In the center we saw the Petrobras building (It looks like a Rubik's cube) and the very modern and ugly cathedral
. That is, until you go inside and see the stained glass. It was very interesting and you could see gloomy Christ in the background. We wandered around a strange park with capybaras and a topiary nativity scene. Then we decided to make a break for Sugarloaf.
It took longer than we thought and by the time we took the cable car up we realized we had made a mistake. The clouds had cleared and the view - and far off Christ - were unobstructed. Although we had a great view over the city from Sugarloaf, we were too late to make it up Christ. We could have done it the other way around, since Christ closed early. And that was how we failed to use the magically clear day in Rio. It's two days later and it's been cloudy since then.
Sugarloaf was great though and I'm we got to see a view at all.
The two big lookout points in Rio are Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer. These both require a clear day, somewhat of a rarity this time of year. Our first full day in Rio was cloudy and it rained. We didn't attempt it then. The next day was supposed to be better. The morning was still iffy, so we went up to the center to have a view of Christ and see if it was okay to go up. His head has a tendency to be obscured in cloud and we wanted the view. As we wandered around the center the sun came out over the city, but clouds still hung over Christ. It was hard to tell because the weather changed so quickly. We decided to compromise and go up Sugarloaf and wait out the weather to see what would happen. We only had one chance at Christ (it cost about $40 to get up there) and we wanted it to be the right time.