Rio de Janeiro excursions
Any Belarusian travel agency and the ones of Rio de Janeiro would offer you a variety of excursions to make a tour of the city and its sights. The basic musts are worth taking time to visit. After all, you will not confuse the Sugarloaf with Corcovado having an idea of the place where you have been. Rio is quite a big city, its population is difficult to count due to the tourists and local people coming from other regions (like Moscow where nobody can enumerate precisely how many people reside there). 5-7 millions are supposed to live in Rio. But the city is very large and you won't have time to make the acquaintance of all districts. The ancient city part and its business center are worth going sightseeing, to say nothing of the beach area. A mixture of museums, theatres, churches and other architectural monuments offer you an excellent opportunity to pay a visit to them. By the way, the name Rio de Janeiro is literally translated "the January river". When the Portuguese had reached, at last, the Guanabara Bay in the Sugarloaf area, they had judged that gulf by mistake to be the mouth of a river, tired after a long navigation. The day of its discovery hadn't been called in honour of a saint. That's why they had named that "small river" January according to the month when it had been discovered. People found out later, that there was no river at all. The settlement turned into a city. It became the brightest pearl of the coast.
The Sugarloaf is a huge rock, almost without greenery, smooth and with vertical unassailable walls. It's situated at the entrance to the above mentioned gulf. The civilization set up there cable car through the nearest mountain Urca. Taking it you will admire the splendid view of Rio from the height, take pictures against the back-cloth of the city, appreciate the surrounding beauty. The Urca has a helicopter platform. You may make a tour of the city and the Christ statue, located at the neighbouring mountain, called Corcovado. Air walk cost is 50 up to 100 depending on the time of your flight.
Corcovado. This is a well-known mountain. The Christ figure is situated at its top, made in France 70 years ago and delivered by slices there. Any film relating to Rio de Janeiro illustrates the Christ statue. The figure is made from soapstone, very soft material that can be scratched even by nails, but very steady against natural influences. It is sited at 38 meters above the mountain (30 meters high, 8 - pedestal). The masterpiece is rough and simplified, as regards sculptural work. Nevertheless, it has its own captivating power, drawing attention. The two-wagons train and the lift will get you to the Christ statue. Enjoy amazing Rio view from the top platform; don't miss an opportunity to take pictures.
Take notice of the following! Don't throw tickets, bought for visiting the Sugarloaf and Corcovado. Keep before returning back as strange local people ask to produce them for going down. As a matter of fact, I can't imagine how high-skilled climber you ought to be, to scramble there over steep rocks and after that to aspire to go down by a cable car free-of-charge.
Itacuruca islands. This popular excursion to the islands takes all day round. In the morning you leave the hotel and go to the country (80 km from Rio). You board in a small fishing port a schooner which floats amongst tiny islands, scattered over the sea. The tour stops at some islands for swimming in rocky uninhabited bays. You reach in the middle of the navigation an island with a fishing village where nobody is likely to go fishing for a long time (its inhabitants just simulate doing that). These people's main activity is to treat and entertain visitors. You have meals there, drinking some local vodka, called "cashasa". You go swimming and have a rest for coming back later. Such tours on board small ships are usual for all Mediterranean countries. They don't differ from each other to a great extent. However, we were fond of discovering during this trip (apart from other peculiarities) abandoned rural pathways, observing wild nature and life outside the megapolice on our way to this port.
Key point. The excursion prices in travel agencies of Moscow and Minsk are excessive. We highlight: in many times! The excursion cost is very low in Rio; the main point is how you are treated. For instance, the Sugarloaf trip costs about 5 , if you intend to go there and procure a ticket, and 50-60 if a car with a guide gets you to this must. The guide tells you two sentences about it, buys you a ticket. The driver with the car is waiting for you at the mountain's feet while you are going sightseeing. Itacuruca islands tour including dinner costs 100 in Moscow, any Rio hotel offers the same program at 20 . And so on. Shortly speaking, if you don't need a guide performing the role of a nurse, you may spare a large sum of money.
Stern jewellery factory. Before flying to Rio de Janeiro, we were offered an excursion to the Stern jewellery factory by a wide range of agencies. We refused, as we don't feel much concern for jewellery and its derivatives. Envisage our surprise when a girl phoned to our hotel room two hours after our arrival. She suggested visiting the factory free-of-charge, speaking Russian fluently. If we agreed, we would be offered a present. A sudden strange doubt squeezed in our mind: something was wrong and we would be cheated finally. But we opted for having a look at this place. After stating our okay, we were given memorable small medallions and a car. It took us to the Ipanema beach zone). Onρe here, the assistants welcomed us, allowed to get in granting individual badges (with our names!). As soon as they knew we were Russian, they provided us with a player holding the excursion recording in Russian. A personal Russian-speaking guide was accompanying us. To tell the truth, it's breathtaking. You are going along windows behind which people are working. You are watching with your eyes the process of gemstones transformation into finished articles. Heaps of twinkling stones remind you of the 1001 fairytales behind the glass. 60% of the world gemstones extraction is worked out here. Of course, your guide doesn't forget to underline their exclusive quality. Shocked by these words you are brought to the sales hall. It recalls a restaurant to you regarding its interior. It's divided into a number of private rooms where a potential customer is sitting with his personal guide. The latter asks in a modest way what colour or shade of a stone is to his liking. Let's assume you name blue amethyst. A tray turns up as quick as lightning with ten shades of this stone. You point with your finger the most pleasant shade. This tray gives place to another one with ringlets of such shade. The situation portrayed in the film "Brilliant hand" when you claim "just the same, but with nacreous buttons" is unlikely to perform. They possess all to your taste. Other size - you are welcome, you aren't fond of yellow gold, here is white one. Something with a combination of brilliants, rubies, zitrins and so forth - just a moment, we'll deliver it. This can't stop. When we realized they would fetch whatever we might want we informed politely, that we didn't feel like making purchases. The sales-assistant didn't seem to be surprised at these words. She offered to drink at her expense and presented us two sets of raw gemstones. A little smile upon her face (denoting that we would come back), she invited to the next hall. Finished author's works were displayed there. A bit of incredible started. The original exclusive design and works quality were the highest of all, that we had ever happened to come across in our life. Our eyes couldn't stop at anything specific. We proceeded to calculate feverishly the price from reals in dollars. Could we afford this fine openwork bracelet or this tremendous necklace? Another sales-assistant materialized for suggesting trying on the item we were fond of. He added they accepted any currency, credit cards of all types. Discounted prices and purchase conditions might be touched upon. We escaped from full and final ruin thanks to good taste: all likable things cost too much money. There was no point in acquiring something cheaper and less likable in comparison with them. We left the factory in a little prostration. A stroll along this area helped us come to ourselves. We returned to the hotel by the car that had been waiting for us. Only having recovered after such a disappointment, we understood why the employees didn't hurry to sell anything to us. Their exclusive works quality and design are so high that if you can afford this, you'll purchase them. If not, you'll come again when you have money.
tel: +375 226-0900, 226-0902, 226-0936 Minsk BY