April 14, 2007
The subway in Rio is meant to be a great way to get around, but the problem is that it only covers a small portion of the city. Leblon is far away from where the subway line ends, so until today I had never gotten a chance to use it. However, today I wanted to see the center of the city, so I decided to give it a try. Even though there isn't a subway line in Leblon, there is a convenient "Metro Bus" that takes passengers directly to the station and includes a ticket to ride the train. It turned out to be much faster than taking the bus. I made it to the downtown area in only about half an hour, whereas it may have taken two hours in a bus last night.
Downtown is where all of the major business happens in Rio. However, because it was Saturday, it was almost deserted. Lots of guys were selling bootleg CDs and DVDs and lots of other junk in the streets, but the office buildings were all closed. The place seemed very dirty to me, but that's probably just because a cleanup crew was uprooting all of the garbage that had been discarded during the week. On Mondays, I bet the area is bustling and clean.
One thing that was open was the naval museum. It had a small free section where I could take pictures of the busts and paintings of old naval leaders, but to see the rest of it I had to pay and leave my camera behind. The pay section of the museum was large and interesting with models of Brazilian ships that have been used from the 1600's till today. Everything was written in Portuguese, though, so I had to settle for visual stimulation and save the intellectual stuff for later.
The photo album for this entry is here.