Jesus Christ & Knocking #4 off My Bucket List
Leah Walker February 16, 2012

I arrived into Rio around lunch, and by the afternoon, I was standing at Jesus’ feet. I mentally scratched #4 off my bucket list.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Leah Walker

Leah has a marketing management company specializing in strategy, content creation and implementation for luxury brands and destinations. She's also a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. Leah documents her experiences whether that's in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. She sometimes freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, USA Today 10 Best, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel and wine ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah's lived in Paris for five years, and was awarded additional time with a Passeport Talent visa. Though, her talent for speaking French is abysmal.


  1. Yay for Bucket List knocking-offing!

    We’ve done the vans and the train, and I have to say I prefer the train. With the windows open we had a nice breeze and the 45 degree angle is something to be experienced! The vans are a twisty ride all their own too, so you have a pretty cool experience either way.

    I was surprised at how small the observation area is, and how think the crowds. You’re so lucky you got a clear day, it’s a beautiful view! Love your photos, and love the smile on your face. I know the feeling!

    Looking forward to reading more about your trip. :0)

    1. Thanks so much. Yes, it was a beautiful day. There were actually some clouds that rolled in towards the end of our visit that cooled things off. My husband did the train when he visited before. He went on and on about how steep it was to ride the train. I’ll have to do it next time!

  2. WOW! Just amazing and truly spectacular, thanks so much for sharing and might I say, I love your hat and you look fabulous, your hair is gorgeous

    1. You’re welcome, Jody. I really enjoyed my time up there. It was a great introduction to the city. You’re so sweet to compliment me so. 🙂

  3. Wow, that first picture is amazing! I love Rio, it’s such a fun, vibrant city. Congrats on making it there and checking an item off your bucket list!

    1. Would you believe that I took that first photo with my iPhone? I uploaded it and edited it in iPhoto. It was beautiful without the edits with the sun peeking out behind Christ, but I thought the golden really warmed it up. The rest are from my DSLR.

  4. Great photos! That’s always a great feeling when you can cross off something you have always wanted to see or do. Christ the Redeemer is definitely a statue I would love to see in person. Love the shots of the people stretching out their arms. Too funny!

    1. Thanks, Suzy. Just as amazing as viewing it up close is that fact that it can be seen everywhere in the city. I love seeing it lit up every night. It’s simply a cool thing.

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