Last Monday, January 18, I celebrated Martin Luther King Day by visiting the city that will host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was amazing. The city was fascinating, the views atop Corcovado Mountain were breathtaking and the beaches were beautiful. I had only one day to enjoy the beauty of this magical place… and I was on my own. My wife Robin was home with the children holding down the fort while I visited many dear friends I had made during my service as a missionary in Sao Paulo in 1994 and 1995. I had six full days in the country, and spent just one of those as a tourist in Rio (about six hours by car from Sao Paulo).
I intend to publish some experiences from touring my mission in a future post, but for now, let me just post a few pictures from my visit to Rio. Statistically speaking, it’s a very dangerous, violent city with lots of crime, but I never once felt any fear. I rode the public buses, walked the streets, mingled with the people and had a great time. Of course, I avoided dangerous areas and didn’t go into any “favelas” or participated in any drug deals! I swam in the ocean at Copacabana Beach, rode the cable car to the top of the famous Sugarloaf Mountain and visited the iconic Christ Redeemer statue overlooking the city and surrounding areas.
Sporting my new Brazil t-shirt that I had just bought on the beach, I had this picture taken atop the Morro de Urca.
Here’s me with the city in the background. I was soooo tired and you can see it. I averaged about 3 hours of sleep per night (never overcame my jet lag) and had gotten only 2 hours of sleep the night before.
It seemed the thing to do atop Corcovado Mountain was to take a picture with arms outstretched in front of the Christ Redeemer statue. This statue is only about 15 feet smaller than the Statue of Liberty and it is quite impressive.
Another view atop Corcovado. Snack bar below on the right (all those turquoise umbrellas).
Sunset at the atop the Sugarloaf. Very cool.