Although surrounded by controversy, on 7 July 2007 the statue of Christ the Redeemer got named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. In Internet forums and on blogs from all corners of the globe, the discussion was a hot one, with some people maintaining that the statue was tacky and that it was embarrassing to have it as a new world wonder.
What people didn’t seem to understand, however, is that the statue itself doesn’t add much to the landscape of Rio de Janeiro. The true highlight of the monument is the wide and open vista of Rio de Janeiro that Christ the Redeemer offers.
When you are up there, it is hard not to feel enchanted by the marvellous combination of ocean, poetic beaches, rugged landscape, fresh air and amazing skies. From there you can see almost everything – the hippest neighbourhoods of Leblon and Ipanema, the familiar curve of Copacabana beach, the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, the sprawl of the city of Niteroi and the Sugarloaf, shown here during a wintery but warm sunset.
I always enjoy visiting these places, even though I already know them inside out. Just like Christ the Redeemer, the Sugarloaf is a really cool sight from a distance and a treat to climb, offering a very expansive view of Rio. Plus, from the top of the Sugarloaf you can easily take quick hikes in between small woods and may get to see a few long-tailed monkeys, although the word is that they are not very human-friendly. It’s also not unusual to see climbers going up the rocks, adding a bit of adventure to the scenery.