Feeling square but enjoying the curves in Rio

Brazilian architect Oscar Neimeyer once said, “Curves are the essence of my work because they are the essence of Brazil, pure and simple.”

We wrapped up the final leg of our South American tour by observing this phenomena firsthand — the curve of Guanabara Bay, the largest bay in the world and one of the seven natural wonders, the curve of a crystal blue wave on the shore of Ipanema Beach, the curve of a smile on nearly everyone we met, the curve of the soccer ball on the ubiquitous playing fields, and the curves of the women, who sashay with an enviable body confidence.

Christ the Redeemer, a 100-foot tall statue and one of the seven modern wonders of the world, stands at the top of Mount Corcovado and works hard to keep his charges in line. You can’t do anything in Rio De Janeiro without looking up and seeing this imposing figure of Christ.

And yet the merriment continues…

We danced the samba with an enthusiastic little troupe and strolled through the city utterly overdressed in our T-shirts and capris. We saw floats preparing for Carnival, a five-day annual festival that kicks off the Lenten season. I enjoyed a nice jog along a rollicking Ipanema Beach and then sat back under an umbrella and watched the parade.

Though it’s experiencing some growing pains as it prepares for two enormous appearances on the world stage, Rio will host the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, Rio remains a stunningly beautiful city, rich in both natural landscape and local color. Lindo Maravilhoso!

This was the view from our hotel room in Rio. With Ipanema Beach right outside our door, we didn't spend much time in the room.
This was the view from our hotel room in Rio. With Ipanema Beach right outside our door, we didn’t spend much time in the room.
I enjoyed a nice run along this beautiful beach.
I enjoyed a nice run along this beautiful beach.
Dangerous currents but a beautiful scene.
Dangerous currents but a beautiful scene.
Forgot your suit? NO troubles. A beach vendor will be happy to provide you with a colorful bikini.
Forgot your suit? No troubles. A beach vendor will be happy to provide you with a colorful bikini.
This iconic statue regally stands guard. You can see him from all points in the city...and yet the merriment continues...
This iconic statue regally stands guard over Rio De Janeiro. You can see him from all points in the city…and yet the merriment continues…
I danced the Samba...
I danced the Samba…
As did my mother.  We had a great time, but were quite overdressed.
As did my mother. We had a great time, but were quite overdressed.
A view from Sugar Loaf Mountain of Guanabara Bay, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
A view from Sugar Loaf Mountain of Guanabara Bay, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Lindo Maravilhoso!

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