The second day of skiing was super cloudy with not much sun at all. But it had snowed over night and the snow conditions on the slopes were even better than the day before. It was a bit colder so I decided to wear 4 layers instead of two. After a couple of hours of skiing we headed to L’Anfionne and all had hot chocolate – so good, especially the ones that came with a shot :) Later during the day, Paul, Michael and I decided to take the black piste that looked so pretty from the lift.. it was very pretty but much more exhausting than I thought.
The morning view in Les Carroz :)
Welcome to Winter Wonderland!
Doesn’t it look so cute and idyllic? It must be so nice to spend Christmas here. Especially if you are usually used to rainy instead of white Christmas..
Hot Chocolate on the Slopes..
Black Piste – The First Run
So it turns out that the black pistes are not as well prepared as the other slopes. For this black piste this resulted in a bumpy, powdery slope with black steepness. Fun. Though it would have been much more fun if my knees were just a little bit stronger (like at least 10x stronger..). Then I would be able to ski down in one go rather than having little breaks after 4 to 5 turns. Paul (our friend who was born on skis) did not really need any of these breaks but he was patiently adjusting to our speed. Also I think it must have looked incredibly funny to see everyone fall down at least once. And yes, also Paul slipped (ha!) and there was another guy on skis who started to ski down so beautifully and then fell down head first into snow haha. He was fine, but lost both of his skis and had a hard time getting them back on his feet.. :)
Last night we came back from a long weekend skiing trip to Les Carroz in France. We were a fun little group consisting of Michael, Michael’s friend Paul, his girlfriend Hannah, and Will, a friend of Paul’s. All of us stayed in the apartment of Hannah’s parents which is located a few minutes walk from the ski bus stop. Hannah and Paul were such amazing hosts. They even got coffee and croissants for us from the local coffee shop in the morning :)
The first day of skiing in Les Carroz was superb. We had close to perfect snow, sunshine non-stop, not a single cloud, and it was nicely cold. Paul learnt skiing as a child which you can see the minute he starts racing down the slopes. The dynamics of our ski group worked perfectly: I love to go fast but my knees need frequent breaks (and my technique is far from perfect). This way I could relax for a minute each time when we were waiting for everyone to catch up.
I usually go skiing around April so that the days are a bit longer and it’s not so freezing cold. Yet going skiing in winter means that you can ski during sunset which was super beautiful. I didn’t bring my camera on the first day and only had the GoPro with me. I haven’t checked the videos yet but I hope there will be some sunset material. I did bring my camera the next day when, of course, the sun entirely disappeared and it was foggy and snowing. What a timing!
Rio de Janeiro has long been considered one of the world’s most visually striking cities. And in 2016 much of the world got a sense of its spirit and character as well, while we all tuned in to watch the Summer Olympics take place there. It’s probably fair to say Rio is as hot a tourist destination as ever – likely making it onto many international travelers’ long-term bucket lists.
Beyond picking out a destination, however, it’s also important to plot out what you might get up to once you’re there. So given the city’s general appeal and trendiness of late, here’s our travel bucket list specifically for Rio.
See Christ the Redeemer
Chances are that when you picture Rio de Janeiro in your mind, you see Christ the Redeemer towering over the city. Built on a hill, this statue of Jesus Christ is a legitimate wonder of the world, and it draws huge numbers of tourists ever year. The statues is incredible no matter where you happen to glimpse it from, but seeing it up close is particularly special. There are three options for how to visit, which are helpful to know about when you’re in town. You can take the cog train, ride in a van, or take a hike, which is a fairly long one but not too strenuous. Whatever you decide on, the statue is something to behold up close.
Ride The Cables
The other landmarks that dominate Rio’s landscape are the high, rounded mountains that tower over the harbor. Sugarloaf is the highest of them, and you can reach the summit by taking multiple cable car rides. The first is from the Red Beach to Urca Hill, and the second takes you through the air from Urca Hill to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain (which is nearly six football fields above sea level, to give you some idea of what to expect). The ride itself is a treat, and the views from the top are excellent.
Party On Copacabana
Copacabana is the most famous of Rio’s several beaches, known for its sheer size, the crowds that flock to it, and the party-like atmosphere that can dominate the landscape. Realistically the reputation is somewhat overblown; it’s not as if there’s a nonstop party happening there. Nevertheless, it’s fun to stroll on the beach, hang out for a while, and generally take part in the buzz that’s always present. It’s one of the most active and enjoyable beaches on the planet.
Dance At Rio Scenarium
One could argue that dance is Rio’s greatest export. The city (and really all of Brazil) is known for samba, and is continually spreading it to world. It’s not hard to find samba clubs in other big cities, or even samba scenes in movies or on TV. Rio’s dance scene has also served as inspiration for a video game online: “Dancing in Rio,” a slot that “encourages you to keep the party alive” by playing upbeat music and showing animated images reminiscent of a great samba club. It’s really part of the city’s culture, in other words, so why not make it a priority to see it in person? You’ll have plenty of options, but Rio Scenarium is certainly among the top samba clubs in town – a 2,000-person club with three floors, live music, and ample space to watch or participate as you desire.
Tour The Gardens
The botanical gardens in Rio, sometimes called Jardim Botanico, comprise well over 300 acres of space, and is essentially a wild collection of native plants. It’s quite something to walk through and gives you a nice taste of Brazil’s natural beauty, even in close proximity to Rio. As another general point of interest, Albert Einstein himself once toured these very same gardens.
Eat At Azur
There’s a lot of excellent food in Brazil, and particularly in bigger cities there’s multicultural influence that can keep you on your toes. In Rio for instance you’ll actually find a fair amount of Spanish preparation and paella in popular restaurants. Azur is a little bit more local, however. Located right on the beach and run by chef Pedro Artagao (who has a terrific reputation in town), Azur was written up as one of the hottest new restaurants to try just last year. It’s an a la carte bar/restaurant combining local seafood with a range of different preparations.
Drink At CoLAB
Rio is also home to a lot of excellent smaller cafés and coffee bars, so it’s worth pointing to one of these as well. CoLAB actually made it onto the same list that recommended Azur. It’s part coffee shop, part bar, and part snack shack, with menu offerings ranging from kombucha and tea to beer, with cinnamon rolls and falafel for good measure. The atmosphere is described ad “Brooklynesque,” which basically means it’s trendy and inviting without being over the top.
See The Sunset
It may sound cheesy, and it’s not a specific attraction or activity, but Rio has some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. Make sure you’re in a good position to see one before your trip comes to an end!
This is a collaborative post to get you some ‘updated’ travel ideas for Rio de Janeiro. My trip is already super long ago and at the time I wasn’t blogging. Definitely make sure to see the sunset and visit the Jesus statue. Also indulge in the food and cocktails and join in for some dancing! FYI, the photos are from my trip back in the day :)