quarta-feira, outubro 15, 2008

Football / Soccer in Rio

One of the city´s landmark is Maracanã Stadium, temple of the sport by which Brazil is (was?) worldwide known. So 9 out of 10 travellers come here, have the same question - how can I see a game at Maracanã?

First things first - Rio has 4 first division teams (national and local leagues), so far - Flamengo, Botafogo, Fluminense and Vasco. The local championship happens from late January until april and the national championship goes from may to december. Sometimes we have some international competitions with Rio´s teams involved, like Libertadores da America, Copa Sul Americana. The best source of information is O Globo sports session - http://oglobo.globo.com/esportes - they have the most accurate information, but clicking on the "tabelas" (charts) to see the fixtures.

Flamengo and Fluminense games are usually helds at Maracanã; Botafogo has his rented stadium, Engenhão (best reachable by suburbian trains that comes from Central Station - the one from the movie) and Vasco plays at their home, São Januário (also on the north zone of Rio).

Tickets are usually avaliable a week before the game happens, at Maracanã (when the game is held there) and on the clubs venues (If you are in Ipanema or Leblon, best place is going to Flamengo place, next to Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. If you are staying in Copacabana, Botafogo, better go to Botafogo team place, close to Rio Sul mall or to Fluminense place, in Laranjeiras). If is a derby, I recomend buying as soon as its avaliable, specially for a Flamengo game (last sunday the team brought 81.000 people to the stadium, playing with a team from minas gerais, and they lost). Tickets vary between R$ 20 to R$ 100, depending on the game and on the season. The green and yellow stands are, in my opinion, the best place to be.

How to get there? The best way to go is getting the subway until estácio station on line 1, then change to maracanã stadium station, with line 2. There is a big path that links the station to the stadium, with policemen watching all the time. Best arrive at least 2 hours prior the game, specially if you still have no ticket. Its also a good oportunity to choose your side (if is a local derby), mingle with brazilians and have beers, as they are not sold inside Maracanã stadium.

If you are soooo unlucky (like me, when I went to Buenos Aires and couldnt see any game of Boca Juniors at La Bombonera) to be in Rio and couldnt find a game to go, you still can do a tour at Maracanã. It happens every day, from 9am to 5pm, including holidays. When there is a game, the tour finishes 5 hours before the game (if is at 4pm, finishes at noon; if the game is on 6pm, finishes at 1pm). Entrance is at gate 15. Costs R$ 20, and eldery, disable people, students and people that can prove that they live in Rio, pay half price.

More info in portuguese - http://www.suderj.rj.gov.br/visitacao_maracana.asp

One more piece of advice - its ok to take your camera, but keep an eye on your belongins and try not to get into trouble by arguing with the other group of suporters. There are always some angry people around there, but if you dont mess with them, you will have a great time at the Biggest stadium on earth!!!!!!!

sábado, janeiro 19, 2008

Yes, we have street carnaval!!!!!!!!!!

Despite some people inisist to say, Rio DO have a street carnival. As carnival approaches, here is some help for those looking for the street parties around the city! All you have to do is show up and follow the music.

I know it is in portuguese, but this guide - www.samba-choro.com.br/carnaval/2008 - is by far the most complete about the festivities. They give the address, date and the hour the group meet. Also have some story of the groups, so exercise your portuguese (you can ask for translation if it gets too confuse....)

My favorite ones are the followings, and this may be pretty much my schedule for the carnival days.

saturday feb 2nd
Cordão da Bola Preta, às 9 am -Cinelândia/ Theatro Municipal (Centro) - the oldest bloco in town, gathering thousands of people, from very young to really old.

Barbas, às 3 pm - R. Arnaldo Quintela com Assis Bueno (Botafogo) - for this bloco, I advice to bring a plastic bag for the belongings... is known for throwing water on people during the parade.

Empolga às 9, às 5 pm - Casa da Matriz, Rua Henrique Novaes (Botafogo)

sunday feb 3rd
Cordão do Boitatá, às 8 am - Rua do Mercado e Praça XV (Centro) - must go with some kind of costume

Que merda é essa?, às 2 pm - Bar Paz e Amor,
R. Garcia D'Ávila esq. com Nascimento Silva (Ipanema)

Simpatia é Quase Amor, às 4 pm - Praça General Osório (Ipanema) - they meet with the one above, which comes from the diferent direction.

Cacique de Ramos, às 9pm - Av. Rio Branco com Presidente Vargas (Centro)

monday feb 4th
Bloco de Segunda, às 2 pm - Cobal do Humaitá, pelo lado da Rua Voluntários da Pátria (Botafogo)

Rancho Flor do Sereno, às 7 pm - Bar Bip-Bip, Rua Almirante Gonçalves (Copacabana)

tuesday feb 5th
Se Melhorar, Afunda, às 9 am - Praça São Domingos (São Domingos - Niterói) - the bloco parades first on the ferry, then into old rio downtown

Rio Maracatu, às 3 pm - Arpoador (Ipanema)
Cacique de Ramos, às 8 pm - Av. Rio Branco c/ Pres. vargas (Centro)


There are many kinds of tickets for the sambadrome. Acording to the organizers website - www.liesa.com.br - there are still 990 tickets avaliable for the main parades on monday, at the official price. On sector 4, costs R$ 110 and you can buy at Bradesco bank at Rua Visconde de Inhaúma, 134- C - Centro

On sector 6, they stil have tickets for the chairs, on both days, costing R$ 110 and you can buy these on Bradesco bank at Av. Rio Branco, 181 – A - Centro

On sector 13, only on monday, the chairs costs R$ 110 and can be bought on bradesco bank at Av. Presidente Antônio Carlos, 615 - Castelo

Of course there are always travel agencies and vendors that sells the other sectors, but expect to pay double or three times the prices (you can check the original prices at Liesa website at ingressos).

The two last stands at sambadromes are called "arquibancadas populares" and at this place you can see the parade comming and people celebrating the end of it, if they feel they have done a good job. These tickets will start to be sold on january 26th, at the sector 11 of the sambadrome. For the sunday and monday parades, costs R$ 10 and for the winners parades costs R$ 5. Remember that in all cases, they only accept money.

Remembering that the sambadrome parades are a tournament, just like football, so there are lower divisions. My favorite one to go is the second, that parades on saturday. Tickets are usually much cheaper than the main one.

the second division ticket info:

From jan 22nd to 25th - at Rua da Alfandega, 25 - Loja B/C
Centro - from 10 am to 4 pm

From jan 28th to feb 2nd - the same place at sector 11.

all stands will cost R$ 15

One idea is watching the saturday parade on a very good spot (sector 3 to 7) and watch the sunday or monday parades on the R$ 10 place. Its a bargain!!!!!!!!!!