After a rest of two days at sea we docked in Rio De Janeiro at about 7:00 am. It was dark, misty, and raining which didn’t bode well for our 8 hour tour.
Our first stop was at Corcovado mountain and the statue of “Christ The Redeemer” overlooking Rio. In order to get there you board a tram for the 25 minute trip to the top. Once you get there you have to go up 2 sets of escalators to reach the Statue and those magnificent views of Rio.
Sadly that was not to be. The mist stayed around at the summit and, even though it’s huge, we saw no view of Rio and were barely able to see the statue (top picture) which pales to what we should have seen (bottom picture). We waited 25 minutes at the summit for the mist to clear then we had to start our trip back down. About 10 minutes into our journey down, we got our last view of the summit, and it was perfectly clear! Argh! So we had to settle for a view from one of our next stops, Sugarloaf mountain (right Picture). But we were able to get a great picture of Rio from the tram.
From then on the weather was beautiful. Where a week ago we were talking about how cold it was, now were complaining about how hot it is. It was in the low 90s and high humidity.
On our way to the next major stop, Sugarloaf Mountain, we drove by two of the most famous beaches: Ipanema and Copacabana.
While viewing Ipanema beach, our guide showed us the statue of the song writer of “The Girl From Ipanema”. The girl is real but is about 75 years old now.
Next we traveled to Copacabana. We made a quick picture stop here but we did see a great sand sculpture there!
It was now time for lunch. We went to the “Fogo de Chão” Churrascaria restaurant. It is a Brazilian steakhouse. On each table is what looks like a cardboard coaster. One side is red and the other green. When you get to the table, the coaster is red. You go to the buffet and a get a plate of side dishes, potatoes, vegetables, etc. Once you return to the table, you turn the coaster to green, then the fun begins.
Until you turn the coaster to red, huge skewers of meat are brought to your table for your choice: sirloin, beef ribs, beef sausage, spicy sausage, pork roast, chicken legs, chicken hearts, and others. This place is all you can eat.
After gorging ourselves we reluctantly left the restaurant for our last stop of the day, Sugarloaf Mountain. It is known worldwide for its cable cars and panoramic views of Rio.
To reach the summit, you have to take two cable cars. Each cable car is capable of holding 65 people. The first cable car ascends to the shorter mountain Morro de Urca, 220 m (722 ft) high.
The second car ascends to Pão de Açúcar, 396 m (1,299 ft) with terrific views of Rio. Of course, at each level, there are restaurants and souvenirs stores aplenty.
After descending, we made our way back to the ship.