Counting down for the Olympic Games 2016, The Test-Events

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In less than 13 months, Rio will face one of the biggest challenges since the 2014 World Cup, the Olympic Games of 2016.

If you happen to be in Rio in the recent past you might have seen with your own eyes how much is being done in the city for the Olympic Games.

The huge subway construction of a new line that will make Rio metro reach Barra da Tijuca neighborhood; the VLT (light trail) being constructed in downtown to connect Airport Santos Dumont to the port area; the expansion of BRT (bus rapid transit) in west zone, connecting the international airport to West Zone, were Barra da Tijuca neighborhood is located and were many of the olympic competitions will take place; the construction of the Olympic Park and much more. But we all keep wondering if everything is going to be really ready and working in a good service level for the Olympic Games, when Rio will be on the window for the whole World to watch.

The preparations to turn Rio into an Olympic City are coming to a crucial point and in this next August and September, Rio will host 9 competitions, that are part of “Aquece Rio – Test Events” (Warm up Rio), when the Olympics organizations will have the opportunity to test the competitions sites and venue operations. On the other side the athletes will have the chance to compete at the locations where the Olympic Games themselves will be held.

It is a kind of rehearsal for the next year real Olympic competitions.  Olympic authorities like IOC (International Olympique Committee) will be watching and observing how things are gone come out.

Last July, 18th, we had the opportunity to watch one of the first of those Test-events, the Semi-finals games for the 2015 FIVB Volleyball World , in Maracanãzinho, the volleyball Arena in the Maracanã Stadium Complex. (check here)

This weekend, August 1st and 2nd, there will be the paratriathlon and thriathlon competitions taking place in Copacabana neighborhood. Then, in the end of next week, there will be the rowing competition in Lagoa  Rodrigo de Freitas and then the Equestrian eventing in Deodoro, a north zone neighborhood.

You can check all the complete calendar for the Test-Events here.

Around here, my family and I are very excited with the Olympic Games, and we are anxious to see how Rio will come out in those test-events. I hope there will be enough time to fix eventual mistakes and problems and we are counting the days for the Olympic Games themselves (#being positive!!!)

We applied for the tickets of many Olympic events, but as the offer is lower than the demand for tickets, we are waiting anxiously for the results of the lottery, hoping to watch as many sports events as possible.

Despite all the social problems Rio is living recently we are anxious to attend at least some of the competitions of Rio Olympic Games. It will be an extraordinary experience to watch the Olympic games going on in our backyard and we don’t want to lose this chance.

This morning I went out for a walk in Copacabana sidewalk and had the opportunity to see and photograph part of what is going on here. Workers making the final preparations for tomorrow competitions and athletes from different countries training and checking the conditions for tomorrow paratriathlon competition! Yes, the Olympic sports are already in the air!!

And you, are you planning to come for the Rio Olympic Games, or is there anyone you know who is planning to come? I would love to hear your plans!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

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Our experience in the Semifinals of Volleyball World League in Maracanãzinho

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We are starting to breathe a lot of sports here in Rio. While waiting for the results of the lottery process to get tickets for the Olympic Games,  we bought the tickets to attend the semifinals games of the FIVB World League as soon as we knew that Rio would host the final phase of the competition, hoping to watch Brazil national team arrive in the Final Game.

Unfortunately, Brazil didn’t classified and was eliminated in the previous phase of the competition and the games we watched were Serbia x USA and France x Poland.

For those who are not familiar with Maracanãzinho or “Little Maracanã”, it is a multi-use arena, used mostly for volleyball events, located inside Maracanã Complex, which will be the official Volleyball arena during the Olympic Games. For World League games, the entrance to Maracanãzinho was the one just next to Bellini Statue, one of the most popular entrances of Maracanã Stadium in Avenida Maracanã.

Although we could have gone to Maracanãzinho by subway, which is in my opinion the best public transport and easier way to reach Maracanãzinho or Maracanã Stadium, we decided to go by car to simplify our logistics for the other appointments we had later that day. This is something that I wouldn’t recommend to do if you are going to Maracanã for a soccer game, as you probably will reach a lot of traffic and will find many difficulties to find a place to park your car. Anyway, we had the opportunity to park the car in my husband’s friends house, so we didn’t have to worry about it.

Talking about the game, we had a lot of fun!  USA was one of the responsible for Brazil’s elimination in the competition and the whole Brazilian audience was supporting Serbia team, including me and my husband. Well, the only exception was my little boy! He was one of the few supporters who were on the side of the USA team that day. He sang “Go USA” and screamed “Ace, ace, ace” when USA was the serving team.  He definitely wasn’t embarrassed for being one of the few supporters for USA, he was just being loyal to his two american cousins.

But all my son excitement about USA team wasn’t enough to make them beat Serbia. Serbia won and the crowd got happy! Serbia had conquered Brazilians that day.

In the second game, Poland x France, the audience was on Polland’s side (this time my son decided to support the team that the majority of the crowd was supporting, and I don’t blame him for that). As Brazil wasn’t any longer in the competition, everyone supported the weaker team, Poland. But it wasn’t enough to make them beat the strong France team.

We watched two great games and had an awesome experience! Feeling a little bit of the atmosphere of a sports event like that made us dream about how things gone be during the Olympic Games and pray to get as many tickets as possible for the Olympics.

For tips of how reaching Maracanã complex by subway check here.

 

 

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Last days in photos

It is been a while since my last post. It seems I’m not managing to post so frequently as I’ ve planned before.

Here in Brazil, we are in our Winter holidays (yes, July we have Winter holidays), although it is not looking at all like winter.

The weather has been really hot, around 30 Celsius, and the city is crowded with tourists and citizens enjoying their vacations.

I’ ve been busy keeping my son busy during his vacation. Going to the beach,taking him to practice sports and to play with friends and things like that are making my days go fast and it doesn’t leave too much time left for blogging!

Anyway, we’re enjoying our time together and this is great!!

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Still time to talk about “Festas Juninas” RioRio

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We’re already in July, but it is still time to talk about “Festas Juninas” (June Parties or June Festivals), a traditional festival held originally in the month of June all over Brazil, and now that keeps going on through the beginning of August.

Somewhere in the past of this blog, I wrote a post about “Festas Juninas” and how much I love them, I dare to say they are my favourite popular brazilian party! But with so many Festas Juninas or “Arraiás” (a local way to call them) happening this weekend and with so many others already planned for all the July weekends, I feel more than tempted to mention this brazilian tradition once more.

Do you know those typical country fairs or carnivals that take place in North America? In a way, they remind me a little bit of our  “Festas Juninas”. Traditionally, the Festas Juninas happens in the month of June and in this kind of festival you will find plenty of tents selling regional food, tents of games (like fishing game or big mouth toss games) and people dancing “quadrilha”, something similar to a square dance.

But nowadays the “Festas Juninas” got a modern touch and now the parties hold  music concerts and food truck festivals, which are the new fever in Rio lately.

So here I share with you two festivals I would like to attend this weekend , but unfortunately I won’t be able to go, as I’ve been knocked out  by a terrible flu this weekend.

Arraiá do Planetário – Feira Planetária  – Well, this one is not really a “Festa Junina” but more like a gastronomy and foodtruck festival held in the gardens of “Planetário da Gávea” (Rio Planetarium)
Dates: July 4th and July 5Th, 2015
Hours: Saturday (12h to 23h) / Sunday (12h to 21h)
Planetário da Gávea -Rua Vice-Governador Rubens Berardo, 100 – Gávea
Free Admission

Festa Julina do Parque da Bola – Maracanã Stadium – Parque da Bola is a kind of soccer themed festival held in the Maracanã Stadium  Complex (entrance by Gate 4A). There you will enjoy music shows, cultural and sports activities and gastronomy.
Date: July 4th, 2015
Hours: 15h to 21h
Admission: R$ 30,00

So if anyone in Rio this weekend willing to experience some of brazilian traditional festival, those are my suggestions for this Saturday night. Enjoy yourselves!!!!

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Why You Need to Visit the Islands of Angra dos Reis (Guest Post by Rdj4u)

We love Rio de Janeiro for its exuberance, lively people and fun but chaotic city life, but, let’s face it, it’s not always relaxing. Luckily the perfect escape lies just a few hours south of Rio: Angra dos Reis and its 365 islands.

This is the ultimate beach escape if you’re looking for quiet tropical islands and undeveloped coastlines. Here are 5 reasons why you need to visit the islands of Angra dos Reis.

  1. Close to Rio

Angra dos Reis, meaning the Bay of Kings, is just 168 km from Rio, along the very scenic BR 101 road which runs along the Costa Verde. The distance makes it doable for a day trip, or a weekend getaway – although you may be tempted to stay longer! To get there, you can book a transfer from Rio to Angra.

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  1. Island Paradise

Did we mention it has 365 islands? That’s right, one for every day of the year. Plus, there are around 2,000 beaches. That means a lot of beach time on idyllic stretches of sand that are significantly less crowded than Copacabana on a sunny Saturday.

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  1. Ilha Grande

The largest island in the bay is Ilha Grande. The island was once a pirate’s lair, before being used as a quarantine for sailors with cholera, then it was turned into a penitentiary for Rio’s most dangerous criminals. These days, its main business is tourism and the preservation of its diverse section of the Atlantic Forest.

Ilha Grande has an incredibly laid-back vibe: there are no roads, and no cars. To get around, you can make use of the endless hiking trails. The last few years have also seen a boom in accommodation. You can now extend your stay on paradise in your choice of hotel, hostel B&B or pousada.

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  1. Outdoor activities

While you have plenty of opportunities to simply laze on one of the many beaches and soak up some sun, there is more to offer if you’re willing to get a bit more active. Ilha Grande offers prime hiking and diving spots off its coast. For snorkelling, head to the second biggest island: Gipóia. Gipóia also has some great beaches for surfing.

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  1. One of the best beaches in the world

Lopes Mendes beach on Ilha Grande frequently makes it onto lists of the best beaches in the world. One look at the fine white sand and aquamarine water will tell you why. You can reach it by hiking from Ilha Grande’s main town Abraão, or hopping on a boat, which will leave you at Praia do Pouso, another beach a short walk away. A tip: take snacks and refreshments with you, because there is only the occasional vendor at this remote spot.

If you don’t have enough time to spend a few days here, don’t leave it off your itinerary! Book a day tour to Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande and spend your day on a classic schooner boat exploring the clear waters and beaches of this beautiful bay.

All photos in this post by Daytours4u

Written by Nicole Eberhard, English Content Editor for Rdj4u.
Rdj4u is a  friendly and professional network for tours & activities in Rio de Janeiro! It is the “carioca”side of Daytours4u . To learn more about RDj4u click here.

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