Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 9/15

Our long layover for this vacation was in Rio de Janerio. It was Laure's first time visiting the city and she wanted to visit a couple of the famous landmarks.
See an even closer view of our interactive map.
Christ the Redeemer's view of our route in Rio.

We departed the airport heading straight the mountain base of Christ the Redeemer. Before arriving at the base of the mountain, our cab driver showed us Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí. It is the spectator bleachers for Rio's world famous Carnival parade. With luck, we hope to one day watch the parade from these bleachers.

The tram that brings tourists from the base of the Corcovado mountain up to the Christ the Redeemer was sold out until 3:30PM. Our layover in Rio was only 9 hours and we did not have three hours to spare sitting around. We decided to take advantage of a private shuttle service up the mountain that departed immediately. On the way up the mountain, the shuttle stopped at a gorgeous vista point of Christ the Redeemer and the harbor. It was a beautiful day to soak in the beauty of the Rio's harbor.
Beautiful day and an amazing view.

The shuttle continued up the mountain until we reached a government run shuttle stop. At this point we were required to purchase a ticket for the government run shuttle that would bring us the rest of the way up the mountain to the base of Christ the Redeemer. The ride to the top of Corcovado was relatively quick and efficient with shuttles frequently running.

It was the middle of the afternoon on a gorgeous spring Saturday and Christ the Redeemer was unbelievably crowded with tourists. We quickly took the signature photos and headed back down. The line to get on the government run shuttle was long and the second line to take the private shuttle the rest of the way down to where we started was even longer. We spent well over an hour waiting in line. We would not recommend anyone to take the private shuttle. It was overpriced and extremely slow at getting customers down from the mountain.
Checked another item off Laure's bucket list.

"Hanger" (anger that is set off by extreme hunger) was setting in so we took a cab to Ipanema for lunch. After calming the monster in our stomachs with Brazilian pizza and a caipirinha, we walked around the neighborhood and along the beach. It was a great afternoon to watch footvolley, snack at the food stalls and enjoy an outdoor bossanova performance. We eventually made our way to Copacabana to check out the tourist night market and professionally constructed sandcastles before heading back to the airport.
Pizza and a capahina to calm the monster in our stomachs
Laure's first time watching footvolley.
Beach side filled churros.
Bossa Nova along Ipanema.

A return trip to Rio de Janeiro is required. There are still a few more sights Laure wants to see, like the top of Sugar Loaf and a samba performance.