Aside from travel to travel’s sake, football, food and music, a very fine reason to visit Brazil is architecture and specifically the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer. And, we thought, “Let’s go to Brasilia”. Oh dear. The city is designed to be seen as the shape of an aeroplane from above. It is sectioned as you might imagine some distinctly unimaginative but simultaneously very creepy science fiction novel (again from 1956) might describe.
Food in Brazil – well, in Belo Horizonte and Rio – is carby, protein, sweet and salty, and it’s all washed down with beer or the many types of local sugar-spirit called Cachaça. Brasilia? Yes, we went there. We ate at a chain restaurant. The town is built for politicians, it is a food desert. …
Belo Horizonte sits inland and reminded at least one of us of Birmingham (it even comes with its own language accent). It is a planned city, built in the 1890s to provide for the mining commmunity and business that was bulldozing the country.