Curitiba

Today’s background music. Kasabian, Club Foot. Every time you hear Ahahaha, that’s me taking another step.

Curitiba

So, first thing I did upon arrival in Curitiba was to check the distance from the stadium back to the bus station I am told it was 4km and takes one hour. I have 45 minutes, to get back. Mmmmmm.

Anyway, today I will take it easy, found there is a free tourist bus that travels round the city so decided to use that.

First stop, The Eye.

The Eye, Curitiba, Brazil

By now you may have grasped the concept the Brazilian cities I have visited are huge. Today in Curitiba, at the Oscar Niemeyer museum (where else!) The Eye there is a section on architecture and the development of Brazil.

In the first half of the 20th century Brazil was inspired by Paris, however the desire for new plans lead to the cities looking more American (or to me Japanese) as the cities extend for mile after mile, after mile.

Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil

Two problems I can see – the Brazilian road system appears unlike anywhere else with a habit of having to drive in a loop to get going in the direction you want, and a vast amount of underpasses, making it very confusing to get around.

The second – the lack of useful public transport. This is something that they were starting to address in the World Cup however the only new finished project I can recall is the metro in Brasilia. Elsewhere there is evidence of work starting….but none completed.

At the museum they acknowledge “It will take a lot of innovation to intervene and overcome the problems of infrastructure, mobility, and public space of cities.” They are not wrong. Monorail appears an appropriate solution, and there is evidence they are thinking about this…..but will they ever finish?

I spent the morning at the museum and rejoined the tourist bus on its 40km journey round the city.

Disembarked in the city centre and walked (sort of) to the ground so that I knew the terrain after the game. Kick off 5p.m. Bus leaves 19.45.

There were obvious signs that the builders had cut short their work on the stadium, as one annex was closed off. Elsewhere the signs had been nails on the ground at both Belo Horizonte and Natal and temporary staircasing at São Paulo.

The two teams on show were as bad as Greece, even more fitting the worst one qualified from the group.

Curitiba, Brazil

Bearing in mind my condition I decided to leave early, I had seen a sign for taxis and changed my mind at the last minute and headed for that. It was pitch black and it was difficult to follow the signs but I believed it was straight on. I expected to find a row of taxis waiting.

I hobbled to the edge of the 2km exclusion zone, a common feature around the grounds. Then asked a policeman where the taxis were he just pointed out into the street to the queuing traffic. (Note to self. Stick to original plan).

So I kept going and found a taxi arriving 20 minutes before departure.

After that I think I need to put my foot up for 14 and three quarter hours, as I travel back to Belo Horizonte where this all began.

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