Tuesday, September 9, 2008

City Tour

Rio is supposed to be about the beaches right? Well it rained the first two days. Our image of Brazil’s hot sunny weather was far from correct. But despite the rain, an all day tour around the city with ex-marine Andres was one I will always remember.

Here’s a recap….
AM: Gondola ride up sugar loaf mountain…
Pre-fixee lunch of fried plantains, crab cakes, mashed corn, Chopp, sushi,
The pyramid- shaped Cathedral de Santa Cruz with beautiful stained glass
windows and a statue of Christ on the cross, strangely crucified with Mary
(something I’ve never seen).
… Drive through the square that hosts Carnaval, the week-long festival in the
Spring that shows off the dancing and art of Brazil.

…Grand finale: A rickety bus ride up the hillside, past favelas and the beautiful town of Santa Clara. When we approached the top we dashed up the 4 flights of stone stairs to beat the chill and suddenly, looming ominously was the 30 or so foot-tall stone statue of Christ. But it wasn’t the statue that was breathtaking… it was what He overlooked. The clouds that had hung over us the whole day parted for a sacred five minutes, just so we could see through them, through to an indescribable view. We were above the clouds, looking down on the entire state of Rio de Janeiro- Sugar Loaf, the bay, the favelas and beaches. Everything corrupt, everything deteriorating became beautiful…and than it was gone… swallowed up by the clouds.

This sure isn’t jersey because… this surely was NOT New Jersey.

No comments: