Rio! Un abrazo!
Rio de Janeiro is hugged by the mountains all around it. And what a city! It is so green, the topography takes your breath away and although ‘un abrazo’, Spanish for ‘a hug’, will probably not be understood as Portuguese rules in Brazil, you still feel embraced.
And could a city with a rock called Sugar Loaf be anything but sweet? Our first day was a national holiday and the streets were crowded with cars full of people headed to the beaches. We had been warned about crowded beaches [theft and muggings happen; Rio is not totally sweet] so we headed for the ‘jardim botanico’. Just look at these mango trees! A grove of calm and birdsong and other families wandering in the green. Here’s a path lined with giant mangoes. We spent most of the day in the garden with a light lunch at Biciclet, a cafe with wonderful organic food. Views from the garden included this one of Corcovado–the stone with Christ the Redeemer on top. It was a great day of watching Brazilian families, enjoying trees only Brazil can offer, and getting a feel for a corner of Rio.