We were so lucky, that we could stay as long as we needed in São Paulo at the house of Verena and Charles. Thank you so much for everything . What was happening with the trucker strike? The truckers are united in several Unions in Brazil. The president of Brazil were negotiating with the trucker unions, but several times the unions declined or didn’t even respond to the suggestion from the president. But why were the truckers in a strike? Since everything is transported by trucks all over Brazil, there is a huge need for truckdrivers and trucks to make the country function. Several years ago the government in Brazil made a new law that people, who wanted to buy a truck for transporting cargo, could get a really cheap loan to buy the truck for. A lot of people invested in a truck, and the amount of trucks in Brazil grew rapidly. At the same time diesel and gasoline have been substituted by the government for years, but some years ago, when the currency of Brazil, Rael was doing great and the oil prices was low, so the government stopped the substitution of the diesel and gasoline. The last 3 years the exchange rate between the USD and Real have changed from 1 USD = 2 Reales to 1 USD to 3,5 Reales and at the same time the price for oil have doubled. This means that the price for gasoline and diesel has doubled the last 2 years in Brazil, so the truck drivers are having a really hard time earning any money.
With no gas we decided to tour São Paulo on bicycle
Usually São Paulo is too dangerous to explore on bicycle, or you have to go on a guided bicycle tour with a guide, that take you a long the bicycles paths in the streets of São Paulo. BUT since most people didn’t have any gasoline left, and the truckers were striking (not driving), the traffic was VERY light.
Passing the museum of Art on the bicycle – ESBEN
We didn’t visit the museum, but loved how the building worked as a frame for this picture. The museum was designed by architect Lina Bo Bardi and was completed in 1968. The museum itself is considered a classic of modernism.
Then a quick stop at the “Catedral da Sé de São Paulo”
I went for a quick walk inside the Cathedral, while Esben was watching the bicycles. Getting your bicycle stolen in São Paula is not a big problem, since the majority of the population doesn’t bicycle. The Cathedral is built in a Neo-Gothic style, it took 40 years to built the Cathedral, that was finished in 1954. The towers, that you see in the upper picture was not completed before 1967. It is considered the 4th largest ne-gothic cathedral in the world. More than 800 tons of rare marble were used in this completion.
For lunch we bicycled to Liberdade, the Japanese town of São Paulo. São Paulo has the biggest population of Japanese outside Japan, so this should be a great place to eat lunch. Even the bank “Bradesco” looked Asian.
We ended up here, at a place called “The tigers snack” ()
To get a view over the size of the city we visited Banespa, which is Brazil’s version of Empire State Building. The Banespa is a 161 meter high sky-scraper, that was completed in 1939. In the past it was possible to get all the way to the top, but today it is only possible to visit the observation deck on the 26th floor. Banespa is the tall and white building, that raises in the background.
Still we had a pretty good view of the city, and really got an idea of how big São Paulo is
More views from inside and outside Banespa. To the left in the right picture you see the Edificio Martinelli, which was the first skyscraper built in Brazil. The construction of the building started in 1922 and was inaugurated in 1929 with 12 floors, being the tallest building in South America at this time. The construction of the building continued until 1934, and it ended up being 130 meters tall (including the roof) with 30 floors. On top of the 26th floor a mansion.
Passed the Teatro Municipal, which was built in 1903. Trying to stay on the few bicycle paths São Paulo has to offer
Stopped to buy local snacks on the way. First we tried fresh coconut that is caramelized – highly recommended ! Next stop was the filled churros, one with “dulce de leche” (condensed milk) and one with chocolate.
Not bad! First they fill them inside with “dulce de leche” or chocolate, then they add more on top, and finish the topping with roasted peanuts
After all that bicycling we decided to stop at the Butantan Food Park on our way back. This should be the best spot to explore the city’s food truck scene, which has grown rapidly over the last years. Visiting the food park late afternoon we almost had the place to ourselves, except for the cute couple. The place have everything that your heart and stomach desire. We went for beer and burgers. This burger had one patty made of beef and one made of cheese. What an amazing burger! Not only did we like the food, but we also liked the atmosphere. It you visit on weekends or during lunch, the place is packed. The place also have many vegetarian options, not mentioning the desserts. Unfortunately we only got to visit the food park once, during our stay in São Paulo.
São Paulo has a population of 21 millions (including the metrolitan area), which makes it the largest city on the southern hemisphere! At the same time the city is known for having the worst clogged traffic and high pollution, but the trucker strike had solved that problem for a few days.
I also went to a sail club with Verena and Charles. It was on a Sunday and the streets were just empty
We arrived at the boat club and had lunch – check out the sail boat buffet
Eating lunch while enjoying the view over the lake
The president was still negotiating with the trucker Unions, but so far without any result. For how long would we be trapped in São Paulo?