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  • Dawnelle Salant

Guanabara Bay From the Water

The next morning we do a boat tour of the city which allows us to experience Rio from the waters of Guanabara Bay. It’s nice - I don’t think it is a must do - but it’s nice to see the city from a different perspective. The most interesting part to me is passing by Santos Dumont airport. This is Rio’s domestic airport and it is right on the coast. We are lucky to see four or five planes taking off and landing, and each time, I hold my breath because it looks like the planes are going to end up in the water. It’s a very short runway! We pass by Ihla Fiscal, which is a tiny piece of land with a single building on it - a palace that looks like it came straight from a Disney movie. It’s light green, surrounded by palm trees and has an almost Arabic look; the top of the windows round to a point and the turrets are topped with pointy white cones. It’s almost ethereal, but maybe it’s the heat from the relentless sun beating off the concrete.


We pass under the Rio-Niteroi bridge, which is the sixth longest prestressed concrete bridge in the world and the longest in the Southern Hemisphere at over 13 kilometres long. The boat cruises past Niteroi, the city with the highest quality of living in the state of Rio de Janeiro. As we float past the Oscar Niemeyer Museum of Contemporary Art, everyone gets out their cameras. I’ve heard that this was an interesting building, but I’m blown away. It looks like a spaceship - a sort of white dome that appears to be floating over the water. Overall, we spend about 2 hours cruising around the bay. It's nice, but one of those things I don't think you need to do in Rio. We have plenty of time, so it was nice, but this is not a highlight of the marvelous city, in my opinion.




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