Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lifestyles of a CR Fellow: Rio de Janeiro in Review

This past weekend, Time Irado saw the great city of Rio de Janeiro. Although we were there only a couple of days it felt like home. The beautiful white beaches, great food, and tasty drinks, we experienced the city that has inspired celebrities to write songs about it.

Ryan, Katie, and I at the Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountina, the beaches (LeBlon, Ipanema, and Copacabana), American Coverbands, several public displays of affection, and a fantastic experience at Bacchus bar a vins e restaurante (Valerio's cousin is the Master Chef!) were all more than enough for one weekend. I would recommend to anyone that has the opportunity to visit this great tourist destination and see the sights for yourself.

 The craziest stories again center on the taxi's, including the taxi ride up the steep mountain roads to see Christ the Redeemer and the taxi ride to the airport. We were cutoff by a Policeman on a motorcycle and then proceed to close the road while a charter bus pulled out onto the highway. We noticed that the charter bus was full of professional soccer players and several police cars escorted the bus down the highway. Our taxi driver was being a good taxi driver and decided to pull up along side the motorcade to get us to the airport faster. One policeman was standing at the street corner and was picked up by another police man on a motorcycle when I noticed he was pointing a machine gun toward an entrance point to a park. We then noticed that all of the police cars had machine guns pointed out the windows in all directions (not directly at us but in each direction). We are not sure if that was the home team or the visitors, but either way that is some serious soccer! I am guessing that it was due to potential kidnapping threats against professional soccer players from the local gangs but not 100% certain of that.

The beaches were full this weekend with clear skies and sunshine

Also, another point to note was that after taking two flights here in Brazil it is evident there is not the same level of security as there is in the U.S. The flight on Friday I did not have my identification checked at any point before boarding the plane and on the flight back today they just looked at my drivers license to make sure the name matched the ticket. Thinking back to the customs checkpoint when I entered the country over a month ago, they ldid ooked at my passport. However, I kept waiting for the area to potentially be subjected to a random search and have to talk to an agent on my purpose for being in Brazil, however that never came. I guess this is what it feels like to travel in a country that does not have (m)any enemies in the world!

Despite not having any real crazy stories from the weekend maybe be disappointing to my readers, however there was a great quote.

"I've never put sunscreen on a co-worker before" - Katie referring to the 1' x 1' spot on my back that I cannot reach so she provided some assistance. Its also notable to mention that I asked Ryan first but he balked at that idea!

Not a sandcastle, but a sand depiction of the "Last Supper"

The sun went down long ago here in Sao Paulo and after our experiences in Rio de Janeiro, it's now time to start the work week.

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