The Outstretched Hands Of The Redeemer

This was our first disappointing glimpse of Cristo Redentor. Barely discernible from behind those hazy clouds. We decided it would be pointless going to Corcovado if visibility was going to be so poor. So we went to the Päo de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf) first instead and prayed hard that the weather would clear, for we had very little time in Rio.

Corcovado from Päo de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf Mountain)

Wrong decision! The clouds lifted as soon as we were up on Sugarloaf mountain, from where we got this fist real shot of the statue of Christ the Redeemer. By the time we reached the train station below Corcovado around 11 am, the lines were miles long and we were loath to waste our entire day trying to get to the statue.

Cristo Redemptor through the clouds – Corcovado

He was omnipresent! Wherever we went we felt his towering presence watching over this beautiful city. A constant reminder of our disappointment.

Cristo redemptor from Parque Lage

We felt the effect of our 26 odd hour flight the next morning and barely managed to drag ourselves out of bed. We found even longer lines at the base of the hill and dejected, we decided we would have to be satisfied with this view (below) from a spot halfway up.  Then off we went for our Sunday morning stroll around Ipanema and Lagoa and in the afternoon a drive across to Niteroi with Marcio Guedes whose help we had enlisted to maximise our limited time here.

Cristo Redentor from a view point mid way from Corcovado

On our return from Niteroi around sunset, the sight of the illuminated statue tempted us to make one final attempt to get up close and Marcio decided to drive us all the way up instead of waiting for the train. There were barely a handful of tourists at this hour and the tram and elevator up from the car park was a breeze.

And then………Wow!

Cristo Redentor, Corcovado

Cristo Redentor in all his glory!

Christ enveloped in the warm glow of the flood lights with his hands outstretched in welcome.  How could we have even considered leaving without seeing this!

Cristo Redemptor lit up at dusk!

We hung around a while and were rewarded with this additional bonus. (I know my poor camera does not do this scene justice, but you get the picture)

Sugarloaf from Corcovado at dusk

And this……

View of Lagoa. The lone building in the wooded area is the beautiful Parque Lage

I was now ready to bid Rio adieu.

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

92 thoughts on “The Outstretched Hands Of The Redeemer

    1. Isn’t it? All the forums and guides urge you to go early in the morning. Nowhere did it say that this was a good time to visit!

  1. Wow! Great photos…my grandfather, in his bid to escape Hungary during a time of strife (he was jewish), made his way to the states through Brazil. I can only image his relief upon seeing this vision that he and his family were redeemed.

  2. Wow Madhu! You’ve been to so many places. I’m really impressed and inspired! Brazil is high on my list but considering how far it is from this part of the world I’ll save it for my future big trip!

    1. You have your whole life ahead of you Bama. R and I are acutely aware of time running out and hence try to do as much as we can. We just had about three days in Rio and one night in Iguacu (we spent another in Puerto Iguasu on the Argentinian side). We hope to return sometime to see a bit more of Brazil.

    1. Would rather be inspiring 🙂 We have been to Lisbon and seen the statue from afar. Need to check my old prints to see if I have a picture.

    1. Me too Naomi! We almost missed seeing it. if we had gone on day one as planned, we would likely not have returned again.

  3. That is an incredible photo, Madhu. I have one of me standing there underneath my umbrella, with the rain pelting down, and mist shrouding the scene. 😉

    1. Thank you Ad! I probably would have had a photo like that if we had gone on day one! Strange that no one recommends going in the evening! It was so peaceful and beautiful!

  4. I’m glad that you got to go to the statue. I wanted to go to Sugar Loaf for years (since I was 10), but when i finally made it to Rio in my 40’s, it was Corcovado that I was glad that I had gone too. As impressive as the statue & the scenery is, my favorite photo from that trip is one my husband took, looking away from the statue at all the tourists looking back at the statue, snapping pictures. 🙂

      1. No. I should find it and do that some day. I have always liked taking pictures of people taking pictures (the more amateurish, the better!) , so I could show a variety.

  5. Ow my! As if the statue is a representative of what just happened to trip. There’s light on top of the cliff. And with the statue seemingly symbolizing open-arm possibilities.

    1. Yes!! And the possibilities are ALWAYS there. Just that people give up too easily. When it comes to my travels I never give up, to the extent R starts getting nervous about what I will come up with next. But it pays in the end 🙂

  6. Great pics Madhu. Brazil is another of the places I really wish to visit….some day hopefully…& there is something amazing about that statue .

    1. We didn’t do much of Brazil apart from our two days in Rio and a night in Igacu on the way out. Would love to see more. Thanks for the visit Kavi.

  7. The photograph of Cristo Redentor when lit up and the beautiful Sugarloaf at dusk – just out of this world… Amazing shots Madhu. Please keep travelling and please keep sharing. Simply loved this post:)

  8. Amy is right. It’s like Madhu picks us up, takes us to church, and then walks around showing us the sights. You make the hard work look sooo easy.

    1. You are too generous Witt! (Not that I mind too much :-)) But a bit of research is all that is required to get that little bit extra from ones travels.

  9. I am so glad you shared this with us. Seeing through the clouds then straight on with the glow of the lights was breath taking.


  10. The power and inspiration of the amazing visions we see. The statues hand remind us that we have a God that loves and accepts us for who we are. Beautiful!

  11. Aren’t you lucky, to have been about to tour this beautiful place in person, Madhu? Our world offers so many beautiful sights, even only visiting for a short time will no doubt leave lasting memories. Thank you for sharing those memories with the rest of us. 🙂

  12. Wow, the photos up close at night with the clouds are spectacular! Oh, I want to go to Rio so bad and Brazil in general! On my wish list. Did you make it to the Amazon?

    1. No we didn’t Nicole. Rio was a short stopover on our trip to Peru and Argentina, since our connection was via Sao Paulo. I want to go back to Brazil just as bad as you 🙂

  13. Blog world is amazing. You meet some interesting people and you are one of them thanks so much for your lovely blog. I really do not know but please go through my blog it is bit about Brazil. Thanks once again.

  14. Another great post – I had a similar challenge when I went to Corcovado – it wasn’t until my 4th time to Rio that we finally braved the crowds and the weather had cleared up enough to make the trip worth it.

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