Wednesday, January 22, 2014

S American/Antarctica - 12/18/2013 - A Night Out In Rio

We rested a little after getting into our cabin on the ship.  Around 6:00 pm, we gather with a group of other passengers to take a driving tour of Rio, have dinner, and a show.  It was good that we came a day early.  Otherwise, we would have been too tired to enjoy the extra time in Rio.

Brazil was discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in 1502.  Portuguese is still the national language unlike most of the other South American countries which speak Spanish.  There are reasons for this but not enough space in this blog to discuss that kind of stuff.  Google it if you are interested in history.

Rio has a tropical savannah climate which means that it is hot an humid most of the time.  Highs can reach 105 F or more.  The record low is 45 F but it is more like 70 F for a low most of the year.  This and a few of the other ports on this cruise required that we bring hot weather clothes and clothes warm enough for Antarctica.  A challenge when you only travel with one large suitcase each.

This building is the port terminal.  We were in and out of here several times during our stay in Rio. 

You have seen all the beautiful photos of Rio....usually the Christ the Redeemer statue looking down on Rio and Sugar Loaf mountain in the bay.  On the bus ride, I took photos of everything.....the real Rio.  You have never seen graffiti until you come to South America.

Like I said, Rio isn't all pretty.

The evening street markets have thousands of people out looking for dinner or whatever.

The old co-exists with the new.

Aqueducts very much like what the Roman's built in Europe.

Football (Soccer) is everywhere and all the time.

Our tour guide was great.  She had a wonderful sense of humor and didn't sugar coat anything about Brazil or Rio.  Most of our guides really didn't like the government and politicians in general.  I am sympathetic.

As we went into the restaurant, the clouds cleared briefly so we could see the Christ the Redeemer statue.  It is shrouded in clouds most of the time.  We have an unenviable history of visiting places on vacation and then having something bad happen in those places about a month or so after we were there.  We were in San Francisco just before the earthquake back in 1989 and drove across the bridge that collapsed during the quake as we left town.  We were in New Orleans a month before Katrina.  We were in Christchurch, New Zealand just before the second and most damaging earthquake struck the city.  These are not the only instances, just the ones that were most significant.  Now, a month after we were in Rio, lightning struck the statue and damaged the head and a finger. 

Dinner at a Brazilian Steakhouse.  They had meats of all kinds including tripe and chicken hearts.  It was fun but not great food.  Golden Corral could give them a run for the money.

Did I mention that they play volleyball on the beach.....night and day.

The iconic Copacabana Palace Hotel.

Rio has a large lake near the center of the city.  At Christmas, they have a floating Christmas Tree that puts on a spectacular show in the evenings.  It changes color and had dozens of different kinds of figures that it can display.

In the photo below, you can see the light from the Christ the Redeemer statue at the top of the mountain above the Christmas tree.

To finish the evening, we went to a Brazilian folklore stage show at Plataforma Rio De Janeiro.  This was our chance to get a little of the flavor of Carnival without being there.  It was fun.

The next post will be of more touring around Rio and visiting the Christ the Redeemer statue.

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