Today, we explored Rio on our own and walked through Lapa, saw the Arcs do Lapa, the old aqueduct of the neighborhood, and also walked up the Escadaria Selaron, or the Selaron staircase, which were designed and out together by Jorge Selaron, a Chilean-born artist who created these beautiful and eclectically tiled steps as a personal tribute to Brazil. He worked incessantly on these steps and their tiles until the day he was found dead on them with burn marks.
As with major tourist attractions anywhere, the stairs were filled with lots of people, even locals just standing around it, chatting and smoking. As we reached the top, Chris wanted to take my picture right by a mosaic tiled image of the Brazilian flag when we suddenly heard a British man shout out and tumble down the top of the stairs. He looks to have hurt his leg with the fall, and a few men, presumably his friends, run down after him and carry him to a flat spot. We heard him say that he saw someone with a gun at the top of the stairs, so everyone immediately started walking down, including us. No one else ran down the stairs, though, except him, so it was hard to judge what really happened at the top. Either way, we never got up there.