From the statue, there were amazing views of the city. While the size of the statue was quite impressive, what really impressed me was the statue at night. It stood on a mountain that was mostly covered with jungle, so you didn't see the mountain at night. At night, large flood lights pointed at it, causing the appearance of a glowing Christ floating over the city.
The view from Corcovado was incredible. On one side, you could see Sugarloaf Mountain and various harbors.
On the other side, you could see the Maracana soccer stadium (not in this picture), the Jockey Club (the track on the right side of the picture), the lagoon (foreground) and Ipanema (the developed area between the lagoon and the sea).
Tall and tan and young and lovely the girl from Ipanema goes walking
and when she passes each one she passes goes ahhh
When she walks she's like a samba
that swings so cool and sways so gently
that when she passes each one she passes goes ahhh
I had to stop and drink a choppe brahma (great beer!!) at the Garota de Ipanema. This was the bar that Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes wrote the classic Bossa Nova song "The Girl From Ipanema". Just down the road from this bar was a music store that was filled with bossa nova and samba CDs. I bought quite a few of them.
Beyond the far end of Ipanema beach, the "Two Brothers" mountain poked up above the city. This picture was taking on a foggy Sunday morning (notice how many people are already at the beach!!)
This is a picture of the same area, taken at sunset while sitting on the rocks of Arpoador, which is the area located between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches.
At the Copa..... Copacabana
The boardwalk along Copacabana Beach. I read many warnings saying not to walk here at night, but I did anyway and felt perfectly safe (up until around midnight). After that, I took a cab. Of course, I wouldn't walk alone in my neighborhood after midnight either!
I spent a lot of time in Copacabana. I met lots of interesting people on the beach and in the adjacent bars and restaurants; I even saw a Gilberto Gil concert one night on the beach. I think everyone should experience a Brazilian concert at some point. It was great fun!!
One evening, I decided to go on an organized tour to a Rodezio (meat buffet) and catch a Samba show. I was in a group with a very fun couple from Spain and a woman from Sydney who had just spent the previous week walking the Inca Trail. This was a very fun crowd! And since the tour bus was taking care of all transportation, we didn't hold back on drinking Caiphirrinas!
The show was very Las Vegas style - touristy, but good none the less. The woman from Sydney and I were sitting in the front row, and the male dancers made sure to flirt heavily with us. We did not mind one bit!!!
The next morning, I decided to nurse my nasty hangover by spending several quiet hours wandering around the Botanical Gardens.
At the end of this long line of palm trees is a fountain.
After wandering around the gardens for several hours, I decided to sit on one of the many benches. Within about 15 minutes, I was surrounded by marmosets - sort of like a cross between a squirrel and a monkey.
It was interesting watching them run up and down the trees, and jump from tree to tree. Plus, they make interesting noises. It was very relaxing.
Another famous site in Rio that shouldn't be missed is visiting Sugar Loaf. To get there, you take a cable car. There are two stops. This photo was taken after the first stop, before riding to the top. At each stop are various overlooks, so you can see different parts of the city. At the top of SugarLoaf, there is a patch of forest, with well developed paths.
While the people on tours were herded through like cattle, I was able to take a couple of hours and explore all the trails, watch different birds and butterflies, and I even saw a few marmosets.
I also took a jeep tour of the Tijuca forest, which is located in the center of Rio. This picture shows bread fruits/jack fruits that were growing everywhere.
We also stopped at the "Monkey's Waterfall" which was right off the side of the road. There were several large crabs swimming in the water.
Another stop on the tour was the Chinese Vista, which was a memorial in honor of the Chinese immigrants that built many of the first roads through the Tijuca forest. On a clear day, you can see both Sugarloaf and Corcovado at the same time.
This was not a clear day and you couldn't see anything.
Yet, I thought there was a spectacular view!
Too bad my suitcase wasn't bigger ........ I would have liked to take a few of these guys home with me!!