The must sees in Rio

There are places you visit where no matter how many times you visit there are sights you still have to see.  In Rio, Christ the Redeemer, Ipanema, Copacabana and Sugarloaf are those sights.

Christ the Redeemer statue is symbolic to Rio.  It’s the one structure that is recognized as the city’s image and is now one of the wonders of the word.  Arms stretched wide to welcome visitors and embrace is residents.  It’s perched a top of Corcovado mountain (so called because of it’s resemblance of a hump).  Christ the Redeemer stands at 30 meters and offers excellent views of the city all around.  You first take a train up through the forest to the platform.  You then walk up the steps or take an escalator to the base of the statue.  What was spectacular about this trip was Bonnie.  Bonnie overcame her fear of statues and after five visits to Christ the Redeemer she was finally able to go to the base of the statue without fear! You go Bonnie.  There’s nothing to fear but fear itself!

just a little history… Vincintian Pedro Maria Boss visited Corcovado and was so impressed of it’s position wanted to have a religious figure constructed in honor of Princess Isabel.  This did not happen overnight and after much convincing, engineering, constructing and bidding and more than 60 years Christ the Redeemer was constructed.  It was on October 12, 1931 that Christ the Redeemer was inaugurated.  It was designed by Carlos Oswald and sculpted by Paul Landowskitura.

Ipanema, the second most famous beach and area in Rio is the more chic of the beaches.  It is said that this is where the most beautiful people live and hang out.  There are fewer hotels here but has some of the best jazz bars and places to enjoy live Bosa Nova.  It’s the place where beautiful music has been created.  Bonnie and I walked along the beach and a rogue wave hit us. LOL  It was only knee high but it wasn’t expected and caught us off guard.  After that experience I just had to get a fresh coconut from one of the beach stands.  They cut the top off of a coconut, put a straw in and you drink away.  This was so refreshing.  I hope Bonnie and I fit in with the beautiful people of Ipanema.

Copacabana is the most famous of the two and is the oldest.  Most of the hotels in Rio line Copacabana and Avenue Atlantica.  On Sundays one side of the Avenue is closed to vehicular traffic and the people hit the street walking, cycling, protesting, roller blading and just enjoying the open avenue.  Copacabana is distinctive because of its wave pattern on the sidewalk.  As you can see our photographer, Howard Little, was infatuated with the ladies of Copacabana or at least their backsides.  After all, Brazil is known for it’s beautiful ladies and their bums.  We’ll give him a pass on this one.  When you go to Copacabana sit at one of the stands, have a beer or caipirinha and order “fango de passinrinho” This is fried chicken cut into bit sized pieces with the bone in and seasoned with herbs and garlic.  The local squeeze lime juice over them. Finger lickin good! While you’re sitting do some people watching.  There are lots of sights to see.  You will however, be visited by sales people and musicians.  But it’s all part of the experience.

Ja’Vonne & Bonnie on cable car

Sugarloaf, the twin peaks is another vantage point in Rio.  To get to the highest peak you’ll take two cable cars, one to the first peak and then another to the second peak.  I think it’s best visited in the afternoon just before sunset.  Watching the sun set over Rio is breathtaking.  It’s like watching the city come to it’s second life.  As the sun sets and nature dims its lights the city’s lights come on and a whole different Rio emerges.  Take it all in with the national drink, a caipirinha!

Tu do bem (a catch all phrase that basically means everything is fine)

Photos by Gene Harley & Howard Little/Video Twist Productions