In June I was unexpectedly sent to Brazil for work. I was very excited to see a place that I had never really thought about traveling to. My destination was Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, but I had a lay over in Sao Paulo on my way back. It took me nearly 24 hours to get to Brasilia and I was pretty pooped when I arrived. So I took a few pictures of the sunset from my hotel room window and passed out.
I had one day to myself before my meetings started and the hotel staff had suggested a half-day city tour when I checked in. Brasilia is a planned capital, established in 1960, and has a lot of architectural significance. So I decided to sign up for the tour and was not disappointed. Brasilia is a sprawling city and not very walkable, so the tour was really the best way to see a lot of the city.
Our first stop was the Dom Bosco Sanctuary. When the bus first dropped us off here I didn’t think much of the building. From the outside, it seems very blah.
But then you go inside and the building is completely transformed. The architect who built this church wanted to reproduce a starry night sky and built the chandelier to look like a full moon.
It completely took my breath away. The blue glass panels were absolutely stunning.
We made a few more stops and then visited the Cathedral of Brasilia. The Cathedral was designed to look like a chalice and the bells are supposed to resemble a candelabra.
You can’t see it in this picture, but there is a moat that surrounds the building that you walk under and then emerge into the cathedral (symbolic of emerging from darkness into the light).
We stopped at a few other landmarks; the National Congress of Brazil,
Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court,
and the Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge.
After the tour I headed back to my hotel and met up the Canadian delegation for a traditional Brazilian dinner called Churrascaria, where they slice a variety of different meats off skewers. It was DELICIOUS.
I spent the next few days working and then headed to Sao Paulo. I was originally going to do a walking tour of the city but it was cancelled because not enough people signed up. Luckily, a colleague of mine was also spending a few days in Sao Paulo so we met up in the morning and signed up for the hop-on, hop-off bus tour. Sao Paulo is known for its street art and it was everywhere and very cool.
In the picture above you can see both the beautiful street art, juxtaposed with the sleeping figures laying under them, which are also a very common sight in Sao Paulo.
We got off at a few stops on the hop-on, hop-off tour. The first was to check out the Japanese neighbourhood. Sao Paulo has the largest Japanese community outside of Japan. We had some delicious gyoza and stuffed buns for lunch and got back on the bus. Then we checked out a small market where everything was football focused.
Once we were back at the beginning of the tour we made our way to the top of Terraco Italia and took panoramic photos of the city. It is astoundingly large.
Overall I found Brazil to be a very interesting country with delicious food and very nice people. Sao Paulo was a little large and smelly for my liking.