Archive for March 26th, 2020

March 26, 2020

Trés Coraçoes, Brazil!!!

So I am back in my memorable Brazil. I have many posts on the country and its cities in my blog; needless to expand more as I also lived , work and speak the language. However, let me tell you a bit more about a peculiar spot there.

Have you heard of Pelé? Do you follow football/soccer? Then , welcome to Trés Coraçoes! Read on…

Três Corações is a town in the State of Minas Gerais, and it is Pelé’s birthplace. The town of Três Corações is located in the Rio Verde basin, this being the main water course that crosses the territory.

tres coracoes

The main things to see here of course and only for the die hard football/soccer aficionado like me who welcome him to the NY Cosmos way back in the USA is the Monumento ao Tri at the Praça Coronel José Martins square.  It pays a fair tribute to the Tri-World Football Championship, won by Brazil, in Mexico, in 1970. It includes a special tribute paid by the locals to their eldest son , Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Rei Pelé.

Casa Pelé , this is a replica of the house where the King of Football lived as a child in Três Corações on the real terrain was rebuilt. Located on Rua Edson Arantes do Nascimento, nº 1.000, city center/downtown.

They even made a museum in his native home, even if he hardly visit the town now.  So much for the fame; the museum of Pele or Museu Terra do Rei , is open Mondays to Fridays from 8h to 18h and Saturdays from 9h to 13h. More on the museum in Portuguese from the Minas Gerais portal here: Minas Gerais on museum of Pele

tres coracoes

Now this is great coffee country and wonderful vendas or farm selling the wonderful Mineira food.  Some of the best coffees in the world are produced here, mainly in the state of Minas Gerais. The coffee plantations, which cover about 10,000 square kilometers, are located mainly in the states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Espírito Santo, in the Southeast and South, in Paraná, where the environment and climate offer ideal conditions for growth. In Minas Gerais, the largest exporting state, the culture of coffee production gained strength from 1907. The union of coffee growers of Minas Gerais in Portuguese here: http://sindicafe-mg.com.br/tipos-de-cafe

And for my recommendation of places where you can buy this wonderful brew direct there , my favorites, Trés Coraçoes, their webpage is here:Cafe Tres Coracoes

And to try a cup on site go the Cafeteria Grao Terra in Trés Coraçoes; webpage here:  Cafeteria essencia da terra and grao terra

I stayed briefly once there, of staying at the Pousada Calabreza, a simple hotel too simple the TV did not work but did had time to rest after the long 4 hrs trek by car.  They have a hotel propertly said in city center a bit better for longer accommodations;  I actually moved to the town nearby Varghina.  For a night stay over this one is ok. The Facebook page is here : Facebook page on Pousada Calabreza

tres coracoes

And for eating we went to Venda do Chico right around Tres Coraçoes for lunch, a great country place right in the woods with beautiful gardens and great souvenir and foodie store as well as the great restaurant. Real food, Mineira or miners’s town food hearty and plenty at excellent prices.  See it here and take a look at the photos! Venda do Chico restaurant store

tres coracoes

 

And to do things in reverse, let me tell a brief history of the town of Trés Coraçoes:

Três Corações do Rio Verde became part of the Minas Gerais Province in 1873, after the President of the province sanctioned laws establishing that the territory was part of its civil parish. The town continued to develop civically after Emperor Pedro II, and the imperial family visited it in 1884, for the inaugural of the Minas & Rio railroad. The railroad connected the town to Cruzeiro, a town in São Paulo Province. Three months following the emperor’s visit, the town was emancipated and became a city. Though formally known as Três Corações do Rio Verde, on September 7, 1923, the city became known as Três Corações.

The city of Trés Coraçoes webpage in Portuguese is here: City of Tres Coracoes

Tourist portal of Minas Gerais on things to do in the area in Portuguese: Tourism of Minas Gerais on things to do

And there you go , a small spot but very off the beaten path for the real taste of Brazil, this time in Minas Gerais and Trés Coraçoes. Hope you enjoy the brief tour.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

March 26, 2020

Union Square shopping HCMC!

So not a great shopper myself but the locals encouraged me to come here as was close to my hotel and walking is the magic word for me once in town. So I let my legs walk a bit and saw beautiful French style architecture on the main square near city hall and then the shopping mall!

I have several posts on Vietnam but let me bring to focus the grand shopping at Union Square Shopping Mall at Ho Chi Minh City or HCMC!

hcmc

Union Square was originally a new part of Vincom Center A, the shopping mall across the street, but was later sold and is now an independent shopping mall in a prime location. The mall is home to a wide range of foreign luxury brands as well as a mix of everyday brands from Vietnam and beyond. Right on the corner diagonally from the city hall you have the shopping center. There was construction of a new metro line 1 that begun in 2012 to be completed by 2021 as told.

hcmc

Union Square Shopping Mall houses a wide range of designer brands, both local and international alike. Set within District 1, this upmarket shopping mall occupies a massive French colonial building and is fitted with luxurious interiors, broad halls, marble tiles, and European-style décor.

This is a good youtube video showing you Union Square shopping Mall


Attracting a steady mix of affluent travellers, locals, and expats, luxury brands available here include Dior, Hermes, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Lauren, Versace and Dior, some of which offer relatively attractive promotions from time to time. However, don’t expect real bargains as it’s one of Ho Chi Minh City’s most high-end shopping venues.

Open daily, Union Square Shopping Mall is within a five-minute walk from the Saigon Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the People’s Committee Building. It’s also flanked by the famous shopping street of Dong Khoi and the popular Nguyen Hue walking promenade, making it a popular spot for dining and shopping after a day of sightseeing in Ho Chi Minh City. The exact location is at 171 Dong Khoi Street, District 1, HCMC.

The Vietnam Guide has further info on the Union Square Shopping Mall: Vietnam Guide on Union Square

And a interesting webpage call Scooter Saigon Tour has a nice layout on Union Square Shopping Mall here: Scooter Saigon Tour on Union Square

And there you, who say the French have left! Lots of nice architecture features on the building, and beautiful stores inside as they said if specials days you can find some nice brand names here. Hope you enjoy a bit off the beaten path thing to do in Ho Chi Minh City!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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March 26, 2020

The streets of Mexico DF, some!

So let me bring you back to the land of tequila, mariachis, beaches and architecturally stunning sites; my Mexico. One of the countries I have visited the most over the years and family there!

I like to tackle the streets of Mexico city or some of them in this post. Hope you enjoy it.

I always wanted to write something on the streets of Mexico City and finally took the challenge. Of course, this is a monumental task in a huge city and even if I have driven by it or driven with for most of it do not have enough photos. Probably the reason not written on the subject before. However, have some and here I go for you. Hope you enjoy it in one of the world’s most congested cities, driving is a thrill and a challenge. All handle well by your road warrior!

Let me start with my favorite area. The place known as the Zona Rosa is a space that over the years has become a commercial area. Located within Colonia Juárez, which belongs to the Cuauhtémoc Delegation of Mexico City. It is surrounded to the north by Paseo de la Reforma, to the south by Avenida Chapultepec, to the east by Avenida de los Insurgentes and to the west by Avenida Florencia . All largely walked by yours truly over the years as well. This is my Mexico city central!

You know why this area was call Zona Rosa or pink zone? Well several theories, my favorite was written by the Mexican painter José Luis Cuevas, whose explanation was that the pink color of the area comes from being a red area at night, and white area during the day. Indeed this is a happening area and my home even if over the last few years it has become the LBTG central as well.

Likewise, he has declared on numerous occasions both in the press and on television, that the name originally emerged as a tribute to the Cuban actress Rosa Carmina born in Havana,(1929), who is a film actress and Cuban television, dancer, singer, rumbera and star based in Mexico ; you can search for her work. She belongs to the so-called Golden Age of Mexican cinema as one of its main stars. For some years, she lives in Barcelona, Spain.

The most notable street for bars has to be Calle Amberes. All between Avenida Chapultepec and Paseo de la Reforma!   This is my central central and as said lately the home of its LBTG bars even if all are welcome including me! I have stayed here several times on the Royal Hotel and the Basque/Spanish Tezka restaurant, and just around in Calle Genova the Konditori now closed. And by Calle Hamburgo, El Lugar del Mariachi still open. And just across the street Avenida Chapultepec another old favorite the Segovia Regency Hotel.

Mexico

Mexico

Moving on to Calle Mercaderes,Colonia San Jose Insurgentes is   home of Fiesta Inn hotel , City Express Hotel and the El Gran Leon de Oro restaurant. All of my usual stays over the years. As well as Le Pain Quotidien Belgian chain resto ; Teatro Insurgentes and the Parque de los Hundidos ,and of course the Lamborghini car dealer for Mexico lol!

Mexico

I moved into more business like areas and reach the Avenida Centenario, by delegation Alvaro Obregon home of Teatro Centenario Coyoacan and Arcos de Centenario a very nice residential area of friends.

mexico

mexico

And really central for me and close to all the others is the hugely popular and grand Avenida de los Insurgentes which is a set of three continuous avenues that form one of the main road axes in Mexico City. With a combined length of almost 29 km, it crosses most of the Mexican capital. It is divided into three avenues or zones: the Norte (north), the Centro (center), the Sur (south) zone, which is the one I have been the most. The Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur, from Paseo de la Reforma, to the Caminero Monument, its numbering starts north and ends south between 1 and 5000, north to south. This area begins at the intersection with Paseo de la Reforma and due to its extension it will be divided into several areas.

 

I will mention the ones I crossed either by car or walking! These are the Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (Cuauhtémoc – Juárez). Between Paseo de la Reforma and Avenida Chapultepec It is characterized because to its west is the popularly called Zona Rosa, while to the east is the Colonia Juárez which is characterized by its architecture, where the modern and tall buildings that surround it.

Mexico

The Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (Roma). Between Avenida Chapultepec and Miguel Alemán Viaduct and it begins at the so-called Glorieta de Insurgentes , built by the works of Line 1 of the Metro and where the Insurgentes metro Station is located, this gazebo is characterized by being sunk with respect to the rolling area, having several tunnel accesses, such as the Zona Rosa and this is characterized by being one of the main meeting centers of the LGBT community.

Mexico

Mexico

The Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (Napoles – Del Valle). Between the Miguel Alemán Viaduct and the Interior Circuit. We find one of the areas with the highest economic level in the country, in which there are several colonies such as Napoles, Colonia Insurgentes Mixcoac, Colonia Nochebuena, Colonia del Valle and the remains of the Pueblo de San Lorenzo. Tlacoquemecatl. In this segment, the World Trade Center building in Mexico City stands out (see my post on views from above Mexico city). You , also find in this area the wonderful Monumental Plaza de toros (bullfight arena) and the so-called Estadio Azul (Blue Stadium) This stadium was home from 1996 to 2018 of the Cruz Azul FC of the Mexican first division football/soccer. It has been said, that it might be demolished in 2020 as the team plays now its games at the Estadio Azteca.

The tourist office of Mexico city in English: Tourist office of Mexico city

The Atlas turistico of Mexico City in Spanish: Atlas turistico of Mexico city

Tourist office of Mexico on Mexico City in English: Tourist office of Mexico on Mexico city

And there you go a wonderful tour of Mexico City; you do not have to do it by car, once in the location walking around is magical and allows you to see the architecture styles of this great metropolis. Enjoy the streets of Mexico city as I do!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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