We are spending the long Easter holiday weekend in Rio, and specifically in Urca. This neighborhood clings to the side of the famous Sugarloaf Mountain (Päo de Açucar) which we plan to go up today. There are trails halfway, and a ropes climb and a 'bondinho' or ski lift. Guess which one this old fart will take?
We are staying at a friend's pied à terre (I am allowed to speak French because he is French) that he uses during the week when he is at client meetings here. I had never been to Urca and now I am never leaving. Ever. I am going to change the locks so Jean cannot return.
It's a lovely apartment with a view across the bay to Botafogo and Flamengo. We can watch the Santos Dumont airplanes wing in--always popular with 7 year old boys. Out the front door is the oceanfront path to the tiny Urca Beach (Praia da Urca) where groups of rowers go out in dragon boats each morning, people play volleyball and then walk into the water to cool off. My kids chase crabs and talk to the friendly fishermen.
It's a real neighbood where everyone seems to know each other. The tiny Julius restaurant serves duck, ostrich and asparagus from Peru. And watching it all day and night is Cristo Redentor from his perch on Corcovado.