Archive for May 7th, 2021

May 7, 2021

The St Joseph Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza!!

And while doing my walks in wonderful Fortaleza I came upon this magnificent monument. I like to update for you and me the visit to the St Joseph Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza!!

And as I am in town ,why not tell you more about the city of Fortaleza, in Cearà State. It is more famous for the beaches and carnavals, but it has wonderful architectural monuments for all to enjoy.  Let me tell you a bit about the city of Fortaleza as folks need to know more of it, me think.  Fortaleza  is the state capital of Ceará, located in Northeastern Brazil. The city has developed on the banks of the creek Pajeú, and its name is an allusion to Fort Schoonenborch, which gave rise to the city, built by the Dutch during their second stay in the area between 1649 and 1654. The motto of Fortaleza, present in its coat of arms is the Latin word Fortitudine, which means “with strength/courage”.

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Fortaleza’s history began on February 2, 1500, when Spaniard Vicente Pinzón landed in Mucuripe’s cove and named the new land Santa Maria de la Consolación. Because of the Treaty of Tordesillas, the discovery was never officially sanctioned. Colonisation began in 1603, when the Portuguese Pero Coelho de Souza constructed the Fort of São Tiago and founded the settlement of Nova Lisboa (New Lisbon).After a victory over the French in 1612, Martins Soares Moreno expanded the Fort of São Tiago and changed its name to Forte de São Sebastião. In 1630 the Dutch invaded the Brazilian Northeast and in 1637 they took the Fort of São Sebastião and ruled over Ceará. In battles with the Portuguese and natives in 1644 the fort was destroyed. In 1654, the Dutch handed over this fortress to the Portuguese, who renamed it Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora de Assunção (“Fort of Our Lady of the Assumption”), after which the city of Fortaleza takes its name. Fortaleza was officially founded as a village 1726, becoming the capital of Ceará state in 1799.

Now let me tell you a bit more on the wonderful St Joseph Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza.

The Metropolitan Cathedral is a historical monument, headquarters of the Archdiocese of Fortaleza. It was built on the site of the old Sé Church. The work took 40 years to complete, and was initiated in 1938 and inaugurated in 1978. It has capacity for 5 000 people and its towers reach 75 meters high. Occupying most of the Praça Pedro II square, also known as Praça da Sé, in the historic center of Fortaleza, the temple stands out for the architectural grandeur and the beauty of the stained glass windows.  Saint Joseph is the Saint bound to the Cathedral.

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The first main Chapel of the Fortaleza Church had its construction authorized by the Royal Order in 1746. In 1795, the work was finished. In 1821, the São José Chapel was in ruins, needing to be rebuilt. In 1861, after the rebuilding, automatically, the mother Church became a Cathedral. In 1938, a survey was made and a crack was found in the bases of its construction, by the sea side. The Cathedral was then again condemned and demolished in the same year. In 1939, the first stones of the new Metropolitan Cathedral  aka St Joseph was launched, designed by the French engineer George Mounier and that, like the other, took 39 years to complete. In apparent concrete, neo-Gothic style with predominance of eclectic and Romanesque elements, occupying much of Praça Pedro II, was inaugurated on 22 December 1978, with references to the Cathedral of Cologne and the Cathedral of Chartres.

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The Crypt of the Metropolitan Cathedral of St Joseph was inaugurated in 1962, honoring six Saints who died young: São Domingos Sávio, Saint Pancracio , Saint Tarcísio and the Saintes Maria Goretti, Inês and Luzia. For this reason, it was devoted it to the young, calling it the Crypt of the Teenagers. In the Crypt is the Chapel of the Resurrection and the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, in addition to the remains of several prelates buried therein. The Crypt was reopened in 2011, after one year and four months of renovation, in which was placed a granite floor, a new lighting, an air conditioning system, and completed the altar. Currently, the Crypt allows to accommodate 350 seated persons.

The official Catholic Archidiocèse of Fortalezahttps://www.arquidiocesedefortaleza.org.br/

The Brazil tourist board on the Cathedral of Fortalezahttps://www.visitbrasil.com/attractions/metropolitan-cathedral-of-fortaleza.html

The Beaches of Fortaleza on the Cathedralhttps://www.praiasdefortaleza.net/catedral-metropolitana-de-fortaleza/

There you go folks, a nice monument indeed and worth the detour while in Fortaleza. I had a great time there and looking forward to a return. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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May 7, 2021

Some news from France, CCCXXXII

And here I am again on my series some news from France. A wonderful time to tell you tidbits of stories from my belle France. Hope you are enjoying them as I do. Today was cook here temps in 13C but sunny and no rain. I did my tuneup or revision on my car and got medical checkups for my Dad, now all home. Let met tell you about these news ok.

How about a bit of history on the metro/train ticket of Paris ? Well it is a nice story I like to tell you thanks to the folks of the RATP. In 1900, when the Metro opened, three types of tickets existed: a pink ticket for 1st class, a cream ticket for 2nd class and a green ticket for round trips. In 1947, a single ticket was issued and marked the end of the 1st class … for a short period since the latter would be put back in place in 1948. It would be definitively deleted in 1991. In 1981, the ticket became yellow with the campaign RATP “T’as le ticket chic” which is a huge success, the music is even played in nightclubs. In 1992, the ticket adopted jade green, color of RATP and ecology, of course. In 2003, it turned purple. And finally, four years later, the ticket changes to white in its current version and only the logo of Stif (the organizing authority) appears in blue and orange. Cute story me think!

And another RATP dandy. At Porte des Lilas station, on line 11 of the Paris metro, a hidden door opens onto an underground passage closed to the public. It is at the end of this corridor, on a dead platform, that for decades series, commercials and hundreds of film sequences have been shot, some of which have marked the history of cinema. It is the only French station dedicated to cinematographic creation. It has two platforms and has the advantage of being able to circulate a train without disturbing it, thanks to its one km tunnel which leads to a dead end. On the quays we find the atmosphere of the 1920s. The wooden folding seat of the punching machine, and on the wall, the famous bevelled tiles as well as the advertising panels. The station is modular in order to be able to cover all eras from 1920 to today. At the rate of about sixty shoots per year (when the health context allows it of course). We can no longer count the number of celebrities who have set foot on these docks, and in particular: Kevin Costner, Meryl Streep, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Sophie Marceau, Audrey Tautou, Mélanie Thierry, Romain Duris, Jérôme Commandeur, Ramzy Bedia, etc. As well as renowned directors such as Jean-Pierre Jeunet with “The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain” (2001), Jean-Paul Salomé with “the women of the shadows” (2008), François Ozon with “l’Amant double ”(2017) and many others.Who would have thought that behind this simple door, so many masterpieces would emerge? And there are others….

Since May 2014, a revamped Serge the Rabbit (lapin) has appeared on the doors of metro and RER trains, in order to make travelers aware of the right reflexes to adopt when opening the doors. But when was he born? The “Metro Rabbit” was born on February 15, 1977. First deployed on line 1, the Metro Lapin will be extended to the entire network.  Since May 28, 2014, it is therefore a “new” Serge le Lapin which is gradually deployed on the 24,000 metro and RER doors, as and when existing stickers are replaced (when they are damaged or missing. for example). It made its appearance primarily on board the trains of lines 1 and 14. Since February 15, 2017, a new series of stickers of the mascot Serge the Rabbit has appeared. Cute rabbit indeed!

And this is a good site ,RATP, I am adherent since my days of using Paris public transports; it shows how to get around in English very useful to check before coming over. Webpage: https://www.ratp.fr/en/visite-paris/english/visiting-paris-and-its-surrounding-areas

Details of all the lines concerned will be finalized and communicated in the coming days by SNCF and RATP. This is just a sampler known as of today. For the seventh consecutive year, the RER A will be idling this summer to complete the rail and ballast renewal project. Work on the central section will take place on the western part, from June 26 to August 29 inclusive, between Auber and Nanterre-Université in Hauts-de-Seine (92) , Cergy (95) and Poissy (78). From August 9 to 13 and from August 16 to 20, traffic will also be interrupted all day, between Auber and La Défense and on the Poissy branch. Some slowdowns are also expected. Please note, it is advisable to check your route on RER B this summer before going to the station (good advise) . On June 5, 6, 26 and 27, train traffic will be completely interrupted between Aulnay-sous-Bois in Seine-Saint-Denis and Charles-de-Gaulle T2 airport. Idem, on June 12 and 13, between Gare du Nord and Aulnay-sous-Bois. From July 10 to July 23, all day long, between the Guichet and Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse stations in the Yvelines (78). The construction works of the “drawer of Orsay” in Essonne  a development which should allow the reversal of trains without hindering the passage of other trains; and the commissioning of equipment at Saint-Rémy will involve stopping links in both directions. On August 14 and 15, between Gare du Nord and CDG T2 Airport, train traffic will be interrupted in both directions throughout the day. Stops will not be marked at several stations. CDG T2 airport: July 3 and 4. Denfert Rochereau: every weekend, from July 24 to August 22., and Luxembourg: July 1 to 31.

This private blog has excellent info on the RER B and I use it too. Fyi webpage: https://www.rerb-leblog.fr/travaux/

Unlike in previous years, several axes of the RER C will be affected by the summer works which will take place from July 15 to August 21. During this period, in both directions of travel, no train will run between the Pontoise (95) and Musée-d’Orsay stations;  Versailles-Château-Rive-Gauche (78) and Musée-d´Orsay; from Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (78) and Musée-d´Orsay; and Massy-Palaiseau (91) and Pont-de-Rungis

Metro Line 6, between Montparnasse-Bienvenüe and Trocadéro, the metro will not run on this line at all from June 26 to August 27,. From July 20 to 25 inclusive, all day long, this interruption will even extend from Montparnasse-Bienvenüe to Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile. Replacement buses will run on these routes during these blackout periods. Be aware or be square if around here then.

The RER E work site has taken four years to drill 170 meters of tunnel!  The so-called entonnement tunnel, making the junction between Haussmann-Saint-Lazare station in Paris and the line extension to the west, has been completed. It must have been dug “old-fashioned” without a tunnel boring machine.  These essential 170 meters could not have been excavated by the tunnel boring machine  because of metro line 14 which goes over it. It remains to install cables, lights and of course the railway equipment (tracks and catenaries) while waiting for the final junction. Scheduled for 2022 but delayed due to the health crisis, the extension to Nanterre should come into service in mid-2023. The rest up to Mantes-la-Jolie (78) is planned before 2025.

The gardens will be open to the public from tomorrow Saturday May 8th at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte (Maincy 78). Still to go inside we need to wait until May 22nd .Be ready we are re opening all for Summer 2021!!! Booking is going strong all over and traffic as well.

The Jardin des Plantes Paris once again puts animals in the spotlight with the installation of five monumental works by artist Michel Bassompierre. From Gorilla to Polar Bear via Brown Bear, Michel Bassompierre invites us to observe the fragility of these species and the threats hanging over them. “ Fragiles Colosses “ by Michel Bassompierre Jardin des Plantes 57 rue Cuvier, 5eme. Every day from 7h30 to 18h30.

Something of history I like: In Gironde, on the road to Compostela, several Templar commanderies still stand. Often poorly maintained, they owe their survival to the work of volunteers. The story is told in the book “The Templar Commandery of Arveyres” by JeanLuc PIAT, Archeologist ,Regional Scientific Director Aquitaine – Limousin EVEHA; I am still reading… The Templars, members of a military-religious order created in the 12C to protect pilgrims during the Crusades, were dissolved in the early 14C by Pope Clement V and king Philip the Fair. If their leaders were burned, most of them joined other orders with similar goals, including that of the Hospitallers, created in the 11C.  Established in Bordeaux, Gironde, from 1159, the Templars founded in Arveyres an important commandery, name given to large farms, often built in the shape of a square and comprising the residence of the commander, the house of the brothers, kitchens, barns, cellars, stables, a pond where fish were raised and a garden etc.

From there, they swarmed to Marcenais, Saint-Laurent-d’Arce, Targon, Queynac and Magrigne, then later to La Grave-d’Ambarès and Sautuges-en-Médoc. The first mention of their presence dates from 1170, when the Church of Saint-Pierre-de-Vaux was donated by Bertrand de Montault, Archbishop of Bordeaux, to the Order of the Temple.  In 1231, Raymond Gombaud, Lord of Vayres, added to it to have the good graces of the order the territory of Arveyres; one of the places of passage of the way of Saint-James (Santiago). The pilgrims coming from Périgueux crossed the Dordogne at the Pont du Noyer and stopped there. The Templars then established a hospitable house on the hill overlooking the Dordogne, to which they added a Romanesque church, placed under the invocation of Notre-Dame, and kept it until 1314, the year of the extinction of the order. The Hospitallers succeed them, and the commandery occupies a prominent place in the military system of Bordeaux until the French revolution. Interesting reading always part of the history of France, Europe and the World. I think so anyway!

The gastronomic/wine lover in me will like to tell about some newbies in Paris ready for you from this month!

At the foot of the legendary Butte de Montmartre, facing the Basilica Sacré-Coeur, the Coeur Sacré has been established, a new place of life and sharing that we can’t wait to discover opening on May 19. At Coeur Sacré, we love the concept, but we especially can’t wait for the rooftop, which offers a breathtaking view of Paris! Can you imagine a summer afternoon, sunbathing with a drink in hand, enjoying the view, perched on this rooftop in the 18éme arrondissement? Sublime! More in Paris entertainment webpage: https://www.sortiraparis.com/hotels-and-restaurants/bars-cafes/articles/250618-coeur-sacre-the-latest-rooftop-in-montmartre-doubling-as-a-bar-restaurant-and-a-/lang/en

And more first told here first! Hanami,  take out your caps and sunglasses, from May 19 a huge ephemeral terrace will take up residence in the middle of the cherry trees of the Jardins du Trocadéro. And just to make it even hotter, you will be in Japan in Paris with a food court dedicated to Japanese culture. On the menu: ramen, udon, donburi, sushi, gua bao, bubble tea, yakitori or even macduck, all prepared and concocted by chef Yoaké San. Where? Jardins du Trocadéro , 5, avenue Albert de Mun 16éme. Opening on May 19, 2021 and every day of the week from 12pm to 21h. no web yet

Bringing you back to Europe, the largest food hall in Europe with 35 restaurant counters and bars set up in an area of over 5,000 m2. This is the new Food Society project that will open its doors in the Ateliers Gaîté, in the heart of Montparnasse. A la carte? Restaurant counters and bars from different backgrounds, to make sure everyone’s okay with it. The place will also offer culinary events and entertainment. Food Society,  Atelier Gaîté; 14éme. Opening in September 2021. Again more in Paris entertainment webpage in French: https://www.sortiraparis.com/actualites/a-paris/articles/176061-food-society-a-paris-les-meilleurs-concepts-de-restauration-locale-attendus-a-la

Bring on the Mediterranean!  Bocca sur Seine puts the sails on the banks of the Seine river and drops anchor at Quai Ouest. Wolverines, tapas and large tables with their feet in the water await us all summer long! Located opposite the Bois de Boulogne, between the bridges of Suresnes and Saint-Cloud, a XXL sun-drenched terrace with your feet in the water, cocktails well mixed by the team and a delicious Mediterranean menu in a flat way to share. Bocca sur Seine will also export the atmosphere of the Riviera to the sounds of catchy playlists and DJ Sets until late to party (at a good distance) Bocca sur Seine Quai Ouest 1200 Quai Marcel Dassault; Saint-Cloud. Opening June 1st. Reservation from May 19 at tel +33 (0) 1 46 02 35 54. Official webpage: https://www.boccasurseine.com/

And about ending with a recipe we all love and we do at home just had today again ! home made mind you. This  is the so call French fries and recipe by Boris Tavernier.  For 4 to 6 people you will need  1 kg of firm-fleshed potatoes,( Bintje type) , 1.5 liters of sunflower oil (deodorized if organic), and fine salt fleur de sel.

The Preparation: Peel the potatoes, cut them with a knife or with a French fries cutter, into regular sticks and not too thin: 1 cm minimum thickness, all equivalent. Soak the sticks in cold water, then dry them carefully with a kitchen towel to remove the starch and dry them perfectly. And the cooking: Cook for the first time in a deep fryer in an oil bath at 170 ° C for 6 to 7 minutes. Drain the fries well and let them rest for at least 10 minutes, or even several hours. For the second cooking, at 190 ° C, it can last from 2 to 4 minutes, depending on whether you like more or less grilled fries.

After the second bath, drain the fries on absorbent paper, transfer them and immediately salt them in a bowl, stirring them. Before serving, add a pinch of fleur de sel. Enjoy hot fries with mayonnaise, or as an accompaniment to grilled chicken, a piece of beef or mussels in the sea. Or anything we had the piece of beef!  And bon appétit!!!

And there you go folks, plenty coming up in my belle France and especially my eternal Paris! Stay tune summer should be rocking good and we are starting early in May 2021!!! Bring on the crowds! of course proper health protection will be appreciated.

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

May 7, 2021

The Fortress of Our Lady of the Assumption, Fortalezal!

And lets stay in wonderful Brazil shall we! There are usually the big cities known to all but the country has a lot more to offer and I went into my road warrior trip into Fortaleza from Natal. Let me update this older post for you and me on the Fortress of Our Lady of the Assumption in Fortalezal!

So I bring you now over the Atlantic ocean to my old world and a wonderful country of Brazil. I have written several posts on Brazil, and been all over the country for years as well as lived there for an extended period. It has so much to offer in history and architecture often overlook by visitors.  I like in my small way, try to change that, and show you other parts of Brazil, the one from a historical, architectural point of view that are off the beaten path trips all worth the detour. This is the case of the Fortress of Our Lady of the Assumption in Fortaleza, State of Ceara of Brazil. Hope you enjoy it.

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For this part it merits to tell you a bit about the city of Fortaleza as it is the State capital of Ceará, located in Northeastern Brazil. The city has developed on the banks of the creek Pajeú, and its name is an allusion to Fort Schoonenborch, which gave rise to the city, built by the Dutch during their second stay in the area between 1649 and 1654. The motto of Fortaleza, present in its coat of arms is the Latin word Fortitudine, which means “with strength/courage”.

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Fortaleza’s history began on February 2, 1500, when Spaniard Vicente Pinzón landed in Mucuripe’s cove and named the new land Santa Maria de la Consolación. Because of the Treaty of Tordesillas, (split discovered world between Portugal and Spain) , the discovery was never officially sanctioned. Colonisation began in 1603, when the Portuguese Pedro Coelho de Souza constructed the Fort of São Tiago and founded the settlement of Nova Lisboa (New Lisbon).After a victory over the French in 1612, Martins Soares Moreno expanded the Fort of São Tiago and changed its name to Forte de São Sebastião. In 1630 the Dutch invaded the Brazilian Northeast and in 1637 they took the Fort of São Sebastião and ruled over Ceará. In battles with the Portuguese and natives in 1644 the fort was destroyed. In 1654, the Dutch handed over this fortress to the Portuguese, who renamed it Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora de Assunção (Fort of Our Lady of the Assumption), after which the city of Fortaleza takes its name. Fortaleza was officially founded as a city in 1726, becoming the capital of Ceará State in 1799.

The fortress (Fortaleza) of Our Lady of the Assumption is located on the left bank of the mouth of the Pajeú Creek, on Mount Marajaitiba. It currently houses the headquarters of the 10th Military Region of the Brazilian Army. The construction was launched in 1812, in honor of the anniversary of the Serene Lord Prince of Beira, Mr. Pedro de Alcântara.  It presents the shape of a square with 90 meters on the side, with bulks at the vertices, under the invocation, respectively, of Our Lady of the Assumption (northeast), São José (southeast), Dom João (northwest) and Príncipe da Beira (southwest). Initially with five pieces, it was funded with public funds and private donations, aside from donations of materials and services, from volunteers and slaves. In 1816, the fortress was armed with twenty-seven gun pieces.

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Between 1846 and 1857, new buildings were erected, which hosted several military units such as the 11th and 15th Infantry battalions, the Military School of Ceará, the 22nd and 23rd battalions of Hunters, among others. Also known as the Turtle Fort, it was well preserved in 1906, and disarmed in 1910. At the time of WWI it was used as a barracks, between 1917 and 1918, by the 1st Independent Battery of the 3rd District of Costal Artillery. The Fortaleza of Our Lady of the Assumption, currently functioning as the headquarters of the command of the 10th Military Region, is one of the most famous sights of the capital of Ceará, having as highlights the history of the fortress, the museum and Phanteon of General Sampaio ( Patron of the Infantry divisions), the prison where was Bárbara de Alencar and also the statue of Martim Soares Moreno are located. The fort can be visited by prior appointment with the social communication of the military region HQ. The visit is made in the company of a military officer who addresses topics of interest on the monument, namely the Plaza de Armas (Arms square), the cell where Bárbara de Alencar was detained and the Chapel of the fort.

The 10th Battalion oficial site, more info in Portuguese. It will tell you how to contact the military for a tour visit of the Fortress of Our Lady of the Assumption

The official 10th Battalion post in Fortaleza:  https://www.10rm.eb.mil.br/index.php/component/content/article?id=473

The beaches of Fortaleza has more on the Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora da Assuncao: https://www.praiasdefortaleza.net/fortaleza-de-nossa-senhora-da-assuncao/

Hope you enjoy the tour and when coming for the beaches take your time to walk in the city and see this marvel of architecture and history of Fortaleza, Cearà, Brazil.

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

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May 7, 2021

Lagoinha beach at Paraipaba,Cearà, Brazil !

And let me brings out to what I considered an off the beaten path trip to lovely Brazil. I was with my usual road warrior head and took a trip to the State of Cearà in northeast Brazil and saw this beautiful beach; one of the natural wonders of wonderful Brazil. Let me tell you a bit more on Lagoinha beach at Paraipaba, Cearà State, Brazil ! This is again updating an older post in my blog, plenty more on Brazil here!

So I am bringing you down back to South America again. Needless to say been all over the continent and plenty in Brazil ,even lived in Curitiba (see post) for a few months. The choices are endless, and will take me or any plenty of time to see them all. However, I am trying lol!  One of the highlights of any trip to Brazil are the beaches, and this one is gorgeous near the bigger city of Fortaleza (see posts).In Portuguese, Praia da Lagoinha!

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Paraipaba is a town in the State of Ceará. On the banks of the Curu River, it has one of the largest irrigated projects in the world, where several varieties of fruit are found, and among these, the cultivation of coconut is the main agricultural activity of the region. The town has an exuberance of approximately 14 km of beach that extends from the mouth of the river Curu to the Barra, formed by the tranquil waters of the lagoon of Almécegas the unparalleled beauty of the beaches, dunes and lagoons that exist along the entire coast.

At 11 km from the town lies the Lagoinha beach,precisely at main road Avenida Beira Mar,  which is well known for its dunes and coconut trees. In the format of half-moon, a cove of weak waves, surrounded by yellow dunes, reefs and coconut trees with fresh water, next to Morro do Cascudo where is the port of rafts.  Formed by a cliff of about 50 meters high, Lagoinha beach still retains a primitive natural landscape consisting of golden dunes and a vast and verdant coconut trees that go to meet a sea of calm waters and a stunning green. Lying at a distance of aprox 120 km from bigger city Fortaleza.

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To better enjoy the trip to Lagoinha beach, the indication is to make a delicious and adventurous ride in a vehicle known as Pau-de-Arara (an irregular flatbed truck). Soon make the crossing of the lagoon on a raft and buggy ride through the beach, make it more exciting to stay on one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. One of the most sought-after tours is for the Almécegas lagoon, also known as Lagoa da Barra, which has boats that cross its clear and clean waters. The final stop is in front of the many tents located both in the lagoon and on the beach, which offer a good service, highlighting the famous fried fish and seafood, plus delicious coconut water well chilled. The village is at the top of the hill and has a gazebo that allows a panoramic and magnificent view of the beach.

The Brazil tourist board on a video of Cearà Statehttps://www.visitbrasil.com/states/ceara.html

The Fortaleza tourist office on the beacheshttps://www.visitfortaleza.com/beaches/

The Cearà State beaches on Lagoinha beachhttps://www.praias-360.com.br/ceara/paraipaba/praia-da-lagoinha

Very nice beach worth the detour . Hope you like the tour of another nice beach of Brazil.  I highly recommend to stay in the Vivamar Hotel right on the beach. The Praia da Lagoinha was a very nice experience and always looking forward for a repeat.

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

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May 7, 2021

Monastery of Sao Bento, Vinhedo,Brazil!

Another of my off the beaten path trails in Brazil, and an update of an older post to enjoy by  you and me. This is one great opportunity visiting a friend native of the town of Vinhedo, in Sao Paulo State, Brazil. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Coming inland into Sao Paulo State, better known for the big city is awesome. You feel the real people, the real country of Brazil. I have a friend here and when visit there is a funny story.  Oh yes the main attraction for me was the Monastery of Sao Bento or St Benedict and the Wine Festival! However, my friend had the in-laws visiting and I was put in a hotel nearby. He was so busy, I went out to seek a place to eat. I found one very nice superb meal, as I speak Portuguese. When back together with him and the family I mentioned the restaurant was very good and he never been there! A while after, maybe a few months, he called me and told me had a gathering of friends and took them there to eat and were all impressed with the food, prices ,and services. The end story is I can tell you where to go even in your own town lol!!!

Now let’s get back to the sights of history, architecture I like so much and tell you a bit more on Vinhedo. Where?

Vinhedo is a town in the State of São Paulo. It is located in the mesoregion of Campinas, 75 km from the capital of São Paulo. The region of the São Paulo Plateau was inhabited by several indigenous groups, some from the coast, which sought refuge from the wars and slavery moved by the Iberian colonizers. Others, lived in the region since before colonization. With the arrival of Europeans to the South American continent, the region was traveled by the Bandeiras, which occupied land considered unexplored and hunted Indians for slave labor, as well as seeking natural resources such as noble woods, gold and precious stones, during the 17C. For this, the indigenous tribes were decimated or expelled from the region. African slaves were introduced to forcefully assist in the Bandeiras or work in the newly created subsistence crops that were forming. At the end of the 19C coffee growers settled in the northern region of the municipality of Jundiaí . Many of them taking advantage of old farms that since the 18C produced sugar and brandy.

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From 1948 onwards begins to be officially held the Grape Festival of Vinhedo, at the Piazza Sant’Anna. In 2009, the Grape Festival held the Wine Festival, which in 2019 will be in its 57th edition and which was currently incorporated into the calendar of events of the town of Vinhedo. The festivities takes place in Jayme Ferragut Municipal Park and receive thousands of people, both local and tourists. It has several attractions such as exhibition and sale and auction of fruits, crafts, amusement park, concerts with national renowned artists, dance performances, regional bands in various musical styles, varied performances, food court, parade of horse riders, motorbike rides, among other activities. It has become the main attraction of the town of Vinhedo.

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The other nice thing to see here on a hill overlooking the city of Vinhedo very nice indeed. The Monastery of St Benedict (Sao Bento).

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In the year 1649 on the site of the village of Santos, on the Paulista coast, and sensitive to the needs of those who passed through this bustling Port village, the Benedictine Frei Gregório de Magalhães, Superior of the Brazilian province of the Portuguese Benedictine congregation, decided to establish a small monastery that served both shelter for monks who use the port, and spiritual stronghold for those who wish to recover from the day-to-day assignments. In 1650, the monks of Sao Bento (Saint Benedict) receive, in donation, the Hermitage of Our Lady of Desterro, with the lands attached to it. As soon as they are established in Santos, the monks take charge of another Hermitage of Our Lady of Monte Serrate, received in 1652 the ownership of the same. For three centuries, the monastery of St. Benedict was a small monastery, being affectionately called by the Benedictines the  “Mosteirinho de Santos “ or monastery of Saints.

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In the 19C, the Benedictine Order of Brazil was almost eliminated due to the anticlerical laws that closed the novitiates of the order. With the advent of the Republic and the separation of the Church and State, German monks from the congregation of Beuron arrived in Brazil and repopulated the monasteries, accepting novices. In 1905 the Monastery of Sao Bento de Santos became independent Priory and began a re-flowering of monastic life. However, the story took a new course when Brazil entered WWII. Due to the presence of Germans among their monks the monastery was closed and the monks forced to leave Santos in 24 hours. A Benedictine monk from São Paulo took over the monastery for several years, not interrupting the Benedictine presence in Santos, especially in the shrine of Our Lady of Monte Serrate. The monks, expelled from Santos, spent a year in the capital, and two more years in Jundiaí, Sao Paulo State, buying the Bela Vista Farm, in the city of Vinhedo,  settling in the year 1948. Unfortunately, the community didn’t bloom in vineyard , and after the war, the few monks  divided themselves between the care of Santos and the administration of the enormous farm in Vinhedo. The new name was that of the Monastery of São Bento de Santos in Vinhedo.

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In 1963, then the prior of the Monastery of St. Benedict of Santos in Vinhedo and its small community, decided to ask for help to the Archabbey of Saint Vicent in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The hope and faith of the vineyard community were rewarded when, in 1964, the then Archabbot of Saint Vincent, sent the four first monks to Brazil. The community then became part of the American Cassinense Benedictine Congregation.  At the beginning of the 1970’s, the community built and inaugurated a new monastery, settling definitively in Vinhedo. Then the American monks, along with the surviving Germans  reduced the large farm, built a house of ecumenical retirement such as the Casa Siloé, and began an ardent work in the communities of the region, founding Parishes such as the São Sebastião (St Sebastian) and Nossa Senhora de Lourdes ( Our Lady of Lourdes), and several communities, in addition to developing an intense training program for religious, young people and couples in the Casa Siloé (house of Siloé).

Official site of the Monastery of Sao Bento in Portuguese

The city of Vinhedo and things to seehttps://www.vinhedo.sp.gov.br/cultura-e-turismo/pontos-turisticos/

The city of Vinhedo on its last wine festival news: https://www.vinhedo.sp.gov.br/2019/02/27/57a-festa-da-uva-e-9a-festa-do-vinho-de-vinhedo-ultrapassa-a-marca-de-100-toneladas-de-frutas-vendidas/

The official Monastery of Sao Bento: http://mosteirosaobento.org.br/

There you go the whole story on Vinhedo ::) a nice town in inland Sao Paulo State of Brazil. If you ever around this around do come for the Wine Festival and the Monastery of St Benedict, it will be worth your time and money, me think. Hope you enjoy the tour.

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

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