The Brazil carnival is a four-day annual festival held from the Saturday through to the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent. Traditionally, Roman Catholics and some other Christians abstain from the consumption of meat and poultry on certain days of Lent. One of the largest benefits of the carnival, for other cultures in particular, is that it not only provides entertainment for many people around the world, but it also gives us a great opportunity to learn about the true culture of Brazil, something that is unfamiliar to many people. There are carnival celebrations in virtually every corner of Brazil, but the biggest and most famous one is undoubtedly in Rio de Janeiro.
Principal Account Manager, Joanna Cross, recently visited Rio de Janeiro where although she didn’t experience the excitement of the carnival, she certainly got a flavour of Brazilian life. During her trip to Brazil, Joanna stayed in Leblon, where Ipanema Beach was a convenient 100 metres away. “I went running every morning. Slightly unbelievable for me I know, but with such a lovely view and an energetic atmosphere it was hard not to take advantage of. The topless, good looking men in shorts running nearby had absolutely nothing to do with it, honest!”There’s so much going on in Brazil that you’ll never be short of things to see and do. “My favourite was Cristo Redentor”. Cristo Redentor (or Christ the Redeemer) is a statue of Jesus of Nazareth in Rio de Janeiro, located at the peak of the 700 metre Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park. Considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world and the 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world, the statue is 30.1 metres tall and weighs 635 tonnes. “It’s just so magical being up so high with wonderful views and Cristo looking down over you. It’s actually quite a spiritual place and I’m not religious at all. If you could only do one thing in Rio (aside from eat, drink, dance and lie in the sand of course) this would be it!”
One thing that concerns anyone when travelling, whether it’s for business or leisure, is food. Whether you choose to eat in if staying in one of our serviced apartments in Brazil or to take in some of the amazing local nightlife, everyone’s got to eat! “I tried some brilliant food whilst in Brazil. Rio is very fashion conscious and plenty of the top restaurants have a European slant – French, Spanish, Italian etc.” Here are some of Joanna’s top recommendations for dining in Rio:
- Brigite’s. “The food is amazing with a French twist and they have amazing Caipirinhas. There’s a great atmosphere (very busy) and the service is very friendly and efficient.”
- CT Boucherie. “This was also excellent. Again, French influenced, but it offers brilliant local steak and Argentinean red wine. It was the kind of place where you can’t help but think everyone around you owns a yacht!”
- Rio Scenarium. “This restaurant/bar/club is filled with antiques and split over multiple floors and absolutely packed. It’s in an area called Lapa which is famous for its party scene and night life. What I loved the most was the big band playing local music with the crowd all dancing away without a care in the world. The dancing crowd were 40 plus while all the hip, young, cool crowd sat on the side lines to see how it was done. Brilliant. I'd say this place is a must.”