Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Culture and Cartoons

Due to flight scheduling I have been in Rio for the last few days adn have taken the opportunity to read some more soil books on the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches in the morning and begin writing my report when the sun gets too hot in the afternoon. It also gets very humid here which makes things a bit uncomfortable - orchids happily grow on trees here it's so hot and humid. Anyway, we had Lukes last day covering the cultural scene. Lapa steps Christ the Redeemer statue, and Sugar Loaf Mountain.

The Lapa Steps were created by an artist who couldn't sell his work because he lived in a dangerous part of town. He decided to create something to bring tourists to the area to buy his work. He started to tile the steps outside his studio and has been at it ever since. There are tiles from all over the world. There are even tiles with the beetles, a red telephone box and the simpsons on.

Christ the Redeemer was just as you'd imagine, a big statue on the top of a very hot rock. He has the best views of the city from the top of his mountain and it's a very steep journey up to him. He was built by the church to show any visitors they are a Catholic country, which many Brazilians dispute as they are a very cultural melting pot.

Sugar Loaf Mountain is not the biggest mountain in the Rio bay by any means but the cable car project was always planned for this one - Christ didn't bag his hill 'till much later, but any way, it's a two cable car hop and was the third cable car in the world. It has been running since 1912 and the mayor only finally granted planning permission on the premise that it would only count if the project was going in 100 years time! An impressive feet of engineering - the first mountain can be hiked up but the second, the true sugar loaf has to be climbed, it's faces are incredibly steep and not a single man (was recorded) to have died on this project.

So off now to Australia...

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