Day 82 - Touring Rio with Owen and Adel

Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
Trip End Jan 09, 2013

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Flag of Brazil  , Rio de Janeiro,
Friday, December 21, 2012

Coincidentally, our good friends Owen and Adel are in Rio at the same time we are. They had been casing the joint out for a few days before we arrived, and booked us on a tour together to check out the sites of Rio for today.

We got picked up after breakfast at around 0830, with a big hello from Owen and Adel. It was so nice to see them and we were very excited for the day.
The picking up of other people on the tour was a bit time consuming, but it was nice to spend the time catching up with friends. Our first stop was the Sugerloaf, a very identifiable egg shaped mountain in the middle of Rio.
We took a cable car up to the top. The mountain is in two parts, so its actually two cable cars to get to the top. Apparently it's called the sugarloaf because a white frosting appears on the rocks in certain weather, making it looked like its frosted with sugar. Haven't confirmed this but its a fun idea.
The view from the top is spectacular. You can see all around Rio. The coast line and the surrounding islands are such a mish-mash you can't tell what's main land and what's island in many cases. A very shapely coast line. The city is also surrounded by mountains. A superbly set city and very picturesque.
We saw many of the famous sites from there - Christ the Reedemer far away, a great view of Copacabana beach and where the point separates it from Ipanema, the rio harbour, and the extremely long sea crossing bridge.
As we were preparing to go down, Santa came up standing on the top of the cable car to the top of Sugarloaf. He had elves with him in the cable car. He was wishing everyone in Portuguese and even sung us a jolly tune. Very festive.
Already lunch when we got down, we enjoyed a very nice buffet before our next stop at Corcovado mountain to see the statue of Christ the Redeemer, an icon of Rio. We took a lift the last bit of the way up to the statue platform. The statue is super impressive standing 30m high, plus on a large pedestal, making it considered the largest art deco statue of Christ in the world, and the fifth biggest statue of Christ in the world. It's prominence in Rio makes it especially magnificent on top of the very high and steep Corcovado mountain.
We looked at some more great views of the city from the top, enjoyed the statue and being with mates.
Going down we continued to the road where in February they hold the carnival. The setup and infrastructure built along the road is very impressive. There are concrete standing lining much of the street, allowing for great view of the carnival by many thousands of people. We went into the shop there which showed off some of the costumes used during the carnival - looks like so much fun. The Brazilians are definitely very fun and festive by nature.
Our last tour stop was at the cities modern Cathedral. Built as a giant cone, the building is very different from traditional cathedrals. The inside has been done beautifully, with massive towers of stained glass going up in four pillars to the roof of the high cone. The alter area was also well done, and they had a lovely nativity had been setup too. A very nice unexpected stop.
Wanting to head to watch the sunset, we got dropped off at Owen and Adele's hotel to have a few drinks in their room before taking stroll along Copacabana beach front.
A guide had suggested the spot to Owen. It took a little finding, but was certainly the spot to be for the sunset. There was a gathering of people on the rocks as the best spot. We headed up and enjoyed the people watching as the sun went down.
Heading back towards our hotels for dinner we went through the market along Copacabana, before settling done for a great meal with friends. A brilliant day!
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milly on

so lekka to see your adventures and your pictures always make me hungry! What am i going to eat now?

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