Christ the Redeemer, Rio
13 December 2022
Seeing the statue of Christ the Redeemer, one of the seven wonders of the world, was my main reason for visiting Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It was my 6th wonder to visit after the magnicient Petra in Jordan, the awesome Machu Picchu In Peru, the Great Wall of China, Chichen Itza in Mexico, and the Colosseum in Rome, I will be visiting India in 2023 to see the Taj Mahal to complete the list of the seven wonders of the world. One cannot forget the ancient wonder of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt – unbelievable structure!
The statue of Christ the Redeemer is situated at the top of Mount Corcovado. It can be reached by climbing the 220 steps to the top or by the lift and escalator. I chose the latter. I took a guided tour which in hindsight was not necessary as one can visit it easily. We took a train half way up the mountain to the lift and then the escalator. The little train was cute and it wound itself slowly up the side of the mountain. There was not much to see as there were trees in the line of sight. As we were going up the escalator, it was clearly evident that the visibility was poor but our guide remained optimistic.
Seeing the statue of Christ the Redeemer was meant to be the highlight of my trip. In fact, in the the sole reason for going to Rio. Having got to the top, it was a disappointing view. The weather, poor visibility to be precise, prevented us from seeing the statue clearly. We could only see a silhouette of the statue – so, so disappointing.
As we were all waiting to see if the weather would be kind to us, we heard the sound of a helicopter hovering above us. I became a little concerned at this stage as I’d wondered how a helicopter could fly under such conditions and even more worrying was it could fly into the crowd on the viewing platform where I was at the top of this mountain . And like a miracle, the clouds cleared and we could see very briefly but we were all too stunned to take photos. I just about caught these two shots.
Was it worth visiting Christ the Redeemer? It was not a nice experience for me but it would be a different experience for others. I visited Rio de Janeiro because I wanted to find out what made Christ the Redeemer statue special that it was voted one of the seven wonders of the world. I concluded that the history behind the Statue, its design and build are what makes it a top attraction in Brazil. Christ the Redeemer is almost a 100 years old, and it is the largest art deco statute of Jesus Christ in the world. It towers over Rio, with its outstretched arms, watching and protecting the city and its people.
The Sugarloaf Mountain is on the list of “must see landmark” in Rio de Janeiro for all sight seeing tours. It is accessible by cable car, and the first one takes you to Morro da Urca where there is a viewing platform and the usual tourists’ cafes and shops. The second cable car takes you to the summit where you get a spectacular view of the beaches, Guanabara Bay and the peninsular that juts into the Atlantic Ocean. Unlike the Corcovado Mountain, the visibility on Sugarloaf Mountain was good, largely because the mountain is not as high as that of Corcovado.