Archive for July 1st, 2021

July 1, 2021

A memorable moment in South Africa!

Glad to be able to see this older post and updating with pleasure. I had done quite a bit of business with South Africa but never visited from the Americas. Once in Europe, had the opportunity to go five times! Great experiences and this one unique. Let me tell you a bit about a memorable moment in South Africa!

Many times we hear of far away places that we would like to visit one day; South Africa was one of them for me. I did not go into the famous safaris but did mostly city dwelling trips and even took public transportation; that is fine with me as cities are it with a beach even better.  I had the opportunity to visit the country since 2012  to 2017 five times, and each time proved to be an experience ,even catching up with friends from my previous life in travel forum VT. The memories will be kept forever.

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I like for my sake and your interests to recall a bit of the places I have been not including those on far away from these cities for which I have no pictures. Of course, I have other posts on specifics in my blog this one is sort of an introduction.

East London is a city on the southeast coast of South Africa in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality of the Eastern Cape Province. Still as far as tourism it is known as Buffalo City. The city lies on the Indian Ocean coast, largely between the Buffalo River and the Nahoon River , and hosts the country’s only river port.

John Bailie, one of the 1820 settlers , surveyed the Buffalo river mouth and founded the town in 1836, a memorial is on Signal Hill commemorating the event. The city formed around the only river port in South Africa and was originally known as Port Rex. This settlement on the West Bank was the nucleus of the town of East London, which was elevated to city status in 1914. The existing port, in the mouth of the Buffalo River, adjoining the Indian Ocean, began operating in 1870. The unusual double-decker bridge over the Buffalo River was completed in 1935 and to this day, is the only bridge of its type in South Africa.

Things to do here with time which I did not see are:  The East London Zoo; East London Museum, Inkwenkzezi Private Game Reserve, and the Mpongo Private Game Reserve.

The Buffalo City (East London) tourist office for this area webpage: http://www.bctourism.co.za/

Moving on to Sandton, this is basically a chic suburb of JohannesburgSandton is an affluent area situated in the Johannesburg town, Gauteng province. The name comes from the combination of two of its suburbs , Sandown and Bryanston.

I am told that Zandfontein, Driefontein  is the name in Afrikaans and Dutch for Three Springs/Fountains and Rietfontein is Afrikaans and Dutch for Reed Spring or Fountain of Reeds; both encumbered what was to become Sandton. After the demise of Apartheid, Sandton initially formed part of the interim Eastern Metropolitan Substructure, and in 1996 came to be included, along with the former towns of Randburg and Roodepoort as part of the newly demarcated City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality thus losing its separate municipal government and town status. Despite this, Sandton is still unofficially earmarked as a distinct region of the city and operates as a macro-suburb.

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Sandton is home to the Sandton Convention Center , one of the largest convention centers  in Africa. The Sandton Central commercial node, centred on the suburbs of Sandown and Sandhurst has some of the best and most expensive commercial properties and offices in South Africa.

Sandtoncity, ranks among the largest shopping centers in Africa with all to do for a day, I love it here lol! lunch at Wimpy’s!! webpage: https://sandtoncity.com/

Sandton houses the flagship station of the Gautrain (taken and easy nice convenient) rapid rail link. The station is located on the corner of West Street and Rivonia Road. The system has direct connections to OR Tambo International Airport and an inter-city commuter service from Pretoria through Rosebank to Park Station Johannesburg.  This was a pleasant experience on public transports in South Africa!!! The Gautrain transit network webpage: https://www.gautrain.co.za/

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Another area I visited a lot while there was Fourways; this is part of  Sandton. I always travel in country by car or plane to go to East London but the main access routes to Fourways are off the N1 at R511 William Nicol Drive or along R564 Witkoppen Road. There is another huge shopping center mall here that I went for lunches Fourways Mall; webpage: https://fourwaysmall.com/

Another shopping area I was taken was Pinesloppes Shopping Centre which was near where I went , here had lunch at a place no longer existing see my other post. webpage: http://pineslopesboulevard.co.za/

And yet another shopping center I went for lunch was Fourways Crossing Mall where I had the best lunch at Fournos Bakery ,see post. Mall webpage: https://www.fourwayscrossing.co.za/

And a bit more on Sandton official webpage: https://sandtoncentral.co.za/our-history

The South Africa tourist boardhttps://www.southafrica.net/za/en/

There you go folks, a nice experience in exotic South Africa. A wonderful experience and new friends, looking forward for a repeat!!

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

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July 1, 2021

Two symbols of Mexico City!

And coming back to the Americas to tell you again about two symbols of Mexico City! In my walks in the city i was lucky to stayed near them and have great memories of it . I like to update this older post with text and links for you and me. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Let me bring you up to the top, high up symbols of Mexico DF or Ciudad Mexico, or simply DF in of course , Mexico. I have several blog posts on Mexico having visited the country in numerous occassions and with family now there in the Yucatàn peninsula area.  I like to bring you up to two symbols of the Mexico lindo y querido I know. The Mexico pretty and loved that I know. These are the Angel de la Independencia tower and the Fountain of Diana Cazadora, both around the Paseo de la Reforma.

The fuente de la Diana Cazadora (eng. Huntress Diana Fountain) or originally La flechadora de las estrellas del norte (eng. the arrow of the stars of the North), is a monument located in the roundabout at Paseo de la Reforma and Calle Río Misisipí and Calle Sevilla, on the border of the neighborhoods of Colonia Cuauhtémoc and Colonia Juàrez, and was begun in 1938.

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The sculpture of the Diana , was started to create when a program of beautification of the city that included the creation of several monumental fountains in roundabouts or representative corners was designed.  The model was then 16 years old, it was called Helvia Martínez Verdayes and worked in the evenings as secretary in the offices of Petroleos Mexicanos, (petroleum of Mexico pemex). It was there that it was proposed to her the model for the sculpture. The young woman accepted and the sculpture was elaborated from April to September of 1942, month in which finally the bronze smelting of the same one was made. During all that time, Helvia Martínez Verdayes posed naked for the sculptor without receiving another pay than the vanity of seeing her body immortalized in one of the most beautiful avenues of the city. The Fountain of the Arrow star of the North was inaugurated on October 10, 1942 and from that moment the affection of the people was won, who began to call it the Diana the huntress fountain.

To take advantage of the celebration of the Olympics of Mexico 1968, it was decided to remove the bronze loincloth of the sculpture, and thus after 25 years, the Diana returned to show its original beauty in 1967. However, in doing so, the statue suffered some damage. To solve the situation, it was decided to melt a new piece without defects to occupy that place, while the one that was damaged was sold by the artist to the regent to avoid that the piece be destroyed. This piece was donated by the politician to the city of  Ixmiquilpan, in Hidalgo, his hometown, where it remains since 1970. For 1974 with the construction of the Interior Circuit (today Bicentennial Circuit) ,the Diana was removed from her place and kept for two years. After the works, in 1976 it was relocated to one side of the extinct cinema Chapultepec, in the Parque Ariel, in that place the singular lady remained forgotten for a space of 16 years. Faced with the pressures of the citizens, the Diana returned in 1992 to the Paseo de la Reforma, but this time at the crossroads of Calle Rio Misisipi and Calle Sevilla, where she remains until today wearing her firm body, wavy hair, eternal beauty and her bow without arrow. Nice story me think.

The Angel de la Independencia or the Independance Angel.  El Ángel de la Independencia is a column located on a roundabout in the end of the Paseo de la Reforma. The column has 36 meters high, and the statue, which weighs 7 tons,  and about 7 meters, for a total of 43 meters. Made with gold leaves.  El Ángel was built in 1910 to celebrate the centenary of the independence of Mexico (September 16 1810 Grito de Dolores) . In 1925, a mausoleum was made at its base containing the remains of the heroes of the Independence of Mexico. The statue of the winged Victory located at its summit is inspired and is a quasi-conforming copy of the statue of the Genius of Liberty located on the column of July, Place de la Bastille in Paris, France.

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Visitors are allowed to enter the monument, view the memorial plaques at the base level, and climb to the top of the tower. Entrance is free. To go up people must get a permit at the Cuauhtémoc borough (delegacion) where you must show ID. Groups of no more than 6 are then allowed into the monument for about 15 minutes. webpage: https://alcaldiacuauhtemoc.mx/descubre/angel-de-la-independencia/

There are 200 stairs, and the climb is arduous. The first approximately 15 stairs, in the base, are wide and comfortable. The stairs in the column itself, approximately 185, are circular, metal, very narrow and without a landing or resting point until one reaches the top. Visitors who are not in good physical shape will find the climb exhausting, and those not comfortable with tight spaces should avoid the climb as there is insufficient room to allow others to bypass. Some areas of the staircase are very dark, and there are only a few slits to let in light. The top balcony, though narrow, offers a commanding view of the wide avenues that surround the column. The return trip down is by way of the same circular staircase.

The Mexico city  visitor information webpage: http://cdmxtravel.com/en/visitor-info

The Mexico city on the Angel de la Independenciahttp://cdmxtravel.com/es/experiencias/mirador-del-angel-de-la-independencia.html

The Mexico city on the Diana Cazadora fountainhttp://cdmxtravel.com/es/lugares/fuente-de-la-diana-cazadora.html

DEFE (DF saying in Spanish) private webpage on the Angel de la Independenciahttps://www.defe.mx/mexico-df/monumentos/angel-independencia

The Chilango private webpage on the Diana the Huntress: https://www.chilango.com/ciudad/la-tormentosa-vida-de-la-diana-cazadora/

There you go folks, two beautiful monuments of Mexico DF or city of Mexico or Ciudad  de Mexico to see! Enjoy your walks. Enjoy the post as I, and looking forward to be back

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

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