The best excursion ever!
Before January was out, I managed to see Rio for a second time. For one day only - a day and a half, to be exact - but such a full day. The trip to Rio felt like the day trips we went on at primary school. I always looked forward to those; I would think about them all week long, and on the night before I would load my uncle’s camera with film, to be ready – even if waterfalls was all I was going to see.
So here’s how the story goes: back in May 1501, Captain Gaspar de Lemos set off from Portugal and headed towards Brazil. Eight months later, in January 1502, he reached the bay of Guanabara. Presumably because of the long journey and the exhaustion, it is said that his eyes mistook the bay for a river, and so he named the new-found land Rio de Janeiro, which mean “River of January.”
Before that, however, Diego, our guide, wanted us to look at Jesus Christ from another angle. And so we went up another hill, just across Corcovado. There lies a helipad from where Rio’s Heli Tours set off. It’s difficult to get a good day and a clear horizon, but if you do, you’re in for a great time and a fine view. You can see hills, mountains, the sea, green, blue, tall buildings, scattered favelas and colored rooftops. Across, you can also see the statue of Jesus, the size of a dot, beckoning you to get closer. So you do get closer, and you do climb up, even though it seems impossible at first glance.
Today it’s considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world. It is 30 meters (98 ft) tall, not including its 8-metre (26 ft) pedestal, its arms stretch 28 meters (92 ft) wide, and it weighs 635 tons. It is located at the peak of the 700-metre (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city. Religious symbol and emblem of the city.
Majestic, isn’t it?
(Not to mention that you’ll be eating accompanied by music)
From 1920 to around 1950, Rio experienced its Golden Era. Casinos, beaches, entertainment, food, and a legendary hotel hosting the rich and famous from all over the world. The Copacabana Palace stands there as imperious and glamorous as ever, reminding all of those glory days. If you happen to go there, cross the street to get some of that pizza I was telling you about, and buy one of these sarongs, depicting the black and white cobble stone pavement, running parallel to the Copacabana beach.
An excursion reminiscent of school day trips; it had mountains, hills, seas and rivers, food and walks.
How can you get back to class now?
How did you like it?
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