RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL


(Brazil Flag)


(Brazil Map)


MONDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2009:

My nine hour flight from Atlanta landed at Galećo International Airport a little before 10:00 A.M.



I was taking a 5 day pre-cruise tour with Princess Cruises.
Marcia, the tour director, was there to greet me after I cleared customs.
Our hotel, the Sheraton Rio Hotel & Resort is the city's only beach front resort
and is located between trendy Barra da Tijuca and famed Ipanema Beach.


There were no planned activities for today. So I just relaxed around the hotel and enjoyed the warm weather.
The photo below was taken from my balcony at the Sheraton Rio Hotel.
View from balcony at Sheraton Rio Hotel


SHERATON RIO HOTEL VIDEO
4 minute video of the beach around the Sheraton Rio Hotel.

Click on the player above to watch on ©YouTube.


MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON FEBRUARY 9, 2009
Hello Again,

Timed my return to the airport pretty good. After I finished exchanging some money and calling my bank to inform them of my trip, which I forgot to do before I left home, I only had to wait a few minutes before boarding began. But the boarding went slow and the wait in line to takeoff was long as well. Didn't get in the air until after 10:00 when our scheduled departure was 8:40.

It was a long and boring 10 hour flight. I got some sleep, but sleeping on a plane isn't a continuous thing. More like about a couple dozen ten minute naps. There was a nice old man from Texas seated next to me. He was traveling alone and had to be at least 80.



Got to Rio a little late, about 10:00am local time. Time here is 3 hours ahead of Indiana. Will only be 2 hours ahead next week when they end their daylight savings time here. Weather here is mostly sunny and hot and very humid. The representative from Princess Cruises was waiting for me when I cleared customs and immediately took us to our hotel. I am staying at the Sheraton Hotel on Ipanema Beach. I have a nice room with a balcony overlooking the beach. Today is the first day of school after summer vacation for the kids here. Carnival is coming up in a couple weeks. Glad I am not here for that.



There were no planned events for today. Just a get acquainted meeting and information about the tour. It is a five day land tour prior to boarding the ship in Argentina on Saturday. We were warned not to walk around here with cameras and looking like tourists. The crime here is quite high. So after getting settled at the hotel I set out for my walk around Rio. I had nothing on me except for a small amount of Brazilian money. I managed to keep out of trouble and got back to the hotel safely, very sweaty, but safe.

I don't have any photos of Rio yet except those from the hotel. I didn't want to risk having my expensive camera equipment stolen on the first day. I have an all day tour of the city tomorrow and can get my pictures then when I am in the safety of the group. So the attached picture is from my hotel here in Rio. I am here in Rio for two nights before flying to Iquazu Falls on Wednesday. By the way, for those I gave an itinerary, they changed my hotel for Wednesday & Thursday night to the Das Cataratas Hotel.

View from balcony at Sheraton Rio Hotel

More tomorrow,

Tim



All of the images below are thumbnails and can be clicked on for a larger image.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2009:

On Tuesday we had an eight hour tour of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with our other tour director, Zeca.
Our first stop was at Corcovado where we rode the train to the top of the mountain.
Atop the mountain stands the inspiring Christ the Redeemer statue.
Unfortunately visability on top of the mountain was very poor and we did not get to see much of the famous view.
Christ the Redeemer on top of Rio's Corcovado Mountain View from top of Rio's Corcovado Mountain


Next we drove into downtown Rio where we stopped at the cone-shaped Metropolitan Cathedral.
The Cathedral was our only stop in downtown. The photo on the right was taken from the bus of a downtown square.
The cone-shaped Metropolitan Cathedral is located in downtown Rio Inside Rio's Metropolitan Cathedral Square in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


After a delicious barbecue lunch it was off to Sugarloaf Mountain.
Sugarloaf Mountain is a peak at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Cable car at Rio's Sugarloaf Mountain View from top of Urca Mountain View from top of Urca Mountain


You have to take two different cable cars to get to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain.
The first cable car takes you to the top of Urca Mountain.
View from top of Urca Mountain View of Sugarloaf Mountain from top of Urca Mountain View of Sugarloaf Mountain from top of Urca Mountain


The visability was better than at Corcovado, but the view was still limited.
View from top of Sugarloaf Mountain View of Copacabana beach from top of Sugarloaf Mountain Sugarloaf Mountain cable car


RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL VIDEO
11 minute video of the landmarks of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Click on the player above to watch on ©YouTube.


MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON FEBRUARY 10, 2009
Greetings from South America!

Spent all day today in Rio and boy was it hot, 99 degrees and humidity near 100%. Started the day by going to the top of Corcovado Mountain and the statue of Christ the Redeemer. Rode the cog railway to the top of the mountain. While it was a sunny day there were clouds everywhere below us and we were not able to see the famous view from the top of the mountain looking down on Rio and Sugarloaf Mountain. If you have ever seen a picture of Rio I'm sure you know what I am talking about. We were able to see the statue and it was beautiful and quite impressive.

Christ the Redeemer on top of Rio's Corcovado Mountain

Next it was off to downtown Rio de Janeiro. We drove around a bit and stopped at the Metropolitan Cathedral. This was not like any cathedral I have ever seen before. Hard to describe this unique structure. I won't try. Click on the link if you want to see it.

The cone-shaped Metropolitan Cathedral is located in downtown Rio

Next it was off to lunch. We went to a barbecue restaurant. Salad and side dishes were served buffet style and they brought the meats to the tables on large skewers and carved the meat right onto your plate. Had every type meat imaginable, beef, pork, lamb, chicken, fish. No one went hungry.

Next it was off to Sugarloaf Mountain, a peak that sits on the end of a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. You have to ride two cable cars to get to the top of the mountain. The first one goes to the top of Urca Mountain and then after a short walk you switch to the second cable car which takes you to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. While the visability was much better than that from Corcovado, there were still some clouds that rolled in and out and considerable haze.

View of Sugarloaf Mountain from top of Urca Mountain

All in all it was a fun day although very hot. Leaving Rio tomorrow and flying to Iguazu Falls. If I have internet from there I will send more tomorrow.

Until later,

Tim


Click on the arrow above to continue to my next adventure, IGUAZU FALLS.

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