on June 27, 2008
My Visit to One of the Seven Wonders of the WorldOur visit to the Corcovado was the highest point of our trip to Rio. We had the first glance of the statue in our way to Buzios. He was there, waiting with this arms open as if he was receiving us. We continue our way to Buzios, spent six amazing days there and then returned to Rio for a three day stay. You immediately fall in love with this city; the energy that radiates is unbelievable. What I found most interesting was the contrast that you can see everywhere: mountains, the see, a forest in the middle of the city, the favelas, luxury buildings, etc, etc. It was Saturday, our penultimate day in Rio. We woke up very early and headed to the restaurant to have breakfast. After charging our batteries (this applies both for our camera batteries and our tummies), we decided that we had time to go to the beach and went to Ipanema. We returned to the hotel and at 11 o’clock Marcelo, the taxi driver, pick us up. There are three ways to go to the Corcovado: a taxi, a van, and the train. Our agency had arranged us a taxi and it was fine for us. Marcelo turned to be not just a taxi driver but also a tourist guide, willing to tell us the history of the city and of the monuments and buildings that call our attention on our way to the Christ.We started going through the Tijuca National Forest when suddenly we notice a traffic jam some meters ahead of us. Ok, let’s not worried, in some minutes the traffic will be normal again, we thought. It was not. We were informed that there was a protest of taxi drivers and that there was no way we could go up. We were returning to Montevideo the next day, so that was the only chance we have to visit the Christ. With deep sadness and disappointment we started our way down when we heard on the radio that access was possible by train. So we went to Cosme Velho Station, bought the R$36 ticket and in 15 minutes we were boarding the train. The ride through the Tijuca National Park is gorgeous; it’s the biggest urban forest in the world. And when we got to the top…the city was at our feet. We had waited for that moment for a long time, and after being there we tried to enjoy every single second, every single view. The statue is huge, much bigger than what I thought it would be. Located at the peak of the Corcovado hill, 700 meters high, the Christ stands almost 40 meters and weights 700 tons. It was made of “soap” stone by the French-Polish sculptor Paul Landowski. The train operates from 8.30am to 6.30pm and the trip to the top lasts around 20 minutes.
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