Saturday, May 17, 2014

Brasilia, Districto Federal (08.05.2014 - 10.05.2014)

On our way up north we made a stop in the capitol. Brasilia, the artificially city developed by Niemeyer in the 1960s, is quite a weird sight. Planned and built in the golden and glorious days of the automobile, it reminds me a bit about the metropoles I built back in the days in SimCity. With the residential area on one side and business district on the other. Sounds great till you realize you need giant super highways to connect them and still have a monster traffic jam. Unlike Rio or even Sao Paulo there where next to no bicycles or pedestrians to see. Everybody drives around in his car by himself...
We had a look around the Monumental Axis where the museum of modern art, the weird cathedral, different ministries and many more government buildings are located. As this city was built in one go, all the buildings are in the same concrete/modernist style.
Together with the city they also dammed the river Paranoá to create Lago do Paranoá. Sadly there wasn't much around the shore so we returned to the centre after a look at the JK bridge.
Also worth mentioning is the stadium they built for the World Cup. Brasilia doesn't even have a soccer team playing in the mayor Brazilian soccer league, they will never fill it again after the games.
During our stay we didn't see any other tourists although there where hundreds of hotels around (probably catering to diplomats and politics). It also seems everybody eats what room services offers. As our hotel directed us to the next shopping mall when asked for a restaurant... o_O
All in all Brasilia isn't really a tourist destination. The nature of the city (or its lack of it) makes it unbearable during all but dusk and dawn. You can see it all in a day, so fly-in in the morning and out in the evening as it is even duller at night, bureaucrats don't seem to party ;)

One of almost two dozen ministries along the road 

If you're int Niemeyer and his works check out for more of his designs.