Friday, May 27, 2011

We Built This City

Brasilia D.F. – A planned city for the future… Shockingly similar to D.C. but in a comforting way…

We flew from Salvador to Brasilia on an early morning Thursday flight… Let’s just say security in Brazil is not security in the U.S. and I am more than ok with that… Put your bags on the belt, walk through the scanner, pick up your bag… Works for me… Oh and great coffee at the airport… Coach is coach no matter what country you are in… Even at 5’4”, leg room is an issue… One interesting note on the flight: no one waits to disembark… When the plane stops moving, everyone – and I mean EVERY ONE (except us) leaps up and races for the aisle… No waiting for row in front of you or grab bags, just race for the aisle…

We arrive to be greeted by Rosa who was a wonderful guide… Lunch at a beautiful buffet in a restaurant built of bamboo and palm fronds – fresh grilled meats, salads, grains, beans and rice, fresh fruit and coca zero… You will soon see a trend in the meals…

Post-lunch, back on the bus and onto a tour of the city… It’s very linear, very minimalist and very clean… Very orderly which appeals to my linear brain but makes some of my classmates uncomfortable… Oskar Niemeyer is the city’s planner and architect… He is still alive at over 100 years old… Chad, I think you would enjoy Brasilia very much given your appreciation of the Salk Institute…

The cathedral is VERY modern but still sacred space… It is under renovation after 50 years but we lucked out and were able to get inside and appreciate the art… Classical and modern sculpture inside an open dome… Feels much like the Pantheon inside with its wide open sanctuary… The Pieta is a copy from St Peter’s but the angels flying overhead are pure Brazil much like the Black Madonna and its disturbing story… One scary moment when Rosa took a flatout tumble which I am sure left her with bruises to remember us by…

Main greenspace in Brasilia is much like the National Mall although here they are setting up a futbol stadium rather than the Smithsonian Folklife Festival…

Onto the U.S. Embassy and our meeting with the Ambassador and his staff…. Lots of information related to activities ongoing in country… Finally churrascaria with university professors, a few lawyers and judges and plenty of meat and caipirinhas… for medicinal purposes of course - Lots of vitamin C in limons...

Coming shortly - Brasilia Day 2 aka The Day Sickness Invades...

1 comment:

Harrison said...

It's been so much fun sharing this part of the journey with you, Amy! Can't wait to read about the next leg. -harrison