When my baby / When my baby smiles at me I go to Rio / De Janeiro
In the weeks leading up to our trip to Rio de Janeiro, all I could do was sing: Peter Allen’s lyrics popped into my head every time I thought about our impending trip, followed by The girl from Ipanema and Copacabana. I’m pretty sure I drove my husband crazy with my impromptu outbursts.
Given the excitement bubbling inside me, I worried that my expectations of the city were too high.
I needn’t have worried: we fell in love with the city on first sight.
We took the three-hour flight from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro on a Friday morning, hardly believing we were so close to one of the world’s greatest cities. With my cousin about to finish a two-month internship in Rio, we decided to visit her before she left.
With only four days in the city, we opted for a day tour to hit the city’s main highlights. While we weren’t impressed with the tour itself, it was a great way to see all the main attractions of Rio in one day and without having to worry about figuring out how to get around.
We started off with a drive through Parque Nacional da Tijuca, stopping off at a couple of lookout points for some amazing views of Rio. Winding our way up the steep hills, it was incredible that a city of 6.5 million people still had such extensive greenery.
Next up was a trip to see the big man himself: Cristo Redentor. This 30-metre statue is visible from seemingly all parts of the city. Along with a couple hundred of our closest friends, we looked up at the statue in awe, wondering why someone came up with the crazy idea to build 630-tonne statue on top of a huge hill. After having seen it for so long in pictures, it was thrilling to be standing below his outstretched arms.
Before lunch we stopped at the gorgeous Escaderia Selarón, a beautifully-tiled staircase featuring tiles from all across the world.
The day ended at Pão de Açúcar. Unfortunately, the Rio traffic meant we arrived to buy our tickets for the cable car just as the sun was starting to set, so we missed the views before the sun went down, but despite that, we still had an incredible glimpse of the city from above.
What a way to end a day in one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
Have you visited Rio de Janeiro? What are your favourite places in the city?