Second stop: Brasilia

Trip Start Dec 01, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  , Federal District,
Thursday, January 22, 2009

Brasilia first impressions:

Capital of the Third Millenium, the futuristic and architechtonical wonder of Brasil... They can say what they want, to me this city is plain and ugly.

On the other hand, I am feeling quite pleased that I am for the first time since in Brasil staying in a place where an open (literally, you never know who is gonna walk through the door next) door policy operates, and where people donīt live under 7 locks.

I am staying in the Varjao do Torto, a neighbourhood still under construction right on the north end of the city, there are untouched green hills right behind us. At the end of my stay we went hiking cross-country in those hills, got a bit lost (and wet and torn) and finally found a cachoeira, a small waterfall, and guess what, not a single tourist around, or a human for that matter. Felt a bit like childhood.

In the city itself every single museum and memorial I visited seemed to be all about the construction of the city and congratulating the people that made it happen. Pats on the back is the ongoing theme, very repetitive.

Even with my very limited knowledge of architecture I can see some clear advantages to their planning, like calm traffic and fewer accidents, but also the problems. The city is much more fit for car traffic than for human habitation. Just watch all the empty spaces on the city scale model.

I wouldn't like to condem it completely, the Brasilenses (born in Brasilia, not the migrants from other parts) seem to like it and there is something to be respected about the vision behind the ambitious "50 years in 5" project. But I'm gonna stay by my first impression, I gess the creativity of a single mind, even a genial one, cannot make up for the collective creativity of a people accumulated through hundreds of years of interaction with each other and their environment.
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