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.

 

This city. Amazing.

This city. Amazing.

 

A view of Dois Irmaos at sunset, from Ipanema Beach

A view of Dois Irmaos at sunset, from Ipanema Beach

 

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.

 

Rio from above

Rio from above

 

Views of Rio from Parque Nacional da Tijuca

Views of Rio from Parque Nacional da Tijuca

 

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.

 

Cristo

Cristo

 

Cristo Redentor

Cristo Redentor

 

Just a couple hundred of our closest friends...

Just a couple hundred of our closest friends…

 

Views from Cristo Redentor

Views from Cristo Redentor

 

Before lunch we stopped at the gorgeous Escaderia Selarón, a beautifully-tiled staircase featuring tiles from all across the world.

 

Escaderia Selaron - a crazy beautiful mosaic

Escaderia Selarón – a crazy beautiful mosaic

 

It's hard to get a photo without other people in it in Rio!

It’s hard to get a photo without other people in it in Rio!

 

Escaderia Selaron

Escaderia Selarón

 

A tile featuring Selaron, the crazy artist responsible for the beautifully tiled stairs

Selarón, the rather eccentric artist responsible for the beautifully tiled stairs

 

Opposite Escaderia Selaron

Opposite Escaderia Selaron

 

Mais amor por favor

Mais amor por favor

 

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.

 

Cristo Redentor from Pao de Azucar

Cristo Redentor from Pão de Açúcar

 

The sun sets over Rio

The sun sets over Rio

 

Night views from Pao de Azucar

Night views from Pão de Açúcar

 

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?