I arrived into Rio around lunch, and by the afternoon, I was standing at Jesus’ feet. I mentally scratched #4 off my bucket list.
The skies were clear, which is ideal when visiting Cristo Redentor, or Christ the Redeemer in English. Named one of the seven wonders of the modern world, Christ is 130 feet tall and sits on top of the 2,300 feet tall Corcovado Mountain. This symbol of Rio and Brazil stands watch, and as I’ve already found out, is visible in every spot in the city.
Our driver snaked through a residential neighborhood, struggling to make it up the steep mountain. We arrived at a parking lot where we bought our tickets and hopped in the small, air conditioned bus that would take us even further up. With the heat, I was grateful not having to ride in the non-airconditioned train to the top.
Like anything else that attracts huge crowds, there were souvenir shops and concession stands. I bought some water from a man wearing, ironically, a Houston Astros hat. I smiled and pointed at it, but I’m not sure he even knew what the hat represented.
This lazy American was grateful to see escalators. I hopped on and was magically transported to Jesus’ feet. I pointed my chin to the sky in order to get a good look at the art deco, soapstone statue. It was as beautiful as I expected it to be.
Getting a picture with the statue alone would truly take a miracle. Hundreds of people were jockeying for position for just one picture with their arms stretched out mimicking Jesus.
I turned my attention away from the statue and got my first real look at Rio. It’s impressive to say the least. Sugarloaf Mountain, the ocean, and marina all stood out. Looking closer, I saw Rio’s giant cemetery and countless soccer fields.
Satisfied with the experience, we made our way back down the mountain and into the madness of the city. Sometimes experiences like these are over-hyped, but I didn’t feel that way in the least. The views alone were worth the price of admission. Knocking #4 off my bucket list was priceless.