The stairs of Selaron.

When Rosie and I headed back to Rio before flying out of Brasil we had a fair few things we'd missed the first time on our to do list. One was to visit the famous tiled stairs. The ones from Snoop Dogg's 'Beautiful' video and I believe U2 shot one there too.

The stairs, named Escadaria Selaron, go between Lapa and Santa Teresa and we heard they can sometimes be a little unsafe so we convinced our lovely couch surfing host to come along as our translator and body guard. The stairs blew my mind, they are incredible and all completed by one man, Selaron, a huge 250 stairs long stretching between the neighbour hoods. By the looks on the 'Beautiful' video the stairs weren't completely covered at the time of shooting but now they most certainly are.

I read an article about the stairs before we headed off that day too, mostly to see if it was safe enough to visit them. The article told me that he always wears red, head to toe, has a big moustache and likes to collect tiles from all over the world and incourages vistors to bring tiles from their countries which he sets into the stairs. I was feeling a little annoyed I hadn't read that before we had left as it would be so cool to have a tile from us in the stairs but then I remembered we still had one of the big ceramic tikis left that we have been giving as gifts so far and so Rosie and I decided to take it along.

While we were exploring a man can trotting up the stairs towards us, in red Havianas, red shorts, red tshirt and a red top hat, not to mention his enormous moustache. He called out to us 'Where are you from?' and we replied and handed over the tiki, it was one of those Studio Home Ceramic ones.

He was absolutely stoked, and asked us all sorts of questions about it and took us into his studio. He let us get a photo each with him and the tiki and then suprised us with one of his sketches each to say thank you for the tile, and showed us about 100 laminated clippings about the stairs, fashion shoots, articles, photos of the videos being made etc. He had a little bed in the studio too which had red sheets and a red duvet and a red pillow. Rosie and I bought some of his own printed tiles each and he signed the boards they are on for us, with 'Obrigado Olivia 2009 Selaron' and the same for Rosie. Then he took us back out onto the stairs and took some more photos with us and showed us the other New Zealand tiles he had been given in the past stuck into the stairs, none were quite as good looking as our tiki!

So after all that dribble, it's safe to say that day was on of the best in Rio.
Check out the stairs if you go, more than worth it- and don't forget a tile from your place.

Selaron's hand painted tiles at the bottom there.

Rosemary, the tiki and Selaron in his work room.

One of the New Zealand tiles already on the stairs.


Ginny said...

Can't believe your bum might have sat in the very same spot as Pharrells... Amazing Liv! XXX

ruby in the dust said...

what a great experience!!

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