An early start today to take the 140 year old train up Corcovado (the hunchback hill) in Rio to see Christ the Redeemer statue and avoid the worst of the crowds. Here’s my art shot of the train!
I caught a tiny peek at the station out of the window but it’s amazing how quickly the weather can change in 25 minutes. Stage one of the journey was fab.
But here’s how it had changed at the top by the time I got up there 😦
And then 20 minutes later 🙂
It never became clear enough to see Sugar Loaf Mountain but I was grateful for the sun we saw.
Rio is all about beaches so I followed up being way above sea level to heading back down to it to check out the famous beaches of Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana (and now I can’t get either of those two flipping songs out of my mind!).
Ipanema below including the bar where that song was written about 50 years ago (btw the girl from Ipanema is still alive and well)
And at the Copacabana it was great to see the wave boardwalk and the Copacabana Palace Hotel – definitely fancy staying there if I visit here again.
En-route back to the ship I paid a quick visit to the closest church attached to a monastery and also the Museum of Tomorrow – built for the Olympics and a lovely building as well as having very cool exhibits.
Finally, I loved loved loved 💗 the brilliant massive street art mural right by the dock by the artist Kobra. Apparently the largest single piece of street art in the world – each face represents a different continent.
I decided to spend my first day in Rio de Janeiro outside of the city visiting the country town of Petrópolis about 90 minutes drive from Rio high up in the hills. It is where the former Portuguese royalty had its summer palace which is now a museum (I’ve become a bit obsessed with Portuguese royalty of the 1700s to 1800s!!)
First the drive out of the city- past favellas on the hillside and many by the road. But also into the much prettier countryside and up a very steep hill towards Petrópolis.
We stopped at a former casino that only lasted four years in the glamorous 40s but was then abolished due to the strong Catholicism of the First Lady of the time. It is now a hotel and convention centre on a man made lake is the shape of Brazil!
The town does of course have a cathedral and the tombs of some of the former royalty plus some excellent stained glass windows.
Then on to my first churrascaria in Brazil. There is no point being a vegetarian in this part of the world. Delicious and it keeps on coming unless you beg them to stop! Beef, chicken, lamb,sausages, chicken hearts and on and on…..
The museum in the former palace was very interesting but no photos allowed inside so exterior below plus one of their carriages and a little local wildlife!
For those of you who are eagle eyed – yes I’ve jumped to country 102 as I’d miscounted on my master list (I use the website Visited.com to keep count). Will keep it up to date from now on.
First stop was the small island of Ilhabela and it was raining! I decided to just scout around the small port side town and check out the haviana shops – I’m determined to buy a pair in Brazil. But now I’ve also discovered their rival Ipanema – so that complicates things:). No purchases yet.
Very little on this island other than natural beauty inland and beaches but the town made for a nice stroll on land.
The cultural centre and church are the main places to visit plus the ultra modern Christ on the cross.
They are fond of mosaics here and you can see the town portrayed in them – spot the mosaic and real church.
And in the cultural centre I stumbled into a room that was full of carnival papier mache figures – spookily real.