This is from the observation deck looking straight up the TV Tower.
We opted to take the afternoon tour of Brasilia
as we wanted to sleep in. After the heat and humidity of Manaus
the room at the Casablanca actually, at times, got cold. After another buffet breakfast, which featured bread, cold cut ham, cheese slices, and tofu (which I did not touch) we went back to the room and prepared our camera equipment for the tour. The Olympus of my Dad’s takes amazing pictures and acts like it has a built-in polarizer. Me on the other hand, have not seen any of the pictures I have taken due to the film I am using. I prefer film cameras to digital cameras, why? Who knows, but it like film even if you have to stop and change film. Our van came to get us at two o’clock. Paulo, our tour guild spoke great English and for the first time on a tour, we were not the first English speaking people. Sitting in the seat behind us we had a couple from the North Island of New Zealand. They had came to visit their daughter who was working as a dairy farmer seven hours by car outside of Brasilia. They evidently flew into the night before and had only good things to say about the layout of the city as they saw the lights on entry. We first hit the Cathedral Metropolitana, one of the most recognizable buildings of Brasilia. Paulo said the Metropolitana was usually his last stop on the city tour but the military was on strike and Paulo felt that the strike would make it the cathedral before the conclusion of the tour. After our stop at the Congress we caught a glimpse of the striking military, in dress uniform and marching in two organized lines. When asked why they were striking Paulo showed the international sign of money, the rubbing on the fingers. We saw everything in Brasilia from the Brazilian equivalent of the White House to the street where Brazil would hold parades of military power. We saw two things in plenty during our tour, one was Oscar Niemeyer’s designs and architecture and the name and initials of Juscelino Kubitschek, the president who visualized Brasilia. One stop on the tour was Memorial JK, an entire museum to Kubitschek. Inside the Memorial JK was even the tomb of JK himself. It appeared entire class of school kids were there to see the Memorial JK. It is still unclear to me weather or not JK was, in an American’s eyes a good president or not. The people of Brazil sure seem to treasure and honor him. One thing I liked about Paulo was that he wasn’t just a tour guide, he also read on what he showed. Paulo said he was currently reading a book by Kubitschek called, “Why I Built the City” on Brasilia. The woman of the Kiwi couple behind us asked Paulo how JK died he exclaimed, using his fingers as quotes, that the result of JK death was an “auto accident.” Paulo said, almost in a sad voice, “None of us really believe it.” After about forty minutes, we left the Memorial JK to the Santuário Dom Bosco. John Bosco was an Italian priest who prophesied that a city would arise between the parallels of 15 and 20 and that it’s capitol would be between 15 and 16 on the edge of an artificial lake. All of Bosco’s prophesies were in 1883, way before there was even the thought of Brasilia. From the outside this church which bares him name, it looks like nothing more than a plan square building. But once inside the church you are awed with an amazing blue. All over the church is panels of glass with twelve different shades of blue. The experience is really amazing and I would recommend this church to anyone, atheist or believer. We ended the tour with an elevator ride to the top of the TV Tower, located in the dead center of Brasilia. From the Tower we could see the Hotel Casablanca and all the other buildings in the hotel sector. You could also see the congress at the head, or the cockpit of the city. The tour was, so far, one of the best tours I think we have taken all trip. With the exception of the bad weather at the Christ Redeemer statue, this tour ranks right up there with the tour in Rio. For only twenty-five US dollars it’s a tour you cant miss if you want to see Brasilia in one day.