Our flight left just after noon on hot sunny day with only a few clouds in the sky. As we took off you could see the city of São Paulo below reaching out into the horizon, tall sky-scrappers for most of it. Once we were past the city it was rolling hills with patches of lakes and squares of land being farmed. The dark green landscape converging with the light blue sky above. About halfway through the flight we reached the Ocean, and the plane was low enough we could see the waves crashing against the beach, The white sandy beach that stretched on and on. Flying into Rio we passed between the steep hills and came to a landing right beside the water with the view of the statue of Christ in the distance.
The ride from the airport to the hotel was quite a view, the city of Rio de Janeiro is beautiful. The landscape is tall hills with steep valleys leading all the way up to the beach. The city is built in the middle of it all. You drive at the bottom of the valley looking up at the buildings on the hillside wondering how they were built, and how they don´t fall! Then you turn and cut through a hill heading through a tunnel to come out the other end in another part of the city with tall buildings built closely together, vines and trees everywhere climbing the buildings and arching over the road.
Then we arrive at the hotel. There´s the Copacabana beach, the sidewalk with little shops down the length of the beach, the avenue and then out hotel, 100 feet from the beach, at the most. My room that I shared with my host brother didn´t face the beach, but you could go to the 13th floor, the top of the hotel with a bar, pool and lounge, where you could look out across the whole beach from end to end.
The beach was the most crowded beach I´ve ever seen, I mean it was packed! Copacabana is a place for tourists. There were people walking around trying to sell you things, tattoos, sunglasses, necklaces and bracelets and more. This part reminded me of Mexico. Every night there was a tractor that would come and smooth out the beach for the next day.
While in Rio the main thing we did was eat. We ate out more times than I ever have in three days. But besides eating we went to the Pão de Açucar (Sugar Loaf), the Corcovado (the giant statue of Christ) and a soccer game at the Maracana Stadium, Botafogo and Flamingo semi-final with about 83,000 people. the views were amazing and hard to put into words and so I'm not going to try. These are a few of the many pictures I took on the trip.
One of the longest bridges in South America.
A view from the plain.
At the corcovado.
The Flamingo side during the game
The Copacabana beach.
The View from the Pão de Açucar.
The Pão de Açucar.