Monday, February 10, 2014

I Swear This Happened to Me

Some years ago, it was around summer 2004, I had the opportunity to travel to Rio de Janeiro for a 5 days and went with John. 

During the day, I was with two other women and we had the occasion to have a driver who knew everything and everyone in Rio, it seemed. No matter where we went, people were waving to him and talking...... he was extremely personable and knowledgeable as well. We did all the sight-seeing, like the gondola up Sugar Loaf and jewelry stores with mining museums....... we ate in some very interesting 'salad bars'. 

But for the last day, I went solo and this was the day to visit the cathedral and then up to Christ the Redeemer.

I pause now to state that I had an HP digital camera which used 4 lithium battery or 4 AAs. The lithium was recommended for this camera and I brought 4 spare along because I wanted to have plenty of battery life for the whole trip. What I didn't count on  was taking as many photos as I did on this trip. 

This camera showed how much cell life was left as I took photos and I was able to extend the life as the batteries were dying out by turning off and on the camera and grabbing an extra shot or two. Or three. 

The morning we set out to see the cathedral and Christ the Redeemer I checked on my the barry levels of the last 4 batteries and I saw they were less than half strength so I stopped at a shop and bought 4 (expensive) AA batteries... just in case. There were so many things to photograph this day and I wasted no time in doing so. 
We buzzed past the stadium were Carnival begins. Along the beachfront. Then on to the cathedral.

The cathedral in Rio was so unique and modern in the manner that anything from the 50s is modern.  From the outside you would never think this was a Catholic Cathedral.

From the inside, however, it is unmistakably so.

Around the inside were all the stations of the cross and seating was plentiful. I spent an hour inside, taking photos and within a few minutes, the camera batteries died. No sweat.... I planned ahead. I was not using the flash at all and figured that would save the life of the batteries.

We left the cathedral and started up Corcorvado and stopped at a scenic lookout. From this elevation, Rio de Janeiro is exquisite.

 After I had taken only several shots, I checked the battery icon and it showed there was very little life left! What! I just bought them! 

Oh well, oh well. I turned the camera off to save what was there. And I had that little trick as back-up.

As we continued up the mountain, the driver filled me in on the history of the statue, the visit of Pope John Paul I in 1980 and how Brazil had modernized the entire facility to accommodate disabilities with an escalator to the base. Finally he finished with "There are 220 steps up to the statue." 

Oh really? He left me there and I told him I'd be back in about and hour or so. I checked the battery level and was real disappointed to see the icon read on tick away from empty. I turned it off and said to myself, "well, just take a few images as you go up and shoot the important ones on the way down." I hit the escalator to the base.  From there, the view looking up is enough to make me dizzy, I took the camera out and shot a picture immediately.

As I climbed the steps to the statue, I encountered stopping points with patios where I could rest and enjoy the sights of the city from various viewpoints. For my part, I was more interested in the Redeemer. While this picture below looks exactly like the one above, you can tell it is not taken from the same location  by looking at the vegetation on the left side and compare it's location to the other photo. At this point in time, I checked the battery icon and I swear, I swear this is true. It was full.

Well, okay. That's weird. I left the camera on and continued counting steps to the next patio.

At each of these you can look up and see another angle of the statue.
I am almost to the platform at this shot.

Now I am standing amongst 300 people or more on a huge platform that angles out and away from the statue so the viewer can get a real good look at the face. All these people are milling about so I try not to get in their way.

From the farthest place on that patio/platform you can look down on the city and get a good idea how far up the mountain is.


There are plaques that tell the story of the construction and reconstruction at the foot and the viewer can walk completely around the statue.

But back to the statue..

 It is stunning. On a beautiful day, every angle was inspiring so I kept shooting. I had to wait for people to move away before I could take up a position and sometimes I was on the ground aiming upward. All of this took considerable time.

This is when I checked the battery icon and I SWEAR this is true. It was full. 

 I started my way back down and started counting again the steps to double check and be sure I had the right count. And I took more shots as I went, this time focussing more on the hillside.

 I thought this shot was beautiful.

As I walked off the last step, the camera shut off. The batteries were dead.

I can't explain it. I can't understand it and I can't deny it is sounds like a lie. But it is the truth and I never turned the camera off. I had been up there for around 80 minutes with that camera on the whole time.

And yes, 220 steps, up and 220 back down. 

I am not saying this is a miracle but there is an energy field on that mountain and at that statue. 

I swear this happened to me.

If you want to see some exceptional photographs of this remarkable statue, check out this site.