Cristu Rei, or Christ the King, is a 88.6 foot (27 meter) tall statue of Jesus, located atop a globe at the end of the Fatucama peninsula, and faces out to the ocean. It can be reached by climbing 500 steps, and is one of the main tourist attractions in Timor-Leste.
It is reminiscent of the Jesus statue in Rio de Janeiro, but is actually a gift from the Indonesian government to the people of East Timor in 1996, which at that time was still a province of Indonesia.
On our first weekend in Dili, Richa drove us to the park at the foot of the statue. It was mid-day, and the sun was blazing hot, and as is always a common thought at the beginning of a stay in a foreign country, we thought that we would have time to visit the statue again and climb up the steps.
For that day, we were content with walking along the sea shore to gaze up at the statue.
Some fishing at the bottom of the cliff.
The waters were clear and blue.
Back up on the road, we walked along the sidewalk a ways to take in the view. At regular intervals along the wall were openings through which you could get down to the beach, on natural stone stairs. On the pillars were stone statues of various creatures.
And of course, I had to take pictures of the few plants and flowers. It was the dry season, no rain until November, and yet a few flowers managed to bloom.
Of course, we didn’t get a chance to visit again, so that I could climb up the 500 steps to the base of the statue. Yes, I would have counted each step – it was a recurring theme one summer on a trip to Paris. For some reason, we ended up going to places that required a lot of stair-climbing, and I just naturally started to count the steps as I climbed. Anyway … if you do get a chance to visit Timor-Leste, make sure to climb up the steps visit Cristu Rei.