Rio is an incredible city, a massive metropolis set in amongst beautiful beaches and lush mountains – beautiful like no other big city I’ve ever visited. There are an overwhelming amount of things to do, but right at the top of the list of things you have to do is visit Cristo – the huge Christ the Redeemer statue which looms over the city and is one of the World’s most famous landmarks.

One of the things that can apparently make or break your visit up to meet Jesus is the weather, luckily for us we chose a day when it was perfect; blistering sunshine, perfect blue skies and no sign of clouds anywhere on the horizon. This also meant it was incredibly crowded once you made it, but visiting one of the seven wonders on a day like we made that inevitable.

The journey from Copacabana required us to take a bus for about 30 minutes to the foot of the hill on which Cristo sits. From there you have the option of queuing for the picturesque train ride up the mountain or jumping in one of the many mini-buses which will also take you up. As pretty as the train ride is meant to be, we opted for the quicker and easier mini-bus option. This wasn’t the last bus we would have to catch though. The mini-buses take you as far as the ticket office (which is about half way up) where you buy your entrance into meet the giant statue and another bus ticket for the final leg (honestly, it’s easier getting a bed in Jerusalem at Christmas). The third and final leg of our epic bus journey left us at the bottom of the steps which lead you to the wonder. The first thing that hits you once you get off the last bus is the unbelievable view. The whole of Rio is laid out before you – sandwiched between mountain peaks and the ocean. It really was breathtaking and very hard to put into words – my pictures don’t really do it justice either but they’ll give you an idea.

As you climb the stairs the statue begins to loom large, you circle around until you’re finally at his feet. Even as someone who’s not religious the shear scale makes it quite an awe inspiring experience. The vast number of visitors breaks any spell it might cast however and there’s a lot of jostling for position with everyone looking for photo opportunities. To the rear of the statue there’s a small chapel. I had a peak in there but didn’t stay long.  The most interesting feature by the chapel was a ridiculous ‘light an electric candle’ machine which amused me (I really should have taken a photo) – basically for 1 Real you could make an electric light on top of a plastic candle light up, which didn’t seem like much of a gesture to me. It’s quite windy up there though so maybe that was why they hadn’t opted for the traditional wax and wick.

The trip itself probably cost about 50 Reals and took us half a day. It’s something you have to do really when you’re in Rio for the first time and if you get a day like we had weather wise it’s something that is definitely worthwhile.