Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rio de Janiero - Day 6

Again a great night of sleep and we are in no rush to start the day with gray clouds and on the agenda is site seeing at some the best known views in Rio. After breakfast we head to the beach and as we hit the street our ears are treated to the sound of music. What is this festivity? The Flamengo football team won the game yesterday and the store on the corner sells their merchandise. In celebration of the win they have a band dressed in the black and red on the sidewalk out front playing victory music. We stop and listen for a while to the great music. After our brief stop we head back to the Copacabana Palace Hotel
area and I suggest we go in and take a look around. Fortunately Margarete is game and we proceed to walk into the hotel for a peek. AMAZING! What beauty and splendor. After a few minutes we return outside and invite Luiz to join us and soon we are all in amazement at the intricate details of the old glamorous hotel. We pose for a ton of photos and find great snap shots throughout the 2nd floor meeting area.

 We are done with our nosing around and are standing on the sidewalk, trying to decide if a trip to Cristo Redentor is in the plans with the cloudy skies. (and how to get there from here)

We ask a gentleman and he is very helpful as our fortune is with us today and he has a friend at the statue now. He makes a quick call and lets us know that the view is nice even without blue skies. So we hale a taxi and off we go. The taxi takes us through more communities with beautiful corner nooks and wonderful architecture.


We arrive at the entrance to the attraction, buy our ticket and wait 6 minutes for the tram to depart up the steep railway. We have chosen the back tram and unfortunately the side that gives us little view of the city and mostly foliage and the mountain side. (But there is always the ride down) We are also a little disappointed as the front tram has a band join

them half way up the mountain and they begin to entertain the tourist. I guess today is off to a couple of unlucky breaks. After the tram ride and a short stint in the elevator, we arrive at the top and the view is spectacular!! Simply spectacular! Photo opportunities in every direction and despite the lake of blue skies we enjoy our visit. The only negative is the loud American tourists who look like skater dudes and are drinking beer already this am. They have very little consideration for anyone around them, but there is enough space that it is easy to move away from them. (I am not even sure Luiz and Margarete noticed them but being American myself I was a bit embarrassed by their behavior) We decide the site seeing is done and that if the skies are sunny and blue later on this trip we can always come back. The tram ride down we sit on the opposite side and in the front car like planned and enjoy the views of the city and favelas. (there is no band playing now)
Once we depart in the tram, it is getting close to lunch and we decide to walk a little and visit a place Luiz was intrigued by earlier in life and one of Rio’s most famous squares. After a short walk we arrive at a beautiful courtyard with neocolonial buildings surrounding it called Largo do Boticario… These buildings are where the first apothecary (pharmacist) lived as he served the Portuguese Royal Family back in 1800s. These buildings are currently mostly abandoned and in in need of TLC. Again it is easy to step back in time and fantasize about what it would have been like in its heyday. The plaza is a calm and verdant oasis in the center of a city. This building was the location of the first pharmacy in Rio de Janeiro.


We head back to the bus station and grab a quick lunch of rice, meat, and beans at a local restaurant. The food is good and we are off by bus again. Returning to Copacabana and our apartment for a late afternoon rest, I think we realize just how much we have seen so far and although a trip to sugar loaf is on the agenda for the day. We decide to wait for blue skies for this trip and take a detour to the room for a quick break.
That evening we have plans to go back to the restaurant we found earlier but decided to wait until tomorrow lunch as we are quite full. We stop for a salad and a walk along the beach is in order. The waves this evening are particularly high and so as Luiz and Margarete enjoy a fruit salad – I head to the waters edge to marvel at the power and thunder of the waves. With heights of 10-15 ft, I don’t know if I have ever witness waves this high before. It is truly and excellent way to end my day. Good night world and thanks for a wonderful day in Rio.
(Read Rio de Janiero - day 7)

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