Friday, October 30, 2015

14th - Cosme Velho

Yes, still writing about Brazil. Too much to say. Too little time to write! 

Anyhow, one of the things we couldn't miss was going up the Corcovado, one of Rio's most iconic hills and where the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) stands. But to get up there you have to get to the neighbourhood of Cosme Velho (hence the name of this post) first and, once there, you take a tram up the hill!

The ride up is amazing, because even though more often than not the woods block your view, when you finally get a clear stretch, the surrounding views are gorgeous! Especially if you aim to arrive around before sunset, like we did. Also, please note, do take the tram! You can take a special van, but what's the point of being inside a van when you can have a leisurely ride with better views in a tram? and cheaper?

Once up there, the best is yet to come. First of all, the walk from the tram station to the actual statue offers more stunning views of the whole area around which, combined with some beautiful pink flowers growing from the local trees, gave this walk a very zen-like mood...

As for our fellow Jesus in the shape of an immense Art Déco statue and über-recognizable symbol of christianity, I actually liked a lot more the sunset light on his back. Plus, you can find tons of pictures of the front online. Plus, I guess the christianness of the whole thing was a bit too much?

One interesting fact, though, is that the base of the statue is actually a chapel! and there was a wedding going on when we visited! I can't imagine how difficult it must be to book a ceremony there but, if you wanted to marry somewhere catholically memorable, I guess this would be in the top ten, right?

For us, the reward was obviously not being close to the holy statue, but the impossibly beautiful views from up there. Back at Santa Teresa it had been obvious what a privileged place Rio is. Seeing it from the Corcovado only served to reinforce this conviction – Cariocas really won the lottery with this place, eh? It's truly, undeniably, ridiculously stunning. And with the changing colours of sunset? Wow. Really, how many cities this size can boast of such a setting?!

We stayed until the very last bit of light was gone. Enjoyed some night views. Were thankful for such a privilege – the clear views! the perfect weather! the fantastic sunset! – and started the return back to our place.

Crazy amazing place.

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