I can vividly remember as a child seeing a photo similar to this in an elementary school geography book and thinking, someday I must see this in person. It is one of my earliest memories of experiencing wanderlust, a diagnosis that would become a driving force throughout my life. Only later as an adult did I come to find out that this is also the birthplace of Bossa Nova, the bikini, and of course, the world’s largest party. It is also home to over seven million Cariocas, as the locals call themselves, a colorful mix of some of the most beautiful people in the world all packed into the most beautiful urban setting on the planet, Rio de Janeiro.
The geography and people of Rio have created a unique urban sprawl, whereby some of the wealthiest people in Brazil live next to or even beneath some of the poorest. The poor have taken to illegally building favelas or shanty towns on any available space that clings to or straddles Rio’s magnificent mountains. The irony of course, is that it’s the people of the favelas that have the most magnificent views of their Cidade Maravilhosa or Marvelous City. Constantly watching over this marvelous city and all who inhabit it is the enormous statue ofCristo Redentor, Christ the Redeemer. Perched on the tip ofCorcovado, or Hunchback mountain at 2,329 feet above the city, it can be seen from just about anywhere and offers a breathtaking view from it’s base.
Even though this image is on postcards all over the city, I wanted to fulfill my childhood vision to see it and photograph it for myself. After experiencing a week of Carnaval and a month in Rio I hadn’t had the opportunity to get my photo on a clear day. Miraculously, on my last morning in Rio I woke up to this heavenly, clear, blue sky. Risking missing my flight, I raced to the helicopter pad and fulfilled my vision.
- © 2008 Kevin Dyer | A World In Focus
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Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brasil, South America, silhouette, dusk, sunset, golden hour, Cristo Redentor, christ, Jesus, Christ the Redeemer, statue, Corcovado, hunchback, religious, mountain, travel, horizontal, landscape, helicopter, aerial, aerial view, bird's eye, Botofogo, Copacabana, beach, city, praia, playa
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