December 23, 2012

Holiday in Rio - Part 1: Jardim Botanico

Over the Thanksgiving holiday this year we had a chance to go to Rio.  We were lucky to be able to stay at the apartment of some friends I met when I did my exchange there in September.  Their apartment is right in Ipanema - a great neighborhood.

I love how there are orchids tied to and growing on the trees that line the streets.  With the frequent yet brief rain showers, they get all the water they need and are just gorgeous.

On Thanksgiving we took the bus to the Jardim Botanico - or botanical gardens.  The bus ride there was interesting - taking us all over the city.  The buses in Brazil have a driver, and another person who takes the money.  On this particular bus, the money taker would often fall asleep between stops.

The Jardim Botanico is lovely.  There are so many interesting gardens - including a whole section of Mata Atlantica which is the rainforest that covered most of the Brazil coastline.

We saw large jackfruits.


Walking stick bugs.

There was a pond with turtles and giant fish.

And huge cartoon-esque lily pads!

Some of the leaf carrying ants.

We even some some Tarzan-like vines to swing from.

We ran in to some Brazilian public school kids on a field trip to the gardens.  They were fascinated to meet some American kids and we had fun teaching them some English words.

Good times.

It was a great way to spend Thanksgiving!

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