Friday, September 13, 2019

XXVII - On to Rio

XXVII - On to Rio

Our time at Iguazu, both in Brazil and Argentina, was over. Next stop - Rio. Reading up on the city before our trip, it seemed every article talked about the crime - the numbers of children on the streets begging for money, robbery at gun point, and clever pickpocketers. It made me wonder why anyone even went to Rio if it were that bad. However by the end of our visit there, we had seen no such crime, had no such experiences, and found the people of Rio de Janeiro friendly.

But Rio was on our agenda, so we boarded our flight from Iguazu to Rio de Janeiro.  For all but 2 of us, Rio was just another 8 hour layover before their flight back to the states. However, 2 of us had made plans to spend 2 days in Rio. We left the group at the airport and made our way into town.

We were staying at the famous Belmond Copacabana Palace at Copacabana Beach. If we were impressed by the Belmond at Iguazu or the Melia in Argentina, it was only because we had not seen the Copa.

The hotel  opened on August 13, 1923 - exactly 96 years to the date of our stay. It was designed by French architect Joseph Gire. The style is that of the great beach hotels of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For almost 100 years, the Copa has been the place to see and be seen.

For the first time in 2 weeks, I was concerned about my dress. Being on a boat on the river in the jungle and staying in hotels in National Parks gave one certain allowances in attire. I felt like the Copa did not. My salvation was to remember I would not see any of these folks ever again, and if I did, I was not memorable. My daily dress in my everyday life does not consist of technical travel clothes (shorts and shirts) as I had been wearing for almost 2 weeks. But, I digress.

The hotel boasts 2 Michelin Star rated restaurants - Cipriani, Northern Italian, and - Mee, Asian Inspired. Decisions, decisions, decisions. We decided that we could not pass up such an opportunity. After some discussion, we chose Cipriani. We were not disappointed. 

Knowing the premium a Michelin Star would bring to the prices, we were prepared to pay the piper, after all, when in Rio. When I selected a glass of wine, the price of 35 did not surprise me. But it didn't please me. Then I realized it was 35 Brazilian Reals which converted to 10.15 American Dollars - quite a deal for the wine I ordered. 

I do not pretend to be food critic, but the experience definitely deserved the Michelin Star it had been awarded. 

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