Yesterday, I took a stroll over to the Emilio Goeldi Museum, paid the R$2 entry and spent a good hour or more wondering around. As a tip, stay out of the buildings as theres not much to see. Everything on the outside is what is interesting. Here are a few photos I took. Enjoy!
Ibirapuera Park (in Portuguese Parque do Ibirapuera) is a major urban park in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. It has a large area for leisure, jogging and walking, as well as a convention center. Its importance to São Paulo is comparable to the Central Park in New York City.
Ibirapuera is the second biggest park in the city, allegedly losing out to the lesser-known Carmo Park in the neighborhood of Itaquera. Admission is free of charge, but get there early as the park, although huge, is very popular.
When I was there on a random Sunday in April, the park was packed and there were people of all sorts out and about. All kinds of sports-related activities were happening all around, vendors come there to sell drinks and ice-cream, bicycle taxis were readily available, musicians were trying to make a buck, even a guy in a spiderman costume was taking pictures with kids.
Inaugurated in 1954 for the 400 anniversary of the city with buildings designed by famous architect Oscar Niemeyer and landscape by famous designer Roberto Burle Marx, Ibirapuera Park covers an area of almost two square kilometers. Before being a park, it was an Amerindian village in pre-colonial times. The name comes from the native Tupi-Guarani langauge and it means ‘wood that already was’, which in Portuguese is translated to ‘pau podre‘ (rotten wood).
The park complex contains several buildings, most of them designed by Oscar Niemeyer. They include such structures as:
- The Old City Hall of São Paulo
- The Museum of Modern Art (Pictured Below, where São Paulo Fashion Week takes place)
- The Museum of Aeronautics and The Museum of Folklore (Pictured Below)
- The Planetarium, Gymnasium, and the Japanese Pavillion
- The Ibirapuera Auditorium (Pictured below, which was on Neimeyer’s original design but only recently built. It is also where many high-profile musical events take place)
A few other pictures of Ibirapuera, mainly of the large lake at the center of the park.
The Lençóis Maranhenses in the Northeastern state of Maranhão is an ecological reserve which occupies an area of 1000 sq. kilometers. Despite much rainfall, the reserve is almost completely free of vegetation.
Composed of large, white, sweeping dunes, at first glance Lençóis Maranhenses looks like an archetypal desert. In fact it isn’t actually a desert*. Lying just outside the amazon basin, the region is subject to a regular rain season during the beginning of the year. The rains cause a peculiar phenomenon: freshwater collects in the valleys between sand dunes, spotting the desert with blue and green lagoons that reach their fullest between July and September.
The area is also surprisingly home to a variety of fish which, despite the almost complete disappearance of the lagoons during the dry season, have their eggs brought from the sea by birds.
The national park status serves only as a means of protecting the area’s ecology; consequently many people are park residents, as is also the case with nearby Jericoacoara. The inhabitants of the park work primarily as fishermen during the rain season. During the dry season, many leave for neighboring regions to work small plots of land.
According to local lore, the region was habitated by Caeté Indians, who woke up one day to find their town covered by sand.
As a general guide to this area, try the park’s official dual language website.
The English-language part seems to have been translated from its original Portuguese by a non-native speaker so hang tight. In the next few days, I’ll try to send them corrections.
For spectacular professionally-done photos of the area, check out this site.