Archive for August 31st, 2022

August 31, 2022

The Le Volcan of Le Havre !

This is a city very much underrated ,and we have visited several times, love it, It went through a lot of destruction in WWII and have come back gloriously me think. I ike to update this older post on the arts center Le Volcan of Le Havre . Hope you enjoy the post as I.  Let me refresh your memory on how to get here.  Le Havre  is in the department de Seine-Maritime , no,76 of the region of Normandie right in the mouth of the Seine river. The city center of Le Havre is an Unesco World Heritage Site!!

The autoroute A131 link Le Havre to the A13  (autoroute de Normandie) by the other great bridge or Pont de Tancarville.  The autoroute A29 (autoroute des estuaires) link the metro area to the north of France and ends at the Pont de Normandie.  The trains are from the TER and Corail network   but no direct TGV service to Paris yet, est 2023.  The regular trains put the city in touch with Gare Saint Lazare-ParisThe Le Volcan is located exactly at 8 place Oscar Niemeyer, while the Library is at 2 place Oscar Niemeyer both not far from the Bassin du Commerce in Le Havre.

There is a wonderful Maison de la Culture du Havre built by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer ,known as the Le Volcan for it shape. Le Volcan, first Maison de la Culture created in 1961, then national stage in 1991 ,and is today one of the most important national stages in France. It is a place of artistic production and dissemination of national reference in the field of theater, music, dance, circus, new aesthetics, new images and digital arts. The complex has two performance halls, one with 800 seats and the other with 125 seats. The establishment was created and inaugurated on November 18, 1982.


A large opening opposite Place Perret is articulated between a large majestic step which descends gently towards the lower square, facing the restored fountain and the main entrances to the building, a sequence of ramps accessible to people with reduced mobility, and a high promenade maintained in a balcony above the lower square. The helical staircase of the access is preserved by being vented, and will descend gently to the east to catch up with the bottom of the large step and turn over the entire width of the space up to the building entry. The two west accesses, on the very lively side of the market, are modified. The helix ramp is turned over to correspond in the upper part with the covered passage which leads to the market and at the lower square level, with the equipment entrances. The elevators will see their functionality improved so that they are real urban elevators between upper square, lower square and parking.


It is divided into two distinct areas such as

Le Volcan is a real reinforced concrete shell pierced with small portholes, the Grand Volcan suffers from a lack of natural light, the rehabilitation of the whole thus emphasizes the play of light and the choice of materials. Wood is in the spotlight with fabric and wood seats, parquet floors, curved wooden walls for the room, new wooden reception desks. The warm atmosphere thus provided is complemented by colorful notes of colorful drapes and partitions, and lighting highlighting the concrete plank walls.

The Oscar Niemeyer library offers a general documentary offer, self-study and quiet work spaces. Architecturally the glass facade overlooking the lower square has been improved. For more natural light, a central atrium is created by installing a glass roof. Inside, a real scenographic route is set up. Original and innovative, it counterbalances the scale of the building, a priori unsuitable for individual spaces, with atmospheres differentiated by lighting, furniture, textures and the choice of materials. The warm atmosphere of the Le Volcan will be found at the entrance to the media library, which offers a café and press lounge area, directly visible from the outside thanks to the glass facade. Intuitive and readable by a light treatment on the ceiling, the route is then ascending and punctuated by balconies, boxes and alcoves like little reading rooms.

The entrance to the two major cultural facilities is through a common covered square on which there is also a bar-brasserie. A permanent place of conviviality, open to all locals and visitors alike. The covered space will be treated as a continuity with the outdoor spaces, the aim being to encourage people to enter and meet.

The official Le Volcan

The City of Le Havre on Le Volcan

The Le Havre tourist office on Le Volcan

And to give a bit on the destruction sufffered by this courageous city of Le Havre that practically came back from the ashes to be a vibrant metropolis that is today full of Arts around the sea here are some excerpts, The human toll was big in WWI to the city of Le Havre ,and it served as the rear base especially for the British navy where 1,9 million British soldiers passed by the port of Le Havre. During WWII, the Nazis occupied Le Havre since the spring of 1940; and prepare the city for the invasion of the United Kingdom (Operation Seelôwe), making arrangement along the coast with casemates, blockhaus and batteries integrated into the Atlantic Wall. Le Havre received 132 bombardments by the Allies during the war with the most damaging coming on September 5-6 1944 with English Royal Air Force bombed the city center and the port to weakening the Nazis during operation Astonia; the  Royal Air Force did more than 2000 waves dropping about 10K tons of bombs. Le Havre was liberated by allied armies on September 12 1944.

There you go folks, a nice place to be in the north and wonderful arts by the ocean to give it a sublime combination we love it at Le Havre. Hope you too enjoy the Le Volcan as us !

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

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August 31, 2022

My airports in Indonesia!

I have been thru too many airports in my last 40 years to last me for the rest of my lifetime! I do not look at them as tourist attractions but a necessary step to tourism. As Indonesia is a country of many islands and vast distances the use of airplane is a must. I have made about 8 trips in the last 11 years to the country and always fond memories of places and friends, Let me update and tell you briefly on my airports in Indonesia!And, plenty of domestic flights once there!

My main point of entry was the Jakarta International Airport (Soekarno-Hatta), the main airport serving the greater Jakarta area on the island of Java. It was designed by French architect Paul Andreu, who also designed Paris-Charles de Gaulle (Roissy) airport. The Soekarno-Hatta airport was Inaugurated in 1985, it was named after Soekarno, first president of the Republic of Indonesia, and Hatta, first vice-president. They were the ones who proclaimed the independence of the country in 1945.   Jakarta International Airport has 150 check-in counters, 30 baggage carousels and 42 gates. Each sub-terminal has 25 check-in counters, 5 baggage carrousels and 7 gates at my last count.


The airport is divided into three terminals. Terminal 1 accommodates domestic flights, except for Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia AirAsia, NAM Air and Sriwijaya Air. Terminal 2 accommodates all international flights other than those of SkyTeam companies, as well as domestic flights of Indonesia AirAsia, NAM Air and Sriwijaya Air. Terminal 3 accommodates all Garuda Indonesia flights as well as those of SkyTeam companies. A shuttle system connects the 3 terminals.



Taxi counters are located on the Arrivals level after customs and outside at the taxi stand. Several Taxi companies operate at Jakarta airport, including Blue Bird, Silver Bird, Golden Bird and Gamya. Blue Bird taxis are blue and provide basic taxi service from a reliable company. Silver Bird taxis are black and provide premium taxi service at slightly higher rates. Golden Bird is a limousine service. I have been picked up by locals as well as use the Silver Bird services.

jakarta airport outside feb13

The official Soekarno-Hatta airport :

The official Jakarta tourist office

The Surabaya Juanda International Airport serves Surabaya, East Java and surrounding areas. It is my second most used airport in Indonesia. It is located in the kabupaten ,department of Sidoarjo, 20 km south of Surabaya. Open December 7, 1964 as an air and naval base, December 24, 1990, Juanda Airport obtains the status of international airport, after the opening of an international terminal.


surabaya juanda airport outside feb13

The Surabaya Airport has two terminals: Terminal 1 is split into a couple of sections: section 1A and section 1B. The Level 1 is the Arrivals level, where check-in counters and baggage claim area are located. Level 2 is for Departures, where the boarding area is located. Find in this level access to boarding gates 1 to 6 ,and 7 to 12.   There are lounges close to gates 2, 8 and 11.   Terminal 2, handles international flights and some domestic services of Garuda and Indonesia Air Asia. Terminal 2 is the newest one and opened in 2014. It is located at the east side of Terminal 1. The Ground level This is the Check-in area and the Arrivals level. It has a boarding lounge at west and the Arrivals facilities plus the baggage claim can be found at east.   Find also here transportation options (bus, taxi, shuttle, car rental). Upper level: This is the Departures area, split into the Domestic and International departures.   Access to boarding gates 1 to 9 from a single point. Mezzanine level Find in this level the airport lounges. Taxi ranks are properly located outside Arrivals of both terminals, after the baggage claim area.   In order to take a taxi at Surabaya Airport, passengers should purchase a taxi coupon from the transportation counter. Blue Bird and Orenz Taxi.I have was picked always here by locals.



The official Juanda Surabaya airport

The official Surabaya tourist office :

A very nice experience for me was to go inland into Yogyakarta and Ngoro, etc towns. The Yogyakarta Adisutjipto International Airport was the airport of the city of Yogyakarta. The airport was inaugurated as international in 2004. Adisucipto airport also houses an Indonesian air force base. Adisutjipto will be gradually replaced by the new international airport of Yogyakarta in the kabupaten of Kulon Progo. Airport taxis are available on the arrivals level. Taxi rate is fixed depending on the distance. Purchase a fixed price taxi coupon from the Transportation counter and proceed to the taxi stand outside. This is the one I used; here for the memories of always.



The official oldAdisutjipto airport :

The new airport Yogyakarta International Airport or Kulon Progo International Airport, is in the district of Temon, kabupaten of Kulon Progo, which serves the special territory of Yogyakarta in Java, It is 45 km from the city, and was inaugurated on May 6, 2019. The airport became fully operational on 29 March 2020 with all scheduled flights (except turboprops, cargo and other non-commercial flights) relocated from the old airport , This one I have not tried yet.

The new official Yogyakarta airport::

The official Indonesia tourist board on Yogyakarta

The best way to move about in Indonesia using various airlines most of the time Garuda Indonesia; Sriwijaya airline; and Wings, etc. The official Indonesia Tourist board :

There you go folks, now you all set to enjoy this exotic beautiful country in Asia. Lots of memory of my trips there in the last 11 years! And lots of good friends still in touch. I am always looking forward to be back, eventually. In the meantime, get to know my airports of Indonesia !!

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

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August 31, 2022

Ciudad Obregon of Sonora !!

I had the opportunity to go north in Mexico for the first time. This was to Ciudad Obregon in the State of Sonora. I like to update this older post for you and me, Always nice to see new areas of our world. The trip was very much under security , but I did not notice anything as told in the news. Anyway it was an exciting visit to a place never before been, another dot in my world traveler’s globe! Hope you enjoy the post as I,

Ciudad Obregón, is the capital city of the municipality of Cajeme,and is the second largest city in the state of Sonora. It is located in the center of a large agricultural and industrial basin in the south of the state. It is the most important urban center of the Yaqui river valley. It is located 525 km (326 mi) south of the state’s northern border with the U.S. state of Arizona. This city was founded in 1927 by Alvaro Obregón and was established as a station where trains could make refill of water. The name of the station was Cajeme,  name of a chief of the Yaqui people. The first whites to arrive settled in the barrio called Plano Oriente when irrigation works by the Richardson company began in the early 20C.

In 1928, the name of Ciudad Obregón was adopted in recognition of General Álvaro Obregón, former president of the Mexican Republic (1920-1924) and originally from Huatabampo, Sonora. General Obregón initiated an agricultural revolution in the Yaqui river valley, introduced modern agricultural techniques and made this valley one of the most prosperous agricultural regions in the country as the story goes. The American agronomist Norman Borlaug, architect of the “Green Revolution”, worked here after improving the resistance of wheat. From then on, he won the Nobel Prize.

The way to move here best is to come by air landing at the Ciudad Obregon International Airport , located 15 km (about 9.3 miles) from the center of Ciudad Obregon. It has one terminal with three gates and two jetways. The airport is small but clean and nice. The SASA consort management of the Ciudad Obregon airport : 


I flew in from Mexico city on InterJet airline with good service and came back on AeroMexico, again good in flight service, While in town, I stayed at the nice Holiday Inn, with a nice room,and pool facilities, city center at Avenida Miguel Aleman.  The official Holiday Inn Ciudad Obregon :


In the area we moved by car with great company taking the Federal highway No.15 that is quite heavily use linking Ciudad Obregón in the north to Guaymas ; the main port of Sonora , Hermosillo ;the State capital, and Nogales ,the main crossing point with the United States. The highway no 15 links Ciudad Obregón to the south towards Navojoa , the State of Sinaloa and Central America, making it the axis of “Canamex”, industrial corridor which unites Canada, the United States and Mexico. This is as good a route planner by the Federal govt of Mexico

I visit a wine shop next door to the Holiday inn that was just a new concept in the area to let you stored your own bottles. Unfortunately I forgot the name and no photos !! I ate at Los Arbolitos de Cajeme resto, at the casa Matriz(main resto as it is a chain ) at corner of Tabasco and Guerrero streets. I had my mero fish with butter here. The official chain Los Arbolitos de Cajeme on Ciudad Obregon branch


Some things to see here are the Museum of the Yaqui: The museum offers a perspective of Yaqui culture having among its objectives rescuing, preserving, investigating and spreading the culture and way of life of the Yaquis. As well as stimulating in the state’s population the rediscovery of historical, linguistic and ethnic values of the Yaquis, The Yaqui people are settled in eight towns, Potam, Huirivis, Torim, Cocorit, Bacum, Vicam, Rahum and Belem. In about 7 km (4.3 miles) from the city is the first of the eight Yaqui towns that make the autonomous territory of these people known for their independent character, because it is one of the few American ethnic groups not dominated militarily by Spanish colonialists.

The State of Sonora tourist office on Ciudad Obregon

The Mexico tourist board on Ciudad Obregon

There you go folks, another dandy find by yours truly around the world, this time in Ciudad Obregon, State of Sonora, Mexico. Hope you like the post as I

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

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