I ordered a taxi to my next AirBnB place in the city and, again there were a few dramas. The taxi driver seemed almost to refuse to take me because the AirBnB address didn't include a block letter. Eventually, I managed to persuade him that it didn't matter. Just take me there and I'll find it on foot. Honestly, what's the big deal?
Rafael and Danielle both work at Banco do Brasil and so were out when I arrived. They had given the doorman the keys and once I'd got those, everything went very smoothly.
Brasilia is a very modern city built with very grand designs. The main thoroughfares take the shape of an aeroplane and out on the wings are where the residential areas are. They're all named very logically - SQS 415 is mine - in a rather Soviet kind of way. But the suburbs are all very pleasant, with trees and parks everywhere.
|SQS 415 Block E|
I took a 10 minute walk to the nearest metro station and was whizzed to Centro where I got out to the place right at the cross in the middle of the airplane. This was the place featured in the SBS program "This is Brasil". It really isn't a very attractive place, a bit like a huge modern bus station but from there you get a really good impression of the way Brasilia is laid out. From the top left you can look down "the fuselage of the plane" to where the government buildings are. My plan was to walk down to the famous modern church, designed (like seemingly everything here) by Oscar Niemeyer. That is a spectacular building, particularly rom the inside. The stained glass is stunning. Next to it is a modern art gallery, again shaped in an ultra modern way.
I must admit that I'm not really into this style of architecture or modern art, so I got on and walked down towards the "tail" past a big "Eiffel" tower structure towards what is definitely my kind of modern architecture, that fabulous renovated National Stadium of Basil.
|My new favourite stadium|
On the way there a street sales men managed to persuade me to part with R$35 for a small model of the World Cup which I used as a prop in a few selfies.
I wanted to maximise my time in the ground, so I went there straight away and found my seat - the best view so far. The game itself was quite a tense affair and Nigeria looked like they might pull off a shock before France gradually started to dominate. As seems to be a recurring pattern in the round, the group winners eventually won quite comfortably in the end.
I supported France - as I think they have a better chance of beating Germany than Nigeria and because I know my nephew Dary would love to have been there. So this one's for you, Dary! "Allez les Blues!"
I was sat next to a typical World Cup group. An Indian guy to my left, a beautiful Bolivian to my right and a sprinkling of Brasilians all around. It did feel a bit weird to be congratulated by Brasilians when France took the lead, but I'm taking any reflected glory I can from this World Cup!
|Happy with my Sony Cybercam - It can take these|