Today is my last full day in Rio, and my host family took me out to pretty much everything else in the area that I had not seen. We started the day by getting up early and heading to Jardim Botanica, Rio's botanical gardens. Although it was pretty hot, and we were all kind of tired, we wandered around for quite while there. One word of advice, if you're looking for excellent Japanese gardens, Rio is probably not the place for you. Check out somewhere with a more sizable Japanese population, like, say, Japan. The rest of the gardens were quite nice though, with trees from around Brazil and the world, and giant lily pads, and a nice orchid greenhouse.
Afterwards we went to Ipanema beach, purely so I could say I swam there. The water was cold, but very refreshing. Over the last few days, every time I've gone past this beach "The Girl from Ipanema" gets stuck in my head, and today I also saw the bar where that music was written.
The highlight of the day for me was being able to photograph the Museum of Modern Art in Niteroi. This building is an Oscar Niemeyer building, he's an architect who is very famous in Brazil, he designed the entire city of Brasilia, which is the capitol. He's still alive, and over 100 years old, and his buildings are all over the country. I'm very excited to photograph Brasilia this coming week, and the Museum building felt like an appetizer for the upcoming main course.
Finally, we stopped in just before closing at the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Candelária. I've been having a great time photographing the interior of these amazing cathedrals around South America, and this was no exception. The church was originally built by a captain who had been shipwrecked, and who vowed to build a church on his safe return. That church is gone, but the church that exists now pays homage to him in great ceiling murals. The Lonely Planet guidebook says that the church is one of the best examples of Renaissance and baroque architecture in Rio.
Translation: "Caution! Turtles do not simply walk into Mordor." (Kidding) This was near a turtle pond in the botanical garden, the real turtles were sunning themselves, but disappeared quickly after I arrived, so not shots of Jacques with the other turtles. The sign actually says to be cautious, turtles can bite.
Hard to tell from this image, but these lily pads were about 3 feet across.
The location where "Girl from Ipanema" was penned. I did not see the actual real life girl from Ipanema, although I understand she does occasionally show up here. I did however see plenty of other girls from Ipanema, and that was frequently quite nice.
The beginning of the architecture shots of the museum.
Hi sister-in-law! (sorry if you don't get the inside joke. :)
More interior church shots.