- The Games
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- Rio de Janeiro
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Happy hour (after-work drinks) around the Arco do Teles is a fine way to experience carioca culture in the historic centre of the city, as well as being a Rio de Janeiro tradition. The arch itself is on the northwestern side of Praça XV de Novembro and leads through the charming cobbled street known as Travessa do Comércio to Rua Ouvidor and Rua Mercado. You'll find a vibrant atmosphere amongst the tables of cafés, bars and restaurants that fill these narrow streets, particularly towards the end of the working week, as cariocas relax with a glass of beer and traditional finger foods. The area offers many historical, cultural and gastronomic highlights.
With astonishing views from the north to the south region, the city of Rio de Janeiro invites residents and visitors to the practice of outdoor exercise. Frescobol, a traditional sport created on Copacabana Beach during the 50s, became another leisure activity for cariocas on sunny days, both in the summer and winter.
Copacabana streets are excellent for a night bike ride and also at sunset along the carioca beaches, perfect for a volleyball or footvolley match. Footvolley has some football characteristics – the player can touch the ball with any part of the body except for the arms, forearms and hands – and volleyball – the match is divided into sets, and each team can only touch the ball three times.
There are activities which are even more original, such as the practice of slack line, in which players walk over nylon webbing attached to two anchor points. On Rio beaches, it is common to see people practicing slack line on nylon webbing tensioned between coconut trees in front of the ocean.
Another example is the practice of wakeboarding at Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, with a privileged view of the Christ the Redeemer, the Floresta da Tijuca mountain and Pedra da Gávea.
Known by the rock that invades the ocean called the same way, Arpoador beach is about 500-meter long, and is located between Fort Copacabana and Ipanema Beach. It offers one of the most breathtaking views of Rio: the sunset behind Dois Irmãos hill, having Ipanema and Leblon beaches as scenario.
This amazing moment is part of the Carioca daily routine. Between October and February, when the city is under Daylight Saving Time (DST), you often see Cariocas leaving their work and going straight to the beach simply to applaud this nature spectacle.
A great deal of Brazilian history is still alive in Rio de Janeiro. Beautiful buildings from the IXX and XX Centuries have museums, churches and cultural centres that are part of the city’s history and Brazilian culture. There are several spaces which offer temporary exhibitions, cinema festivals and music, theatre and dance presentations.
The Museum of Modern Art, for example, is a milestone of the Brazilian architecture. The work of architect Affonso Eduardo Reidy and the landscaping project signed by Roberto Burle Marx resulted in one of Rio’s most renowned cultural spaces. Inaugurated in 1958 and reopen in 1990, the museum hosts large national and international exhibitions.
Among churches and spaces for religious practice, the Catedral Metropolitana, inaugurated in 1979, stands out for the grandiosity and modernity of the architectural design in the form of a cone. The Cathedral is 75-meter high and has a 106-meter external diameter, with capacity for 20 thousand people standing up. Outside the Cathedral, visitors are dazzled by the colorful church windows.
Another anthologic scene of Rio de Janeiro is Ilha fiscal. The location, which was once a customs clearance office until 1913, became famous for hosting the last ball of the Brazilian Empire in November 1889, held in the island’s palace. The neo-gothic palace is open for visits and may be accessed through schooners which leave the Espaço Cultural da Marinha, in Rio downtown area.
An unmissable view for lovers of contemporary art, the building that worked as the headquarters and branch agency of Banco do Brasil until 1989, is currently renovated to host one of the city’s most popular cultural and artistic spaces. Located at avenida Presidente Vargas, near the famous Igreja da Candelária, it gathers a library, movie theatre, theatre, bookstore, shop, tearoom and restaurant, in addition to the spaces for temporary exhibitions.