Friday, March 7, 2008

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

March 3-5, 2008 We came into our last port around 2am and by 930am all the passengers and their piles of luggage were off the ship and another 1200 or so passengers were expected to arrive by 1:30pm. I don't know how they do it, but it is amazing! Very organized to say the least. We made our way safely and quickly out of the port thanks to Bob Oddone's pre-arrangement of 3 vans to ferry us to the Sheraton Rio in the Leblon area of Rio. It took us an hour as traffic here is crazy busy. After checking in and having lunch (yes, we are still eating!) we got on a Grey Line tour bus for a city tour and a ride to the top of Sugar Loaf. Wow- this city is beautiful and the setting is totally gorgeous. Everyone keeps telling us to be careful because of the high crime rate-and we can see the poverty in just the huge amounts of obviously poor people in the streets. As one Brazilian woman told me " The last five years everything has gotten worse and it shouldn't be as this country is so rich in resources." Here are a few shots....and one little movie...

View from the pool area of our hotel.

A glimpse of the famed Ipanema Beach
....taken on the tour bus

The Copacobana Palace.....priceless hahah

Going up to Sugar Loaf

At the top!

Reflection of famous Rio church
... Cathedral of Saint Sebastian

A little video from the top of Sugar Loaf

The next day we got on another Grey Line tour bus and made our way to Corcovado-what an amazing feat of engineering and sculpture. We then toured the huge city of Rio for a bit before coming back to the hotel. After lunch Russell and I lounged around the pool and basically took a chill pill while a lot of the group went on downtown to H.Stern's where some lovely purchases were made! I was very content to just be still in the sun! That night Pam treated all of us to cocktails (because she had won a Slot Machine Competition onboard and wanted to spend her winnings!)and afterwards everyone but us went to a Samba Dinner show and once again we stayed home. We were pooped! Pam will have to write about the show and I will slip it in here!
Earlier that day at lunch we had tried the very tasty local drink - Caipirinha So we had another! YUM.

The little train that took us
to the top of Corcovado

View from the top of Corcovado

The statue of Christo Redentor
perched atop Mt Corcovado

Russell and I having a pizza on our last day
We are celebratng the fact that we
are packed and ready to go!

This is where Russell and I
plus Sue and Connie C. spent
our last day. A little sun
a few drinks and some lunch!

During our last day most of us spent alot of time packing and getting ourselves mentally prepared for the very long journey home.
Pam, Harry, Keith and Patty had to leave at 10am for their early flight home.
However, Joel, Connie and Lou went downtown for one more round of shopping! Ouch!
Russell and I once again just chilled by the pool,as did Sue and Connie C. We all had one last lunch at the poolside restaurant and got to the airport at 7pm for our 11pm flight. Russell and I had to get there early to make sure we could replace our lost tickets. Fortunately we were able to do that, but it took two ticket agents about 45 minutes to do it! Whew. All of our flights were uneventful except for Connie and Joel who missed connections in Dallas because of weather-and didn't get home til midnight the next day. YOW. But, most importantly, we all got home safe and sound.
What an adventure!

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