Rio de Janeiro Puts Christ On Ice Until Mudslides Subside
These first few months of 2010 have welcomed everything but tourists it seems, as natural disasters like earthquakes, floods ands even volcanoes put a crimp in itineraries. And although we're hoping that the sun of summer will wipe the problems away, it looks like Mother Nature will have her last laugh...in shutting down the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
What they've got down there is a Machu Picchu-type flooding and mudslide emergency. Already the torrential rains and mudslides have killed 246 people, with almost another 200 still missing. And they're not risking more lives just so people can take a quick picture of themselves with one of the seven "new" wonders of the world.
The 130-foot tall statue that sits atop Corcovado Mountain in Tijuca Forest National Park is normally reachable by hiking trails and funicular railway, but both of these have been severely crippled by the weather. As a result, access to the statue is closed to all visitors for at least the next two months, even thought officials use the ominous term "indefinitely." Instead, spend the hours it would have taken you to join sweaty masses of tourists up at the statue by lazing down on Ipanema beach (among the sweaty masses of tourists, ha).
· Brazil's Christ the Redeemer Statue Cut Off by Mudslides [BBC]
· Christ the Redeemer Statue Closed in Rio Over Floods [NowPublic]
· Landmarks [Jaunted]
[Photo: Frank Kehren]