First of the "GREATS"

Trip Start Jan 30, 2010
Trip End Mar 10, 2010

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Thursday, February 4, 2010

It would be tempting to record that as the "great heat". During the day, it's mid/upper-30's centigrade (around 100 F), but feels much hotter than that with the oppressive humidity. That barely detracts though from the stunning geographical & physical beauty of the city of Rio. If anything does, it's just the post-colonial era buildings - mostly featureless concrete blocks that seemed to have been designed by Soviet-era architects circa 1960! Even the metropolitan cathedral looks (from the outside at least) like a Soviet architect's attempt to play down the religious meaning of the building, although it is somewhat more inspiring from the inside!

No, the first of the "GREATS", is the 38 metre (120 ft) high statue of "Christ the Redeemer". Constructed in the 1930's, it's probably Rio's #1 tourist attraction and is visible from just about anywhere in the city (particularly at night when it's floodlit). Pretty impressive (if extremely crowded) with stunning views of the city from the mountain on which it's built which is over 700 metres (2300 ft) high. The view from the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio's other "icon" is equally as impressive. By the way, our first "dragon" was a rather large iguana - one that we just happened to stumble across on the top of Sugar Loaf mountain, trying to avoid being noticed by the tourists as it was foraging for food around the garbage bins!

We've had a great taste of Rio although we've probably had our share now of Brazilian "barbecue" - all-you-can-eat meat. Fantastic meat - but really a vegetarian's nightmare! Didn't quite get enough of the carnival atmosphere - will have to save that for the next visit

Enjoy the photos - sorry that some are on their side - haven't yet worked out how to rotate them and keep them rotated!
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Marie P on

very nice but not Italy !!!!

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