Follow us:

Sounders FC

Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

June 16, 2014 at 11:38 AM

A little Rio sightseeing before U.S. takes on Ghana

BY KURT WEBER

Kurt Weber and wife Anna Le.

Kurt Weber and wife Anna Le.

We narrowly make our flight from Atlanta to Rio. As we board the plane, wearing our USA soccer jerseys and scarves, we notice an energy in the air.  I count eight different team jerseys on the plane: Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Germany, a Sounders jersey, and more.  If this weren’t a 10-hour red-eye departing at 10pm, it would have been louder and more raucous than a Friday evening Vegas flight.

Bleary-eyed and zombie-like, we land in Rio ce Janeiro – and the entire plane cheers. It’s time for World Cup 2014.

Stepping off the plane into the humid, warm air of Rio, and lining up at customs, we breathe some relief. The sheer complexity of purchasing tickets on FIFA.com, and battling the paperwork and striking consulate workers for our visas – has, hopefully been worth it. Months of planning, and recent weeks of media scare tactics haven’t kept me and my wife, Anna, away.  We are founding Sounders season ticket holders, and have always dreamed of traveling to Brazil.

Our first two nights, we spend in Rio before heading to the northeast town of Natal (pronounced “Na-Tao”) for the USA vs. Ghana game. Of course, our Portuguese is lousy, but the locals have no problem understanding our intent – and have been more than gracious.

We visit Christo (the epic sandstone statue of Jesus overlooking Rio). Breathtaking is an understatement. Christo is one of the few global tourist sites, similar to the Great Wall, that actually exceeds the hyped expectations.

The next day, we spend the day at Ipanema beach, watching the World Cup games on large screens throughout the beach.  The locals are too worried to jinx their team, and claim that Germany or Argentina will win the championship, not Brazil.  The world is watching…

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►