Today marks the official relaxation period for Mr. S. and Mr. Sanders. Yesterday had pretty heavy toll on us. The morning was lovely with a walk through the park and then we made our way to the airport. Getting in to the hotel at 9 p.m. just made us want to relax.
We woke up and decided to experience the life of Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches. Immediately stepping out of the hotel, brought a strong burst of sunlight across our skin – little hot tingles combined with a new humidity set the stage for the day. It was hot! We made our way across the street to hotel’s beachfront. The sand was burning hot; you had to wear shoes to get into the water. The water was calm and allowed for many people to rent SUP’s (Stand-up Paddle Boards) into the evening. Many snoozes and dips into the water later, I felt the urge to go for a long walk down Ipanema’s shoreline.
Copacabana beachfront is one of the most famous in the world. It is located in the South Zone of the city of Rio de Janeiro. There are two forts at the ends of Copacabana to protect the people from the many pirates taking advantage of the many islands and coves around the bay. Fort Copacabana was built in 1914 and Posto Seis and For Duque de Caxias was built in 1779. Walking down the beach was fun with lots to see! The promenade is paved with black and white Portuguese pavement in a geometric wave. Many people, including Mr. S. at times, walked down this pavement when it wasn’t too hot.
There is so much life on the beachfront. People play volleyball and also a kind of “football/volleyball” with their feet. It was so amazing to see young and old pass volleyballs between them without their hands! Walking down more will bring you to a musical event or two – perhaps a Jewish celebration or local musician playing for the passersby. It has to be noted that it is absolutely true that the people of Rio are beautiful – stunning actually.
As we decided to walk back to the hotel to get ready for dinner, Mr. S. and Mr. Sanders came across a school getting out. There were hundreds of children who were liberated from school. Each student had a special present that they received from school. You could see the excitement in their hearts as they showed their new gift to their friends and family. It made me miss my kids even more!
Tomorrow should be a fun day. We plan to go to see the Christ the Redeemer statue and tour up a cable car ride to Sugar Loaf! We are so excited and thrilled to be here! Bom Nuit!
Mr. Szymanski is a 1st grade teacher at Walt Disney Elementary School in Chicago, IL. He is bringing the world to his classroom with the help of National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions. Here, he chronicles his adventures to Antarctica and South America in December 2014.