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Who wants to be in Rio today? New Years should definitely be a mid-summer holiday. All this loitering outside when the weather is freezing is nuts. Not that I do the outdoors stuff much in winter. But I’d like it to be an enviable option. Anyway, still sticking with our Formula 1 theme from 2015, the penultimate race for the season was in Rio. I like the Brazil Grand Prix, it has history and panache.


I’d love to visit Rio, although from what I’ve seen I’d feel seriously overdressed on the beaches. Still, it would be amazing to stroll down Ipanema and Copacabana. Walking along beaches has to be one of my most favourite things. After I tired of the sand between my toes, I’d visit the Christ the Redeemer statue on top of Corcovado. And then take the cable-car up to Sugar Loaf Mountain. If I were more flexible I’d love to take a samba lesson. Man, I should have visited Rio twenty years ago.


With dancing off the table, or the floor for that matter, my visit to Rio would more likely include culinary delights. Lonely Planet’s website has some great recommendations for places to eat. There are also art galleries to see. Instituto Moreira Salles looks like an interesting place. It’s a cultural center with exhibitions showcasing some of Brazil’s best artists and photographers. And if you tire of staring at the walls, you can wander around the artificial lake and flowing river, designed by Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. Hungry? Pop to the cute little café that serves lunch and afternoon tea before browsing the craft shop for a souvenir.


Could a trip to Brazil be complete without taking in a football (soccer) match? Not sure I’d like the crowds though. If you do go, cheer for the team everyone around you is cheering for, you’ll be safer that way. As Rio was founded in 1565 there must be historical things to see but it was hard to find on the travel websites I visited. With the tropical climate, it may be that many of the historical buildings haven’t survived well. Or I could just be looking in the wrong place. The Trip Advisor website has some great itineraries you could follow if you have limited time in Rio.


Rio is on my bucket list, but as my bucket is large and rather full, I may not make it. If you want to travel vicariously, like I do most of the time, Carmen Falcone’s contemporary romance Kidnapping the Brazilian Tycoon is well worth a read. And as Carmen is originally from Brazil, you can bet it’s authentic.


Have you been to Rio? I’d love to hear what you think and what you’d recommend. Next stop is the final F1 race in Dubai. And you all know I’d love to go there. So come back on January 15 and let’s discover this city of amazing architecture together.


photo credit: Pão de Açúcar via photopin (license)