Rio de Janeiro © Dominik Persy

Rio de Janeiro © Dominik Persy

Rio de Janeiro

With 208 million people, Brazil is the world’s sixth most populated country, and the largest in both Latin and South America.

We flew from Frankfurt/ Germany to Rio de Janeiro. It is a 12 hour flight which I totally enjoyed in Lufthansa´s amazing First Class. After a delicious selection of different meals I transformed the big, wide seat into a full bed. It´s not just a flat seat but more like a real bed since the flight attendant puts a thin mattress layer on top of the seat and covers you into a warm and puffy blanket.

Usually with my height I don’t really fit into the flat seats. My feet press on the bottom of the seat, and my head reaches the top 😊

This was an amazing experience which I look forward to experiencing again!

Lufthansa First Class © Dominik Persy

Lufthansa Boeing 747 retrolook © Dominik Persy

Lufthansa First Class © Dominik Persy

Upon arriving in Rio we went directly to pick up our rental car which you really need if you want to explore more than just one city of this huge country.

First stop was Paraty where we celebrated an amazing wedding in an amazing location. It was located in a tree line with our very own beach. Such a paradise.

Paraty © Dominik Persy

Paraty is south of Rio and in the middle of the country between Rio and Sao Paulo and was founded in 1650. The first Portuguese colonial buildings were erected slightly below sea level, so the tide has been allowed to come and go.

Paraty is a beautiful little town. A visit to the historical center of Paraty is a must and makes up an important part of the town’s charm and heritage. The Portuguese legacy is etched into the buildings’ architecture and preserves the distinct colonial design of white houses with brightly colored doors and window frames, as well as the cobbled streets that connect them.

Paraty © Dominik Persy

Rio combines natural attractions with a sprawling metropolis. Some of the more popular attractions include Copacabana, one of the world’s most famous beaches, as well as Christ the Redeemer statute rising above the city,  Sugarloaf and Favelas!

This is a party city and one that you really can’t miss. Most people spend their days on the beach and their nights dancing at the clubs drinking the national cocktail Caipirinha . Rio is becoming much safer and easier to get around but you still need to know where to go, and keep in mind that some people may try to take advantage of you being a tourist.

Never take a taxi. The cab drivers over charge every trip you take. Use Uber, as the drivers are very kind and it´s is a rate you can check easily before you decide to do the trip by using it´s app.

Jungle Tour © Dominik Persy

Christ Redeemer © Dominik Persy

Jungle Tour © Dominik Persy
We got a tip from friends to get in touch with a guide. It was a German guy who has lived in Rio since 1998 and knows it´s town well. He offers German and English tours from Christ Redeemer, Sugarloaf over a favela tour, or a jungle walk and climbing tour where you end up at a laguna with a waterfall. Dirk Böse rioupanddown.com

 

Escadaria Selarón © Dominik Persy

Somos Todos © Dominik Persy

Surf Club Paraia da Barra da Tijuca © Dominik Persy

Favela © Dominik Persy

 

Rio has a reputation for being dangerous. It’s not like Europe where you just walk around everywhere. You hear a lot of stories of robberies, bus hijacks even murders etc. We did the favela tour, even tough I was really skeptical in the beginning. Dirk guided us along the busy road and into a town created with homes built onto hills. The area was very hectic, lots of motorbikes which are taxis for the people who live on the top of the hill. Everyone drives his own vehicle even though there is a lot of traffic. It was really interesting to see the architecture and how everyone builds their home on top of someone else´s home. People were really friendly and kind. The Imbiss where we had lunch was very traditional. We had a big plate of rice, black beans and Churrasco with a salad on side. All that for 4€!

Churrasco is a special Latin way to grill meat. A churrascaria is a restaurant serving grilled meat, many menus offer all you can eat. If you like eating meat, a lot of meat, you have to check out Marius Degustare.

Not the cheapest but by far the best meat I had eaten on the whole trip. We reserved an early table and were almost alone in there. Who doesn’t know the feeling of sitting alone in a big restaurant and wondering if this place is known to be bad and we are the only ones who don’t know?!. You are paying a fix rate of 70€ which seems to be high until you see how amazing this place is. A huge buffet including everything from salad and different entrees to shrimp, king prawns, oysters and caviar. As well as normal sides like potatoes, rice, black beans etc. When I say everything I mean everything. And this is only the buffet. Sitting down at the table the waiters start coming with different meat and fish plates where you are supposed to get a few pieces or slices.

 

Marius Degustare © Dominik Persy

Marius Degustare © Dominik Persy

The meat quality was amazing as well as the service. They ask you what you would like to try and how you like it, rare, medium or well done.

Everyone who knows me best, knows that I just love the filet steak. Well it didn’t take them long to see that as well so they started serving me the whole steak instead of just slices. They kept bringing more and more of filet, lobsters, king prawns just the best of the best. I did not want to leave that place, and stayed and ate for more than 3 hours. To end the delicious dinner they offer a variation of different sweet deserts as well. It was just incredible how good it was, and I can´t wait for my next trip to Rio where I will go there again!

Surfing at Paraia da Barra da Tijuca © Dominik Persy
Jungle tour © Dominik Persy

What to do?!

  • Surf at Paraia da Barra da Tijuca – I prefer this beach since it is (especially in September & October) very empty and not a tourist attraction like Copacabana.
  • Christ Redeemer
  • Jungle tour to hidden waterfalls
  • Sugarloaf
  • Stairs Escadaria Selarón
  • Restaurant Churrasco Marius!
  • Somos Todos Rio de Janeiro

Somos Todos © Dominik Persy

Surfing at Paraia da Barra da Tijuca © Dominik Persy
Escadaria Selarón © Dominik Persy
All pictures are taken by © Dominik Persy.