About ten weeks into our stay in Brazil we received an interesting message. The Austrian ambassador invited us to dinner at the embassy in Brasília. Despite having traveled in Brazil for almost nine months within the last two years, we had never seen the capital of Brazil. Brasília is located in the middle of the country, really far off most touristy areas such as Rio de Janeiro or the beautiful beaches of Bahia.
In fact just three days prior to our meeting with the ambassador Dr. Stefan Scholz we were still around 1500 km away, on the Atlantic coast in Bahia. So that meant that we better start driving!
Three days later, after many hours of driving till late at night, we finally made it. Instead of empty fields left and right we started to recognize the outline of the city of Brasília in the Federal District.
The modern capital Brasília
The city of Brasília was designed in the shape of a bird in flight, or a plane. It was only founded in 1960 and started to serve as the new national capital after Rio de Janeiro.
The whole history behind Brasília is really interesting as it was intended to accommodate a lot less people than are currently living there. Now it is the third-most populous city in Brazil and the seat of the capital of the Federal Republic.
Brasília presents an obvious contrast to the rest of the country. You see people in suits and everything is very spread out.
You definitely need a car to do sightseeing. The modernist architecture reminds me of Eastern bloc architecture but from time to time I did discover some jaw-dropping constructions as well.
Not for no reason was the capital declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987.
World travelers in Brasília?
Two years ago, when Paul and I packed one suitcase each for our big adventure, we didn’t plan for official events like dinner at the Austrian embassy. Minimalistic travel is important when not living anywhere permanently. So we searched our bags for suitable clothes that don‘t look like we just came from the beach.
We checked into our hotel around 6 p.m. and had our dinner scheduled for 7 p.m. Long car rides in South America barely ever work out as planned. Nevertheless, we did manage to find the embassy on time and were excited to see what was awaiting us there.
I’m not sure how many times the Austrian embassy of Brasília had a 24-year-old car parked right in front of its main door. Our 1998 Toyota Landcruiser Prado never looked as proud. During the two years prior to this we drove it around 30.000 km through South America and it‘s been a great companion through the Amazon rainforest as well as on dusty roads to Brasília.
Now it was standing in front of the embassy when the Austrian ambassador Dr. Stefan Scholz welcomed us to this impressive place.
The Austrian embassy in Brasília
It was a great honor to meet Austrian ambassador Dr. Stefan Scholz. We were also pleased to get to know Vienna Philharmonic Dominik Hellsberg who was on a tour through Brazil to play classical concerts. Little did we know that we were going to enjoy a great Austrian concert of this wonderful musician soon.
Also we were pleased to meet journalist Milan Sime Martinic who writes for CNN Latin America and who, as we found out, made this meeting possible for us.
We talked about our strategies of long-term travel, business concepts and future projects.
If you wonder what we ate for dinner, I can tell you, it was very traditional Austrian food! Frittatensuppe, Wiener Schnitzel and Apfelkuchen! It was amazingly traditional!
When we asked Dr. Stefan Scholz if he ate this type of food every day, he said, it didn‘t happen as often as we might think. Still, how lucky to have such a great chef at your workplace.
Dr. Stefan Scholz gave us a short tour through the building and garden and in the end invited us to join him for the Concerto Austriaco the following night. The talented Viennese violinist Dominik Hellsberg was going to play with an orchestra with Maestro Claudio Cohen and we couldn’t wait to be part of it.
Check out the Facebook page of the Austrian embassy in Brasília.
Join Dr. Stefan Scholz on LinkedIn to see what life of an ambassador looks like.
Classical music in Brasília
The concert for me was really emotional as it was the first time I heard a live orchestra in Brazil playing music that is so dear to my heart.
Dominik Hellsberg was amazing and we could tell that he is a musician to the core. The Maestro Claudio Cohen did a great job and was such a joy to watch.
The whole orchestra created such beautiful energy and we felt happy and fulfilled being there.
Check out the Youtube channel of the wonderful Orquestra Sinfônica TNCS.
What to see in Brasília?
For the rest of our time in Brasília we planned some sightseeing.
Our friend Welf Herfurth from “Brasília 4 Dummies“ knows all the stories in and around Brasília and is collecting lots of useful information on his blog. He has been living in Brasília for several years and made it possible for us to meet author and analyst Milan Sime Martinic and consequently the Austrian ambassador Dr. Stefan Scholz. If you are looking for any kind of information on Brasília, check out his website or join one of the Hash events that he is organizing in the capital city.
Additionally I interviewed our friend Welf on what a Hash is and why it is a must go in Brasília! I will soon publish it on my Youtube channel Alexandra Allover. Subscribe here so you don‘t miss it!
What‘s a Hash?
The Hash was a new concept to me even though this social setting exists worldwide. The Hash House Harriers (HHH or H3) are an international group of people that anyone can join. This is extremely helpful when arriving in any new city since you can just show up and are being welcomed with open arms. We witnessed good humor and easy-going people who like to have a good time.
How to learn more about Brasília?
If you are interested in visiting Brasília, you might be interested in topics like transportation, education, health system or sightseeing. The most popular website amongst expats and tourists is Brasília4Dummies. It is based on honest experiences by expats in Brasília, and they encourage people to ask questions about every-day-topics such as food, schools or bureaucracy. Visit this website to get the most useful information about the capital!
Telling our story to the press
So I told you that Paul and I met the journalist Milan Sime Martinic, right? He was so interested in our story that he decided to write about us! We got to talk to him about our mission of perpetually traveling South America, how we finance our lives, and our future projects.
It was really fun and I‘m excited to share the article with you as soon as it‘s out. You will either find it on my website or my Facebook page (see below.)
In the meantime check out Milan‘s Facebook.
Here you find Paul’s channel.
Our trip was a huge success!
I would have never imagined that our trip to the capital would lead to so many great experiences. Meeting the Austrian ambassador Dr. Stefan Scholz, journalist Milan Sime Martinic and Brasilia 4 Dummies blogger Welf Herfurth were just some of our highlights. The city is full of interesting people and everyone has their own unique story to tell.
Thank you everyone for the great conversations and inspiration for our future travels in Brazil and the rest of South America.
P.S.: If you’re looking for a true inspiration for travelers like you and I, keep an eye out for one of my next blog posts! We met the female pilot Margi Moss who, together with her husband and single-engine plane, circumvented the earth within 32 months. We got to meet her and got truly inspired to do the same one day!
🙋🏻♀️Follow my channel to not miss my next video of my adventures through Brazil and the rest of South America 👉 https://www.youtube.com/AlexandraAllover?sub_confirmation=1
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