Archive for August 30th, 2022

August 30, 2022

Rio de Janeiro !!

In my early travels of my life, the intensity was gear towards Latin America big cities as was closer, and fewer pictures…. And later base in France, the trips were done to other smaller towns all over Brazil, (see posts) ,One of my favorite destinations as to big cities was Rio de Janeiro; this would be sort of an introduction to the city.. And not to forget my adreline visit to Niteroi across the bay of Guanabara ! I like to update this older post with new text and links to revive old wonderful memories for me and you maybe. I found some personal pics of this adventure ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.


Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The city was based originally on the Bay of Guanabara, discovered in 1502 by Gaspar de Lemos and Gonçalo Coelho, captains of the fleet of the Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who discoverered Brazil. The inhabitants of the city are “Cariocas”. The inhabitants of the State of Rio de Janeiro are “Fluminenses”. It is known worldwide for its carnival, its beaches (Copacabana, Leblon and Ipanema) as well as its statue of Christ the Redeemer at the top of the Corcovado. Rio de Janeiro was the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, following the escape of the Portuguese court during the invasion of the Napoleonic troops (1808-1821), then of the Empire of Brazil (1822-1889), of the República Velha (old Republic) (1889-1930), of the Estado Novo (New State) (1937-1945) and the beginning of the Second Republic until 1960.

You really need about two weeks to see it all and I only had four days and busy with business rdv but nevertheless had a great time, In my opinion , the things to see here are the Sugar Loaf (Pao de Açùçar) a rocky peak at the altitude of 395 meters ,always been the symbol of Rio. The famous statue of Christ the Redeemer (O Cristo Redentor), a cross-arm, stands on the peak of the Corcovado with a height of 710 meters and can be seen from all areas of Rio. The statue measures 38 meters high. The work, dates from 1931.

The many wonderful beaches such as my favorite : Copacabana (see post) and its extension to the north, the Leme, with its 4.5 km of length that describe a perfect curve is certainly the preferred beach of foreigners. It was in the 1920’s that it gained its notoriety, with the construction, in 1923 of the prestigious Copacabana Palace, the only luxury hotel in all Latin America at the time. And this is the area I normally stayed while visiting the city. At the Othon Palace Hotel (see post)

Ipanema Beach is located in the most exclusive residential area of the city. Today, Ipanema is the center of fashion and sophistication. The most luxurious shops in Rio line the streets of Ipanema and Leblon. Ipanema Beach, less extensive than that of Copacabana, is the venue for the golden youth of Rio and the homosexual community. Less lively and less noisy than Copacabana, Ipanema is arguably the most romantic of the twenty-five beaches in Rio. São Conrado is located in a cove surrounded by mountains covered with dense vegetation. This is where the Pedra da Gávea rises, a huge block of granite much more impressive in its shape and size, with its 842 meters, than the famous Sugar loaf. The beach enjoys a certain popularity with the youth of Rio, the young people of the favelas and the intellectuals. With its 18 km long, the beach of Barra da Tijuca is at the same time the longest, but also the least frequented in Rio during the week. At the end of Barra, the small beach of Recreio dos Bandeirantes stretches in the shelter of a natural pier that forms a real miniature bay. From the Recreio, a road climbs into the mountain before descending to the beach of Prainha, frequented by the surfers, then that of Grumari, wonderfully secluded.

The mountain of Pedra da Gávea peaks at 842 meters of altitude. It overlooks the long beaches of fine sand. It is accessed after the Botanical garden.  The hill of Urca (Morro da Urca), this small mountain formation of 220 meters above sea level is located at the entrance of the Bay of Guanabara. The Hill also offers a great view of the Bay of Guanabara and offers a cable car that makes it possible to get to the sugar loaf. Each of the 141 hectares of the Botanical garden hosts specimens of the Brazilian and world flora. The neighborhood of Santa Teresa, with its cobbled and tortuous alleys, with its spectacular views of the bay, is certainly one of the most picturesque in Rio. The most attractive way to access it is to take the famous tramways built in 1896.The forest of Tijuca (Floresta da Tijuca) ;the largest urban forest in the world, with an area of about 3 200 hectares, includes hundreds of species of flora and fauna found only in the “Mata Atlantica” and many of which are endangered. Places such as the Cascatinha (small waterfall), the Mayrink Chapel , the Mirador Excelsior, the Baracão, the Paulo and Virginia Caves, the Fairy Lake and the Solitudes pond. The Sambadromo-Marquês de Sapucaí, bordered by concrete bleachers, was built in 1984 to host the prestigious Rio carnival, which was held previously in the streets of the city, most often on the avenue Presidente Vargas. Designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Avenue Marquês of Sapucaí, usually open to traffic, is transformed for a few days in the Passarela do Samba (passarelle of Samba)  and sees the most prestigious samba schools in Rio de Janeiro.

Rio de Janeiro has many museums ,of all sizes, I have been briefly to the top major ones such as these : The National Historic Museum .This palace painted in pink, emblematic color of imperial buildings, is one of the oldest buildings in Rio. Tower Fortress (its Subterraneans serve as a prison for black slaves in the 17C and 18C), Arsenal, weapons factory, Siege of the military academy, it was only converted into a museum in 1922. Its collections, spread over fourteen halls, retrace the history of Imperial Brazil (19C). It has a library of 70 000 volumes. The National Museum. This ancient palace was once the home of Joao VI and the imperial family, until the proclamation of the Republic in 1889. It contains the largest scientific collection in Brazil: Zoology, mineralogy, archaeology, ethnology. It is possible to see the meteorite fallen in the state of Bahia in 1888, the Bendego, which weighs 5 300 kgs as well as a curious mummy of an Egyptian woman: her legs are covered separately with strips (traditionally, the body is wrapped in one piece) . The Museum of Fine Arts the largest collection of art in Rio, it presents paintings of the Italian, Flemish, Spanish, Portuguese, English and Peruvian schools of the 16C, 17C and 18C. The Brazilian gallery presents paintings from the colonial period, the 19C and the 20C: Portinari, Di Cavalcanti, Pancetti, Anita Malfatti, Alfredo Volpi, Manabu Mabe and Djanira.

And beautiful Churches , passed by them, such as, Church of Nossa Senhora da Glória do Outeiro white and graceful, the Church of Glória dominates from its height the bay of Guanabara. Built in 1739, this chapel was intimately linked to the life of the imperial family. In his arms, Joao VI carried his granddaughter, Princess Maria da Glória, to present her at the altar, and Don Pedro I made the same with the future Emperor Pedro II. The decoration is made of carved wood and azulejos. The Monastery of Saint-Benoît (Mosteiro de São Bento);  Gregorian chant can be heard every day at 11h. and 17h30. Built in 1641 by two monks who wanted to base their order, this monastery is a characteristic example of colonial Baroque. It is possible to see in the Church a work of carved wood, covered with gold leaves. The Church of the Third-Order of Saint-François-de-la-Penance (Igreja da Ordem Terceira de São Francisco da Penitência): Very baroque, fully sculpted by hand . Jacaranda Furniture and solid silver chandeliers that illuminate, at dusk, the panel painted in the roof of the nave, representing Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy receiving the stigmata.

In all a wonderful place, however, the pictures I gathered and kept of a personal nature were on my hanggliding trip to nearby Niteroi !! It is easy to cross the Bay of Guanabara to get to Niterói or the islands, from where you discover a magnificent view of the city of Rio and the lush mountains that crimp it, Briefly, Niteroi was the village of São Lourenço dos Índios was recognized by the central government and given the new name of Vila Real da Praia Grande in 1819. On March 6, 1835, Vila Real da Praia Grande was officially renamed Niterói, It is 13 km from Rio link by the Rio-Niteroi bridge and a catamarans service. The main thing to see here is the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC), housed in a building built by Oscar Niemeyer. For an anecdote, Niteroi is the birthplace of Leonardo Nascimento de Araújo, footballer and former player and sporting director of Paris Saint Germain (PSG). However, as said for me was a trip to paragliding off Niteroi, and this was the place ! You can do the paragliding tandem flight in the Parque Da Ciudade of Niteroi (city park) with Rio Tandem, Their webpage

And the Parque da Ciudade of Niteroi:



The official Rio de Janeiro tourist office

The Rio de Janeiro prefecture local govt on tourism

The Brazil tourist board on Rio de Janeiro

There you go folks, a wonderful city to visit even with few pictures, however, the memories lingered forever. Hope you enjoy this oldie post on one of the world’s loveliest city ,Rio de Janeiro. And who knows back to Niteroi. I always looking forward to be back, eventually.

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

August 30, 2022

Curitiba and football !!

If you read my blog, you know one of my favorite hobbies is to follow football/soccer. My playing time and pro period is long gone, but I am still a fervent follower of the sport. In my travels, I had time to see some good matches and in football crazy countries, So when came to live as an expat in Brazil naturally I sought out the football, and gladly was in a bit football craze city of Curitiba in the State of Paranà , south Brazil. I like to update this memorable post for you and me ; hope you enjoy it as I.

Starting from less to more let me tell you about the Club Athletico Paranaense  a football/soccer club based in Curitiba , State of Paranà. It was founded on March 26, 1924 of the merger of the International Football Club and the Paraná America. It plays the home games at the Arena da Baixada.  It is popularly known as Furacão (Hurricane), nickname that was won in the 1950s. It,also, became the first team in Paraná to participate in a national competition.

Athletico is the owner of the Arena da Baixada stadium, officially Joaquim Américo Guimarães Stadium, considered one of the most modern in Latin America. It also has a sports center, considered among the five most innovative in the world. The Joaquim Américo Guimarães Stadium was inaugurated in June 1999, for an Atlético friendly against Cerro Porteño (Paraguay). For the 2014 Football/Soccer World Cup, this same stadium would be chosen as one of the venues of the maximum world event. For this, the stadium’s capacity was expanded to 40,000 spectators.


The colors of the Club Athletico Paranaense are T-shirt Red and black on first team and then t-shirt, black pants and black tights. Alternative t-shirt: White t-shirt, white pants and white socks. Their official Club Athletico Paranaense

However, the one I followed the most as most of my local friends there were fans was the Coritiba Foot Ball Club. Let me tell you about it ok.  The Coritiba Foot Ball Club is a club based in Curitiba, with its football/soccer section is popularly call Coxa. It was founded in 1909 by German immigrants. The first club in the State of Paranà as well as the first club green and white in Brazil.


It plays the games at the Estadio Couto Pereira located at Rue Ubaldino do Amaral, 37 . Its record was 80 000 with the presence of Pope John Paul II in 1980. Coritiba FBC currently appears in the Guinness Book of Records as the holder of the best winning streak in football with 24 consecutive victories. The Paranaense team achieved that mark on September 8, 2011, and that same day the famous book of world brands decorated it with the name of “Most victorious team in the world.”  The Coritiba club has two groups of fans: the main one, Império Alviverde (green empire) with a second one known as the Mancha Verde (green spot). The official colors uniform are White t-shirt with two green horizontal stripes, black pants and white bands . The second team uniform: T-shirt with vertical green and white stripes, white pants and white bands. Alternative uniform: Green shirt, black pants and green socks.


The largest and most traditional stadium in Paraná, Major Antonio Couto Pereira is the house of the nation “coxa-branca” (white thigh) and one of the symbols of the Paranaense capital. It was inaugurated in 1932 under the name of Belfort Duarte Stadium. The Couto, as it is affectionately called, is located in the Alto da Glória neighborhood, close to the commercial center of the city. It has capacity for 37 000 spectators, has modern structures of food, shops and recreation spaces. It has the best type of grass in the world for football/soccer practice and an efficient security system.


I really enjoyed the games here and with great friendly company still in touch..! The official Coritiba Football Club:

After all, the classic advantage is for Coritiba, who has 127 wins against 107 Paranaense and 99 draws; last count I can find.Also, Coritiba has 39 titles to 25 for Paranaense. The Atle-Tiba is one of the most traditional derbies in Brazilian football/soccer.  There you go folks, a dandy times in football stadiums in Curitiba !! Memories forever in memorable Curitiba.

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

Tags: ,
August 30, 2022

A nostalgic return to Saint Nolff !!

Well nostalgia sets in now. I have written pieces of it in previous posts , and it was sad to say good bye to Saint Nolff, the town outside Vannes where I worked for 9 years!! I came to this little community to work for a worldwide big company of 1,6B euros and now it has been sold! I was given a nice secure tax free package and now into retirement. I was in the area with my family and was so close decided to go by for the memories’s sake. I worked in a ruin domain of Talhouët that had a castle from 1504 near Vannes, and newer properties were build on it such as our world HQ. From here I was responsable in my field of Finance for 75 factories, 28 companies, and 20 countries.  It was fun indeed. Again, thank you for been such avids readers of my posts over the years. And hope you enjoy this post as I.

It’s two major monument , I have written on their history and description so will be briefer here just to show the new pictures of today.

 The Church of Saint-Mayeul b. 15-16C, renovated in the 17-19C.It was in front parking lot where I waited for my interview for the job ,which of course as above got it and held for 9 years !!! The longest I have worked in one firm !!! My field moves a lot ….Originally, it included a nave without aisles and a choir with a flat apse. Only the choir remains today with a large window, remarkable for the presence of 2 triskels, in opposite directions to each other. The three most important seigniories, Gourvineg, Kerboulard and Val Dilieg, each had their private chapel or their place (benches and burial vaults) in the choir.  The Calvary-altar outside was erected in 1806, in the spirit of the 17C. Its remarkable wooden Christ is now preserved in the choir. Saint Mayeul de Cluny was born around 910 in Valensole, in eastern Provence, and died in 994 in Souvigny. He was the fourth abbot of Cluny. He was certainly one of the listened advisers of Hugues Capet, duke then king of the Franks, which enabled him to reform monasteries and place regular abbots there. Mayeul’s destiny is exceptional. He was spontaneously recognized as a saint immediately after his death, and his cult, which constituted the first great Cluniac abbey cult, was one of the most important in the Middle Ages and persisted in Le Puy and Souvigny until the French revolution. His feast day is May 11.The church once kept the tomb of Jean de Gourvinec, who died on December 12, 1423.

Saint Nolff Ch Saint Mayeul front aug22

Saint Nolff Ch Saint Mayeul side left aug22

Saint Nolff Ch Saint Majeul side aug22

The Chapelle of Sainte-Anne was built in 1493 in the immediate ,next to the Church of Saint-Mayeul as above.Very beautiful chapel with flamboyant decoration was built, “in honor of Sainte-Anne”, in 1493 by Olivier de Gourvinec, lord of Bézit, as indicated by the inscription of the sand pit. Small rectangular chapel in cut stone. Fleur-de-lysées side windows. The west gable door has retained its 15C character, as has the one on the south side which has an accolade resting on two made-up angels. The finial is surmounted by an escutcheon with heraldic animals, dominated by a top with strips of fabric and finished with an incomplete figure. The frame and the old sand pits have disappeared.

Saint Nolff Chapelle Sainte Anne front road aug22

Saint Nolff Chapelle of Sainte-Anne et Ch Saint Majeul side aug22

Saint Nolff Chapelle of Sainte-Anne side left aug22

The Étang de Gourvinec or pond was the water reserve of the mill if we do not know the date of construction of the mill, This mill was built by the family of Gourvinec, lords of Bézit. The first mention of this mill dates back to 1503. Three wheels are driven by the Condat River to turn wheat into flour. In 1930, it was transformed into a sawmill, an activity which ended in 1951. Used for a time as a poultry farm, it was bought by the town of St Nolff in 1989, which ensured its restoration. It was and is a spot for picnic and relaxation of families and folks from my employer at least until recently,It is right off the road D135. 

Saint Nolff Étang de Gourvinec moulin by train track aug22

The town of Saint Nolff on its heritage

The Gulf of Morbihan local tourist office on Saint Nolff

And there you go in a way my extra hommage to Saint Nolff, a town very small but by now very much attach to my world globe of wonderful places to be in . I was glad stopped again by it, with my boys for the family memories and some anecdotes. I believe will remain at least in the Morbihan and or Pluvigner for the rest of my life, which we love it so much by now, and I will do my road warrior trips all over from here.  Thank you again for reading me over the years and of course this post in particular.

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

Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: