Wednesday, January 22, 2014

S America/Antarctica - 12/19/2013 - Touring Rio and Sail-off

We have another partial day here in Rio so we are taking another sightseeing tour this morning.  Holland America usually furnishes nice buses for their shore excursions.  You can actually see lots of the city or even countrysides on these excursions proving that you are not so limited by being on a cruise.  HA even has multi-day excursions that allow significant inland touring and then meeting back up with the ship in another port.  The highlight of the day will be the statue of Christ the Redeemer.  It is the most recognizable icon for Rio.

The day was pretty gloomy in the morning with periods of rain.

This is one of many warehouses where items used in Carnival are stored.  As you can see, the graffiti is ambitious as well as prevalent.

These photos are just impulsive shots of Rio as we traveled through the city.  As I said before, it ain't all pretty.  I don't like "bus shots" because you are always fighting reflections in the windows, dirt, and rain drops.  You are usually moving and bouncing up and down on bumpy roads so blurs in the photos are throw away more photos then you keep.  I shoot at 1/3000th of a second to minimize blurring but even that doesn't always work.

A miniature Christ the Redeemer decorated for Christmas.

We rode the inclined railroad to the top of the mountain where the statue is located.  Well, almost to the top except for the elevator you take part way and then the hundreds of steps after that.

A momentary nice view with sun as we rode the train up the mountain.

The clouds were hanging low at the top as they most often do.  We couldn't see the statue at this point.

Almost there....rats.....look at the fog.  This is a once in a lifetime chance to visit.  Notice that the escalator is out of service.  Add a few more hundred steps up to the journey.  No fun with a bad hip.

Waiting for the sun that never came.

This is as good as it is going to get.  At least we can see the entire statue now.  How spectacular it would be with lots of blue sky.

Returning from the card time.

Nice that they now have the escalator working now that we are leaving.

We are now touring the beach area of southern Rio.  This is the Tropicana Beach area.  Notice how empty the beach is mid-day.

This one spot had more people on it than miles of the other beaches combined.

There were a number of sand castles along the sidewalk.  We took the photos mostly for a friend who is into building sand castles.

We had lunch on returning to the ship.  These are two of the German passengers that we meet and shared meals with during the cruise.  Nice folks.

A few photos of the pier at the port terminal building as the ship pulls away.  I love sail-offs.  At some point on leaving port, the Captain blows the massive ship's horn three long times to signal our departure.

Sugar Loaf is in the distance.  It is the second most famous sight in Rio.

A set of cable cars take you to the peak of Sugar Loaf.

Good bye Rio.

The next post will be more of the Christ the Redeemer statue.  It was struck by lightning a few weeks after we were there.

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