Went for drinks at a rooftop bar (The View Bar); this was near our hotel. Decent view but since it was a hazy, the view was not as exciting. For dinner, decided to go to Margherita Pizzeria; since it was highly recommended. Took a taxi there, and it was quite crowded, so had to wait 20 minutes for a table. Decided to get half a carafe of wine and sit outside and people watch while waiting.
Waiting outside, it quickly became obvious that this was a popular place; cars and taxi’s kept stopping to drop off well dressed and stylish people; valet was kept very busy. Ladies, of course, were very well dressed. All this for a pizza place? Either the pizza was out of this world, or this was just a trendy place to be seen at. So once our turn came, we were eager to try it out.
Ordered a salad and a veggie pizza, thin crust. About 30 minutes later, it arrived (Learning that in Brazil, eating is a leisurely activity like in Europe, not one to be hurried). The pizza arrived and was fully loaded with vegetables, mostly hearts of palm, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, squash etc. It was good but not the best pizza I have had. So this is just a very trendy place to be at. Cost with wine, salad and pizza was $50 for both of us. Took taxi back to hotel and called it a night.
Next day, decided to go to the old town to take in the sights of colonial Portuguese old town. Took the subway to the Se station, and when we emerged, saw the magnificent Cathedral de Se, which the guidebook said could hold 8000 worshippers.
Very nice inside and outside.
Then found a small café for breakfast; had a veggie omelette (came with fries), café con leche and fresh papaya+mango juice and maracuja (passion fruit) juice; all natural and fresh squeezed. Of course, the waiter could not understand English, and were trying to explain what we wanted, when a nice lady at the next table translated for us.
She spoke good English and during our conversation, said she was a lawyer. She advised us not to hang around the Cathedral de Se area as there were many homeless people around, and could be dangerous; though there were lots of police presence around. Decide to follow her advice and after the great breakfast ($8 for both), we went over to Sao Bento area via a wide pedestrian only walking area, which turned out to be the Financial district; much like Wall Street; lined with huge imposing bank buildings. We even passed the Bovespa stock exchange.
Took the subway from Sao Bento to Luz station, where we were told were many shops selling trendy clothing. Got out of the subway and noticed that the area was quite seedy. Did not feel comfortable and so went back into the station area. There was an exit at the opposite end opening into a park area. Went out that entrance and the area on the other side of the station was a very nice area, with trendy shopping district, in complete contrast. Can’t imagine why one side of the station was so seedy and the other was so nice and trendy. Walked around for awhile, window shopped the very elegant and trendy clothing stores,. By now, was getting to late afternoon, so decided to call it a day & headed back to the hotel by subway.
Got some interesting shots.
Rio next, here we come……