After admiring the astonishing beauty of the Jardim Botanico (Botanical Garden), we walked thru the neighborhood of the same name trying to find Lagoa. Lagoa is another of Rio de Janeiro’s “barrios”. This one takes its name from the Lagoa (Lagoon) Rodrigo de Freitas. Maybe the name does not pop any image to your mind. Just think about the lagoon you have seen in pictures from the top of Corcovado. Ok, something like the following:
See, I suspected you knew what I was talking about.
The Lagoa claims to fame: rowing clubs and a gigantic Christmas tree that floats in its waters at the end of each year. Ahh and I forgot to mention the lagoon will host Olympic events in 2016.
My initial idea was to rent bikes and circle the lagoon. But there was a problem. I was starving. And I mean starving like when every centimeter of your stomach is growling madly. I guess I stayed way past lunch taking a good look at all the flowers and wildlife in the garden. Oh, well!!
My husband and I walked around the many kiosks close to the water. To be honest, nothing caught my attention or tantalized my taste buds. I got a snack and decided to walk to Ipanema where the eating options are more varied.
The walk was longer than what I expected (when I am going to learn how interpret maps correctly?). Long walk + starvation = bad, bad mood. However, the walk was the perfect opportunity to peek into the cariocas life. Because not every day you have the opportunity to play and relax with Rio de Janeiro’s residents. So, my internal grumpiness did not interfere with my ear to ear smile.
I am going to ask you a question. Who can be mad with these super amazing views?
No wonder why Rio de Janeiro is considered one of the world’s prettiest cities.
There was even a tiny island (not sure is it is natural) with a club and restaurant on it. A peculiar boat moves guests between the piers.
It was interesting to observe families enjoying the warm afternoon. Kids were definitely having a blast in the many parks and green areas.
Even the street signs were cute. I guess a common road indication turns interesting once its words are in a foreign language.
I read the Lagoa is also famous for the pollution found in its waters. Many organizations have funded and promoted cleaning and conservation plans. I am sure these efforts have started to pay dividends since I saw many birds around. If there are birds, there has to be food too. It would be fascinating to know if there is any government plan focused in revitalizing the lagoon since it is going to play a role in the 2016 Olympics.
Before I knew it, I was in Ipanema. If you visit Rio, I urge you to discover the actual Ipanema neigboorhood (not just the beach). It is a pleasure to stroll thru its streets. Everything was so well kept. Plus, I found color. Tons of it.
Like in a flower stand.
A fish market.
A cool statue.
And even in a yummy pizza (yes, I finally ate).
In summary, Ipanema drove me crazy. Its boutiques, restaurants, cafes, surf shops, juice stands, residents, hippie markets, capoeira dancers and much more. Walk around its streets of you are in the area.
My day was cut short by rain. However, I enjoyed the differences between these two neighborhoods.
Have you explored the Lagoa and Ipanema neighborhoods? Let me know in the comments section below.