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Chambers at Large in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


When asking students the capital of Brazil some insisted it was Rio de Janeiro, it being more famous and more populated than the actual capital which is Brasilia.  (However, to their credit, Rio was once the capital of Brazil.)

The major landmark of Rio de Janeiro has to be the statue of Christ the Redeemer.  A smaller version called the Christo Rei can be seen on the Portuguese island of Madeira which I visited at Christmas.  This statue stands proudly overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, whereas in Brazil the statue stands on top of Corcovado Mountain overlooking the city.

The morning I visited with my fellow travellers was the first clear day in almost two weeks, so we were blessed, as on cloudy days the statue is shrouded in mist and rain and cannot be seen from afar, let alone close up.  However this meant that nearly every tourist in Rio had made their way to see this impressive landmark which stands 30 metres (98ft) in height.

 

A train takes visitors from street level up the mountain through lush vegetation then, to reach the statue itself, one can either take the elevator or walk up flights of steps.  I had become a great deal fitter, having walked everyday seeing the sights of South America, therefore I took the stairs.

The statue was funded by the Catholic people of Brazil and it took nine years to build, (between 1922 and 1931).  Made from concrete and soapstone I was informed that some workers who had prepared the stone had carved their family names into the sections that would not been seen from the outside.

 

Furthermore the hands of Christ are said to have been modelled on those of a female student under the tutelage of one of the sculptors and this is still an ongoing debate between the sculptors’ families.

Moonraker has to be one of the more dated James Bond movies, (apologies to all involved), but it was filmed in Rio with 007 fighting his arch enemy, Jaws, on top of the cable car that goes up to Sugarloaf Mountain.  Jaws then crashes into the station at the foot of the mountain, crawls out of the rubble and meets a lovely young lady.  Taking her by the hand the music rises to a crescendo. All very contrived and rather twee to modern audiences perhaps, but I like going to movie locations and took the famed cable car up to the summit of the mountain.

Sugarloaf Mountain is so called as it reminded early settlers of cone shaped sugar loaves that were popular in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The forecast for the afternoon promised cloudy weather, but the skies remained blue for the hour or so I was there availing me of stunning views of the city, the harbour’s blue waters, the verdant islands and the sandy beaches.

Marmosets foraged amongst the crowds eating foodstuffs discarded by tourists.  I am wary of primates having been told when visiting zoos that monkeys are the most vicious of animals, which is hardly surprising considering humans are a subset of the species!

Mount Corcovado can be seen from Sugarloaf Mountain and towards the end of the day the forecast proved to be correct and statue of Christ the Redeemer was lost in the clouds.

 

Seeing both tourist locations in Rio de Janeiro brought my stay in South America to a close, although  I’m looking forward to revisiting areas of the continent in the near future.  Keep an eye out for subsequent blogs!

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To learn more of my stay in South America please click on the links below.  I had a wonderful time, made even more pleasurable by my travelling companions.  They know who they are and I thoroughly enjoyed their company.  A big hello and thank you for being such a super bunch.


 

 

 

 



To read more about my visits to the beautiful island of Madeira please click on the links below





 

 

 

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I'll never be there in person so I appreciate your descriptions.

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Another great blog on Rio a must see for any visitors to the city

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