Sunday, September 8, 2013

Rio de Janeiro

At the end of August I travelled to Rio de Janeiro for a three-day IB conference. I tacked a couple of days onto the end of the course for myself so I could explore the Brazilian city. Rio is a fascinating blend of rich and poor, tourist and local. The conference was at the American School, a high-tech secure location adjacent to a favela, a Brazilian shanty town. Everywhere we went in Rio, we passed favelas and mansions within blocks of each other. What a contrast!

View of a favela from the American School

Apart from this stark contrast, Rio is also characterised by its many beaches. My hotel was on the Copacabana Beach, a 4km stretch of white sand, palm trees and cafes. I stopped for some agua de coco (coconut water) and, of course, some typical Brazilian caipirinhas (cocktails).

Enjoying agua de coco on Copacabana Beach

Some sandcastles on Copacabana Beach advertising the
2014 Soccer World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games coming to Rio.

I went on a tour of the very hilly city to see the famous sites. The tour took us past some cathedrals, the famous Maracanã Soccer Stadium and the Sambódromo, a venue for the float parades in the Rio Carnival. We also went up Corcovado Hill in the Tijuca National Forest to see the Christ the Redeemer statue and enjoy spectacular views over the city.

Cristo Redentor watching over Rio de Janeiro

In front of the Christ the Redeemer statue

A beautiful view over Rio

The last stop on the tour was a cable car ride up Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar), a peak at the mouth of Guanabara Bay, with views over the bay, the Yacht Club and the statue of Christ. I enjoyed a beautiful sunset there before returning for my last caipirinha in Brazil.

The cable car descending from Sugarloaf

1 comment:

Kate said...

Looks like an awesome trip!