Having the Idea to go to Olympics Games… Rio de Janeiro
Around two months ago, I was at the office and my boss came very excited, telling me that she was going to try to buy tickets for Olympics Games. First, I was not feeling to go, because I would not have much money and was so close, so tickets would be very expensive. After some minutes, with her excited environment, I started thinking about and decided to take a look at tickets prices. Basketball, my favorite sport since forever, was for something around US15,00. JUST FIFTEEEEN? Oh gosh, I called my boyfriend, who told me: START TO PACK, WE ARE GOING.
Rio de Janeiro is an amazing city, with wonderful views, but is need to be carefull. Unfortunately, it is dangerous. It really is. Thus, you must walk on the streets carefully, to avoid walk by yourself and don’t “dar mole”. “Dar mole” is a brazilian expression that means don´t give to bad luck a chance. Keep your phone in your pocket or bag, don´t grab money in the middle of the a crowd and if you don´t feel good going to in a way, change it. Follow your instincts. With this tips, you´re gonna be safe.
There are two airports, one for international (Tom Jobim, known as Galeão – GIG) and one for national arrivals (Santos Dumond – SDU). GIG is a little bit far from arenas, so if you have the opportunity to take a flight arriving in SDU, would be my suggestion. South area is where famous neighborhoods are (Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon). There are subway stations around and it is too easy to get to the beach (asking to someone on the streets – brazilians use to be very helpful and friendly). SDU is really close to central region, Maracanã arena (where opening ceremony took place), the famous Sugar Loaf and Cristo Redentor (one of the seven wonders of the new world). You can also get in Rio by bus. The intercity bus stop calls Novo Rio and take place in central region. A bus trip from Sao Paulo, for example, take around 6 hours.
Where to stay
Choose a place to stay close to where the games you are going to watch will be. Volleyball is happening in Maracanazinho, for example, so would be smart to stay around. Off course, just if you are watching only this sport. If you are planning to watch beach volleyball, stay in south zone, and so on.
But, the BLAST is Olympic Park, or Parque Olímpico, in portuguese!!! It is huuuuuuge, with so many colors, so many countries, so many languages! It is simply fantastic. The environment is amazing. It is located in the neighborhood called Jacarepagua, far from where things happen in Rio. So, planning your way and knowing how long is going to take to get there can help you not missing anything!!! Barra da Tijuca is a very nice place near to Olympic Park, with calm beaches and all structure you need, as malls, groceries and restaurants. But think carefully what you want to see in Rio before to decide where you are staying. I tell you that because you can take long time coming and going and this can be annoying. Thus, if you are planning just enjoy the games, stay in Barra. But if is your first time in the “wonderful city”, definitely stay in south zone and enjoy everything: nature, nightlife, and Olympics, for sure.
The secret is to plan! Study the city and think of what you want to do!
Way to Olympic Park
I will tell you our experience (mine and my boyfriend´s)!! We were located in Santa Teresa, a very charming neighborhood close to downtown, with a eccentric nightlife with hostels and people from all the world. To get to the arenas, we had to buy Rio Card (mandatory to Olympic Park), with full access to any kind of public transportation (VLT, BRT, subway, bus). There are three options: R$25,00 (1 day), R$70,00 (3 days) or R$160,00 (seven days). Too easy to buy it, with a lot kiosks everywhere (airport, road stop, subway stops). More information here (portuguese, english and spanish).
The closest subway stop to us was Gloria, so we needed to ride around 7 stations until General Osório one, located in Ipanema. There, using Rio Card and showing game tickets, we were allowed to take another train to Barra da Tijuca (Linha 4). After twenty minutes, we got last station, Jardim Oceânico, where we took a bus and headed for another thirty minutes. After all, we also had to do a 25 minutes walking. So, getting all together, we took one hour and forty minutes to go from downtown to Olympic Park. So, again, plan! Plan! Plan!
Getting there, we were amazed. All the way totally worth it! As I said before, it is a tremendous emotion to see that planet union for same thing. Olympic Games. In peace!
Besides the beauty and the enchanted environment, be prepared for lines. Lines everywhere. Maybe because we were there in the really first day opened to public and was a test day. Lines to bathroom, to have a beer, a pizza, a sandwich, a coke, a water bottle (there are water fountain, if you have your own bottle). We took almost 40 minutes just to fresh ourselves with a beer. The coolest part are the cups. When you buy a beer you get a Olympic cup together, with an sport theme. So people got crazy, trying to get as many different sports as they could. Was fun! We´ve got some awesome sports!!!
To eat after the game was really tiring. Long line to buy the ticket and even longer to get a mini pizza. R$15,00 for a 10 inches pizzas was too much. So, my suggestion is bring your own food (snacks packages are allowed).
One regret? Just have watched two basketball games. I would like to be back in time and get this opportunity to watch as many as I could in two days I spent there.
A long story in a short
Olympic games were not very well accepted by Brazilians, because the country is testifying an important moment in politics and a huge economic crisis. But, when we heard the National Anthem during the opening ceremony, in a very special singer voice, tears rolled down from every Brazilian eyes. The proud to be part of a worldwide event is indescribable! And it is beautiful. And it is working pretty much well. And Brazil has so much to show. And the best part of Brazil is the Brazilian, no doubt. Now, I am sitting in my living room, watching a tennis match, wishing, from the bottom of my heart, to be there!