Friday, December 06, 2013

Get On The Bus Gus

The every Wednesday post but this time on a Friday.

So we're in the new place in Moema in Sao Paulo (SP) without a car. Sao Paulo is huge. How huge is it? Glad you asked. SP is the largest city in Brazil and is the largest city in the southern hemisphere! Oh and as to population the seventh most populated in the world.

Quick aside: From Wikipedia: "The city, which is also colloquially known as "Sampa" or "Cidade da Garoa" (city of drizzle), is also known for its unreliable weather, the size of its helicopter fleet, its architecture, gastronomy, severe traffic congestion and multitude of skyscrapers. The city is considered a Global City according to several classifications. According to one source, São Paulo is expected to have the second highest economic growth in the world between 2011 and 2025, although New York City and Tokyo were expected to remain the largest in 2025.[8]"

Searching on line there was a plethora of places to see or things to do with most of them miles from home.

I said: "Let's take a cab." "Naw" says Sue, "Let's see if we can get there by bus. If we want to go anywhere we're going to need to learn the bus routes."

Our destination was a building called "The Italian Building", one of the highest buildings in SP boasting an almost 360 degree walk around platform for viewing the vast city.

I jump to Google Maps to see exactly where the building was from our flat. Looks to be about 8 kilometers.

If you don't know this about Google Maps, you can click on an icon to see how to get there by:
  • Car
  • Bus
  • Walk
  • Bicycle
Well bicycle IF that option is available in your locale. In Brazil, that icon disappears and rightly so: It would be suicidal to bike 8 kilometers on main roads!! What I didn't know was that when you click on the bus icon. Google Maps shows you alternate bus routes including the number of the required bus and where the stations are located. See if this Google Maps imbed works. View Larger Map Click on the view larger map view if you're curiouser about how bus info appears. Off to the bus station.

Not a single. Not a double. But yup, a triple bus.

From taking a bus to Iguacu Falls we knew the drill: Get on. Pay the collector. Find a seat. Simple.

But the bus would not take us directly to the Italian Building. We would have to walk to a metro station, take the metro one stop and then walk to the building. I was familiar with the metro having figured out how to use it from our previous flat in Morumbi to get to the safe bicycling area.

e were trying to figure out where our exit stop was when all of a sudden we were pulling into a major bus station.

The bus emptied.

Except for us.

Trying to figure out what to do when a young guy getting on the bus and probably noticing our dazed, confused and lost look says in English: "Hey, can I help you guys?" He was a student who obviously knew English.

Not only did he give us directions to the metro, but he got off the bus and gave up his time and walked us towards the metro station.

Footnote: I've found the "paulistas" to be very friendly when needed. As you walk down the street you're met with hard, cold, indifferent stares. However, every time I've had the deer in the headlights "lost" look, someone has offered help.

From the metro it was a short walk to the building where there was free admission to the roof top "restaurant" area from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Being early, we spotted a street market down the street. Sue shopped. I people watched.

The bus adventure was worth it. A brief test and we can probably get anywhere we want by bus IF we want to go that route.

We hit a clear day and the views from the top of the building were astounding being able to actually see the vastness of SP.

This is a view from the top of the building showing one very small slice of SP.

You get the picture.


No comments: