Rio is known for it's lush mountain peaks jutting upward dramatically from a sand-wrapped coastline. Nearly as famous is the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue perched atop Corcovado Mountain. That was our first destination today. As luck would have it, fog rolled in obscuring the stunning views of Sugarloaf and the city below and creating a mystical atmosphere around the statue.
Completed in 1931, the 625-ton statue rises 124 feet with outstretched arms spanning 92 feet. After decades of exposure to the elements and erosion of the soapstone exterior, the statue was restored to its full luster in 2010, and continues to serve as a world-famous symbol of Christianity.
After our visit to Christ the Redeemer, we explored downtown Rio, visiting the Selarón Stairs, an outdoor staircase of 250 colorfully decorated steps created by artist Jorge Selarón.
Next, lunch at a local restaurant where we enjoyed feijoada, the Brazilian national dish, made of black beans, pork and a few other ingredients - delicious!