Cidade Maravilhosa… Rio de Janeiro !

Copcabana Beach

Copcabana Beach

I can’t believe this is the end!  It feels as if my first day back in Jodhpur, India was only one week ago!  I guess I have to face the truth and enjoy my last few days in one of world’s most beautiful city, ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’ Rio de Janeiro !  Planted between lush, forest covered mountains and breathtaking white-sand beaches, the Marvelous City has a huge range of things to offer.

Copacabana Beach

Copacabana Beach

Unfortunately there was a downside to all this beauty… Rio de Janeiro had a alarming crime-rate due to the social inequalities so in our quest to find the best, ‘safest’ spot to spend our last days, Sioe & me chose for ‘Ipanema Beach’, a beautiful stretch of beach framed by verdant mountains and deep blue sea.  We stayed in ‘Mango Tree’ hostel, conveniently located just one block from the beach and post 9, the famous post where Rio’s beautiful people and gay scene tend to be.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro means ‘River of January’ and comes from the fact that Gaspar de Lemos sailed from Portugal to Brazil in May 1501 and entered the ‘Baia de Guanabara’  in January 1502.  Mistaking the bay for a river, Lemos named the land surrounding the bay where the Tamoio people lived, ‘River of January’  or ‘Rio de Janeiro’.

Rio de Janeiro is in my eyes the most beautiful city in the world seen from the peak of Pão de Açúcar aka Sugerloaf Mountain.  The views on the city from that viewpoint are just majestic!

Sioe @ Morro da Urca

Sioe @ Morro da Urca

We took the cable car near Praia Vermelha and the first brought us to Morro da Urca on an altitude of 220m.  From here we had a magnificent view on Baia de Guanabara and the winding coastline.   The second cable car brought us to Sugarloaf Mountain where the city unfolded beneath us with a  breathtaking 360° view on Corcovado Mountain & Cristo Redentor off the west, the beautiful beaches of Copacabana & Ipanema off the south, Botafogo & Flamengo off the north  and finally the city of Niteroi off the east.

Christ The Redeemer

Christ The Redeemer

Another thing we couldn’t miss was of course Corcovado Mountain with one of the 7 wonders of the world, the 30m high statue of Christ The Redeemer.   Cristo Redentor,  gazes over the city from an altitude of 710M above the city and this viewpoint offers a spectacular view on the city as well but I personally preferred the one of Pão de Açúcar.  Corcovado, meaning ‘Hunchback’, lies within the National Park of Tijuca.  The most memorable way to the top was with the cog train but unfortunately the first available one was too late for me as I had to catch the Favella tour that afternoon and my flight that evening as well.

Sioe @ Christ The Redeemer

Sioe @ Christ The Redeemer

Sioe & me chose for the minivan to bring us to the top (20BR)   Good to know is that when we informed for the cog train, nobody could help us and they all adviced us to buy first our tickets in Largo de Machado, which is a subway station in Flamengo, then to take the bus to Cosme Velho where we could take the minivan to Corcovado.  That was totally incorrect!  Just take the bus or taxi to Cosme Velho directly where you can hop on the cog train.  You can buy your tickets there if you have enough time but I would recommend to make a reservation online).  Once arrived at Cristo Redento, you can just buy your entrance ticket for 21,35BR.

Last moments of an epic journey in 'Llama' restaurant

Last moments of an epic journey in ‘Llama’ restaurant

We had a Favella Tour planned as well in the early afternoon but due to the heavy traffic in Rio de Janeiro we came back too late and missed it.  Sioe was able to do the tour the next day but for me it was the end of an unforgettable world trip.  I had to pack my stuff and catch my flight back home after 310 days of adventure.  Not something I was looking forward too…  But before that, we went for a last, typical Brazilian dinner in a local place called ‘Llama’ in Flamengo, a place that Barbara, a friend from Sao Paolo recommended us.  A beautiful ending to an epic journey!

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Comments
One Response to “Cidade Maravilhosa… Rio de Janeiro !”
  1. Rio was one of our favourite cities on our RTW trip too! So beautiful, and loved all the fresh fruit juices. We ended up staying in one of the favelas – Vidigal – to save money, and it was a wonderful experience!

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