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The end of the World Cup road

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I cannot believe it is over.

It doesn’t seem like it but after 30 shows (I think) of Planet Sport Destination Rio we have come to the end of this magical World Cup.

Myself and Tommy have had the pleasure of producing the Taste of Rio features which hopefully saw us go a little bit more in depth than your average tourist here in the ‘marvellous city’.

The whole experience has been a highlight but since we did a top five halfway through the schedule it seems fitting I should do my top ten moments here in Rio.

If you have read the blogs and listened to the shows you will have noticed we have covered a lot of ground, from visiting Sugar Loaf Mountain to Bangu Prison.

It is difficult to pick a top ten, but I have given it a go. All of these could be number one in their own right and there is plenty of stuff which deserved to feature but just has not made the cut.

  1. The Maracana – As a massive football fan watching a game at the Maracana with a load of passionate Colombians will go down as one of my favourite footballing memories.
  2. Forest Trek – Hiking through the Tijuca forest was no doubt a highlight. We climbed to the highest point in Rio where the views were simply stunning.
  3. Beach life – From bodyboarding to beach football to just soaking up the atmosphere. Rio’s beaches were a joy to behold and a place of real fun.
  4. The fans – To meet fans from other countries from around the world was fantastic. Joining in with their songs, speaking to them about their thoughts about their team and learning more about their respective countries was certainly a truly memorable time.
  5. Futsal and football projects – From visiting Bangu prison and the football project there to the futsal project near one of Rio’s favelas, it was a privilege to meet some fantastic volunteers and great young people. For many life is extremely tough but hopefully with some great people working with these kids they can turn their lives around.
  6. Sugar Loaf – Comes higher than Christ Redeemer only because I got more time up there to appreciate the views of one of Rio’s many wonders. Fun to see some monkeys and on a hot day it was good to enjoy the cool shade of the mango tree.
  7. Christ Redeemer – One of the most impressive pieces of architecture I may well ever see. An iconic place for this iconic city.
  8. The Girl from Ipanema – May have led you astray on this one as I am not talking about THE girl from Ipanema but in fact the restaurant named after her. The food there was something else, I had a Picanha, which is basically steak served on a sizzling hot griddle. I want to go there again.
  9. Alzirao – In my opinion the best fan site for watching a Brazil game. Amazing atmosphere, the Brazilians certainly know how to throw a party and the one game I saw there made me wish Brazil had made it to the final round, just to see the carnival that would have taken place there.
  10. Acai – I admit it, I am an Acai addict. I am not sure how I am going to cope without it. . . 

Love Rio van

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