, June and July, this cafe provides a full menu, among them the meat broth typical Castle Balmoral which can be enjoyed with warm bread, baked potatoes, venison burger (burger venison), also salmon salad (in the area of Deeside this flowing River Dee which is famous for salmon fishing when the spring). Assorted sandwiches are also available in the refrigerator.
Flour fan base, I chose lunch with a piece of large-sized scones (which turned out to be hard) with strawberry jam. It is not worth as lunch. But, when else would I get to enjoy the scones at Balmoral Castle, is not it?

After dinner, we went to Crathie Parish Church, the church where the usual royal family worships on Sunday morning, which can be taken just a few minutes by car from Balmoral Castle. The church is only a tiny, gray with a triangular roof peaked, standing majestically in the shade of the pine tree trunked slim.

On either side of the narrow paved road that leads right to the door of the church, grow yellow daffodils (because often see the daffodils, I so fell in love with flowers often become the object of painting the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh’s). Among the graceful daffodils was placed garden chairs made of wood with the words: “May all who sit here be content and happy”.

The church was actually an ordinary village church, but are chosen by Queen Victoria who loved Balmoral to worship at once mingle with commoners. Queen Victoria (bust chest placed in one corner of two walls meeting in front of church) greatly contributed to this church, including a well-preserved is a velvet pouch from people donating.

Next, I went to Royal Lochnagar, a small whiskey-making factory, founded by John Begg in 1845. The name is derived from the name Lochnagar Lochnagar Mountain, located in the region. While the name Royal added after distillation place visited Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, on 12 September 1848. At the end of the visit, the Queen turned out like whiskey made from one type of malt production Mr. Begg, so distillation is chosen to be one of the suppliers of scotch for the royal family.

During April to October, this place receives visitors who want to see the process of making whiskey, although visitors are strictly prohibited photographing activity within the factory. In addition, the phone must be turned off when you sign into a distillation, because it was feared the signals would interfere with sophisticated equipment and cause a fire.

Whiskey distillation is one part of the agricultural community tradition since ancient times as a way to earn money. Farmers in Deeside average have a private whiskey distillation. This area is remote, but the taste of whiskey produced from this popular area is nice and in demand all over Scotland. Making new whiskey legally regulated in 1780.

In this place, we can make whiskey testing and learning more from experts. Learn how to recognize the aroma of whiskey, liquid consistency and taste of whiskey. In addition, I also found out that drinking whiskey can be coupled with a bit of water to reduce the ‘strength’, without reducing pleasures.

Georgia Tbilisi City

Georgia became an independent state since 1991. Atmosphere as the capital is surely interesting. On the one hand looks modern elements for their subway and wide streets and orderly. On the other hand, there are still many old buildings bear witness to the history of Georgia from before independence in advance, even since the days of empire.

From a distance it looks a statue of a woman standing upright on a hill. Kartlis Deda sculpture, which is also known as the Mother of Georgia, standing on top of Mount Sololaki since 1958, coinciding with the celebration of the 1,500 anniversary of the Tbilisi City. There is Statue of woman wearing national dress that symbolizes the national character of Georgians. The left hand holds a bowl of wine to welcome that come as a friend, while the right hand holds a sword to welcome who come as enemies.

Kartlis Deda when the statue was quite late, bridge called The Bridge of Piece which connects the old town and the new town in Tbilisi even futuristic. Inaugurated in 2010, the bridge was using motion sensors in the left and right side of the iron handle to activate special light movement that gives the impression the bridge lights on, when there are people who set foot on the platform across. I was back and forth several times because of admiration in the form of a bridge that was striking in the midst of this town seem ancient.

From the main road, I started check into the small streets in the old town area of Tbilisi. In the middle of the buildings of glass and iron tend to be uniform and lifeless, in small street looked structures loudly showing its unique character.

The Leaning Tower of Tbilisi is actually not the old building. However, for 30 years, Rezo Gabriadze, a wooden puppet player, using materials from old buildings were abandoned or destroyed by the earthquake to build the theater. Completed in 2007, four years later he added a sloping clock tower next to the theater which is now becoming one of the typical architectural sights in Tbilisi.

I found a recommendation where to eat unnamed serves specialties Georgia. I went into a cafe with a warm home atmosphere. Some of the cats were having asleep on cushions on the couch were empty.

Luckily, they had a menu in English. I also ordered khinkali, which he said was typical foods Georgia. Khinkali is shaped like Chinese dumplings, but it was bigger and thicker skin. I once read an article on how to eat this khinkali. He said the skin on the tip of the bud should not be eaten away. Not because of the myth, but to make it easier to calculate the number khinkali who devour before paying.

From Tbilisi, leads me to the northern part of Georgia, exactly 10 km from the border between Georgia and Russia. There is a village that is very interesting because the view of the surrounding mountains were spectacular. Stepantsminda is still often referred to by its old name, Kazbegi, famous sights and natural attractions, which is part of the Great Caucasus Mountains.

In addition to the museum as well as a small church in the city center, iconic buildings in the area Kazbegi Gergeti Trinity Church is located at an altitude of 2,170 meters at the foot of Mount Kazbek.

Gergeti Trinity Church also known by the name Tsminda Sameba in Georgian language, or the language of Holy Trinity Church in Britain, built in the 14th century. Which makes this church visited by many tourists is the location that has a beautiful mountain backdrop, with snow almost all year round. Color field around him change depending on the season. Sometimes green overlays decorated with colorful flowers, sometimes brown contrasts with the snow around him.

To reach the church can be reached by 1-2 hours walk from the village of Kazbegi, or about 30 minutes a jeep ride through the woods and winding streets. From there to be trekking a few hours to reach the glacier at an altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level and hire a guide if it is to reach the summit of Mount Kazbek (5033 masl).

Initially I was walking from the village of Kazbegi, then wondered to the local population. I wonder what my husband and I were wrong, or indeed the track as it was, we had to pass through large rocks along the wire fence is behind the village. Not long after we entered the forest area which gradually increasingly steep path. We had to be crawling on the green hillside that somewhat sandy soil.

I then heard the roar of a car that seemed to be passing lane winding streets. Once we arrived at the roadside after climbing the slope, the car apparently saw us and stopped. With sign language, he asked us to get into his car. We also direct entry and grateful. However, because she could not speak English, there is no meaningful communication between us.

After a few more times sharp bend in the road is very bumpy and slippery areas because there are several layers of ice, eventually the car we were riding up to an open area. Suddenly three of us equally amazed and holding her breath when she saw the sights Gergeti Trinity Church which stands a few hundred meters in front of us, on a hilltop with a background of snowy Mount Kazbek gorgeous.

The car stopped in the parking area below the church and I also like to thank you once again. Our helper man apparently part of a group that is already up there before. Chances are they the Russians are willing to do the shooting because it looks some camera equipment.

Enjoying the beauty around Gergeti Trinity Church, I was walking again to return to the village. This time I chose the street car and not through the forest. It turns out, is much easier and faster. Along the way I passed through layers of thin ice has begun to form due to cold weather.

Arriving at the home stay, we were treated to hot tea and fruits mother home stay owners were very attentive. The next night was closed by the delicious dinner cooked directly in the kitchen of the mother, including cheese and homemade pickles. That night I slept soundly on the fireplace accompanied by warm air of simple struggled to beat the winter night air.

This entry was posted in Georgia.