If you only do one thing during your visit to the 2014 Brazil World Cup in Belo Horizonte, visit Inhotim Art Gallery.
It’s about a two-hour drive out of the city (it’s only 70km away but traffic takes care of the rest) but it’s definitely worth it. The art gallery/botanical gardens is built within the huge grounds of the former English mining magnate Senor Tim (pronounced “In-yo-cheem” in old Brazilian, hence the name).
Dotted around Inhotim are modern art installations of glass, mirror, water, brick and sound buried deep in lush Brazilian forest. It’s a really beautiful place to walk around on a sunny day.
This huge tree-hugger truck sits forever tipping over in a glass dome structure in the middle of the jungle.
Paths lead through thousands of different types of flowers and trees as you look for each of the hidden installations.
The art installations are really, really cool. Photography inside the galleries is banned but I managed to snap the Cildo Meireles installation below.
Another installation has you walking across broken glass (you’re wearing shoes).
A spectacular sound installation called The Murder of Crows has you sat facing fifty different speakers in a dark warehouse as a girl recounts a dream beginning in the warehouse and moving through jungle to a beach.
Another has you in a pitch-black room as a strobe-light illuminates a fountain, making the water look like molten glass. In another you enter a room with a mirror, but you can’t see your reflection. You can literally step through the mirror, as crazy as that sounds.
What I’m trying to say is that it’s a really cool place.
A few tips: wear a good pair of walking shoes, tickets are 30 reais to enter and the best place to eat is the Oiticica self-service restaurant (where they weigh your plate; it’ll cost about 40 reais for a really nice meal and a drink).