Stairways to heaven
Well, there are some landmarks, that are hard to discover, because, they are just there, very exposed not hidden at all. Take the Chinese wall, the pyramids od Egypt or Christ the Redeemer. No wonder that Emmerich destroys them all very neatly in is apocaliptic motion pictures, hence everybody knows them and sheds a tear. Thank god Jesus didn’t leave us, he is right there in Rio de Janeiro.
I got very lucky indeed. I went for my birthday to Brazil to visit my embraced lomo-friends Andi and Bru, and on that very anniversary I was in Rio and until that day Cristo was covered for several days in mist and clouds. Just hours before I had to go to the airport the sky cleared up and Jesus appeared. I would call it a miracle. He is erected on Corcovado Mountain and there are several ways to get to the peak. You could take a cablecar, walk (better not), take car or busses. There will be actually several minibuses on the starting point of the cablecar, that might make a special deal with you. Together with fellow travellers or friends you can have a reasonable cheap ride up and the best is, that you can stop at several platforms to snap away some pictures. I went up with a funny guy from southern Brazil. He had a very cheap camera, but with film. So he was my friend, even more so, after I gave him a roll, when he needed one. But our conversation pretty much was reduced to following situation: him pointing me where he wanted a portrait of himself with Christ. And that happened about 45 times!
Half of all postcards from Rio probably show Christo in one way or another. Therefore you instantly think he must be a merry big fellow. But funny enough he is just 40 meters high. It’s the 700 meter high Corcovado mountain and the prime spot on it that makes you think he must be as big as a skyscraper. But he surely is heavy with over 635 tons of concrete. Is outer layers are made of soapstone, which is quite interesting. Because in February 2008 a heavy electrical storm hit the statue but left it unharmed, due to the insulating effect of the soapstone. Some others may see a heavenly connection, but I leave that up to the discussion. Cristo Redentor is considered to be the largest Art Deco Statue in the world and I like its style very much. As a representation of Catholicism it is rather embracing faith than intimidating, like many Jesus-figures of the European Medieval Ages.
I reckon the statue surely is the main tourist attraction of Rio and maybe the most known symbol of Brazil. It attracts over 300.000 visitors each year, but I didn’t really have the feeling it is crowded on the top, but that might depends on the season. The view onto the sugarloaf and the city is amazing. You might see paragliders fly by and most spectacular you will see Jesus vanish in the haze and clouds. He appears and goes, even when you just a few meters away. That kind of shows you, that heaven can be far or close, no matter where you are.