On the second day of our trip we decided to visit Christ.
Cristo Redentor is a famous monument in Rio that is located on top of a mountain called Corcovado. We wanted to start our trip with a big picture view of the city so we hiked to the top of it to take a peak.
Here is my journal entry from that day:
07.12 We walked up a mountain and found god.
Literally we hiked up Corcovado and found Christ the redeemer, Cristo Redentor. We felt the journey would be more authentic if we traveled up the mountain via foot rather then bus or train. Everyone told us tat we were crazy and we couldn´t do it. But you know, sometimes the things you do for god are crazy. Okay, that was a joke. We did not hike the mountain to see Christ, although, that was cool. Side note: boy does Christ know how to make money, position yourself on top of a mountain with your arms open like: hey, what´s up, and you will really drive in the tourist and the cash flow. Even if you walk all the way up the mountain they still make you pay 23 reals to get in. And, as you are walking up the stairs to the monument (after you pay to enter), you pass by not one, not two, but three gift shops and cafes where you can buy Jesus shot glasses, Jesus bottle openers and other holy paraphernalia. (Of course I bought a Christ shot glass). I am making jokes but the statue was impressive, 98 ft tall and 26 feet wide, constructed between 1922 and 1931. From almost anywhere in the city you can look up and see it, I wonder what effect this statue has on the people of Rio, the statue is clearly visible at night – lit up like a the flame of a candle.
Anyway, so the purpose of the hike was to check out the views and to get a feel of the landscape of Rio. It was amazing. The hike illustrated what I like to call the curves of Brazil. The rolling hills and cities that roll with the hills. Some nestled in the cleavage of the mountains, some creeping up the sides and up to the tippy tops of the mounds. Close to the water starts the urbanization. Trees and vegetation fill the spaces in between pockets of city. It looks almost like the city is communicating with the mountains, like they made an agreement to respect each other. The Mountains, the city, and the waves all rolling together. Waves of water, waves of people, waves of earth, and waves of trees. Even Roberto Burle Marx captured the waves, or curves of Rio in his designs. Rio is a city with huge ups and downs, very much good, and very much bad, favelas and mansions, poor and rich, crime and compassion, city and natural landscape. I wonder how the dramatic landscape effects the culture, does it influence the drama?
Other thoughts form the hike:
We went to find god and found some friends instead, as we were walking back down the mountain we ran into this cute Australian couple – Karina and Phil and two guys that they were with, Kit – a nomad from Singamore, not really a nomad but he has been traveling for the past 14 months, and Dante from California. We ended up going out with them later that night and had a really great time. Hopefully I will get to see them again – they were all inspirational in different ways. The Australian couple are in love and sold all of their belongings, quit their jobs and are traveling together. Kit has been traveling for over a year and truly goes with the flow. It is refreshing to meet people with different life styles and inspires you to follow your heart.