Archive for October 28th, 2021

October 28, 2021

Teatro Nacional D. Maria II of Lisbon!

I passed by it several times until finally curiosity took me in, and have a souvenir picture. To me is more of the architecture and history which I like. Visiting Lisbon, Portugal is always a pleasure and many times there and many friends. I like to update this older post to continue giving justice to this cultural monument in the old town. I like to tell you a bit more about the Dom Maria II National Theater or Teatro Nacional D. Maria II of Lisbon.


The National Theatre Dona Maria II or Teatro Nacional D. Maria II is located on the Rossio neighborhood at Praça D. Pedro IV in the historic heart of the old town of Lisbon. The theatre is one of the most prestigious venues in the country. It is built on the northern façade of the Rossio square at the site of the former Estaus Palace , built around 1450 to house the foreign dignitaries and the nobles visiting Lisbon. In the 16C, the Estaus Palace became the seat of the Portuguese Inquisition. The palace was spared by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake but is completely destroyed by a fire in 1836.

Thanks to the stubborn efforts of the Romantic poet and writer Almeida Garrett, it is decided to replace the old palace with a modern theatre dedicated to Queen Mary II of Portugal. The construction began in 1842 on plans of the Italian neoclassical to finish in 1846.

The Theater of D Maria II  is one of the best representatives of the influence of neo-Palladianism in Lisbon. The main element of the façade is a portico of six Ionic columns supporting a triangular pediment. The tympanum is decorated with bas-reliefs representing Apollo and the Muses. The pediment is surmounted by a statue of the Renaissance playwright Gil Vicente, considered the father of the Portuguese theater. Some of Gil Vicente’s plays were censored by the Inquisition at the end of the 16C.

The interior is decorated by the best Portuguese artists of the 19C, but the bulk of the original decoration was lost in a fire that occurred in 1964. The theater D. Maria II had to be completely renovated and only re-opened its doors in 1978. The building that you see today was reconstructed preserving the original neoclassical style from the 1840s. There are guided tours that lead you from the performance rooms to the unseen areas in the theater backstage, including dressing rooms, technical areas, prop and costume-making rooms. The guided tours take approximately one hour, and are available in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, Italian and German. 

Some webpages to help you plan your visit are: 

The official Theater D Maria II webpage:

The Lisbon tourist office on the theater

There you go folks, a cultural stop on your glorious walking of Lisbon as we did; and plenty to see and taste around it too. Enjoy the theater of D Maria II of Lisbon!

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

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October 28, 2021

And again Curitiba, Brazil!!

As there is not enough of Brazil in my blog, need to tell you a bit more on Curitiba with new found pictures. Therefore, this will be new text and old pictures to show you again Curitiba, Brazil!! Hope you enjoy as I.

I am totally surprise not told you more of my stayed for 3 months in the Mercure Hotel Batel, Rua Alferes Angelo Sampaio, 1177, Curitiba, in Paranà State, Brazil. I believe had mentioned in other posts on the city but not enough me think.  So many memories here,and so grandly treated by staff, from front desk , rooms and valet parking! I even left my wallet in the car and was return same day by the valet parking staff. I gave them a big tip at the end , and they were moved, I was too!  The hotel is located in the most upscale area of the city, where modern shopping centers, bars and restaurants are 17.6 km from the airport. The Mercure Curitiba Batel hotel is 5 minutes from the city center and features modern apartments with free Wi-Fi, international cuisine restaurant, fitness area, swimming pool and differentiated service, which make the experience more pleasant. It is in the neighborhood of Batel (the best) and very close to nice shopping/eating places such as Crystal Shopping Center (centre commercial) – 7 min on foot, Praça do Japao or Japan square 8 min on foot , Center commercial Novo Batel – 9 min on foot , Center commercial de Curitiba – 9 min on foot ,Centre commercial Patio Batel – 12 min on foot, and praça da Espanha (Spain square) 13 min on foot and Rua 24 Horas – 14 min on foot, Great location indeed. Webpage:

curitiba mercure hotel batel my hotel jul08

One of most used streets in Curitiba, in and out and around was Rua Padre Agostinho , a street going from ave Manuel Ribas going to the Passeio Publico city center to the Praça Federico Uzanam and Rua Gen Mario Tourinho, where the Ipiranga gas station is located even thus the sites tells you is Rua Padre Agostinho, 1540,this is in the neighborhood /district of Bigorrilho,further on you reach the parque Barigui. My gas/petrol stop always on full tank you know it!!  Ipiranga is a big chain of service stations here with services, such as Gas stations, Convenience store network, Oil change services, Mileage program, Electronic payment of tolls and fuel, etc. Their official webpage on finding service stations in Brazil:

curitiba ipiranga gas station Rua Padre Agostinho jul08

And this one will put here as was my best and most visited park while there, always a blast, and opportunity to meet collegues in the park with their families, nice memories indeed.  The Barigui Park is named after the Barigui River, which was repressed to form a large lake in its interior. It is among the largest in the city, being also one of the oldest. Several species of animals live free in the park, such as birds, capybaras and small rodents. A flock of sheep can also be seen daily in the low fields, under the care of staff. The most visited park and one of the oldest in the city was created in 1972 with the intention of containing the floods and preserving the native forest of the Barigui River basin in the region.

curitiba parque Barigui cafe jul08

At the time of the founding of the village of Nossa Senhora da Luz dos Pinhais, (current Curitiba) the area where the park is located was a sesmaria or old donations of land. Ancient documents cite this locality with the denomination of Mariqui and the current name is a reference to the river itself that crosses the park and that means “River of the thorny fruit ” in the indigenous language, alluding to the fruit of the pine.

Curitiba parque Barigui view from tower panoramica 2008

The total area is of 1.4 million square meters with the lake taking 230K square meters. There is a helicopter landing strip, public bathrooms and plenty of parking for cars.   Wide lanes, round the lake and other parts, for hiking and jogging. Outdoor equipment for gymnastics and stretching. Kiosks with barbecues.   Bike trails and aeromodelling. Multi-Sport fields. Exclusive track for bicycles and skates, around the lake. Hiking trails inside the park woods. Bars and restaurants. A Gym. Curitiba Automobile Museum (wonderful).   Exhibition center of Curitiba (Barigüi Park), pavilion with 10000 square meters of area and high platforms of 6 meters, destined to exhibitions and conventions. Hall of Acts of the city/town hall. And headquarters of the Municipal secretariat of the Environment. An auto museum is right in the entrance (see post). Overall, simply the best park and love it; great memorable moments there to last a lifetime and now in my blog to keep the memories alive. 

The city of Curitiba on the parque Barigui:

There you go folks, a really memorable city of Curitiba for me. Lots of good memories and many friends still in touch! Would love to be able to be back , time is of the essence! Hope you enjoy the post, and do read my many posts on Curitiba, State of Paranà in Brazil in my blog.

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

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October 28, 2021

The State of Sao Paulo : Cravinhos and Franca !!

I have several posts on Brazil and its cities and for some reason Cravinhos and Franca was left with little or nothing. As it is part of my dots on the world map , I decided to give it a post of its own. Hope you enjoy inland Sao Paulo State of Brazil. Therefore, let me update this older post for you and me. I will introduce you to meet new cities and new ambiances in Cravinhos and Franca in the State of Sao Paulo.

Little Cravinhos , is located 18 km from the bigger town of Ribeirão Preto and 296 km from the big capital city of São Paulo. I came here by car on the road SP-330 of the State of Sao Paulo. Passing visiting the real countryside and mingling with the locals I stayed at the nice city hotel  Onyx Inn Hotel right off the road or Rodovia Anhaguera -SP-330 exit 295.  The hotel arriving at night was nice spacious friendly and a good restaurant for a bountiful breakfast. More on the Onyx hotel webpage:

cravinhos-sp-onyx-inn-hotel-lobby-Rodovia Anhaguera -SP-330 exit 295.may17

First a bit of history I like on Cravinhos.

Cravinhos is in the state of São Paulo. In 1876, the Cravinhos farm was bought by the Querino brothers because it is a fruitful region for coffee planting. The red dirt on the land here was a magnet from families from as far as Rio de Janeiro to settled here and cultivate the coffee of wonderful aroma we can see and taste today .The name Cravinhos comes from the Cravina flower ,the fact that on such a farm there was a plantation of carnations, small carnations; which were found in large quantities at the Cravinhos Farm beds and in the region. In 1893, Cravinhos was created as a district in the town of Ribeirão Preto. It was dismembered from Ribeirão Preto in 1897, and installed the following year as a coffee village.

The city of Cravinhos on its history in Portuguese :

The Brazil Tourist Guide on Cravinhos in Portuguese:

From Cravinhos , we continue to almost the Minas Gerais State line and visit the wonderful town of Franca in the State of Sao Paulo  with its great artificial lake.

franca sp beach ahead going by car may17

We came to Franca by car on the road SP-334 named Candido Portinari road.  And we went straight for the artificial lake beach rather nice and empty but in season it is packed. We had lunch at the Restaurante Barraçao right across from the lake beach.  We had the buffet all you can eat churrasqueria with plenty of meats and a nice brahma beer to boot, just lazy living at its best! They have a Facebook page:

Franca SP beach front artificial lake may17

Franca SP Resto Barracao on beach may17

A bit of history I like on Franca.

Franca ,the region history tell us was called Sertão do Capim Mimoso near the Pardo and Sapucaí rivers begins with the pioneers starting with the flag of Anhanguera (the son), in 1722, who built the Caminho de Goiás, or Estrada dos Goiases or roads that connected the city of São Paulo to the gold mines of Goiás, which at that time belonged to the Captaincy of São Paulo. From then on, the famous landings of tropeiros (cattle ranchers cowboys) began to emerge, places where the Paulistas (folks from Sao Paulo city ) stopped to rest there and the pack animals during the trips they made in their search for gold in the interior of Brazil. The landing that gave rise to the city of Franca was known, at the time, by the bandeirantes (explorers bounty hunters ), for “Pouso dos Bagres” or well of Bagres.

In 1819, Franca was visited by the French naturalist Auguste de Saint-Hilaire . In 1821, king Dom João VI created the “Vila Franca Del Rey”, which was only installed on November 28, 1824. In 1856, Franca is elevated to the category of town. Franca participated in the Paraguayan War with the Franca Volunteers and also engaged during the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932. Franca has an altitude close to 1,040 meters, and for a long time was known as Cidade das Três Colinas (the city of three hills) because it developed under three hills, that of Estação, Centro and Colina da Santa Rita, which are separated by the main streams of the city. Also in Praça Nossa Senhora da Conceição square is the mother church of the city. The construction of the Cathedral of Nossa Senhora da Conceição started in 1898 and was opened for worship in 1913 and restored in 1980. It is located in the city center. The town also has a nice park with benches and full of shops and restaurants around it .However, the thing here is to head for the beach and just laid low; this is inland Sao Paulo State nothing to do with the capital city of the same name.

The city of Franca on its history in Portuguese :

The Brazil tourist guide on Franca in Portuguese:

And there you go folks, another dandy in my world map and many souvenirs of friendly encounters in inland Brazil. Life is slower but more fun in the countryside. Hope you enjoy the road warrior trip to  Cravinhos and Franca in Sao Paulo State of Brazil.

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

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