New 7 Wonders of the World: Machu Picchu & Christ the Redeemer

July 9, 2012 by · Comments Off on New 7 Wonders of the World: Machu Picchu & Christ the Redeemer 

#3 Machu Picchu, Peru – February, 21, 2012

Machu Picchu is not an easy place to get to. From the town of Cusco it took 90 minutes by car to get to the Peru Rail Dome Train. (You can take the train from Cusco but not during the rainy season due to mud and rock slides.) Then it takes another 90 minutes to go 27 miles to the town of Aguas Calientes at the base of the mountain. From there you have a 10 minute walk to the center of the town where you board a bus that takes you up a narrow, one lane, twisty road with 18 switchbacks. After 30 minutes you arrive at the top at 8000 ft. After walking up a lots of steps you see the breathtaking city.

And actually that is the easy way to get there! If you want you can hike there and it will take you four days and three nights. Machu Picchu was built around 1450 and was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height. Its giant walls, terraces and ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments. The natural setting, situated in the midst of a tropical mountain forest on the eastern slopes of the Andes, encompasses the upper Amazon basin and is extraordinarily beautiful.

Aguas Calientes

#4 Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – February 24, 2012

The statue of Christ the Redeemer is located at the top of Corcovado Mountain and commands a panoramic view of the city and the bay. The entire monument of statue of Christ the Redeemer is 125 ft high with the statue accounting for 98 ft and overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro is one of the tallest statues in the world; the span from finger tip to fingertip is 92ft and there is a small chapel housed in the base.

Heitor da Silva Costa was the engineer who designed the statue. Construction was started in 1927 and completed in 1931. This was much easier to get to. It took 15 minutes to get to the train station and then a 20 minute ride to the top. From there you have 222 more steps to reach the base of the statue.

In the summer of 2007, more than 90 million people cast their votes to determine which architectural marvels in the world deserved to be one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. There were a total of twenty-one landmarks vying for that title.

Of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, only the Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt still stand. The pyramids were given an automatic spot after infuriated Egyptian officials said it was a disgrace to have to compete for something that had belonged to their country for so long. I agree!  We saw them in 2007.

It is our goal to see all twenty-one landmarks. Also, Chris and I have collectively seen a lot of the twenty-one, however, not together. So the rule is, we go back and see all of them together!

New 7 Wonders of the World  we’ve been to:

  • #1 Chichen Itza, Mexico – 2005
  • #2 Great Wall of China – 2010

New 7 Wonders of the World  Runner Ups we’ve been to:

  • #9  Statue of Liberty, New York – 2005
  • #10 Sydney Opera House, Australia – 2005
  • #11 Hagia Sophia, Istanbul – 2007
  • #12 Acropolis, Athens – 2007
  • #13 Angkor Wat, Cambodia – 2010
  • #14 Eiffel Tower, Paris – 2010
  • #15 Stonehenge, England – 2011


FUN-travel: South America: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

March 5, 2012 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: South America: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

Day 21 – Friday, February 24 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – blue skies w/high wispy clouds – hot & humid

View of Rio Harbor from New 7 Wonder of the World


Christ the Redeemer

  • Good News – have full day tour
  • Bad News – pick up 8:15 & we’re first ones – takes one hour to pick up all passengers
  • 1st stop – 9:15 – Christ the Redeemer – one of the New 7 Wonders of the World
  • Good News – this makes the 4th one we’ve seen together (goal is to see all 21 places that were vying for that title)
  • Bad News – very crowded and have to wait until 10:00 to take our train up
  • Bad News – not everyone in our group follows the guides requests – suppose to meet @ 11:30 – sit & wait for them until 11:50
  • Lunch stop – Brazilian BBQ buffet – just OK
  • 2nd stop – Soccer stadium
  • Bad News – it’s closed & really, really hot
  • 3rd stop – Cathedral – shaped like a pyramid 30 stories high – reflection in glass bldg across street is awesome
  • 4th stop – Sugar Loaf Mountain – take an aerial tram to first mtn – then take another one up to top – great views & 20 degrees cooler when the clouds roll by
  • 5th stop – bad excuse for a souvenir store!
  • 6th stop – get dropped in Copacabana for street market
  • Good News – find exactly what we want
  • Bad News – spend all our money
  • Good News – walk back to Ipanema instead of taxi
  • Dinner stop – cold beer & risotto – just OK

Rio Cathedral Reflection

FF (FUN-facts) – Ipanema Beach is where the locals go and Copacabana is where the tourists go.