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The final stop Rio the beautifully endowed city and Christ the Redeemer

Submitted by on August 10, 2011 – 10:48 pmNo Comment

Rio De Janiero – Brazil. Our final 3 days of vacation was planned here, I had seen some pictures of the place, beaches and blue skies, plus the fact that it hosted one of the new wonders of the world “Christ The Redeemer”, this place naturally made it to our choice list.

I think a city is always fascinating when it is gifted with mountains, beaches, blue skies and water that takes the form of lagoons, bays, a peninsular and the atlantic ocean. This is exactly how one can describe Rio – the picture post card city.

One thing was clear, and I have to mention this before I go on, for Brazilians, football is not just a passion or love that they have for the game , it is a Religion. You won’t miss that fact even if you spend just one hour there. In fact Rio was buzzing with the excitement of being the host country for the 2014 FIFA world cup.

Ok, back to our visit, which we could categorize into 3 groupings;

1. Seeing the Cathedral, driving thro the city and a scenic spot called Sugar Loaf Mountain.
2. Visiting Christ The Redeemer – One of the new 7 wonders of the world
3. Relaxing and spending time at the magificient beaches.

The day we arrived, we checked into the Hotel Astoria Palace located in the prime beach area Copacabana and then went on to cover the Cathedral and the Sugarloaf Mountain. I must say that once again our travel agent Brazilnuts (www.brazilnuts.com) did a fine job of selecting the perfect hotel as well as a very good english speaking guide. The hotel was perfectly located, facing the beach and we had both our rooms facing the sea.

The Sugar Loaf is a landmark peak overlooking Rio de Janeiro and the entrance of Guanabara Bay, in southeastern Brazil. Named for its shape, the conical, granitic peak (1,296 feet [395 m]) lies at the end of a short range between Rio de Janeiro and the Atlantic Ocean. A cable car runs from its summit to the adjacent Urca Hill.

The panoramic trip via the Italian-made bubble cars could take upto 75 passengers each move up the mountain in two stages. The ride is short but fun with sights to some magnificient views, and, once we reached the top we experienced spectacular views ranging from Copacabana beach to Corcovado Mountain.

Its certainly a photographers delight and we took a lot of pictures. That night we also went to see a local folklore show “Platforma”. While, I wont say that this show was anything really great, but the display of the Samba dance and the show on Gaichos was certainly worth watching. The costumes were also in many items colurful and rich.

The next day we had our guide Louis take us to the site we have been eagerly waiting – Christ the Redeemer – one of the new 7 wonders of the world. The trip up the Tijuca National Park mountain, itself was fun, as we had to take a cog train up the hill, at a station called Corcovado. A beautiful 20 min ride with some spectacular views of Rio, on the way up. It certainly is one of the best preserved green areas. Another delight for photographers looking for picture postcard views.

This was another important year at Rio, as the city was celebrating the park’s 50th year, as well as the 80th year of the Christ The Redeemer Statue.

Corcovado, is located about 710 meters high and is one of the really beautiful spots in the world, as you can get a sweeping panoramic view of city, sea and the mountain. The mountain is crowned by the huge 30 Mts (130ft) tall statue of Christ The Redeemer, which itself is seated on a pedestal of 8 Mts (31 ft) high.

Ohhhhh….. What a sight, one thing that will strike you, when you see the statue, is the feeling of calmness that the statue brings on to you instantly. It’s really hard for me to describe, what I felt, but the

Christ the Redeemer measures 98 feet wide and weighs 700 tons. The statue consists of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and seems to have been made up with triangular chips.
You can just admire the statue for hours. The face of Christ is so beautifully carved, that it has a very soothing affect on you.

It’s majestic, and it’s positioning is such that it overlooks the city of Rio, giving the feeling that they are protected.

We spent some good time there, taking many many pictures of the views and of the statue, covering as many angles we could. It was a very clear day, and the sky backdrop looked as if it was painted sky blue.

Once, we got back, we headed to the local shopping art market, to see what they had to offer. They sure had some very arty and colorful paintings. After that, we had lunch and visited one of the local large shopping malls. The economy sure seems fine there, as we saw all the top brand shops, very busy with people buying in plenty. Were we tempted? Even if we were, the prices were sky high, and we could find the same in our good old country at at least 30% a 40 % cheaper for sure.

After getting back to our hotel, we spent some time at the rooftop, to digest the night views, as well as see the Christ The Redeemer, shining in full white, before we called it a night.

Today was our last day of vacation and a relaxed day. We took a leisure breakfast, and set out to walk alongside the beach. We once again saw sand castles, people playing beach volleyball and in general spent an hour plus at the beach. Returning back to the hotel, we packed our luggage, and went back to our sea facing cafe to have our last drink and a pizza for lunch. We then checked out as our pickup was waiting to take us to the airport.

Check In was interesting. They asked us to checking on international side, even though we were to pick up our luggage at Sao Paulo and re-check in with Continental. After we did that, we also went thro immigration, and the fun of it all was that we were taken into the international check in area, and a door opened to the domestic terminal where our flight gate was. So a lot of us were finding this amusing that we had to go thro a whole immigration and get reunited with domestic travelers. Oh, by the way,they said we have to get immigration stamped again at Sao Paulo, which means, we go thro immigration again… Quite strange for sure.

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