Even if I have traveled all continents of the world, I always had a little respect on my Rio trip, as first being female and second being a red head, I definitely attract attention, but all the worries where senseless, as not one single situation seemed to be discomforting. Never the less, we tried to stay in mostly touristic areas and not to go back to any dangerous zones as Favelas.
We chose the week over new years for our trip and found out, that that was the best decision ever (besides hotel prices rise up to 4 times of the season prices for three days) we got rewarded with the most amazing fireworks I have ever seen. Off twelve major platforms in the ocean, they were shooting off a firework for nearly 30 minutes and the copacabana was filled with over 2 million people dressed in white, celebrating and dancing together, live music shows on big stages which are build up on the beach, feature everything from brazilian music to rock.
We decided on the Pestana Rio Atlantica Hotel, as it is the only hotel at the Copacabana where rooms from different categories have balconys. Furthermore on the rooftop you find a modern swimming pool and a bar which for us was the perfect location to enjoy a sundowner before dinner. As first in our room overlooking the Copacabana from the left side of the hotel, our air-conditioning was not working, and after not being able to be fixed by the hotel, we got invited by the hotel manager, to spend the rest of our trip in a suite, front facing the Copacabana! Wouw! Our stay was magnificent by itself, but that was absolutely mind-blowing!
For all the tourist attractions keep in mind that it will be even early in the morning already quite hot and you might have to cue for a longtime, we learned as we wanted to go up the Corcovado, that there are minibuses that will take you up there, just you need to cue for 1 1/2 hours to buy the ticket, and than for another 1 1/2 to get your space in the bus, while standing somewhere with no shade, no toilet, only selfistick salesmen (that was the most popular thin in brazil, selfisticks everywhere) so while I was cueing for the bus, my travel partner was cueing for the tickets, and as he appeared with them, totally dehydrated with a sunburn in his neck, it was our turn in the cue for the bus so after all it was 1 1/2 hours of cueing in total, not to bad. finally arrived on the top, we now learned why selfisticks are so popular. As there are hundreds of people everywhere, you never will find a spot to take a nice picture, more will you find someone willing to take a picture of you, better you find your place in the battle of being infront of the monument itself, before people will push you away with the flow.
If you also enjoy a nice day shopping while you are on holiday, Rio is definitely no shopping paradise. Brazilian fashion is very far away from hitting the european or american standards in style and fabrics, so it was very hard to even find a nice bikini in the bikini country. As the beach bikini distributors only sell one size fits all (and the bottoms are brazilian style, so very big bottoms are still able to stretch the poor material into size XXXL) it was hard to find something more fashionable and luxurious. In the end I only found one single shop with luxury bikinis in Leblon. Leblon is next to Ipanema located on the nicest beach of Rio, where we also found several nice lunch restaurants. This district is not very touristic, so we enjoyed to participate the lifestyle of the local young hipsters and the upper class. After relaxing from the heat, we began our search for Rio’s nicest shoe shop, and that was also not very difficult, schutz-shoes is a brazilian brand which definitely can compete with Louboutin and co. in design and material, and it is also the only brand that offers this kind of style. So this is my catch of the day