Rio Life Style

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!!!

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!!!!

5 shocking things about Rio for a foreigner (guest post by Annie Picard)

In the beginning of March, I had the pleasure of meeting Annie Picard, the girl behind the travel blog Annie Anywhere, as I already told you here. In that occasion I invited her to write a guest post for My Little Rio Journal, to share with us a little bit of her impressions of Rio de Janeiro. She kindly accepted and now I am very glad to announce the 5 shocking things about Rio for a foreigner, by Annie Picard!! It is always good to know the point of view of a foreigner about habits that for us are so natural!! Enjoy it!!!


5 shocking things about Rio for a foreigner

Written by Annie Picard, from Annie Anywhere

To be honest, it wasn’t on my plan to visit Brazil in a near future, but I like to follow where life leads me.

Last summer, I met a Brazilian friend travelling in Montreal, and this gave me the opportunity to visit Rio de Janeiro last March. I like it when life surprise me with beach destination! I could have met someone from Antarctica, you know…

I like to discover cultural differences while traveling. In only 10 days in Rio de Janeiro, a few things shocked me as a foreigner.

1. Don’t touch your food!

In North America, it is really common to eat food with your hands: chicken, fries, fruits, etc. We don’t call some appetizers “finger foods” for nothing. So, when we went out for dinner and I just grabbed a piece of chicken directly with my hand, my friend looked at me like I was a disgusting little kid! I swear my hands were clean but in Rio, you just don’t touch your food. There are napkins on the table for that.

2. The thumbs up

I know the thumbs up sign, but Canadians don’t really use it naturally. In Rio, people use it to say “yes” or “okay” or to confirm anything. For me. it was like giving constant real life Facebook likes!

3. Raise your hand to catch the bus

“I’m at the bus stop, so the bus will stop, right?” Nope. You need to raise your hand to get in the bus. It’s like calling a taxi, but I prefer to see it as “bus flirting”. Manifest your interest to the bus if you want it to pick you up.

4. Constant noise

I haven’t realized how Montreal was calm before going to Rio de Janeiro. How is it even possible to concentrate in this constant noise!? Music, honks, people, motors, street vendors. It just never stops. In a way, it is part of the town’s spirit an I liked it.

5.The bikinis

I already knew about this one since it is common knowledge that Brazilian bikinis are microscopic. Once at the beach, I felt like a prude grandma with my bikini! People of any shapes wore these bikinis. Thumbs up for positive body image!!

All photos on this post by Annie Picard

Annie is the blogger behind Annie Anywhere. Based in Montreal, she explores the world trying to learn new skills and connect with people. Ukulele player, life lover and self-proclaimed professional learner, Annie likes to discover cultural differences and works on her faculty of adaptation. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Having a guest!

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IMG_1008Last week I had a very nice visit from Canada!! Annie, the lovely Canadian girl behind Annie Anywhere, was spending some days in Rio and suggested we could meet. Obviously I accepted! We have been connected for a while and she hosted one of my posts on her blog some months ago (check here), and I thought it would be fun to invite her for a typical carioca activity! So I took her to have a Stand-Up Paddle session and we had a wonderful time together!

It is nice when people are open to experiencing new things, specially when travelling  to a country with a totally different culture, weather and traditions from your home country, like Brazil is.

We met at Posto 6, the area in the very right corner of Copacabana beach, by Dorival Caymmi statue, where there are many tents renting Stand Up Paddle boards. Although there are many options , we decided to go to Universo Paddle Surf , as I am already used to their service.

A nice thing about Universo Paddle Surf is that they have instructors speaking english and spanish. After a 5 minutes of introduction and basic instructions to SUP given to Annie in english by the helpful instructor, we were ready to start our adventure.

We paddled for half-an hour, and it was enough to enjoy the afternoon and to show Annie Copacabana beach from a different angle. The sky was a little cloudy but the water conditions were perfect, right temperature and clear water.

Annie did a good job on the board. In her first 5 minutes she was already stood up paddling!!! We had a lot of fun!!! When our 30 minutes session finished we stayed a little bit in the beach, just enjoying the view and feeling the sunrays on our skin.

Later, I took Annie to eat something in a small place I’m used to go in Ipanema neighborhood, Felice Café, a small café/bistrot/gelateria with a cozy and casual atmosphere.  While chatting, she ate a sandwich and I had one of their tasty gelattos.

It was a lovely afternoon and it was a nice way to know her a little better.

Thanks Annie for your visit! Hope to see you soon in Rio or who knows in Montreal some day!!!

To know more about Annie adventures in Rio, stay connected to her blog where she is sharing something of her experiences in Rio.

Universo Paddle Surf – email:  – Av Atlântica, n° 3.700 (posto 6) Praia de Copacabana-Rio de Janeiro