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I was supposed to meet one of my friends in Rio, but at the last moment we discovered she wouldn’t make it – she hadn’t known she needed a visa, and hadn’t been allowed on the plane. Whilst I love travelling alone, and I also love travelling with compatible friends too. But psyched up for an adventure with a friend, discovering I’d be by myself was disappointing. It was also towards the end of a long trip, after which I needed to go to France, deep in the south which is kind of a pain to get to (plane to Toronto, another one to Paris, one night in Paris, then the TGV to Avignon, then an hour in the car). As a result I took it pretty easy and had a relatively chilled out stay.
Anyway I was immediately reminded that I wasn’t there with my friend, because the hotel couldn’t find our reservation – her name had been first because she was supposed to arrive before me. Still the hotel staff were really lovely, and it was eventually sorted out! I stayed at the Hotel Windsor Miramar, and the food was really good too – breakfast was amazing (really anywhere that has a chef and an egg bar I’m all over) and I ate dinner there one evening, which was fab. The rooftop infinity pool was tiny, but nice, looking out over the ocean, so I swam there every evening. It’s right on Copacabana beach, which is pretty nice to walk along.
My first stop was the Botanical Gardens, which are incredible. I was excited to see them after seeing this article on a travel-porn blog I follow and adore. The gardens were just as cool as the photos, and I had a great time wondering about.
I also went to this museum, it’s up a hill and connected to some kind of cultural centre? I never fully got what was going on, but it was a house turned into an art gallery, with a lovely garden where I hung out and took in views of the city. Then I took a walk to explore a little.
A highlight was taking a cable car up to the top of table top mountain. The views were amazing and I could really see that Rio is a bay, with a bunch of little islands and hills. I walked down, which was cool, ending up by the ocean.
I ate at a few different places, but generally wasn’t a big fan of the food (except for the hotel breakfast!) Rio is really huge, so I felt like I didn’t get to see very much of it. I don’t know that I would go out of my way to end up back there, but if I happened to end up there I’d be happy to keep exploring.