As we venture out into our world, travel can consist of a day visit to the closest towns or a journey that will place our feet clear on the other side of the world.  It is all about discovery and about everywhere we walk.  So, COME – EXPLORE WITH ME.

 

 

 

Fireworks light the biggest floating Christmas tree in the world, on December 5, 2009, in the opening ceremony at Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. AFP PHOTO / ANTONIO SCORZA (Photo credit should read ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Fireworks light the biggest floating Christmas tree in the world, on December 5, 2009, in the opening ceremony at Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. AFP PHOTO / ANTONIO SCORZA (Photo credit should read ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

 

 

Rio de Janiero

 

 

 

 

The son of a friend lives in Rio with his wife and children.  And with this, John gave us an itinerary that we followed to the letter.  Lunch for three hours?  Everyday?  How can one sit still for three hours eating, talking, watching?  We tried and succeeded once!  After two hours we wanted to leave but for whatever reason – we couldn’t get our check.  So, we stayed and enjoyed every minute.

 

The Samba School Parade at Rio´s Sambodrome is something everybody should experience once in a lifetime.  You have to mingle with the crowd, sweat, and yes, maybe even march with a samba school.  The parade consists of “schools”, groups of people who call themselves schools, and who dance in the parade all night long.

 

We arrived at nine p.m. along with 90,000 other people.  Our guide was terrific, fighting her way through the crowd to a space that would accommodate us.  Everyone dances and sings. And wow was it hot: the people, dancers and weather!  95 degrees with humidity to match.

 

Six hundred million years ago, Mother Nature formed a princely natural wonder: Pão de

Açúcar or Sugarloaf Mountain.  At one time, sugar cane was the primary export of the Portuguese and the finished product was packed into bread like loaves for shipment.  Hence, the name Sugarloaf.

 

Today, Sugarloaf is the most commonly recognized and sought after tourist attraction in Rio serving past inhabitants well – for navigators would spot the imposing figure at the entrance to Guanabara Bay.  The landmark was a settling location, as the magnitude of visibility afforded towards the sea and mountains assured their continued protection.

 

Reaching the top of Sugarloaf is done in two stages.

 

The first cable car ascends over 700 feet up Urca Hill offering marvelous views of Corcovado Mountain, the Niteroi Bridge and Guanabara Bay.  Transferring to a second car elevates you an additional 1,300 feet to the top where views of Copacabana and other beaches can be admired. 

 

Christ the Redeemer statue, towering above the marvelous city with open arms, gives it a permanent hug measuring almost 30 meters from one hand to the other.  Since it was placed on top of the 2,300-ft. peak of Corcovado mountain in 1931, this figure has been one of the most famous symbols of Rio.  

 

I’d say… why not take in Rio!  You’ll have many tales to tell.

 





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