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Published: March 17th 2008
Our next step after Rio and the excitement of the Maracana was to make our way to the Pantanal, which is a great distance from Rio. So we decided to break up the journey with a stop and why not make it Brazil's capital city of Brasilia...
We only stayed for a couple of days so there was not much scope for adventure, but we did manage to take in a few of the sights and sounds that the capital has to offer.
Brasilia is a city built entirely from scratch in the 1950's to form the new administrative capital of Brazil. The city was designed by the architect Oscer Neimeyer, into an intricate grid of streets in the plan of an aeroplane!
On arrival the first thing that hit us was the shear volume of traffic and our perseption of this only grew as we witnessed the massed ranks of vehicles which are ever present on the vast network of roads. This is not a city built for the pedestrian, which we found to our cost. Neimeyer must have known what he was doing though as if you're a fan of taking the car
then you can't go wrong, its a motorist's dream with no traffic jams, just a constant busy flow.
The architecture was the main reason we had for a visit and in many respects it did not fail to deliver, with some truely innovative and interesting buildings. However the overall feeling one is left with is that this city is now dated, its like taking a step back in time to the 1970's, think concrete en masse, everywhere! And though the city is still being added to every year, any new and modern buildings are few and far between.
On our 2nd day we manged a wee bit of culture. We visited the spectacular Santuario Dom Bosco church. As you can see this is certainly a beautiful piece of engineering, the blue hues surround and envelop you as every wall of the square building from top to toe is stained glass. As we sat and admired the dazzling blue windows we appreciated that this would be a relaxing and interesting place for people to worship.
Running down the spine of the city is a vast open park along which the entire Brasilian administrative headquarters of each department are
housed, including the national congress. Also found in this area was the national museum, the less said about the exhibits the better, they were less than impressive. Does the futuristic building housing them make up for it? We were left undecided, its certainly strange though.
We both agree that overall we don't like the city, its hard to put your finger on exactly why, its more the aggrigate of all the things we don't like about any city, all amplified in one place. As it is a modern city it really lacks in soul and character. Oh well, we love the country side and wildlife so what did we expect and I guess we are spolied by living in beautiful Edinburgh which is so full of character.
The next day we were off again, our "flying" visit was over, spot the pun. (doh!) Karen says
Well as Tony was admiring the modernist architectural delights I was too busy worrying about my foot (see photo). Unfortunately on our return to Rio the mozzies decided to feast upon me big time. So far I have been coping quite well with the wee blighters but unfortunately in one
of the hostels in Rio they really went for it on my foot, and unfortunately I had a bit of an allergic reaction to the bites and some of them turned into big blisters. My foot went all swollen and really did not look too good in my flip flops. I am glad to report that writing this retrospectively it is now all healed and my pretty foot is back. Thought I'd shared it with you though...enjoy!
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