Day: 6 (morning)
Temperature: 25+++going upWeather: bright sun and cloudless blue sky
_______________________________________Brazil Tour Day 2 – Rio de Janeiro
Michel and I had an early breakfast in which a huge variety of food on well decorated plates was available for all tastes. At the far end of the restaurant's dining room, several big glass containers of various freshly squeezed fruits looked quite enticing as I made my way towards them choosing not one but two drinks, a watermelon and a mango, simply due to their lovely colors. And you guessed it….they were delicious!
Glancing at my watch and since we still had some time available before the start of our tour, we hurriedly went to the hotel’s 14th floor rooftop terrace to witness just like yesterday morning the sunrise over Copacabana’s Beach and the mountains. Much to our enthusiasm, we were not disappointed as the sun’s rays produced lovely color shades on the mountains. This was a lifestyle I could easily get accustomed to I told myself.
As promised, at 8:00am we were picked up at the front of our hotel by our private guide Tia from the Travel Agency we had booked our trip with. She picked us up with her very own car and as she drove down the streets, we passed in front of an impressive lagoon plus several other attractive sites before shortly afterwards arriving at the Cosme Velho Station.
After purchasing the tickets, we followed Tia down a path and boarded a red colored cog-train for a 20 minutes ride through the Tijuca Forest up Corcovado Mountain. I later learned that Corcovado meant hunchback referring to the mountain’s shape.
The train ride allowed us to have a closer look of the forest’s lush tropical vegetation and to enjoy scenic landscapes of the beaches and city below. It was a beautiful clear morning with a gorgeous blue sky with no haze and clouds in the horizon to obscure the Christ statue. We were definitely lucky on this aspect.
Disembarking at the top of the Corcovado Mountain, 690 meters (2,300 feet) above sea level, we proceeded up the steps that lead to the top lookout where the towering statue of Christ the Redeemer stood with his arms apart as if embracing the city. Rising more than 30 meters (100 feet) from a 6 meter (20 foot) pedestal and weighing 700 tons, the statue looked absolutely beautiful. I totally felt on cloud nine as I appreciated in front of me one the new Seven Wonders of the World plus the panoramic breathtaking view unfolding above and below me.
By then, it was 9:30am in the morning and the place was starting to get crowded as many other tour buses were arriving. It was a good thing we came in early because it was becoming harder and harder to get nice pictures of the statue without strangers being in the photos.
After an hour and a half of admiring the breathtaking vistas and wandering around at the top of the Corcovado Mountain, once again we boarded the cog-train and descended down the mountain and then back into Tia’s car heading towards our next destination!