Archive for December 26th, 2020

December 26, 2020

And yes there is a Columbus in Havana but is for the dead!

And here I am still going over my older posts which are many I realise ! This one is on a subject I seldom write as always prefer the living but as a monument is one of the most visited as in other big city cementeries! Let me update for you the Columbus cemetary of Havana Cuba! Locally known as the Cementerio de Colon!

Wow, it’s been a long time do not write anything on Cuba, but as not there nowdays the inspiration is minimum. There was a nice site I pick up that mention very good information on it, and it brought my attention to the cemetary of Colon in Havana, the largest in the Americas, many have said. I have I believe one old picture from it that I had , i believe was in the vault of my dear late Mom Gladys, and will include here .

Part of my rich heritage is of several nationalities and one of them is Cuban, where I was born in Punta Brava, near Havana (24 km or 15 mi) . It has been a long time out of it ,but the memories of old always stay with me. Oh yes I am a world resident as living and citizen ,also, of Spain, USA, and France! Lately living in France already for 18 years!

The cemetery or necropolis of Colon is in Havana, the biggest in the Americas and one of the most important of the world. There lies the most important persons in Cuban society since it opened in 1886. From 1854 it was already thought to do a cemetery to replace the Espada, the first in Cuba and Latin America.  The Colon was renovated already in 1934.  It is 140 acre (57 ha) cemetery!!!

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The cemetery is rectangular with four sections and two wide large avenues forming a big Cross. In the center there is the Chapel where the funeral services are held; the tracing is done by cardinal points NW NE, SE, and SW. At each cardinal point there is a grand entrance , the biggest is at Zapata with 12 street known as the Puerta de Triunfo or an Arch de Triomphe. On top there is statues representing faith, hope and charity.  The Latin writing on it Janua sum pacis means I am the gate of peace.

The cemetery has over 56 000 mausoleums chapels, pantheons, galleries etc where they are buried about 2 million persons.  The most majestic monuments are along Avenue de Colon in the north entrance. At the Avenida de Colón to the right of the north entrance you see the monument to the firefighters ,at the center the Central Chapel and on  the left part of the pantheon of  Catalina Lasa. Others here are the monument to the 8 medicine students, the pantheon of the prelates on which bishop Espada lies, the pantheon of the Falla-Bonet family, the chapel of Pedro Baro and Catalina Lasa, the chapel of Conde (count) Rivero, and the pantheon of Marta Abreu. The Central Chapel was built in 1886  in a roman-byzantine style been the only octagonal religious building in Cuba. It has a wonderful mural painting showing the Final Judgment and the stained glass showing different Saints and Bible stories were brought from Cologne, Germany.

There is a humble tomb of the couple of  Amelia Goyri and José Vicente Adot. Amelia Goyri de la Hoz is known as the Miraculous or La Milagrosa, because for many years has given wishes and petitions making miracles to those seeking solutions to their problems. On top of the tomb there is a sculpture of a woman, with a child in one hand and the Cross in the other.

Other famous tomb with a story is that of Catalina Laza and Juan Pedro Baró. When they met she was already married to Luis Estévez Abreu, son of the Vice President of the Republic of Cuba, and who refuse to give her the divorce. Nevertheless, Catalina and Juan continue their relationship for many years until finally the Pope gave the divorce in 1917 confirm by then President of Cuba Mario Menocal. In 1926 they built a luxurious palace at 406 Calle Paseo where they lived and Juan gave her a new Rose flower her favorite colors of rose and yellow. Unfortunately, happiness did not last long as Catalina fell sick and died in 1930. She was beautiful and on her last years hide to no one can see her face. Juan ordered to built a pantheon design in a form that the rays of the sun penetrating through glass will draw a rose similar to the one she carried. She was buried with all her jewelry and under a hard cement dome so nobody could violate her peace. Juan died ten years later and is buried at the foot of the tomb.

nother popular one is of the one of the rests of Jeannette Ford Ryder, and her loyal dog  Rinti . It is known as the Fidelity tomb or the Lady of the dog such as  La Tumba de la Fidelidad, or La Dama del perrito.   Jeannette Ford Ryder an American lady who came to Cuba in  1869 where she found the Piedad or pity Bando a philanthropic organization doing charity work helping domestic animals, invalid women, children, orphans and poor in general. At her death at 65 yrs old, her loyal dog Rinti stayed at the tomb until he died. The employees left food for the dog and the dog refuse until dying of sadness. This tomb is at quadrant S.O.(SW) street or calle 14 between H and  Fray Jacinto.

Other famous tombs are the pantheon of the Basque Navarre association or  Asociación Vasco-Navarra de Beneficencia.  Calle 3 between G and F.  The tomb of World Chess Champion  José Raúl Capablanca; it has a big piece of white king that goes higher than the others and located at  Calle 8 between  A and B. The first person buried in the cemetery was in September 29 1872 of the architect builder of it ,the Spaniard Calixto de Loira. Buried in the gallery or Galería de Tobías, this was a underground gallery of 100 meters long. Intriguing a month later his replacement also died and now a legend is on of malediction to all those who had a hand in building this cemetery.

There is even someone who is buried erected on foot! The last will and testament of the men ask for this and it was done.  His name was Eugenio Casimiro Rodríguez Carta  sentenced in 1918 to life in prison while lucky met in the prison a María Teresa Zayas, the daughter of the then President of Cuba who felled in love with him. He was finally let go and married the lady, took a great political career even a seat in the House of Representative, becoming rich and powerful. He ordered built his pantheon at Quadrant N.E. 22, Campo Común. Vertically!

There was a time that folks thought the famous Cecilia Valdés was just a personage out of fiction from the writer Cirilo Villaverde, but after some searching it was found that it was indeed a women name like that and she rests here. She was beautiful mulata (mix black and white person) that was very pretty and was even call the little virgin of copper. The rests of  Cecilia Valdés  daughter of the royal house of maternity or Real Casa de Maternidad who died in 1893 at the age of  86 rest at quadrant N.E., square 6, Campo Común.

It even has tombs of the fallen from WWI and WWII  at Avenida Zapata and Calle 30 (Street) The remains of the casualties are located in the mausoleum of the Anglo-American Welfare Association.

Some of the information was taken for credit from the webpage norfipc on the cementery Colon in Spanish here: https://norfipc.com/cuba/el-cementerio-necropolis-colon-habana.php

Some of the other notable names buried here are: Manuel Arteaga y Betancourt, Cardinal , Hubert de Blanck composer, Federico Capdevila, lieutenant Colonel of the Spanish Army who defended the medicine students in 1871; Alejo Carpentier, writer and musicologist, Eduardo Chibàs, politician,  Dr Carlos Finlay, physician and researcher (discovered mosquito of the yellow fever) ; José Migule Gomez, President of Cuba, Maximo Gomez, hero of the war of Independence, Harrison E Havens US Congressman , José Lezama Lima, writer and poet, Dulce Maria Loynaz, poet novelist; Adolfo Luque, Major League baseball pitcher ; Armando Marsans major league baseball outifielder , William Alexander Morgan, US combat soldier fought against Batista and Castro;  Juan Rius Rivera, Puerto Rican military hero, etc etc.

Just one of the oddities of Havana.  I am not going to tell you to go to Havana to see this, but if you are in the neighborhood , why not, very educational and historical too. Hope you enjoy the post.

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

December 26, 2020

Cap d’Ail, and a peek at Monaco!

So again looking over my older posts in my blog, best time to do so, I look over this one. It was a trip to meet some friends who were hosting a finance conference and I tag alone just to take a peek at this area. I was not impressed but nevertheless, I was here! Let me tell you a bit about Cap d’Ail and a peek at Monaco.

And after the hectic travel day , time to tell you about my latest hunts in the south of France. This is the famous French Riviera, very chic and very much in the news lately. The road A8 is the famous traffic jammer road of France especially in Summer, lucky me took it now flawless with hardly any traffic!! Maybe the road warrior luck!

I had a taste of Cap d’Ail just in the border with Monte Carlo, Monaco!  I arrive by Avis rental car from the Nice-Côte d’Azur airport coming in on the A8, then M6007, and into city center and port Cap d’Ail. The ride was flawless into my hotel.

Ahh the Hotel was the venerable the Riviera Marriott Hotel La Porte de Monaco in the port de Cap d’Ail right by the harbor on avenue du port. Wonderful views over the harbor , and city including Monaco from my room in 5th floor. I have to say this was the highlight of the trip …the hotel. The webpage : https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mcmcd-riviera-marriott-hotel-la-porte-de-monaco/

cap-marriott-hotel-entrance-exterior-oct17

I had my underground garage parking with many fancy cars of great value for 25€ per day; a must as parking is very tight on a Cape location. My room was a king size room facing the harbor towards avenue du port. Glorious!!! Now you know why those fancy cars runs in Monaco, they are parked here for the winter!

cap-marriott-parking-lot-oct17

Once here I headed to get some foodie and drink, so stop by the Restaurant Le Cap that gives to the side of the hotel facing the harbor by the pool, and had my Riviera Club Sandwich ,huge and excellent for 20€ with a glass of Carlsberg beer. Great French riviera prices ::)

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A bit of relaxation around the harbor, walks of sizing the huge amount of money in the harbor yachts and beautiful apartments all around the hilly mountains around the harbor. An idyllic place for a honeymoon, romantic, couples, business meeting, but not really for tourists.

cap-marriott-502-looking-down-on-ave-du-port-oct17

At night , I headed with some friends over to Monaco to find a place for dinner. We were recommended the Restaurant Amici Miei at the harbor of Fontvieille facing the cliffs and on top the Prince of Monaco’s castle; lovely.  This is an Italian restaurant cook by mamma herself and husband serves you with all the dishes explanation. The top is the son who is also a server comes to pick us up from the hotel and back, style chic this is after all Monaco. The resto webpage: https://www.amici-miei.com/

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Again, the place is very chic upscale and nice. The kind of place you can dream of for a honeymoon or business conference like theirs lol! A bit slow pace for me, too up the ladder but worth a visit in my belle France. I left the hotel and came back to Nice airport . The trip was nice and quicker until the airport……see post on Nice.

The tourist office of Cap d’Ail in English: http://cap-dail.com/en/

The port of Cap d’Ail in English: https://www.portdecapdail.fr/en/

Another adventure another needle in my map of France, and at least can say I was here! Enjoy the small introduction to Cap d’Ail, I saw a nice beach too, and lively city center so might be a repeat with the family God’s willing in the future. Still waiting and the virus who knows. Hope you enjoy the post

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

December 26, 2020

My little Crac’h!!

Ok so this is a small town indeed, my little Crac’h. Looking at older posts I realise only written a few lines on it and really I like to have at least one post per town. So giving credit to where is due,here is my small humble way to present to you Crac’h.

The town of Crach (Fr) or Crac’h (Breton), is a town in the Morbihan department no 56, in Bretagne, and is ,also, part of the Auray Quiberon Terre Atlantique community of towns. This is a metropolitan group of towns sharing resources of which we are part too. Their webpage for reference: http://www.auray-quiberon.fr/auray-quiberon-terre-atlantique/le-territoire/24-communes-256.html

Amazing ,it nevers amazes me to see the places that one lives so close yet visit so few. Always in the travel trails elsewhere and we left home unattended. This is our case with so much to see in our lovely Bretagne and our belle France, and so many close countries to visit around us. I would like to tell you more of the small town of Crac’h. Only about 20 minutes by car from our home! The roads D768 to D781 to D28 and voilà you are in Crac’h.

The town of Crac’h is bordered to the east by the Auray river, to the west by the Crac’h river, to the south by the towns of Saint-Philibert and Locmariaquer and to the north by the town of Auray. The National road 165 (N165 along the axis Brest-Nantes) , exit Crac’h, Locmariaquer and Saint-Philibert takes you here easily . The nearest train station is Auray (accessible by TGV and TER) 6 km from Crac’h. The nearest airport is Lorient at 49 km. The city of Crac’h is accessible by line 1 of the BreizhGo network (Auray ↔ Carnac ↔ Quiberon).

A bit of the history I like

There was a talk of a wooden bridge, at the height of Kerentrech, from which well-preserved beams were removed from the mud in the 18C. Tradition retains, in fact, the memory of a Caesar’s bridge also known as pont Espagnol, undoubtedly because there had been, downstream, at the time of the League, a Spanish fort.

A cross marks the Merovingian sarcophagus of the Saint André de Lomarec Chapel. According to legend, is the tomb of King Waroch I; this sarcophagus has an inscription considered to be the oldest in the Breton language “Irha Ema in ri “, or here lies a king. The Saint-André de Lomarec chapel, dates from 1606.

The barony of Kaër, which had its seat at the castle of Plessis-Kaër, had the right of high, medium and low justice over the parishes of Crac’h and Locmaria. The castle dates from the 11C; composed of two wings, it has six towers. It has been renovated in the 15C and then the 19C.

Other things to see here are the twin dolmens of Parc-Guéren, the dolmens of Kerourang, Mané-Rohenezel, and de la Mare. The covered alley of Luffang Tal-er-Roch, and the Gallo-Roman aqueduct of Rosnarho. The Saint-Thuriau Church was rebuilt in 1809.

The tourist office of Crac’h  is on the road D768 and one of my sons even worked here for a while! This is a town of megalith stones, but above all great breeders of oysters and mussels that sells even from their homes. Some of the best here and only the ones I have purchase from in the past years are EARL Le Meitour , Olivier Le Dréve , and EARL Madec

However, passing by here we have the pleasure of stopping by the fruit and vegetables wagon  on the way to Saint Philibert, at 2 Kermané, right next to the Miyoshi Japanese restaurant on the D781 road. Local farmers fresh French produce ,the best. Here we get our load on each passing of   cherries, nectarines, avocados, melons, bananas, apricots, kiwis yellow and green, oranges, and strawberries !!! These are gorgeous fruits and real thing nothing artificial here just straight from the farms.

crach fruit stand on D781 selling on season cherries abricot nectarines jun17

The city of Crac’h on its history and heritage in French: https://www.ville-crach.fr/fr-situation-de-crac-h,5,555.html

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Crac’hhttps://www.baiedequiberon.co.uk/crac-h

This is my Morbihan, a heaven spot on Brittany and I encourage you all to come and visit little Crac’h when possible. And maybe say Hi ::)

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

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