Christ the Redeemer

Been here 3 months now and decided it was time for me to cover some of the ‘touristy’ things. We headed to Christ the Redeemer (Portuguese: Cristo Redentor) one of the seven world wonders.

Some History for you: The idea for erecting a large statue atop Corcovado was first suggested in the mid-1850s, when Catholic priest Pedro Maria Boss requested financing from Princess Isabel to build a large religious monument. Princess Isabel did not think much of the idea and it was dismissed in 1889, when Brazil became a republic country with laws mandating the separation of church and state.   The second proposal for a ‘landmark’ statue on the mountain was made in 1921 by by the Catholic Circle of Rio.  A local engineer Heitor da Silva Costa designed the statue; and it was sculpted by French sculptor Paul Landowski.  The monument was opened on October 12 1931.

Getting to the top: Head to the Cosme Velho District(Rua Cosme Velho 513) and hop in line to buy your ticket for the small (cogwheel) red train that goes up the mountain to Christ. Note: You can also get a taxi all the way to the top, but with the train you get to enjoy the steep tour through the Atlantic Rainforest up to the foot of the statue, offering stunning glimpses of Rio from many different angles.  The train leaves every 30 minutes on a 17-minute ride that is almost straight up (you will be sliding forward in your seat! There are actually 4 stops along the way- first one made me a little nervous, felt like we were going to roll back down, thankfully we kept chugging along.  Yes a Bom de Samba will join you on the way up! Once you get to the top be prepared to climb a number of stairs to get to the base of the statue. Note: there is an elevator if you need it.

Once you reach the top the view is absolutely breathtaking!  The entire city spreads out in a magnificent panorama during the day, it really is incredible and worth the trip up! But make sure you go on a clear day!!! Check out the fog rolling in… it covers everything!

http://www.wellcomemat.com/wm_video_1/FF4C3610DCFog rolling in produced by Pamela Granoff on WellcomeMat

http://www.wellcomemat.com/wm_video_1/9C6A563FD7Christ the Redeemer produced by Pamela Granoff on WellcomeMat

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Best Hidden Restaurant in Santa Teresa

Aprazivel (Rua Aprazivel 62) is hidden away on a small street high on the hills in Santa Teresa facing the Northern areas of Rio de Janeiro. Note: Taking a taxi in and out is a must as you have to drive through some ‘dodgy’ areas to get there. I would never have found it myself if it wasn’t for a friend who recommended it.  You could walk past the entrance without realizing the restaurant is right in front of you.

After walking down the steep narrow steps (tip for the ladies- walk very slowly!), we were welcomed by the friendly staff and shown to our table.  Since we did not have a reservation we were not seated in one of the ‘tree house’ style tables for this this restaurant is famous for.  Yes, I plan to make a reservation and go back to sit at one of those cute tree house tables.

Besides the incredible tree house tables, the rest of the candle lit tables are outside spread out in luxurious gardens.  It is a very charming restaurant with many intimate seating locations scattered through the property, great for a romantic night out. Check out the view (see below)

Food was delicious! Direct from the Amazon, it is prepared in an open kitchen with a lot of attention to detail and great taste.  Everything on the menu looked, and smelled fantastic.  Our fish was prepared perfectly, and our small beef with pumpkin starter hit the spot.  Aprazivel has an extensive drink selection- I recommend having champagne mixed with one of the amazonian fruit juices!

When visiting Rio, this restaurant is worth a detour if you are looking for a romantic escape and nice cuisine in Rio.

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Ruins Park- Santa Teresa

Thinking of visiting Santa Teresa for the day? Take the Bonde (tramway) from Largo da Carioca station for R$.60 to the top of the mountain where you will arrive in Santa Teresa.

Parque das Ruinas (Ruin Park) in Santa Teresa was the home of Laurinda Santos Lobo, and was one of the most lively spots of Rio’s until the 50´s. It is currently used as an exhibition hall, auditorium and the setting for various special concerts, open to the public it is a great place to visit before or after lunch.  The view is breathtaking, you feel like you are on top of the world looking down on Rio—- For you shutter-bugs, this is a great place to take lots of pictures:)

It is fun to explore all 3 levels of this hollowed out skeleton of an old mansion, each floor creating a unique view of Rio.

There is also an outdoor bar/café so grab a coffee or a snack and enjoy the view!

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View from our apartment! hope it stops raining soon!!!!!

Our pool/ roof deck

view!

View from our apartment! hope it stops raining soon!!!!!