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Thursday, January 31, 2013



It took us a few days to get settled but we finally got around to doing some sightseeing.  We have gone to the beach a couple of times, visiting the big tourist spot Sugarloaf Mountain (Pao de Azucar, to the locals) and went on a tour of the Municipal Theater.

The beach was quite the experience.  You can rent chairs and an umbrella for about $10 for the day.  The waves were pretty big and there were tons of people there.  Do not expect a quiet day at the beach.  There were vendors walking by selling absolutely everything imaginable.  From my chair, I had the options to buy:
food - nuts, Globo 'cookies' (which are puffed air biscuit/crackers shaped like donuts with a slight popcorn flavor.  My travel guide said it was a staple of Brazil and so I tried it...once was enough, I think.), shrimp skewers, empanadas, ice cream, candy, beef and chicken kabobs
the Mate man, armed with Mate
and lemonade
for all your drinking needs
drinks - beer, soda, mate tea (another staple of Brazil.  It is a local tea that they drink everywhere here.  It's  carried around in tanks at the beach - one with tea, one with lemonade.  You can have it plain or half tea, half lemonade.  Pretty tasty!)
accessories - beach wraps, bathing suits, earrings, necklaces, sunglasses, suntan lotion, hats, shirts, dresses, shoes
I know I'm leaving stuff out but that's all I can remember right now.  Suffice it to say, it was a shopping extravaganza!
It was a great day at the beach.  I enjoyed people watching and playing in the water with my daughter and watching all the vendors go by.  Oh, one other thing, the bathing suits are not as tiny as I thought.  Yes, there are tiny, little bikinis (worn by both men and women) but there are also plenty of people with 'American" style swimsuits too.  Most of the younger guys actually wear board shorts and the women were probably an equal mix of Brazilian bikinis (thongs and almost thongs) and bikinis with more coverage.  I am perfectly comfortable in my swimsuit and won't be trading it in anytime soon.

We also went downtown and checked out the theater.  It was really beautiful and well preserved. It was modeled after the Paris Opera House and was really impressive.  I am hoping that we can make another trip here soon to see an opera or ballet.  Here are some of the photos we took --

View from the upstairs balcony

We also went to Sugarloaf Mountain, which is over 1200 feet above the ocean.  You get there by riding up two cable cars.  The first one stops and you can walk around, get a snack at the restaurant, visit a cultural center that tells you all about it, take in the stunning views and of course take pictures.  Then you get on the second cable car, go even higher, take more pictures and then head back down.  It was really beautiful and peaceful (even with all the other tourists).
Ride up the cable car 
Getting ready to head up on the second cable car

Christ the Redeemer

The cable car

That's it for now.  Will blog about Christ the Redeemer when we go and see it (sometime soon).  I am also thinking of doing the next blog about some strange things you see around here.  And, of course Carnaval is coming soon and we have tickets for the sambadrome!  So I have a few blogs in the works.  Enjoy!


  1. The beach sounds like quite the experience! The theater looks absolutely beautiful and not what I would have expected.

    1. Yeah, I was surprised by the theater too. Our tour guide said most people only know three things about Rio- beaches, Carnaval and favelas (slums).

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