Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rio de Janeiro... Typical Tourists... Checking out Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf

In the hostel at which I was staying I met a traveler from Germany named Franziska. I just called her Franzi. We decided to check out some of the major attractions in Rio and be typical tourists.
The first stop was Cristo Redentor or Christ the Redeemer
The Cristo Redentor is a statue of Jesus of Nazareth in Rio. It is considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world and the 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world. It is 30.1 metres (99 ft) tall, not including its 6 metres (20 ft) pedestal, and 19 metres (62 ft) wide. It weighs 635 tonnes (625 long,700 short tons), and is located at the peak of the 700-metre (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city. A symbol of Brazilian Christianity, the statue has become an icon for Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed between 1926 and 1931.
We bought tickets and waited in line with all the other tourists.
After boarding the tram we ascended the Corcovado Mountain.
We passed through the Tijuca Forest.
It was a cloudy day, but we could still see parts of the city
We debarked from the tram and ascended a walkway. There were some unusual trees in this park.
As we climbed we caught the first glimpse of the Cristo.
And then... there He was... pretty impressive... arms stretched out... 
I just wanted to give Him a hug.
The skies cleared...
Just in time for all the other tourists to get in front of my photo. There were lots and lots of tourists. It was not exactly a private spiritual moment. It was more like a Disneyworld moment. We hung around for a while taking photos... but then it was time to leave.
The next attraction that we wanted to visit was the Pão de Açúcar or Sugarloaf Mountain.
To reach the summit of Sugarloaf we took a teleferico (gondola/cable car). The first segment of the journey ascends to the shorter Morro da Urca, 220 meters high. 
The second segment of the journey ascends to Pão de Açúcar. The Italian-made bubble-shaped cars offer passengers 360-degree views of the surrounding city. The climb takes three minutes from start to finish.
Sugarloaf Mountain is a peak situated at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising 396 metres (1,299 ft) above the harbor, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of a concentrated refined loaf of sugar.
The name "Sugar Loaf" was coined in the 16th century by the Portuguese during the heyday of sugar cane trade in Brazil. According to historian Vieira Fazenda, blocks of sugar were placed in conical molds made of clay to be transported on ships. The shape given by these molds was similar to the peak, hence the name.
Once we arrived at the top, we had some pretty spectacular views of the coastline.
We could see the city below.
And the harbor which contained a number of sailboats.
And off in the distance... when the clouds cleared... for just a brief moment...
We could see the Cristo.

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