It all started at 6 15am the day of our flight when I woke up so my sister could take me to the bus station. My bus got me to Ohare by around 10am, and our flight didnt leave until 3pm. My luggage came in at 60lbs and 14lbs for my carry on. I spent my first few hours at the airport rearranging my luggage. I ended up getting padded down in security for having on 8 shirts. I put on the extra shirts so that my gf waiting for me in the terminal could be so kind to take home my excessive luggage. We ended up making it to Rio by around 8am the following day, stopping at Miami along the way. After we got through customs and organized we took a very scenic trip to Rio’s infamous “Christ the Redeemer” Statue. The summit was jam packed with hundreds of travelers paying their respect and taking pictures mimicking the statues pose. The site featured a small chapel for those visiting to pay their respects. The trip being at the beginning of the journey seemed to be a fitting start to bring good fortune and mojo for our ensuing experience.
The next day was filled with visiting historic churches, beautiful city parks along the harbor, and a few historic bullding of various ministries in downtown RIo. After lunch I made my first notable purchase on my journey. I ran into a street vendor selling watches for 6 “HAYAS”. The equivalent of around $4 or $5. This was minutes after two of my friends had bought similar watches for 5 times my price. The rest of the day was filled with trips to a museum of various modernist paintings and scenic look outs.
UNtil now the most memorable experiences have been our trip to the artists Seladron’s stairs. Over 20 years ago the eccentric artisan began tiling in an elaborate fashion a stair case not too far off from our Infamous Olin Stiars. The stairs are located within a former favela neighborhood and have been visited by people such as Snoop Dog and Oprah. The stairs truely epitomize Rio as a cultural melting pot with tiles from hundreds of countries.
The night life has been very enjoyable in Rio. As a group we went to Lapa. The area near downtown gave me the impression of a scene not too far from what a Brazilian version of Mardi Gras would be like minus some sexual connotations. Samba music was playing, thousands of Brazilians walked the streets from the many bars and clubs all socializing and mingling. A few of my classmates took pictures with Brazilians dressed in Carnival festival attire with elaborate headresses and garb. A startling turn of events came about that night when one of our classmates purse was almost nabbed by a bold and swift lurch of a local. The group was so large we had to travel in separate taxis but even among the huge crowd we all ended up united and a sizable group of us ended up at a pretty American club. The guys in the group ended up serving as body guards as the very friendly and touchy men at the establishment were interested in the lovely young ladies among our group. And this concludes my initial reactions to the first few days of the wonderful city that is RIO DO JANIERO, BRAZIL.