Architectural, Botanical & Colonial Extravaganza
We spent week 3 of the trip with just a couple of days in a few different cities (Brasilia, Belo Horizonte & Ouro Preto). Here, we give you the stand-out experience from each place.
When we told people that we were going to visit Brasilia, the response from most was ‘Why? There’s not much to do there’. Apart from the fact that we want to see the capital of every country we visit on the trip, we had it on good authority (Lonely Planet) that what Brasilia lacks in charm, it makes up for with its architecture. And we’re glad we listened.
Designed and constructed in the fifties by Oscar Niemeyer it was supposed to be the city of the future, which you can see straight away it was (at that time at least). On walking around (which was not easy to do – it’s definitely a driver’s place!), we were mesmerized in equal measure by its uber-organized (if somewhat complex) ‘superblock’ neighborhoods and bold Soviet Union-like buildings rising up out of nowhere.
We aren’t sure it holds up as the city of the future by today’s standards, but still an impressive place and one we are glad we didn’t skip.
Botanical (Belo Horizonte)
Now, Inhotim isn’t technically in Belo Horizonte, but it was the main attraction we experienced when staying there (apart from a dodgy night in a crap gay nightclub, which we won’t go into). One word describes the place – WOW! Around a 2 hour bus ride from Belo Horizonte, inhotim is a great concept; bringing together 37 amazonian botanical gardens and contemporary art (23 outdoor sculptures & 23 galleries, with over 500 pieces on display).
The perfect place (especially when the sun’s shining) to spend a day or two getting lost. It made the trip to Belo Horizonte (which for us was just another relatively boring big city) totally worthwhile.
Colonial – Ouro Preto
If Brasilia is steeped in the future, then Ouro Preto is most certainly steeped in the past. With barely a single structure from the 20th & 21st centuries, it was simply magical. Although, the steep cobbled streets were not. Our legs are still recovering from those damn hills. Still it was worth every literally breathtaking ascent to reach beautiful colonial architecture and breathtaking views at every turn.
Another thing to mention about our time in Ouro Preto was the hostel we stayed at (Goiabada com Queijo Hostel). After staying in a couple of sterile and non-interactive hostels in Brasilia and Belo Horizonte, this place was exactly what we needed; warm and welcoming, with an amazing host (Lidiane) who was just a dream and made us feel right at home.
It’s difficult to chose what made this place for us – the hostel or the surroundings. We’ll call it a tie.
More pictures can be found on our instagram page 2minionsontour.
- Countries visited: 1
- Cities visited: 5
- Distance travelled: 12633 km
- Modes of transport:
- Plane (3)
- Nightbus (1)
- Daybus (1)
Till the next blog.