Saturday afternoons in Santa Teresa A “Must Do Tour” by RioGuide

Bonde ride through Santa Teresa

* Foto: Pedro Kirilos|Riotur

Saturday afternoons in Santa Teresa A “Must Do Tour”: beauty and charm of the tropical Montmartre The charming quarter of Santa Teresa has quite special peculiarities which render the visit unique and a must. Arriving by cable car, the attractive restaurants and bars, the hospitality of its dwellers, their artistic penchant, its architecture with remarkable French inspiration, render this part of the city a whole other story among the beauties of Rio. You don’t have to leave the quarter of Santa Teresa to find several choices of open air tours. How about traveling by cable car through the narrow streets of the quarter? There are also lots of small crafts shops, ateliers, bars and restaurants to go, and there are two spots that you must not miss visiting: the Convento de Santa Teresa convent – built in the 19th century and which gave the quarter its name – and the most famous stairway in the city – Selarón, with its 215 steps covered in ceramic tile mosaics. Another positive aspect of the quarter is its proximity to the South Zone and Lapa, which offer several options for entertainment during the whole week.

How to get there:

By cable car: Estação de Bondes (cable car station) – Rua Lélio Gama street, s/nº – Centro – Phone: 2332-6614

By bus: bus line – 206 A, 206 B, 214 – On the main avenues downtown;

By car: From Glória, Laranjeiras, Rio Comprido and Rua do Riachuelo street.

Casa Cool Beans…by Eléna Claire

One of our lovely guests during Carnival 2011 was Eléna Claire.  Here is her fabulous blog (in French) of her stay here at Casa Cool Beans……Thank you Eléna!!!

Casa Cool Beans

Durant mon séjour à Rio, j’ai logé avec mon amie Frida dans une pousada que je vous recommande chaudement.

Elle est située à Santa Teresa, Rua Laurinda Santos Lobo, 136.

Son ancien nom est Pousada Pitanga, les propriétaires étaient 2 expatriées françaises qui ont vendu en fin d’année 2010.

Elle a été reprise par 2 américains et rebaptisée Casa Cool Beans.

Lance et David sont des hôtes vraiment charmants.Le chien de la maison s’appelle Mousse.

L’endroit est ravissant, cosy, très propre.

J’ai disposé de ma chambre dès mon arrivée très matinale, le petit déj a même été servie plus tot pour l’occasion et j’ai pu quitter ma chambre jusqu’à l’heure de mon départ en début de soirée.

A mon arrivée, justement, j’ai trouvé sur la table un mot d’accueil personnalisé et une boite en bois enrubannée contenant des produits cosmétiques Granado. J’ai trouvé l’attention vraiment délicate.

Les chambres sont assez spacieuses. Et équipées d’une salle de bains et toilettes, air climatisé, frigo, un grand buffet pour ranger ses affaires, une table de chevet de chaque côté du ou des lits, une lampe de chevet sur chacune, une petite plante sur la table.

La télévision est dans une salle commune, avec un canapé blanc très confortable.

La piscine est parfaite pour faire un grand plouf, mais trop petite pour nager. Des transats vous attendent et des serviettes sont mises spécialement à disposition.

Le petit déjeuner est servi sur la terrasse en bordure de piscine, petit déjeuner avec café, lait, eau et jus de fruits, fruits frais variés, gateaux et croissants, pain, beurre, confiture, jambon, fromage, oeufs sur le plat ou brouillés préparés à la demande par Sandra.

Lance et David sont toujours à l’écoute, et vous donnent conseils et bonnes adresses. Le personnel est toujours souriant et très serviable.

Un jardin très agréable apporte un peu de verdure et le salon vous permet de vous détendre en plein air.

Mousse…and friends

Santa Teresa is so fabulous!  I was out walking Mousse a couple days ago, as we do several times a day, when a very small, very cute little boy ran over and put his arms around Mousse.  Now we have never met this little boy or his mother before, but he was completely at ease with Mousse.  He tried to ride Mousse (not too successful as he kept rolling off) and his mom asked him to stop…:)  So then he took the leash from me and proceeded to walk Mousse up the block.  Very typical of the warm, trusting nature of most people we meet here in Santa Teresa.  Here are a couple photos of the wonderful moment…..

CARNIVAL…Casa Cool Beans style

We had the pleasure of having several guests stay with us during Carnival who were participating in parading in the Sambodromo!   Frida Rochocz and Elena Claire spent most afternoons for almost 2 weeks training for up to 2.5 hours with a samba instructor in preparation of the big night!  They were marching/performing with São Clemente on Sunday March 6th.  Here are some lovely photos of them as they did a dress rehearsal for us here at Casa Cool Beans the day before their performance.

CARNIVAL…bloco style

Blocos are simply neighborhood block parties.  Having almost become extinct a few years ago, they are experiencing a resurgence in popularity that is quite startling.  The Rio Times states that “Since 2009, blocos have been enjoying a resurgence after falling out of favor with the public. This year saw a 20 percent increase in attendance over last year’s record-breaking turnout.”  In addition, “An estimated 3,000,000 people are partying in the streets of Rio at its over 400 blocos, or Carnival block parties.”  Now that is a LOT of partying.  Also to put it into perspective, the number of people that turn out to each of these blocos are in the tens of thousands!  75,000 alone attended the Simpatia é Quase Amor bloco in Ipanema; all within 3 city blocks!

What struck us as interesting was, first, the shear numbers of blocos (you can literally go from one to another 24/7 for more than a weeek) and two how popular they are when just a few years ago they were hard to find!  Here in Santa Teresa, it was hard to avoid not getting in the middle of one for about the past two weeks.  While it has been fun and offers one an instant party, last night at 10pm in the pouring rain we could hear a bloco in full swing; and isn’t Carnival over?  We guess not for a few more days and bloco parties!  Here are some more shots of blocos here in Santa Teresa.