View from Pao de Azucar (Sugarloaf Mountain):
I spent almost two weeks in Brazil in the beginning of March, split between Rio de Janeiro and a small town four hours south of the samba capital. I arrived a Wednesday morning and was thrilled to step into the sunshine after a cold and flu-filled week in Baltimore and DC. We spent four days in Rio in the beginning and two more at the end, and I have to agree with all those people who told me that Rio is a very cool city! My boyfriend was there for a work meeting/confererence, and I was lucky enough to take part in the "spouse tour", two days of sightseeing in Rio for spouses (and girlfriends, boyfriends and just friends who happened to tag along!) We saw Cristo Redentor, Pao de Azucar (sugarloaf mountain), Copacabana Fort, and the Amsterdam Sauer museum (a precious stone/jewelry museum - oh yes, how appropriate for a spouse tour!)
The famous Cristo Redentor:
We also attended a football game at Maracana Stadium, one of the most famous stadiums in the world, where Fluminense, one or the four Rio teams, played Arsenal of Argentina in an early round of the Copa Libertadores. The stadium takes 100,00 people! We sat in a skybox but sitting in the stands would probably have been very cool! Rio is also a city of fantastic food. Lots of great restaurants, and everywhere there are juice bars serving juices, fruits, shakes and other deliciousness. And the samba clubs are awesome, of course! We went to one and enjoyed the music and the ambience. I don't think I will ever be able to dance samba, though... I am going to write a trip report, so here are just another shot - more to come tomorrow!
Rio is a city of contrasts, here you can see the favela, or slum, of Santa Marta, right behind famous Copacabana Beach.