Magnificent. That best describes how it felt coming face to face with Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) on top of the 2,300-feet high Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro. The statue, about 130 feet tall and the 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world, was massive and imposing that it was overwhelming at first sight.
Maybe it was because of the massiveness of the statue or the low-lying clouds enfolding it, but the experience was sublime and at the same time humbling.
When I decided to take a trip to Corcovado and see the statue, I had images of an unobstructed and breathtaking view of Rio, its mountain chains, bays and the ocean – grander than the scene from Sugarloaf Mountain, a much lower mountain which I had visited a few days earlier.
It turned out Corcovado’s summit was covered in clouds that morning I was there because it rained earlier. I couldn’t see anything of Rio from the top and had to wait for the brief moments that it would clear and I could see distinctly the Christ’s face. I stayed there for about 40 minutes hoping that it would completely clear so I could have an uninterrupted view of the Christ and a panorama of the whole of Rio.
But no, I had only seconds of clear view of the Christ and not even a glimpse of Rio’s panorama. While I thought that time it was a waste to have missed a glorious view of Rio from the top of Corcovado, in retrospect it let me have a different experience – a rare and humbling one.
More on Rio soon…
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