The worldwide Augustana College experience

First Impressions of Rio

Rio is wonderful and I’m having a great time. Most importantly, I’m feeling very safe as well. This morning my 2 roommates and I went for a morning run and found a cliff that was a ways down the beach and sat up there for a while looking out onto the ocean for miles. It is beautiful in every direction.

I had my first class today. It is my history class and we are currently discussing the Valongo slave trade which brought millions of African slaves here to Rio via the Valongo Port–the ruins and location of this port have just been discovered and is being excavated. We will visit it on Monday!

We’ve already visited Corcorvado where the Christ the Redeemer statue is. It is unbelievably beautiful. We first stopped at a look-out point on the way up the mountain so to be able to see the statue from a distance and it would be disappear and reappear as the clouds rolled in and out. Very cool. When we got there we took tonssss of pictures–many of which consisted of one friend lying back-down on the ground, pointing the camera upwards so to be able to capture the other friend’s head and the statue all in one picture. There were many tourists as well as many Brazilians there and it was quite a site to see. After Corcovado we went to our first lunch at a kilo restaurant. It is a buffet style set-up and your plate is weighed at the end of the line so to price it by weight.

When we arrived at our hotel in Ipanema–one of the best neighborhoods for dining, beach, etc. in Rio– we got a short orientation on the city (a more detailed orientation came this morning) and set off to investigate our new home. Like I said, it is a relatively safe place with much shopping and food. We went to dinner at a bar nearly next to our hotel and had a great first night of dinner and drinks. I got adventurous and tried a passion fruit Caipifruta which is a sugary juicey drink. Oops– won’t order the passion fruit again. They leave the seeds in whole so it looked and felt as if there were little fish eye balls that filled the glass. I’ll try strawberry instead tonight.

All in all, so far, so good.

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