Day 3 in Rio de Janeiro

Day 3 {Monday} proved to be one of my favorite days in Rio and great memories to boot!

Of course you can’t visit Rio and not take a trip to see the iconic Christ statue. He is visible from almost all areas of Rio, but I still knew that I needed to see him up close & personal (I mean, when in Rome!) There’s a quick, easy, and relatively cheap cable train that you can take to the top of the mountain and find yourself at the statue within 10 to 15 minutes. We on the other hand, chose to hike! Matt, Erin, & I started at the base of the mountain Corcovado in Parque Lage, which truly warrants a visit itself and then began our hike. The hike has a path to follow, but it not the most common way to get to the top. It took us around 2.5 hours to reach the top and we only passed a handful of other hikers, but the city views, jungle scenes, and hike were all so worth it! Did we hike back down…heck no we were exhausted, would I do it again…in a heartbeat!

As we were hiking we had quickly noticed that it was crazy cloudy around the top of the mountain and we kept hoping and praying that the cloud coverage would clear. As we neared the summit we realized we couldn’t be farther from the truth…poor Jesus was almost completely covered in clouds….2 hours of climbing and it looked like he had already ascended into the clouds! We headed back down to a lower platform to grab some lunch when all of a sudden we saw the clouds part….we S.P.R.I.N.T.E.D up the 3 flights of stair….clouds…again. Back down to finish lunch and order a beer; ooh, clouds move again…sprint back up the stairs…clouds…lordy! Back down AGAIN to finish our beers and then we head up for one last peek…hallelujah the clouds parted…not for long, but they did! We got our pictures, visited the chapel, and then made a general consensus that we were taking the train down!

We wound down the evening with dinner, walking around Caitlin’s neighborhood, and crashing early for a well-deserved sleep!

Day 2 in Rio de Janeiro

Day 2 started off with Caitlin and another of her friends {Erin} heading off to breakfast where I had a chicken sandwich and tried my hand at a new juice made from acerola (also known as barbados cherries); it was good, probably not worthy of a repeat, but good nonetheless!

The graffiti in Rio was beautiful!

Post breakfast we multiplied the troops and grabbed a couple of the student teachers and headed out to Lapas for a walk around the area. One of the main attractions of this area of downtown Rio is the famed Escadaria Selaron steps that were built between the years 1990 & 2013 by Jorge Selaron by using tiles from 60+ countries and places in the world. The colors and artwork shown were mesmerizing and so worth the trip if you find yourself in Rio! Walking a couple blocks further from the steps we found the ­­­Rio de Janeiro cathedral which was on my personal “to check out list”! Though the outside of the church was far from impressive {think modern bomb shelter look} the inside was quite unique and the choir practicing was a nice touch as well.

Leaving the cathedral we had every intention of grabbing dinner; but as anyone who has ever traveled knows…things don’t always go as planned! Rio isn’t exactly rated as the safest city on the planet {{ok let’s be honest, it’s got one of the highest crime rates}} and as we were heading to lunch we found ourselves in a *slight altercation* Said altercation meant no lunch for us and we all promptly headed back to Caitlin’s house….for several hours. Life’s got to keep us on our toes!  Maybe…someday…eventually…I’ll make a blog post about it lol…for the meantime, just know we are all alright and just had our guards up a tad bit higher for the rest of our stays!

When our heart rates had finally subsided we ventured out for dinner {{and hello my first official Brazilian açaí berry drink!}} and then wrapped up the evening hanging out and playing cards. Goodnight Rio!