Before going I had read about theft, muggings and stabbings being a daily occurrence in Rio. In reality I had no problems and never felt in any danger.
Going to matches was an amazing experience – security was a bit of a joke as I had a pen confiscated but a German fan in front of me was allowed in with his flag on a metre-long metal pole.
There is a great atmosphere in the stadiums.
The Argentinian fans were cheering, chanting, dancing and waving flags throughout games – very entertaining except if you had been hoping to be able to see the pitch occasionally.
When Brazil play, the country closes down. Offices and shops shut for the afternoon.
None of the Brazil games were in Rio but everyone was in a Brazil shirt and when Brazil scored klaxons, fireworks and firecrackers went off in deafening proportions.
It was a great four weeks with so many memories. My only disappointment was not to see one of the armadillos which roam the grounds of the college where I was staying.
We don’t get a lot of armadillos in Cumnor.
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