Sitting on (we think) the highest point of Rio, Cristo Redentor casts his arm and view over the city in a spectactular way. Another “must see” in Rio, for a visit to the site and for the views.
Again, thank goodness for low season, the only time to travel. Fernando did research of how to purchase the tickets to get up the mountain, Morro do Corcovado, where Cristo Redentor stands. This research is not as easy as one thinks it would or should be. It's not clearly listed on the website – you can take 2 routes up there. 1) By the slow train that ascends Corcovado, or 2) take a taxi to the site where authorized vans take you up the hill (apparently a van of Germans got robbed in this method 1 month prior, so it was out).
Fernando read that the Mayor of Rio decided that the ticket booths at the entrance cannot sell tickets any longer, due to controversy, inefficiency, and corruption – apparently lots of $$ had been stolen in the past and tourists would wait hours and hours to get to Cristo. So, then where can you buy tickets? Only online – well, this change has been extended so you can still buy tickets at the ticket booth. We bought our tickets online and printed them out at the “LAN Cafe” (internet cafe) near our apartment. This change can be more inefficient, no? It gets me worked out government inefficiency, disorganization, lack of clear implementation — as I said before, Rio, this will just not do for the Olympics! Hopefully they will get it together by 2016 if not before, for the World Cup in 2014!
After taking the slow and vintage train that makes stops in the middle of the route for no reason to be explained or announced, you arrive and then take the stairs or elevator up to the feet of Cristo. It is nice. See all the folks trying to take a photo on the staircase? I CANNOT imagine this place during high season, or the dreaded Olympics! I am not one for crowds — it wasn't too bad when we visited.
Above, one of our favorite things that we did up there – sit for a beer and guava juice (that was quite good) for R$15 total ($7.50). The views of this beautiful city are just too spectacular for one place. Fernando says it is just not fair! For one city to have it ALL: The lush green mountains, the beige beaches, the lagoon just on the other side of the beaches, islands dotting the horizon, more beaches, blue-blue water, pedestrian paths, bike lanes, vistas and opportunities to view it's glories, urban comforts, omnipresent mosaic sidewalks, the most magnificent sunsets…and on and on. Well, from the vantage point of Cristo's feet and Sugar Loaf/Morro do Urca, you can take it all in.
Which sunset is better? From the beach, from here or from Sugar Loaf – it is pretty hard to say. They are all freakin' beautiful.
The buildings below look like little gems dotting the green landscape into the glimmering water.
While it is a tourist thing to do, we enjoyed it and I don't think you can get a better view. Well, you can pay R$200/per person for a 7 minute helicopter ride, or R$1500/per person for a 1 hour ride. That might be better but a lot more costly. The tickets for the train and entry costs R$48 each ($24).