Fiscal Island, Rio de Janeiro
Is it really Friday? This week flew by. With a churrasco in Teresopolis on Saturday; then a quick trip into Rio for two nights, both nights having a dinner with friends and during the day continuing to put my blog posts from 2009 back together, then returning to Friburgo yesterday; it just seems that there weren’t any quiet hours to think, or to dream and all this activity causing the week to whiz by.
I have had this post planned for well over a month. Back at the end of February, Camillo and I decided to go back to the Navy Yard Museum over by the small airport (Santos Dumont in Central Rio). We had gone over with Carolina during her visit but we were all too hungry to wait for the boat trip to the island, which for me was the main attraction. This time we were only marginally more successful. [We really where under the impression that the actual Navy Museum is at this location but it is on the other side of the freeway, walking distance but another day’s adventure.] We were at the gates when they opened the Espaco Cultural da Marinha’s doors but the boat ride on this particular Sunday was happening only late in the afternoon; we either had to go by bus or wait for another day. We took the bus.
The bus drives around through the navy complex, across a short bridge, and takes a very narrow road on the water’s edge, up their driveway – which was built during the horse and buggy days – and parks right in front. This first photo was taken from the ferry to Paquetá Island. It is a good thing I had it because once the bus parked up next to the building all you can photo bits and pieces of this historic building - nothing wrong with that, I got plenty of photos that pleased me.
A bit of history: Needed as a customs house for the control of foreign ships entering the Guanabara Bay, with the enthusiasm of Emperor D. Pedro II for a “dazzling jewel”, engineer Adolpho del Vecchio designed and built the Palácio da Ilha Fiscal; started in 1881 and completing it in April of 1889 the building was inaugurated with a party which included Emperor D Pedro II making the 1 km trip to the island on his ‘Galeota Imperial’ (see above). It is now most famous for the Empire’s Last Ball on the eve of the take over by the Republic. [“on 15 November 1889, after a 58-year reign, the Emperor was overthrown in a sudden coup d'état that had almost no support outside a clique of military leaders whose goal was the formation of a republic headed by a dictator.”] In 1913, by trading a ship the customs house was taken over by the Navy. In 2003 an extensive renovation was completed and the building has become one of the premier tourist attractions in Rio.
Another nice morning spent touring the sites of Rio.