Day five is Mega Jesus day! Everyone knows you can’t go to Rio and not see Mega Jesus. In fact, even if you decide not to hang with the Jesus in person he’s pretty much an omnipresent figure (in Rio, not in the almighty sense) continuously gazing over the city. Though never at you because Mega Jesus has a neck made of stone and he can’t look down.
We checked out the public transport to the Corcovado tram, the gateway to the Christo Redentor, and saw that it was going to take us about 90 minutes to get there via three different buses. We were slightly confused by this as we assumed that the premier attraction in the city would be well served by public transport, but apparently that’s not a thing.
Faced with the prospect of so much screwing around we gave into temptation and snagged an Uber. I’m not proud of the fact, but so help me it’s so easy and convenient. It also ended up being cheaper than the buses…
Upon arriving at Corcovado around 9 AM we bought tickets and were politely informed that the next tram with seats was at 1 PM so we had to sit around for the next four hours.
After the required period of bitching and hating the universe we decided to explore the local area which is how we discovered <APOTHECARY STREET>. A famous landmark conveniently located only a ten minute walk up the road. We scoped it out, snagged some photos (including some awesome street art you can see here) <LINK>, and met our first leaf cutter ants which we totally failed to photograph because our camera’s Macro mode was not in the mood for it.
We then stopped at nearby museum which was closed, but which had a pleasant little cafe. We sipped and supped a little then strolled on back to Corcovado. We’d managed to eat up all of an hour, leaving us three more to kill.
Harken back to buying tickets and we remember the man at the ticket counter saying you could get lucky and get on early if you waited and there was space on the next train.
Marta then planted herself by the entrance and less than 30 seconds later was approached and told there were spare seats on this tram if we wanted it. Total score. So we saved ourselves three hours and began our ascent to Mega Jesus.
The tram ride up the mountain is definitely worthwhile. It stops a few times at the most unlikely places where, apart from the occasional hotel, people apparently actually live. Forever in the shadow of the Jesus. Water sellers appear at every station and do a surprising brisk business. We ended up buying off them for the trip back as the prices are good and, as always, we were losing our weight in sweat.
The views at the top of the trip as the tram breaks out of the forest are awesome. The cliff next to you drops away precipitously at points and there is nothing between you and an infinity of ocean except a lot of refreshing sea air and enough time to scream “Fuuuuuuuu…..”
After 20 minutes of tram we were at the Jesus. Sort of. You can walk or take an elevator up. There was no line at the elevator so we took that, he claimed, knowing that there was no way they were taking the stairs.
Once at the top we were face to, uh, pedestal with the almighty. He’s much the same in person as he is on the pictures, though there are details that I hadn’t noticed before. The stigmata are perfectly cast into the concrete and his hair has a Loreal commercial look to it. I just wish they’d given him some abs. I feel like the lord of creation deserves killer abs.
There are ample opportunities to lay down on mats provided by <SPONSOR> and take photos of the Mega Jesus from the lowliest position possible. The one use mere mortals are doomed to occupy in the sight of his glory and divinity. Though most people used them to simply mock his crucifixion pose. Personally, I thought he more looked like a dude saying “Come at me bro!”
The highlight for me was pointing out to Marta that the platform that the Cristo Redentor sits on is made from both white and black stone, with the black stone actually marking out a crucifix, hence the odd shape of the platform. She gave an obligatory ‘neat’ nod and continued looking around. I was a little pissed. I had to build the Christo Redentor in Civ VI to discover that tidbit and I’d been sitting on it for months so I could unleash it to wide eyed awe. It didn’t work.
The biggest draw for us was definitely the views. Like the Sugarloaf <LINK> the cityscape that unfolds below you is truly awe inspiring. We snapped as many pictures as possible, but our time with Mega Jesus was all-in-all quite brief. In fact, I probably spent more time writing this than we did at the summit.
In summary, see it because it’s there. It’s moderately cool and if you don’t see it everyone will judge you. If you’re not religious stay for the views, if you are you’re bound to get a lot out of the experience.