My Name is Lola, I was a Showgirl.....


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Published: March 8th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Ok now, please stop shaking your heads. There are 2 very good reasons for today's blog title. 1. If you know me, you know what a dork I can be and 2. After walking the entire length of Copacabana Beach, I feel it is my duty to get you singing that song. I know it was running through my head way way too much on my walk. But, I digress, so let's start at the very beginning shall we? (Oh help me, now I have Julie Andrews singing the intro to Do Re Mi in my head. That certainly wasn't intentional, sigh.)

After a nice breakfast in the hotel, I headed back to the subway and took it to the proper station. After yesterday's dilemma of not know what train to take, I made a point to check what train I was on today. Luckily there was a bus right at the top of the stairs with Corcovado on it. I hopped on and off we went through the streets of Rio. Whereas the streets here are nowhere near as bad as the ones in Casablanca, they are still a nightmare to navigate. I am very glad I am not
Train to CorcovadoTrain to CorcovadoTrain to Corcovado

Heading up to Cristo Redentor
driving here. Lines on the pavement are mere suggestions, turn signals are even more rare than they are in California and people are everywhere. The buses are a great way to get around. Although it is summer here and very hot, it isn't as crowded as I thought it might be. The line to take the train to the top was so short that I made it on the first train. It was a cool, scenic ride through forest up to the top. Every once in a while there would be a spectacular view of Rio and the water so I had my camera at the ready. Soon, we were at the top. After a quick elevator ride, (I had planned on walking if the line was too long, but there was no line so I opted to take the easy way up) I looked up and saw Cristo Redentor.

Let me just say that this was even more amazing than I had thought. It is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World for good reason. We have all seen the pictures, but standing under it and looking up, well that was a whole other story. The
Train to CorcovadoTrain to CorcovadoTrain to Corcovado

The train went through some beautiful woods.
train may not have been crowded, but up at the top it was a zoo. People were sprawling full out on the ground to get pictures and every third person had top push everyone out of the way and stand arms out in the same pose. My patience wore thin. I took several pictures, but it was so cloudy that the pictures were pretty washed out. From yesterday I knew that if I waited for a bit the weather would change. I'm glad I did because I was able to get the most beautiful shots with a deep blue background. I wavered yesterday and almost signed up for a day tour. After this, I am so glad I did not. On a group tour there is a set time for each visit. Had I done that, I may have missed the blue sky opportunity.

After the train ride down, I caught a bus that had part of the name of the Metro stop I wanted. It sounded like a good idea and may have been but I will never know. We stopped outside an elementary school and the bus filled up with kids. Now, 90% of the time I have found it to be a safe bet to exit the bus or train when over half the riders get off at one stop. It usually is somewhere important, say the Metro stop I wanted. I even asked a kid and heard that yes, it was the Metro stop. It wasn't. Not sure where I was, especially since I wasn't sure I was on the right bus to begin with, so I was super lost. After walking for a bit hoping the Metro stop would magically appear, I asked someone. Glad I did, because it was about 5 blocks in the other direction. So, back on track once again, I headed to Copacabana Beach. There was a Fort there I wanted to check out. While walking towards the beach, I saw blue and yellow colors across the street that made me think it might be a post office. The name was something I had never seen, but the colors caught my eye. And yes, it really was a post office. Once again, part of traveling is accepting the good along with the bad. I was quite pleased with myself for having caught that.

The fort was at the furthest end of the beach from my hotel. It was so hot today that I wore shorts. True, I may have blinded a few people with the glare of the sun bouncing off my ghostly white legs, but I can honestly say that I don't care. Once I was at the fort I had great views of the Beach and hotels at the other end. There wasn't a whole lot to see at the fort, but it was the type of attraction that I like. Lots of hiking, few people, great views and a nice gift shop. Seriously, what more could I want? I then walked the entire long, hot, crowded way back to the other end of the beach. Along the way I saw coconuts for 4 reais, the Brazilian currency. I had never had one, never really thought about having one, but a Travel Channel host had one and said how refreshing it was. If Samantha Brown could have one, I could too, so I did. It was very refreshing. It was also a nice show when the clerk took a knife and whacked 3 cuts in the top for a hole. I expected a little more coconut flavor
Cristo Redentor AgainCristo Redentor AgainCristo Redentor Again

but this time with company.
for some reason, but it wasn't overpowering. It was enjoyable to sit in the shade, drink this and watch the world go by. And yes, I did feel a bit like Gilligan if you must know.

At the end of the beach by my hotel there is another fort. This one is on top of a large hill, so requires a long walk through some beautiful woods. The view from the top was out of the world. The guide book said that it was not well known and I believe it. There were only 2 other people up there.

Once back at the hotel I just sat for a while. I walked more today than I have in a long time. Thinking that I needed some fuel, I walked down to a traditional Brazilian Churrascaria restaurant. It is where the salads are on a buffet, but meats are sliced tableside. Although the food was very good and I enjoyed it, I would have to say that this is a restaurant to go to with other people. Normally I am fine eating alone, but tonight it was just odd sitting there alone. Not sure why, but it made me uncomfortable. Luckily I stuffed myself with so much meat that I got past the uncomfortable feeling.

Tomorrow should be another great day, so I am going to sign off now and get ready for it. Thanks for reading. I hope you are enjoying the blogs. Ciao.


Additional photos below
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Post OfficePost Office
Post Office

Now, would you get "Post Office" out of that? Thankfully the colors caught my eye.
Copacabana BeachCopacabana Beach
Copacabana Beach

There are several of these incredible sand structures. Drop some money in and take a picture.
Forte do LemeForte do Leme
Forte do Leme

Yes, it is all the way on top. A good 20 minute walk


8th March 2012

Great photography.
Wish we had been able to join you for dinner. Looking forward to more.

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