Thursday, March 19, 2009


I always suggest my guests to write a review about their experiences in Rio and also to report their opinion about this adventure which is experience my tours. I always focus on off the beaten path places and also I provide that personal touch from our people to anyone I welcome here!!! I did the same with MY FAMILY from Israel, and these reviews are starting to come!!! And of course I publish here with a lot of happiness and honor!!!
Rafael Shalom,

Recently you have asked me to write some words about our experience in Rio. We had stayed there for 5 days between February 27 and March 4, 2009. It so happened that besides the day we devoted to the winners parade and the last day, all other days we spent with you and your team.

So, I will start with the bottom line, actually two bottom lines. The first is that we fell that we have now friends in Rio; The second is that when being with you, Marcone and Diana we felt like a Carioca. I think this summarizes it all. But I am sure you want more details. However, it is impossible to mention all great moments we had in only 3 days in Rio, so I will try only to put on paper some of the highlights, some of these moments that really made it all worth it:

The first was the FEIRA DO NORDESTE market and the restaurant where we sang, danced and walked where the everyday people of Rio spending their free time. We could feel and experience the tempo of local people, the things they like and love.

The 2nd moment, or actually more than an hour of joy was at CARIOCA DA GEMA (starting with the polite policeman that allowed you to park the car…). We got into a completely crowded place and did not know what to expect. But seeing all the people singing and dancing there, watching the pregnant singer shaking hands, kisses and hugs with just anyone that came to her, and especially seeing her singing with tears due to her expected leave to give birth to her baby, was so special that it is impossible to describe.
Then was the game in Maracana.

Actually, not the game itself (our wives are not too much into any sports, including football), but the getting there, getting back and the crowd behavior during the game (especially the 3 times when BOTAFOGO scored..), made us to understand what football is for the Carioca. Of course, my FOGAO bandana made me very respectful among locals for few days after the game..

Out of the very exciting day with Marcone I cannot forget two special events. The firsts was in the Tijuca forest when we observed the monkeys coming close to pick up a piece of Banana.

The other was really unforgettable – the sunset in Niteroi at the viewpoint Parque da Cidade. This was really the Grand Finale of an exciting day in Rio and put everything we did there in right, beautiful perspective.

I would like to finish with what I had started – friendship. The dinner we had at your and Marcone's apartment really represents that it happened and both you and ourselves have new homes over the ocean.

I thank you and your team for making it happened.
Hillel Arkin

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