Friday, January 21, 2011


Well, England always sends me wonderful people that conquer a house in my heart. This time thanks to the contact of Mike Cardiff, I had the privilege to take more british people to a cultural journey in Rio de Janeiro and Niteroi.

Rio everybody knows, it is the gateway of every trip to Brazil, but Niteroi....WHAT IS NITEROI???? It is a big surprise!!!! So culturally speaking when you come to visit Rio, actually with my guidance, you do EXPERIENCE Rio de Janeiro!!!

Mike and his wife Jackie; Clive and Muriel and Joan...sweet Joan, she is the mother of a very dear guest I had, Glenn.

We started where everything started, in one of the first constructions in Rio and also our most genuine sample of the port-brazilian Barroc which is more detailed that the originals architecture styles in Portugal.


It is an impressive 1590's construction (Rio was founded in 1565) which shows you the wealphyness and magic of portuguese faith. For years and years this Monastery has been one of the jewels of our National Culture. With beautiful afrescos, statues, barroc angels and misterious ambience...this place is for sure one of our stops in a cultural tours around Rio de Janeiro. I love taking pictures there everytime I visit the church.
Interesting services are held every sunday at 10:00 am.

In your journey through Rio's daily life you might come across with THIS CHARACTER...he is the one who changed the history of a traditional neighborhood in the city. When you go to Santa Tereza i will take you to see a staircase...and visiting a simple stairway??? SURE!!! Santa Tereza is a hilly ditricts and these historical stairs are very old shortcuts, and one man from Chile once came here 20 years ago and decided to place red and blue tyles in the steps of this stair...suddenly the stairs had lots of different colors, the City Hall did not see this idea with good eyes but the people there loved it...
Now the Prefeitura loves it...the people of Rio are proud of it and Selaron is part of Rio's life!!!
Selaron is also a painter and I am happy to be his friend!!! And for sure you will take good pictures with him, but please, go to his workshop and buy some of his paitings, there are little ones and big ones, and then you can ask for a picture!!!
Just like every exotic painter Selaron can be quite moody....
And Niteroi...the city itself deserve a tour just for Niteroi, just like Rio, Niteroi has a Bay and an Ocean Side. But we can have fun in Niteroi with short time. We visit the CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM - tha famous MAC - one of the last project of our famous architect Oscar Niemeyer. the attraction is the building and the gorgeous location, and this is where I love doing MODERN ART PHOTOGRAPHY!!!

After a King's Lunch at A MINEIRA, a wonderful restaurant where you can really taste the real brazilian food, we visit a very humble, simple and magnificent fishing village in Jurujuba where we get in touch with locals and can observe in a very closer way, the genuine brazilian life!
A visit to Rio de Janeiro is much more than a visit to the Christ or to the Sugar Loaf....You've got to meet the soul of Rio and I am here for that.
Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide and Travel Planner

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