With all eyes on Brazil as the World is gripped with World Cup fever (Congratulations to the US Team for advancing to the Knockout Stage on Thursday!) I have been thinking back on my trip to Brazil in the summer of 2007. I had friends that were living in Florianopolis for a few months so I couldn't resist going to Brazil to visit them. I spent a few days in Floripa with them and then headed off to see Iguaçu Falls and Rio de Janeiro by myself.
I thought I would share a few stories from that trip, starting with my visit to the iconic symbol of Rio de Janeiro, the Christ the Redeemer Statue (Cristo Redentor in Portuguese).
Built between 1922 and 1931, Christ the Redeemer looks down over Rio from a perch atop Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park. Chosen from several design submissions, the statue was a collaboration between French-Polish sculptor Paul Landowski and Brazilian civil engineer Heitor da Silva Costa. In 2007, the statue was chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World through international voting.
Christ the Redeemer was constructed from reinforced concrete and soapstone and stands at an amazing 98 feet tall without its pedestal. Before visiting I knew that the statue would be huge but I really didn't have any concept of how big it actually is. To put it in perspective, I am shorter than the statue's nose.
In my pictures you can see that there were some damaged spots on the statue and in 2010 the statue underwent a massive restoration.
Apart from seeing the awe inspiring statue up close, visiting Christ the Redeemer also was wonderful for the amazing views of Rio from the mountaintop.
My favorite view was overlooking Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) and the mouth of Guanabara Bay (Baía da Guanabara).
I also had a lovely view Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon (Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas).
Here I had a peek of the famous Copacabana beach and the ocean beyond.
I also had a few beautiful views of the Two Brothers (Morro Dois Irmãos).
I tried to take a picture of myself with Pão de Açúcar in the background but ended up completely blocking it with my head.
Visiting Christ the Redeemer was an awesome experience to see not only the statue but also the views of the city. It is a must see for anyone visiting Rio de Janeiro.