Brazil: Sightseeing (Part 2)

Brazil Travel post #7: Sightseeing 2 (intro post is here).

Today, let’s head back into the Atlantic Rainforest for some super amazing views.

This isn’t even the view we’re shooting for; we’re just getting started!

Tijuca National Park

It’s likely that some of you noticed the lush and verdant Rio scenery and after yesterday’s post thought, “That’s only 10% of the original forest? Whoa.”

Whoa, indeed. But that’s because what you’re looking at isn’t the original forest. The Brazilian government actually brought the jungle back, replanting nearly 12 square miles of forest, thereby creating a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s one of the largest and oldest man-made forests, having been restored in the late 1800s after concerns that the massive deforested farm lands were sucking the area dry of drinking water.

We enjoyed this restored rainforest with a guided jungle hike up a storied trail, all the way up the mountainside to the best view in the city. I must say, if I hadn’t been told, I wouldn’t have known this was “new” jungle.

You know, there just aren’t enough hiking maps made into tile mosaics these days.
The aptly-named Tijuca Falls.
One of many trail markers.
The cicadas were very active, singing and molting.
Bizarre relative of the banana tree.
The trail was clear and wide for the most part, but you still had to watch your step.
And watch your handholds too…
Cicada sighting.
Near the top, our guide said these steps were put in to impress the visiting King of Norway, who loved climbing mountains.
Not for the faint of heart (like me!).
Success.
Now thats a panoramic view!

Escadaria Selarón — The Tile Steps

After a late lunch we went to the famed tile steps, known as the Escadaria Selarón. The steps are the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón who began by simply repairing the steps in front of his own home with brightly colored, ceramic tile. The project eventually consumed the artist and continued to grow, expanding even to this day.

It was difficult to get a shot that wasn’t socked-in with other onlookers.

There are literally thousands of tiles, brought in from all over the world, so here you’ll see a small selection of those pieces that caught our eye.

Arches National Park — weve been there!
The project began in 1990, but I suspect some of the tiles are much older.
Though his neighbors originally mocked the idea, the stairs are now a source of national pride.
When I said brought in from “all over the world” I meant it!
Must be interesting to call this your front steps.
Chat Noir.
“Eclectic” doesn’t even begin to describe the style.
Buncha kids.

That’s it for today!

Tomorrow? Let’s finish up our Rio sightseeing tour with a grand finale….

Click to continue: Brazil: Cristo Redentor–Wonder of the World.

I know where we’re headed, and we’re so close!

Thanks for reading! What do YOU think? Which of the two seems like your kind of climb?

Feel free to comment below, and don’t forget to share and subscribe!

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