Rio de Janeiro

06th October 2010

The city of Rio de Janeiro [9] (January River), known as Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvellous City), sits amidst rainforest covered mountains and is surrounded by white sand beaches.  The French first settled here in 1555 but the Portuguese took over in 1567.


We stayed in the pretty blue and white Hotel Santa Clara on a quiet back street a short walk from Copacabana Beach, a good place for running, long strolls and people watching.  Too bad the weather was ugly so there were no bare cheeked Brazilian bodies on the beach.


A cog train carries people up Corcovado Mountain through lush jungle to visit the 38 metre high, open armed statue of Christ the Redeemer.  Views from the top are spectacular on a clear day.  We were not so lucky, but next day we had great views of the city from atop Sugarloaf Mountain, reached by cable car.   The city centre still has some colonial buildings amongst the sky scrapers.


A freshly blended fruit juice was a daily must and we enjoyed the buffet meals charged by the kilo thus not only avoiding a pig out, but a rare opportunity to eat vegetables.


Cidade Maravilhosa really is marvellous – the beaches, the jungle; the old, the new; the rich, the poor; the luxury, the squalor.  It is one of our favourite cities.


Statue of Christ the Redeemer high above Rio

The statue in the clouds

Looking down at Sugarloaf mountain

A clear view of Botafugo

Copacabana beach deserted

Copacabana Beach on a brighter day

Shanty towns climb up the hill sides of Rio

Colonial church

Formerly one of the richest Churches in Brazil

The old and the new

Ipanema Beach at dusk