Archive for March 27th, 2023

March 27, 2023

Porto Alegre and its Gaucho tradition !!

I had the opportunity to visit Brazil for several years and even lived there for several months in Curitiba (see posts), However, my first encounter happened many years ago probably around 1994 when asked to go into the big cities of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and surprise down under Porto Alegre, I have written plenty on the country but really need to update this wonderful first encounter at Porto Alegre and its Gaucho tradition, Hope you enjoy the post as I

When I went I came along a native of the City so big introduction as his mom an attorney was still living there, I was taken all over and sadly with the enthusiasm of the first visit pictures are few, I remember been taken everywhere and staying in a nice hotel the Blue Tree Towers Hotels, and lately Hotel Radisson Porto Alegre, They had a japanese resto there very good, then, Becco churrasquerias, and now Don Pallesi Restaurant-Italian style. The big tradition here is that is part of Gaucho country not just down south but in the State of Rio Grande do Sul as well , which is where Porto Alegre is located.

My wonderful introduction to the Brazilian Gaucho tradition at Porto Alegre was at the magnificent Churrascaria Galpao Crioulo ; Rua Otavio Francisco Caruso da Rocha s / n and praça Mauricio Sirotsky Sobrinho square. Unfortunately could not confirm if still open so here is RestaurantGuru reviews on it :

Porto Alegre friends at gaucho show Churrascaria Galpao Crioulo 1999

I was with local friends and their families and had a great meal, wine of the region and a great Gaucho show at the Churrascaria Galpao Crioulo as above, memories of a lifetime.

Porto Alegre gaucho resto vladi mom fam and me Churrascaria Galpao Crioulo c1994

The city is decorated with parks (nine large urban parks) and tree-lined streets, especially in the ancient districts of the Cidade Baixa (lower town). In addition, the city has a biological reserve, around the beach of the district of Latif, on the river, which it is known to have one of the largest urban concentrations of birds of the country. The city has many hills, the Morros, which can reach up to 311 meters in altitude. The Mercado Publico is great now housing many shops of local flavor and tradition centered around the gaucho heritage. Many restos and pubs around Bela Vista and Centro typical of European cities.   Another is the great football/soccer team Internacional de Porto Alegre at river banks of  river/Rio Guaíba,in Avenida Padre Cacique, 891, at shopping  Gigante da Beira-Rio.

A bit of history I like on the city of Porto Alegre the first city ever visited by me in Brazil , as well as been the Capital of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, and the largest city in the southern region of Brazil. The city was established on the east bank of the Rio Guaiba, a bay within which converge five rivers that form the Lagoa dos Patos. The latter is a huge lake that faces south on the Atlantic Ocean. It is thanks to it that Porto Alegre is in constant contact with the sea, even if it is not by the sea. The activities of the port are so important that every year, the locals celebrate a feast dedicated to Our Lady of the Navigators or Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes. This event is held every February 2.

The Portuguese from the Azores then arrived who brought in the African slaves. After the abolition of slavery in the country and especially its independence, new immigrants also came to settle there, including Germans, Poles and Italians.   As the city is very close to Uruguay, its history is also linked to it, including that of Gaucho culture. This term describes the culture in which the Gauchos evolve every day, cattle breeders who also specialize in rodeo. the majority of the inhabitants are strongly anchored in the gaucho culture which implies musical traditions as well as the famous rodeo or throwing a bottle intended to capture the cows. The gaucho are in Argentina, Uruguay and in the south of Brazil, a guardian of herds of the South American plains or the pampa, in the same way in Paraguay, in the south-east of Bolivia by Tarija   and the south of Chile . In Brazil, the term is at the origin of the gentile Gaucho, which is used to designate the inhabitants of the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

The Rio Grande do Sul is the southernmost of the 27 States of the Federative Republic of Brazil. It is separated from the State of Santa Catarina by the Rio Mampituba, is bordered to the east by the Atlantic Ocean and is bordered by the Argentina and Uruguay. Its capital is Porto Alegre. The inhabitants of the state are called Rio Grandenses or, more commonly, Gauchos!

The City of Porto Alegre on tourism (P) :

The Rio Grande do Sul State on Porto Alegre :

The Brazil tourist office on Porto Alegre

There you go folks, a wonderful world different from what most think of Brazil. Lucky to have been there and won’t mind going back, eventually, Again, hope you enjoy this post on Porto Alegre.

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

March 27, 2023

The old castle of Cuenca !!!

This is a thrill trip of many years , and repeat visits to Cuenca with the family. Memories of always in my heart. We walked all over even steep cobblestones streets and in summer! I have written on the old castle but found me some new older pictures not in my blog and they should,Plenty in my blog on Cuenca ! Therefore, here is my new take on the old castle of Cuenca ,Hope you enjoy it as I.

For reference, this is Cuenca, in the province of Cuenca, and the autonomous community of Castilla La Mancha in the kingdom of Spain , This is pretty old ruins overlooking a wonderful view of the city of Cuenca canyons. This is the remnants of an old castle that is worth a detour. We came to love this town after staying nearby for a couple times in our trips down to sunny SpainThe Castillo district is a small suburb located just outside the walls and built of houses of local style, Of medieval origin, the working-class suburbs of San Antón (located on the other side of the Júcar) and of Los Tiradores complete the fortress that is the upper town. The importance lies not in the individual buildings but in the overall effect, that of urban landscapes made up of narrow, winding alleys adapting to the very steep topography and constituting a choice foreground for the upper town.

The Castillo or castle origins dates back to the Arabs to be conquered by Alfonso VIII in 1177, who changed its structure to that of a medieval Christian fortress. In 1325 King Alfonso XI gave it to Don Juan, son of Don Juan Manuel. In the 16C it was ceded to the Inquisition, hosting the headquarters of the Inquisition Court in an annex building. Finally, the Catholic Monarchs (Fernando y Isabel ) ordered its demolition, perhaps to destroy the defensive places of the feudal lords to end their intrigues and disloyalties. But above all its demolition was a symbol of the fall from power of the Hurtado de Mendoza. With the French invasion during the War of Independence, (peninsula war) almost the entire complex was reduced to rubble.


The entrance arch that serves as the door to the castle was baptized the Arch of the Rodríguez Bezudo Brothers, 16C (short for Arco de Bezudo) in memory of their deaths in the capture of the City by Alfonso VI. According to historical accounts, one of them died in the assault on this castle while the other was appointed governor. Currently you can see a cobbled plaque with the name Arco de Bezudo. Today few remains of Cuenca’s defensive system remain, a shield with a fleece is still preserved over the semicircular arch. Taking advantage of its high walls, a staircase has been installed that allows access to the top of the Castle of Cuenca. On the other side, a small section of the canvas of the wall extends, following the steep orography of the Júcar river gorge.


On one side you can see the zigzagging Húecar River with its steep sickle giving shape to the historical case, crossed by the Puente de San Pablo bridge that connects the Casas Colgadas or hanging houses with the Parador de Turismo (former convent of San Pablo or St Paul) On the other hand the Júcar River stretches out, making its way between hills of limestone that has been drilled for millennia. You can walk to the castle from the Plaza Mayor, following Calle San Pedro, which connects with Calle Trabuco. Another option is to follow the Ronda Julián Romero, passing by the Mirador de Florencio Cañas, the Mirador del pintor Víctor de la Vega or the rincón del Cristo del Pasadizo. Although it is a short distance, the streets are quite steep, so it is also possible to go by urban bus line 2 stop Arco de Bezudo or the tourist train.


The Cuenca tourist office on the castle and arch :

The Castilla La Mancha tourist board on the castle of Cuenca

There you go folks, we have nice memorable moments climbing the steep hilly road the first time to reach this castle to find out there was a parking on top next to it lol! Well we came back ,and parked on top ! Either way is a great walk, and still nice family memories forever , again do it on the shade of the day. Again, hope you enjoy the old castle ruins and arco de Bezudo of Cuenca as I

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

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