I don’t know if it’s always like that, but when I went, it was definitley Foggy Rio de Janeiro for me. It was my first time on Latin America soil and it was a long long long long journey from England, transferring via Madrid to Brazil.
Those were the days when I was still working and was on one of my business trips. I was travelling with my manager and another colleague to visit a client in Colombia. We had a weekend in between and my line manager wanted to visit Brazil instead of spending the weekend in Bogata. I was indifferent, but Rio did sound a lot more attractive than Bogotá. Working in the finance department meant we were always under more scrutiny than others. Yet, somehow he worked out that even with the flights to Rio, it wouldn’t be more expensive than us staying in Bogata. So we were all good to go.
2010年在英國工作時要到南美洲公幹 。那次是一生人唯一一次到巴西里約熱內盧，但剛巧那個週末很大霧。 我到世界著名科帕卡瓦納海灘漫步，又到糖麵包山和科科瓦多山頂的救世基督像參觀。可惜山頂很大霧能見度極低，真是掃興。 2010年巴西正為2014年世界盃作準備，所以很可惜，未能進入當年全世界最大的馬拉卡納運動場內參觀。 最後參觀的景點是市內的主教座堂。它設計新穎，外看像艘太空船。裏面有4度高64米的玻璃窗直達屋頂。陽光從頂部透入教堂裏，照射整座教堂充滿幻彩感。 飛了半個地球，可惜仍然未能真正看到幾個著名景點。幸好這次是公幹不用自費，否則就賠了夫人又折兵。
Before I start this post, I want to say two things. First, this trip dates back to September 2010, quite a while ago I know. At that time I only had a crappy camera so the photo quality aren’t the best. It’s the only time I’ve been to Brazil, and I want to expand the pins on my travel map, so forgive me for writing about dated trips.
Second, I know reading about popular tourist places can be really boring. Sometimes I read posts about say, the Eiffel Tower or London Bridge which are very descriptive, just like reading Wikipedia or the official tourist board website, and cringe. I always try to add a personal element to my posts, hopefully I have managed to do that here. Ok, with that out of the way let’s go.
IPANEMA AND COPACABANA
It was the first time to Rio for all three of us, and we all ready to explore this exciting city. Our first stop for the day was to Copacabana. I was expecting the beaches to be a lot more busier, after all this was Rio, and one of the most famous beaches in the world. Maybe it was the wrong season, or maybe it was too early in the morning? I don’t know.
Despite it being rather quiet, I can’t remember the last time I was on such a massive beach (the fact I’m not a beach person is part to explain as well). We seemed to be walking along the beach for ages, looking out into the South Atlantic ocean. Originally I was wondering why people were laying out their towels neatly on the side of the beach, and how colourful they are were. As we continued to walk, there were more and bigger towels, and a guy was sitting next to them with his back facing the ocean. Then I realised they were on display for sale! Silly me. Anyway, at least I can say I’ve strolled along the famous Copacabana now.
SUGAR LOAF MOUNTAIN
Next stop Sugarloaf mountain. Don’t forget we were all first time visitors, so of course we’re going to all the popular tourist spots. We had to catch two different cable cars to get to the top of the summit. The first one stops at mid point at 220m high. From here we get a pretty good view of the beach, and watch and envy those who jets up on the chopper.
From here I could already see the Sugarloaf’s summit shrouded in fog. After a short stop we got onto the next cable car for the remaining 180m ascend. By the time we’re there, it was FOGGY Rio.
CHRIST THE REDEEMER
If you thought the top of Sugarloaf was foggy, and a bit of a disappointment for me, well you haven’t seen anything yet. Our next stop was to Corcovado to see the most famous statue in the world – Christ the Redeemer. I was really looking forward to it. But alas! I know I said I had a crappy camera back in those days, but trust me, this had nothing to do with the camera. No mater which side I stood around the statue, He refused to reveal his face. And thus, I have little to say about my visit here. Too bad.
The next stop was really for my hubby who is a big football fan. Maracana used to be the biggest football stadium in the world, sitting over 150k spectators. You may remember I said I went to Foggy Rio in 2010, and football fans will remember Brazil hosted the 2014 World Cup. During my visit, they were renovating the stadium in preparation for the World Cup and only opened a small area for visitors. It would have been nice to be able to go inside and see the largest stadium at that time.
RIO DE JANEIRO CATHEDRAL
Luckily our final stop wasn’t impacted by weather. From the outside this could be mistaken for a spaceship sitting in the middle of Brazil’s second largest city. Despite not being religious at all, often I do get wowed by churches and cathedrals when I step inside. This one was another type of wow, very different from those I usually see in Europe.
There were four colourful glass stained windows running 64m from the base all the way up to the top of the cathedral. At the top, they were connected by a crucifix window where sunlight flushes through during the day. This design means the light projection on the colourful glass stain windows changes all the time, adding a magical feel inside. I remember I was standing here for quite a while taking all this in.
MY THOUGHTS ON FOGGY RIO
Fortunately, this was a business trip and didn’t cost me anything, otherwise I would have been really gutted to fly half way across the world to see a foggy Rio. It doesn’t matter if I’m in UK or Taiwan, Brazil is still a long way from me. Having been to Brazil already (ok, I know it’s only one city and Brazil is a massive country) the desire to go back again soon is not so great. I would really love to see Christ the Redeemer properly, but is that a good enough reason for a return trip? What do you think?
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