Escalators, trains and cans of Olive Oil at Christ the Redeemer

We live in an age of convenience and instant gratification. More is done with less and efficiency is one of the prime tenets of a successful business venture. However, when one goes to a world famous tourist attraction but is then greeted by a train, then an elevator and then two escalators, you have to wonder about the romance of tourism being almost dead.

Christ the Redeemer, is the most famous feature in Rio de Janeiro, maybe perhaps in South America and is as iconic as the Eiffel Tower or the CN Tower.

In my travels, I have seen some pretty amazing things, but I think the escalators at Cristo Redentor epitomize the slow death of romantic travel. I’ve known about these escalators for a while, having read the wikis and the guidebooks, but I find this scene a bit surreal. There are the people who will say that this is wonderful, and makes a  tourist attraction accessible for those who are unable to climb a mountain. Really? Then why not put an escalator to the top of Everest or a cable car right to the top of K2?

Of course, the view from the top of Corcovado is completely worth the 36 Reais (22.5$ CDN) to get to the top.  Getting to Corcovado was easy as pie. All one has to do is grab a taxi from downtown or Ipanema and ask to get out at the Corcovado Cogwheel Train Station.

Once you get into the train station, you pay your fare and head on to the train. There is a nice little area with the flags of the world and the train musuem at the back. Naturally, I looked for the “Trini” flag… but I was surprised to actually see it hanging there

Anyway, although this is tourist trap supreme, it is an absolute must do, simply because it is a truly iconic symbol of a magnetic city and like the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building and others, it offer a vantage point that is breathtaking.

 It’s unfortunate that I couldn’t capture the view in all its wonder as it was a bit overcast with high winds and fog.


So after the viewing and going up and down the mountain, then it was  back to the hotel and gear up for dinner. A curious occurence at dinner though, whereever one goes in the world, it is funny that misunderstandings happen because of an expectation that events should follow a script. For instance, if one asks for bread, then you expect some butter with your bread. If one asks for Olive Oil to dip your bread in, you expect a little bottle or vial of Olive Oil…. one does not expect this…

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About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at

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