Tag Archives: bars

Copacabana Bars

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 9:45 am on December 29, 2012.  We had the free breakfast and chatted with Mauricio and Stuart. 

It was great staying at their lovely home Casa Verde with the friendly Mauricio and Stuart and their cute dogs. 

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The only downside is that the location is far from the beach.  It’s a 45 minute drive by bus (plus wait time for the bus) to the beach.  We said good-bye to Mauricio and Stuart.

We waited a few minutes for the bus to Copacabana.  It was another hot day out.  I fell asleep on the bus even though it was hot and humid.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I arrived at the new apartment at 1:20 pm.  The apartment is in a great location – about a block away from Copacabana Beach.  We met Elizabeth and her husband who were really nice.  Ivan asked about restaurants nearby and she told us about a few per kilo buffet places.  She mentioned a natural one and Ivan said yes that sounds good.  He asked where it was and she said she could show us.

About 15 minutes later, we left the apartment with Elizabeth to Restaurante Natural Beterraba.  Ivan and I picked food from the buffet selection which did have chicken, salmon and lots of vegetarian foods.  It’s priced R$3.49 per kilogram.  We filled up our plates and then sat down to eat.  The food was pretty good.

We back to the apartment and used the internet. 

At 4:45 pm, we walked to Copacabana Beach.  It was now overcast and not as humid.  The tide went out far onto the beach, so we got wet.. some areas my shorts would get wet.  The water was really cold since the sun had gone in. 

We walked for a long time.  Loud music was playing from a big stage, but then it stopped when we came closer to it.  Near the stage, we saw HUGE waves that would break by the beach.  The waves could really knock you out. 

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Ivan noticed sand art with Santa Claus and girls in bikinis.  It was really quite good.

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We walked further and saw more sand art.  Then, we started walking back to the apartment.

Ivan nipped out to grab sorbet popsicles at Delicias do Cerrado across the street – we had these passion fruit popsicles at the bird park and thought they were delicious.  Ivan got two banana popsicles for him and Lil Dave and an avocado one for me.  They have a big selection of fruit popsicles.  I want to try mango next.

Ivan and I took showers before heading out at 7:15 pm.

We walked to General Osorio’s Square which is outside General Osorio Metro Station for the Rio Walks’ Bar to Bar tour.  We met our tour guide Beatrice and the two older Brazilian ladies who were also doing the tour.  There was supposed to be 7 Spanish people joining us, but they never showed up.  It was nice that it was only four of us since it feels like a personalized tour.

Beatrice was going to take us around bars in the South Zone of Rio.

Our first stop was at the bar Belmonte.  Beatrice recommended the empada which is a pie, sounds similar to en empanada but it’s not even close to one.  Ivan and I got a camarao (shrimp) fechada empada and a bacalhau (cod) aberta empada.  The cod empada looked more like a fish ball. 

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The shrimp empada was my favorite which looked like a muffin, but they both tasted good.  Ivan and I also shared a strawberry caipirinha.  Caipirinha is the Brazilian cocktail made from sugar, rum and lime.  The caiprinha was strong and had lots of strawberries in it. 

We started walking by the beach.  Bea told us that there are certain posts (areas) on Ipanema Beach where different personalities hang out.  Post 9 is where the young hip crowd hangs out.  Between Posts 8 and 9 is the gay spot and Post 10 is for the wealthy people.  Post 11 is where you go to see celebrities and Post 12 is where families with young kids hang out.  Find out more about the posts here.

Beatrice told us how one part of Brazil didn’t want to become independent from Portuguese rule.  One man helped Brazil become independent by playing the trumpet to cheer on the soldiers to keep fighting.  We saw the statue of this man in the street.

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The group went to Garota de Impanema bar which means Girl of Impanema.  The Girl of Impanema lived down the street from this bar.  The song was written at this bar.  Beatrice was planning on taking us here, but it was so busy at the bar that there weren’t any seats available  She told us that the shrimps with marinara and herbs and the crab served in a shell were great dishes at this bar.

Ivan wanted to find a place for espresso.  We went into one café, but it was already closed.  Beatrice knew of a place, so we walked on.

Bea told us that the best ice cream place was Italia.  Ivan thought we should stop and get some.  Ivan and I shared a delicious Belgian chocolate ice cream in a cup.

It was off to our next bar at the bar Devassa.  Devassa means naughty girl.  Devassa is known for the beer that they brew. 

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Ivan and I ordered a caipirante (a special caipirinha) which was supposed to have strawberries, bananas and a touch of cinnamon.. but it came with bananas and mangoes instead.  We also shared the casquinha de siri which is like the crab in Garota de Impanema bar, but it’s not served in a shell. 

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The crab was really tasty.  It came with farofa which is toasted manioc flour mixture.  I thought the farofa tasted like what I think sawdust would taste like – not good at all.  We also drank an espresso to wake up a bit.

The group started walking to the Leblon neighorhood which is the wealthiest neighborhood in Rio. 

I asked Beatrice why people wore white for New Year’s Eve. She said that white means peace. People wear the clothing to represent what they want in the New Year. Pink and Red means you want love and Yellow means you want money. Lingerie stores like Loungerie sell packages that include underwear for what you want in the new year like all red or pink lingerie.

The next bar was Bracarense which was voted the best bar in Brazil in 2001.  I’m not really sure why it won since it wasn’t anything special.  The bar is known for the draft beer which is Brahma.  Ivan and I each got a beer – mine was mini sized. 

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Ivan and I shared a cod ball and enjoyed it with the bar’s own pepper sauce.  The sauce was a little spicy.

The group walked to Jobi Bar which is a bar that’s open very late til 5 am.  It’s a bar where lots of people flirt.  It wasn’t anything special and Ivan and I shared a beer.

The next bar was Chico & Alaíde

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Ivan and I shared a tasty passion fruit caipirinha here.

Our last bar was Hipódromo which is located in Gávea.  Ivan and I decided just to get a sparkling water. 

This walking bar tour was fantastic.  Beatrice is so friendly and she’s always smiling.  I highly recommend taking this tour to try some new foods and check out the bars in Rio.  The bars weren’t the fanciest bars, but it’s nice to see the bar culture, try the caipirinha and beer and learn some Rio history.

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Dancing Mussels

On July 30, 2012, Ivan, Lil Dave and I got a taxi to the bus station.  We got a mini bus to the border of Albania at 11 am.  There’s no air conditioning on the bus.  There’s two windows that can be opened and people closed them.  I felt like I was going to puke since it was so stuffy and hot in the bus.  Ivan reached over and opened it again after the guy shut it. The guy looked at Ivan like he was crazy, but made no attempt to close the window again.

Ivan and I watched a few episodes of Beaver Falls on the laptop..always handy to have a laptop with plenty of stuff to watch, to pass the time!!!!

We arrived at 1:30 pm and a man approached us for a taxi to Budva for 50 Euros.  Ivan said yes and we put our backpacks in the trunk and he drove off.  Our driver was named Jose. 

We started approaching the border and he totally cut the line which was really long.  Ivan liked him already since Ivan would have done the same thing.  We think our driver ended up bribing a border agent (Ivan’s guess was 5 Euro) so that we skipped the long line.  Thank goodness he did that otherwise we would have been in line for an hour and a half….at least

Ivan looked up the address of the hostel and it was IV Proleterska 37.  He thought I Proletrska would be the same. Ivan was looking for the hostel.  I was standing there watching our backpacks.  It was really hot out and I was sweating.  So, we got dropped off in the wrong area.  There was a man and a woman walking – the man hugged Ivan, but he didn’t speak any English.  Ivan kept searching for the hostel.  The man who hugged Ivan was talking to me in Montenegran.  I had no clue what he was saying.  He made the international sign for sleeping.  I wasn’t sure if he was offering to show me a hotel or to come to his house.  I just said no and shook my head.  He shook my hand and was on his way.  This just shows that there’s actually nice people in the world.

Ivan found out that the I Proletrska is not the same as IV which is in a different area.  I read that some of the streets have no names here in Budva.  I guess this is where U2 go their inspiration from.  So, we hopped into a taxi and were taken to Hippo Hostel.

A guy showed us to our private room which was called the Sun Room around 5 pm.  Ivan found out that the hostel has a dog, cat, a hippo and two turtles.  Lil Dave doesn’t like cats, so he thought he should just stay in the room hidden in a bag.  He really needs to get over this silly fear – he thinks cats are going to eat him.

Later on, we walked to the beach.  Lunch was at a restaurant right next to the beach. 

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We had a good fish soup and a massive plate of fried fish with potatoes and spinach.  There was so much fish that we didn’t end up finishing it all.  Ivan thought we should have a light dinner later on and I thought that was a good idea.

We headed to find a seat on the beach.  The water was too cold to get in – Ivan thought it was because it was so late.  I was really tired since I woke up early at 8:30 am this morning.  Ivan walked around while I took a nap on the beach – which is not sand but stones.

It was time to head back to the hostel.

That night, we walked to a street that was filled with so many people and souvenir stalls.  I also saw a place with billiards and arcade games.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I had dinner at Jadran Kod Krsta restaurant which is known for it’s mussels.  Lil Dave got a banana penne.  Ivan and I shared a fish salad and mixed mussels with a delicious red sauce. 

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We also had a lovely white local wine which the waiter recommended – he said it went well with the mussels and it did.

The main street, the Promenade, with many bars was close by, so we walked there.  One bar’s music sounded good and we got a drink in there.  Ivan and I danced a bit.  It seemed like the bar was filled with lots of Russians and the Russian women liked to dance.  I can’t remember the name of this bar, think it was 3 down from Trocadero.  We had a Mojito and then went in search of a new bar.

It was great that we didn’t have to enter the bar completely to what kind of music was playing.  We went to Trocadero and it was Serbian music (I think!) and everybody was singing to it.  It didn’t sound very exciting…unless you were Serbian maybe..or Russian….or another Eastern Europe/Balkan country where this kind of music is popular (to us it all sounds like circus music!!)

We kept checking out the music at the bars, but none of it was any good.  Ivan thought we should go to Top Hill to check it out.

In one taxi, the meter was jumping up like crazy.  I told Ivan to check it since we’ve been duped before in a taxi in Belgrade.  It was going way too fast.  We made the driver stop, got out and I yelled something bad at him.    

Took an honest taxi up to Top Hill.  We didn’t go in though, as it was 20 Euros each to get in since a Montenegran band was playing.  Darn it!!  Oh, well.. we’ll be back in 2 days to see DJ Roger Sanchez here.

Got a taxi down to the Promenade.  I guess the taxi couldn’t go the way we came because of Police or maybe it was only one way on that road. It took a lot longer to get back. We really went for the scenic tour. We walked back along the bars, but they were already closed.  I guess they do actually close at 1 am like somebody said at the hostel.

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