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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Architecture at its best - Day 417

Back to Rio and before discovering what our Airbnb will be like, we visited some amazing Architecture at its best.

A bit of a slow start after our very late and rather dramatic evening. We needed to pack as we were travelling back to Rio. It doesn’t take us too long, we don't have much stuff! I sat in the front of the car and was the navigator, it kept me occupied. Tim and I are a good navigator/driver team, I know the type of instructions that he needs.

After an hour or two, we reached the Rio-Niterói Bridge crossing the Guanabara Bay, saving us a journey of more than 100km. The bridge is so long that it seems to go on for that distance in itself. Ok, I exaggerate! However, it is a whopping 13.29km (that’s 8.26 miles in old money).

Over to the left, we can see our first destination, a white pancake looking building of the Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow), which was opened ready for the Summer Olympics here in 2016. It wasn’t the contents of the museum that we were interested in today, it was the architecture.

We parked up in a very plush carpark with an attendant parking the car for us and walked straight onto the concourse. This side of the bay and up close, the building looked entirely different; a magnificent white rocketship that looked as if it was about to take off from the shoreline over the city of Rio. The skeletal cantilever roof stretched over the concourse giving us much-needed shade, we were all feeling a bit jaded.

This futuristic design is by Spanish architect and structural designer Santiago Calatrava. He is known for his bridge designs and other museums such as the City of Arts and Sciences which we visited and loved 14 years ago in Valencia, his birthplace. I imagine it must be such an honour to create a masterpiece in your own hometown. If you are interested in architecture, it’s definitely worth checking him out, his designs are incredible.

We walked around, enjoying a bit of breeze coming from the bay and an ice lolly to cool us down further, as we admired this spectacular creation. It would have been nice to see the architecture from the inside, but not today.

After retrieving, dropping the hire car off and catching an Uber, we arrived at our next Airbnb. Luckily the cleaner had just finished, so we managed to get in early. Oh wow! A bright open lounge with parquet flooring and two yellow hammocks overlooking the most spectacular view of Rio, including Sugar Loaf mountain. A modern, clean kitchen, bathroom and bedroom and another room that could fit another couple in. I think George and Laura may have felt a bit sad that they couldn’t stay here for a few days, but they had a flight to catch at midnight.

We’re now in Santa Teresa, with its winding narrow and steep cobbled streets, colourful old buildings with quite a bohemian feel to the area. I hope I recover quickly, this is my kinda place.

The rest of the day and evening, I put myself to bed as I was feeling feverish again, so left the three of them to explore the area a bit. George and Laura got themselves showered and ready for their long journey home. Another farewell and “see you in 6 months” to this wonderful, caring couple. Thank goodness for the internet so we can keep in touch.

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