Archive for ‘Americas’

November 14, 2018

Thanksgiving France 2018!

So once again another major celebration and out of the USA, and to boot this year won’t be even in France as will be on a trip to Asia during that week. Anyway, this is major and we will do away earlier as usual. It is not a Holiday in France so we usually go the weekend before or after out and on the day at home we had some leftovers or snacks and drinks. But it is mark in our calendar. I love the meaning and the festivities around it always since childhood.

I am talking about Thanksgiving, the big American tradition and traffic jams and airports loaded and even Amstrak trains lol!! The works all in one, but is repeated every year with love and tender family and friends gatherings all over. Here in my belle France, it is not well known but it is celebrated by the American community in major towns where it is available by restaurants or place that have the ingredients to do it. In my neck of the woods of Morbihan there is nothing.

I have done one blog post on it way back, little yes but heck so much abound can’t cover it all, I try ok. Here is the old blog post: Thanksgiving Americana in Paris

As to the Thanksgiving, well in 2018, Thanksgiving falls on Thursday November 22nd (always on the fourth Thursday of November). At this American holiday, it is customary to enjoy a turkey with the family. American expatriates compete with ingenuity to perpetuate the tradition of Thanksgiving abroad. A large number of Parisians as well have now converted and celebrate this Thanksgiving Day with family, friends, home or church.  We do our best to gather the ingredients or go if possible to a place that has setup the meal for the celebration.

A bit of history I like

The first commemoration of Thanksgiving dates back to 1621. One year before that date, precisely on 26 November 1620, the separatist Pilgrim Fathers  landed in the Plymouth area of Massachusetts colony, fleeing the persecution of the bad King of England and the actions of the church in their country. When they arrived in the colony, their survival was quite complicated, as many of them ,more than half ,were attacked by scurvy and died. The survivors were saved only by the intervention of the Wampanoag, a local tribe. They agreed to a bilateral agreement where the native tribe taught visitors new cultures, fishing and hunting, and in return the Pilgrims fathers defended them from their assailants. This agreement bore a great deal of fruit, because in 1621 the first harvest was a very successful one. Governor William Bradford therefore decreed three days of thanksgiving to thank God, the land and the native Indians. It was historically the first Thanksgiving. It was in 1789, on October 3, that it was declared for the first time officially a United States National Day by first President George Washington.

The ingredients have not change much over time. On the table, we find the products of the season crops: corn, green beans ,squash, sweet potatoes, onions, green salad ,spinach , but also,  the cranberries, pecan nuts ham, not forgetting of course the traditional turkey. Many Americans also like to watch the Thanksgiving parade, on television or in town. Big stores in several major cities organize these parades. The best known is Macy’s in New York city which is huge and very famous for its magnificent chariots, huge flying balloons and celebrities.

Over the years while living in Versailles and working in Paris, I have attended many Thanksgiving there and have some of my favorite still going on below as well as some popular new ones not yet tested. Here are the essential addresses in Paris to get into the tradition of Thanksgiving USA!

 Joe Allen,  the oldest American brewery in Paris, opened in 1972, and one of my favorites spots. Since then,it has never ceased to be the home of many American Parisians or Parisians in love with the Big Apple.  At a rate of 50€, the special Thanksgiving menu includes pan-fried wild mushrooms, homemade duck terrine, roast turkey, marinated and grilled tuna steak, pumpkin pie, apple and cranberry crumble with vanilla ice cream.Still located at .30 Rue Pierre Lescot, 1éme. More here:. https://www.joeallenparis.com/

Hard Rock Café Paris , the famous institution invites all American culture fans to enjoy an authentic Thanksgiving dinner. On the menu: corn soup, turkey with cranberries sauce, pecan nut tart… Price: check for latest details, to be at a more festive party ambiance. Located at  14 Boulevard Montmartre, 9éme. More here: https://www.hardrock.com/cafes/paris/

The Harry’s Bar is the oldest American bar in Paris, it has recently celebrated its 100 years. As much to say that the atmosphere will be festive! A special Thanksgiving lunch is served usually need to check it out for 2018.I have come here for drinks and chat only. Usual Thanksgiving meal set up included  Pumpkin soup, club sandwich, cole slaw, pecan pie, brownies, drink and coffee. Located at 5 Rue Daunou, 2éme. More here :  https://www.yelp.com/biz/harrys-new-york-bar-paris-2

Le Drugstore, famous restaurant of the concept-store Publicis on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, proposes to us on Thursday 22 November 2018. Again not here for the feast but nice place to be in  indeed. To honor this great American celebration, chef Eric Frechon has concocted a special menu for the occasion. On the menu that evening, corn fritters followed by  pumpkin soup  with chestnut chips and roasted hazelnuts to open our appetite. Next is the must-have stuffed farm turkey and roasted in casserole, accompanied by a sweet potato purée with foie gras, all sprinkled with the juice of the roast. The festivities would not be complete without the traditional Pecan Pie that finishes this hearty meal on a sweet note and a bit regressive. To water all this, the chef chose a selection of wines on the notes of a playlist “tribute to US Music” which will pace the atmosphere the time of this special and unique dinner .  At 19h ,60€ without drinks. More here: https://www.publicisdrugstore.com/fr/le-drugstore

And for the day after the feast: Breakfast in America, a very good address for breakfast and  American burgers, American owned.Locations at 17 rue des Écoles, Paris 6éme and at  4, rue Malher, 4éme. More here:  http://breakfast-in-america.com/thanksgiving-2018-reserve-now/?lang=en

Promenade Newyorkais , this is new place never visited but very popular with my Paris American friends nowdays.  The exiled Americans find themselves there… with the Parisians who want to have a good evening!  Located at 44 rue du Louvre,1éme. The Parisian hotel also offers authentic US spirit milkshakes and ice creams: everything to attract girls! And in the early evening, the restaurant is transformed into a bar and the music lounge goes up in fun. A young and trendy place to eat, have a drink  !More here:  https://www.yelp.com/biz/promenade-newyorkais-paris

Verjus , French-American Restaurant famous for its cuisine.  Again newer comer never visited but popular with the American community of Paris. Thanksgiving Dinner from Monday 20th to Friday November 24th. Two services every night.  The Thanksgiving tasting menu is at 68€.  Located at 47 Rue Montpensier, 1éme. More info here:  https://www.verjusparis.com/

The Real McCoy, 49 avenue Bosquet  7éme . One of my first encounters with buying American goodies in Paris way back then… Open every day from 10h to 20h. Turkeys done or not in pre ordering, cakes,  pecan pies, cheesecake etc …This is a small grocery store here for over 25 years. More here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/the-real-mccoy-paris

La Grande Epicérie de Paris Passy ,16éme _at the 1st Floor (2nd Fl US); you can find small turkeys here on pre orders. Yes my dear late wife Martine purchase small turkeys here very juicy and nice for home cooking. Open Mondays to Saturdays from 8h30 to 21h. More here : https://www.lagrandeepicerie.com/en/rive-droite

Les Viandes du Champs de Mars, 122 Rue Saint-Dominique, 7éme . Butcher shop , open from 7h to 13h and from 16h to 19h30.  You can order your turkey right now and until November 22nd. You can also order a farce (classic or according to your own recipe and the desired ingredients).  A clientele of regulars has trusted Jean-Marie Boédec for years. My dear late wife Martine tried and it is good indeed!     https://www.yelp.com/biz/les-viandes-du-champ-de-mars-paris

Le Lafayette Gourmet , 40, boulevard Hausmann  9éme. Open from Mondays to Saturdays 9h30 to  20h – Night opening on Thursdays to 21h. Very nice stuff here but never purchase turkeys here. More here:. https://haussmann.galerieslafayette.com/en/food-shopping-at-lafayette-gourmet/

paris

Rachel’s Grocery, 20 rue du Pont aux Choux, 3éme. An American in Paris. Better known for sweets and cheescakes but also has ingredients for Thanksgiving. Also , at  72, quai de Jemmapes, Paris 10éme. More here :  https://www.yelp.com/biz/rachels-grocery-paris

American Church Paris  65 Quai d’Orsay, 7éme. Every year the Church offered persons in the neighborhood the opportunity to meet around a Thanksgiving meal. I have participated with the family here for Halloween as well over the years and visits , very nice place. The ticket for the table are sold on site for 20€ adults and 12€ children. More info here:  https://www.acparis.org/

For the nostalgic of Paris like me, the American grocery store Thanksgiving  was the place to find American products in Paris for yeears…including the Thanksgiving ingredients, however, unfortunately it has closed. It was the spot for the American community to get a piece of Americana while in Paris. It was located in the neighborhood of  Saint-Paul district 4 at  20 Rue Saint-Paul. Just for the memories ok.

paris

There you go, if in town you now know where to go, and if not, remember these places serve all year around à l’Americaine or Ricains lol! As Americans are known here nicely! Enjoy your Thanksgiving wherever you are and happy family times.

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

November 10, 2018

World War I or the Great War

This is a special post on a special commemoration that has started today and will climax tomorrow. I thank from the bottom of my heart all those men , women and their respective countries who had fought in this so called World War I or as we know better in France, the Great War.

Je remercie tous ces hommes et ces femmes et leurs pays respectifs pour leurs efforts et leur sacrifice dans cette grande guerre au nom de ma famille, et le peuple français

In this terrible war ,1.4 million French military personnel lost their lives in the Great War. Their condecoration are understood to be under the words , “Deaths for France” identified by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces. Created in 1915, this reference is attributed to soldiers killed in combat or died as a result of their injuries. Soldiers who are reformed, shot, died of illnesses or victims of accidents are excluded.

The facts:
On September 25, 1915, with a double offensive in Artois and Champagne, was the deadliest day of the war for the French Army, with more than 25 000 deaths. More than a quarter of the soldiers killed are before their 23 years.

The Battle of Verdun, which began on February 21, 1916, stood out: The number of deaths in one day did not equal the previous clashes, but it was one of the first German offensives since 1914, and it lasted much longer. It strikes the spirits deeply. It was “The Battle of France for France, against the German aggression, the place where France shows all its soul and its ardour”

The comparison with the Battle of the Somme, which begins on July 1, 1916, is thus revealing. The French losses were important, but the offensive, led by the British, was much less imbued with collective memory.

The deadly clash of the  Chemin des Dames or Ladies ‘ Way, which was to be the last major offensive of the war, marks the year 1917 until the end of October. The War of Motion resumed in 1918, with several German offensives in Picardy, and Champagne. The Germans wanted to win the victory fast before the Americans, who had just entered the war, were lining up too many troops on the front. The general counter-offensive of the Allies led them to the Armistice.

The death of these young men has profoundly marked the French society, reversing the order of generations and disturbing the birth rate. More than a million births were never caught up, so that in 1939 France became the oldest country in the world, notes François Heran of the National Institute for Population Studies (INED) in an April 2014 publication.

The events:

From Saturday morning  (November 10th) at 11h (11am), the French president E Macron will received his American counterpart Donald Trump for a bilateral exchange.  The exchange was expected to be tense. The two men had to exchange on European strategic capabilities. President Macron has just suggested that Europe should build its own army to protect itself from the United States, China and Russia. President Trump responded in his usual way “Very insulting but perhaps Europe should first pay its share to NATO that the US subsidizes widely!”, had tweeted the US president Friday night at the time of landing in Paris.  Bit of errors on M . Macron already critized in France for comparing Gen Petain efforts in WWI with his treason in WWII. On Saturday afternoon, Emmanuel Macron travelled to Compiègne, Oise, before being joined by Angela Merkel, for a commemorative ceremony at the Clearance of Rethondes.

But it is Sunday that the commemorations of  November 11 centennial will know their true culmination. In total, some 85 heads of State and government-including Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin-will be meeting at the end of the morning at the Arc de Triomphe to attend a one-hour ceremony.  Emmanuel Macron will give a speech of about ten minutes, in which he wants to resound France 2018 with that of 1918 and insist on the importance of multilateralism for peace. Hopefully with a better speech ….

It is also the theme of “peace” which will be in the spotlight in the afternoon, since 75 foreign leaders will be gathered at the Grande Halle de la Villette (19éme) for a “Forum on Peace” organized at the initiative of France but with UN participation. President Trump is not scheduled to be at this meeting.

As one other person so vividly say it and I copy:  Remember this day. November 11 is far more important than 9/11 or 12/7. It’s much more important than Memorial Day or Labor Day. This Remembrance Day is to keep in mind that ungodly slaughter of 1914-1918 and the war spawned by its hateful end, 1939-1945. We owe it to each other, our children, and their children’s children to never let anything like that happen again. Amen

meaux

musee de la grande guerre museum of WWI trench Meaux, Seine et Marne 77

ps Special thanks for my American friends and family Belleau Wood, fields of courage , the first taste of war for the doughboys!

Enjoy your Sunday, we have a lot to be thankful for nowdays.

November 7, 2018

Unique RAE, Madrid!

So now I come to you on something not considered touristic for me but rather part of my culture. This is the unique building in an unique spot in my beloved Madrid that one needs special permission to go in, and surely no photos. However, it is worth the tour around and walks in the surrounding area.

The surrounding area is the Prado Museum and the Convent of San Jeronimo el Real which is now part of the Prado. Just next to the Convent and after the main entrance to the Prado on the side patio you go up and see the  Royal Academy of the Spanish Language or la Real Academia de la Lengua Española! The Spanish language in all its forms is directed and enrich from here!

I like to tell you about it from my education and culture to you and the world.

One of the most important buildings in Madrid is at the same time among the most unknown in the city. This is the Palace of the Royal  Academy of the Spanish Language, located next to the Jerónimos Church, and the Prado Museum. The institution has just fulfilled more than three centuries of life. Up to 46 people, seven women among them, dedicate the best of their knowledge and their time to supervise the deployment of the Spanish language in the world, in permanent connection with 20 Iberoamerican academies and that of the Philippines. And I must say anywhere where Spanish is spoken is all validated by the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language here.

It rises on the same spot that in its day housed the missing Royal Fourth of the Kings of Spain, intimate abode where, since the 16C, the monarchs were gathered to pray, rest or to idle, right on the edge of the Church of the Jerónimos. The palace rises in the heart of what was once called the Greek quarter, a rectangular area located between the Real Jardin Botànico (Royal Botanical garden) and the Puerta de Alcalá, which declines towards the Paseo del Prado from Retiro park.

Already mediated in the 19C, in a real estate operation pioneer of those of its kind induced by Queen Isabel II, holder of the crown owner until then of the Royal site, and the collaboration of financiers with few scruples when chopping the Botanical garden or to cut about a third of the surface of the Retiro park. The Retiro park, shortly thereafter, would be suitably expropriated after the Glorious revolution and became the property of the people of Madrid.

The fact is that the site was dedicated to house the Royal Spanish Academy, previously settled in different enclaves in Madrid. The palace was conceived in 1884, projected in 1890 and built over the next two years. The building occupies an exempt volume on a base of about 100 meters of length by about 70 meters of width; The typology of its plant is basilical and consists of four levels/floors, with skylights on the roof. It has a semi-basement, adapted by the administrative needs; A ground floor and a main one, where the offices and the main rooms are located, like the splendid hall of events, illuminated by four Bordeaux stained glass windows, plus a higher floor. The palace culminates a low-covered plant, in a four-month work was managed to earn almost a thousand square meters for administrative and work dependencies.

The building is adjacent to the Church of the Jerónimos, as well as with the Prado museum, in whose facades the brick also predominates, material that in the case of the Academy is of the variety called Recocha, of intense red color.in the neoclassical style. Here it shows a syncretism of ornamentations both Classic, Venetian, Gothic and Etruscan, among others.

Madrid

my photo of Prado museum right, back is the RAE

The venue is accessed on the days of gala through a small wooded patio, supervised from the nearby Royal Botanical garden, which leads to the stairway of a central portico marking by four high Doric columns , topped by a pediment of sober workmanship. The interior of this building arouses a special emotion, especially if the itinerary begins with the semi-basement: In it are archived, in old wooden furniture with brass fittings, or in more modern metal cabinets, up to 10 million of microchips of many words.

They were known by the Academy since 1713, when they began their tasks in the Plaza de las Descalzas, where the Marquis de Villena, founder of the institution, had his house. By privilege of king Carlos IV, the institution was then established in a two-story mansion of the Calle Valverde, where today is housed the Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences. From there it moved to the current palatial residence, after being built in 1894 between the streets of calle Moreto, calle Academia, calle Ruiz de Alarcón and calle Felipe IV.

Between 1726 and 1739 the Academy gave the light of the first dictionary of the Spanish language. It portal webpage of the RAE(Real Academia de la Lengua Española or Royal Academy of the Spanish Language), which will make possible the consultation of three dictionaries: that of the Spanish language, the Essential dictionary and the pan-Hispanic of doubts, besides to facilitate the free access to the Grammar, of 2009 and the Orthography 2010. The study rooms and the abundantly assorted bookstores abound. The so-called academic library is a piece of singular beauty, whose windows look towards the north façade of the Church of San Jerónimo el Real. In the library used to work the heroes of the language and although the location of each is free, everyone knows that such a table is the usual seat of each !

Madrid

RAE Royal Spanish Academy of the Spanish Language, credit tourist office of Madrid

In total, the palatial building houses 250,000 volumes, of them 30,000 from the Golden Age, all of which make up one of the richest and most valuable libraries in the world. In its collection are among other treasures of the Castilian/Spanish language, manuscripts of Gonzalo de Berceo, the history of the life of the search, Francisco de Quevedo, the Book of Good Love, Juan Ruiz, Archpriest de Hita and others Pablo Neruda. Another donation, by Miguel Herrero, brings together a collection of 5,000 sermons of preaching from the 16-17-18C, unique in its genre. An important legacy of the filmmaker and academician José Luis Borau also belongs to the academy, as well as a collection of 17,000 loose sheets and another reprints of articles on Romanesque philology. Some units of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at 187 calle Serrano , now house the Academy’s Study Center. Since its inauguration in 1894 by the Regent Maria Christina of Habsburg, it counted on electricity supply and central heating, two non-existent advantages then, except in Royal dependencies and in mansions of the nobility.

A wonderful historical and cultural building of immense significant in our world today, been Spanish, the second most spoken language in the world counting only native speakers. About 477 million people have it as their first language. Some more numbers:

Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and of the European Union , Organisation of American States, Union of  South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, The African Union, and many other organisations. According to the Pew Research Centre, in the USA alone the number of speakers has grown by an enormous 233% since 1980 , and looking globally, the Cervantes Institute predicts that the population in officially Spanish-speaking nations is predicted to reach 750 million by 2050. According to the same Cervantes Institute, today in the United States, there are 43 million native Spanish speakers and another 15 million people with some knowledge of Spanish. There you go.

Some webpages to help you understand better and get a passerbys eventually in Madrid

Official RAE Madrid

Tourist office of Madrid on the RAE

Hope you enjoy the cultural trip, podràs hablar Español muy pronto en todo el Mundo! Hasta pronto!

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

 

October 5, 2018

My new hotel / restaurant finds of Mexico!

And on a rainy cloudy day in Mexico city I started this post from my hotel room in Insurgentes Sur. I want to tell you at my latest adventures on the lands of CDMX but rather than mix with views of other places will indulge on a more mundane tour of hotels and restaurants in CDMX or Mexico City. And see my other posts on my latest trip to Mexico city and Merida.

I have to say I came here from Nantes airport, than Paris CDG than Mexico Benito Juarez airport and then a private ride to my hotel  ,the City Express Insurgentes Sur next to the wonderful Teatro Insurgentes. I am back from a glorious (again) 11 days in Mexico! Coming from 30C at Merida to 13C here was a big change indeed. If interested in the theater that had no time to see on this trip, info in Spanish is here,now playing hello Dolly! Program at Teatro Insurgentes

mexico

mexico

I will try to break down the trip into parts, starting with putting together the Hotels and Restaurant I patronised on the trip ,except the part in Merida where no hotel, I stayed with family living there for several years.

Like I said, the trip after cancelling my flight thru Amsterdam, I was put in a flight on Aeromexico from Paris to Mexico City. This was done same day and just an hour different. I arrived same day in Mexico. Initially went straight to my first hotel the City Express Plus at Insurgentes Sur and Mercaderes streets.  In addition to been across the street from the wonderful Teatro Insurgentes, this one has restaurants next to it and a nearby great supermarket LaComer (Comercial Mexicana) with great stuff to buy of great quality price ratio. More here: City Express Plus Hotel Insurgentes

As I was visiting business clients and needed out, when back in the city at the before mentioned hotel was booked so got me into the nearby City Express Patio Universidad at Av. Popocatépetl 546, and it was another property that I rented on previous trip too. This one is closed basically across the street from Shopping center Plaza Universidad and has plenty of stores and restaurant right on the same building as the hotel as well. More here: City Express Plus Hotel Av. Popocatépetl

mexico

Finally, the initial hotel was available and as closer to the things I needed to do, change back to City Express Plus at Insurgentes Sur lol!!! The above hotels are nice, centrally located to nice areas and shopping eating etc, the only drawback, the storage closet space is very small and for visiting on leisure might be a disadvantage. This was just about the hotels tasted this time here; the rest is on Restaurants.

Well , there is so much choice difficult to tell just a few but here they are, the restaurants!

I had a wonderful breakfast leaving Merida with my cousin, and it was just like the old days in America. IHOP is tops and you should try them anywhere! I had the sausage omelette, toasted bread, pancakes nature with strawberry sauce just wonderful. More here: IHOP Altabrisas Merida

 

We had wonderful drinks with nice modelo negra beer at Distrito Gourmet Bar upper level of La Isla shopping in Merida. Cold ones and relaxed ambiance while watching American football, and baseball at the same time on separate screens TV’s. Here is more on it! Distrito Gourmet at La Isla Shopping

Merida

While at it, we started actually at street level of La Isla shopping center and try some pints at McCarthy’s Irish Pub with some fries on cheddar cheese delicious, only we needed to go as the electricity went out lol! More here: McCarthy’s Irish Pub at La Isla shopping ctr

merida

merida

While indulging on the nice beers of the District Gourmet above, we ordered paella from the Tasca Brava just across and it was rather nice dish with good portions and wonderful views and company of my cousins. So new not yet in the directory but is there alright. More here: Tasca Brava not on directory of La Isla

merida

Back in Mexico city , I like the simple pleasant friendly nice typical local food of the VIPS cafeteria chain, the one at Insurgentes Sur 1581 and Mercaderes st is very nice indeed. I ate there several times lunch and dinner. More here: VIPS insurgente sur

And the site above can take you to the VIPS Polanco as well across from Plaza Polanco, where more local goodies were taken in, including the traditional chili en nogada shown. Enjoy it.

Moving right alone… a nice oldie but good that I just had no time but took a picture anyway to remind of last time believe did not take ,this is the Wing Stop Sports in Insurgentes Sur 2375. More here: Wing Stop Sports at Insurgentes Sur

mexico

i had to try one of all time favorite and my hangout when visiting the USA, this one is in Mexico City at the airport terminal 1 lol! great nachos and bohemia oscura (dark) beer as well as mashed potatoes chili’s . Oh yes the chain is Chili’s of course. More here: Chili’s Mexico

And we arrive at some dandy find, The Gran Leon de Oro restaurant on calle Mercaderes off Insurgentes Sur is wonderful, very business like and refine, service superb and the food delicious, great tacos con lechon (roast pig) and Victoria beer. More at El Gran Leon de Oro on Yelp

And I had to have some old world taste while in Mexico, yes the choices are unlimited as I told you earlier. I had a couple one lunch and one dinner at the Le Pain Quotidien Belgian chain at Insurgentes Sur.  The Roast Beef platter and a Bohemia oscura beer did the trick as well as tartines later on;; more here:  Le Pain Quotidien at Insurgentes Sur

Next I went back to the Americas with the popular Italian food chain restaurants of the Olive Garden in the CC Patio Universidad. Nice pepperoni pizza my all time favorite were indulge here with a nice XX Dos Equis beer/ More here: Olive Garden at Patio Universidad

I did tried one cafeteria chain dear to me as they were once customers of my company on electronics ,the days I used to come to Mexico almost every month for years. This time went for lunch at the Centro Insurgentes Sanborn’s cafeteria.  Nice local dish and beer that I do not even recall now lol!!! bear with me pleasee! At Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur 1605 .More on the Sanborns here: Sanborns in centro insurgentes

And I end this post with one of my all time favorites in the USA, Spain and Mexico, a chain but so many good memories with friends and family, this is TGIF or Thanks God is Friday restaurant chain. At the Patio Universidad shopping center there is a nice one with full of screen tv’s showing sporting events. A nice glazed burger and a 2X1 Corona beer special did the trick this time! More here: TGIF at Patio Universidad

 

I hope you enjoy my latest culinary hunts in Mexico lindo y querido, and do try the different cuisines here National and International, lot of fun,and if with company much better. Until next time.

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

 

October 5, 2018

The sights of Mexico, and me!

So winding down on my story of Mexico lindo y querido ( pretty and dear), I have some pictures of random sights of every day life that I feel important to share in my blog. Not overly touristic because I always try to combine the tourism with something local ,unique.

My randoms trips there and the driving around as well as walking, oh yes you can walk in Mexico city if you know the area well. It is fun and lots of architecture curiosities. I hope you enjoy this mostly photo almanach of mine.

The tourist office of Mexico on Mexico city or DF (federal district or distrito federal): Tourist office of Mexico

The tourist office of Mexico city itself: Tourist office of Ciudad Mexico or Mexico city

One of the unique statues I saw there while walking was the Lebanese monument statue not far from the Centro Libanés, the immigration to Mexico started in 1880 by Veracruz. By 1979, the statue was done in the city and by 2003 a replica was done in Beirut.  The statue is at Av de los Insurgentes Sur and  avenida Rio Mixcoac . More of the story in Spanish here: Lebanese immigrants

mexico

Another interesting statue and this one real Mexican charro cantor, and one of the most famous singer and actor of Mexico and well known in all Latin America is of Jorge Negrete and its Plaza de Jorge Negrete square.  Located by Ave de los Insurgentes Sur and calle Capuchinas,not far from Parque del Conde park a popular dogs parade park in the city.  He was born in Silao, Guanajuato, on November 30th, 1911. He studied at the military college at the age of 14 and at 18 came out with the highest qualifications which led him to perform further studies in Paris and Rome. He seemed to have a brilliant military career, because he also studied medicine and manages the military Hospital in Puebla. But at the same time he takes singing lessons, and finds out that he has a privileged voice for opera Singing. He starts singing on the radio, and soon asks for his military career license to devote himself to singing at the XETR broadcaster in Mexico City. The rest as the saying goes is history and good one. Worth a detour for the lovers of good music and films.

 

There is a nice Park or Parque del Hundido back from Insurgentes Sur and Mercaderes st, at the end there is a rotunda and the park is in it. Very popular with dogs lovers who take their walk there,the park is in excellent conditions and clean. If you like dogs like me you will love to spend time there. More here: Parque del Hundido on Yelp

More in Spanish from the Mexico city tourist office: Tourist office on Parque del Hundido

 

 

A view by Centro Manacar shopping center on Insurgentes Sur avenue on foot.

mexico

A view from above my hotel City Express Plus Insurgentes from my office on street leading to the Parque del Hundido .

mexico

And while in Merida went to the baseball fields of clubs for kids, the name was long and local dialect and do not recall now but there were at least 8 baseball fields with all club level and ages divisions playing on a Saturday. Picture from parking here

merida

And that was it, the last trip to Mexico is done,and now already looking forward to the next one wherever that may be. Enjoy it! Ah yes, I did said ,and ME! in Merida La Isla shopping center fountain.

merida

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

October 4, 2018

My shopping spree in Mexico!

Once again, from my last trip to Mexico , I would like to tell you about the different shopping opportunities there on a grand scale! I am not a big shopper but love to come to the big places and wandered around window shopping is great and inexpensive! Well, once in a while I do indulge myself with some and buying gifts for love ones is fun.

Mexico has an abundance of shopping opportunities from small mom and pop places to huge shopping center rivaling anyone. I sense, that this situation is growing into bigger centers and a concentration of the well known brands too. My opinion.

My trip started in Mexico city and ran over to Merida in the Yucatàn. Bear with me, this is going to be fun ::)

I went to a very fancy area of Mexico city and voilà, it is upper fancy shopping area, just wonderful from a change of city center. This is Los Arcos Bosques at Paseo de los Tamarindos ,90. The good here is that it reminded me of France in the La Crêpe Parisienne and some oldies favorite like Sbarro and of course nostalgic about Argentina with Puerto Madero; and a  wonderful Cinepolis cinema. For the glamour in Mexico this is it; more here: Paseo Arcos Bosques

Then, came down to a wonderful supermarket that has all the trimming of gourment food and very well displayed looking all fresh , this is avenida Insurgentes Sur not far from Theater Insurgentes; the name LaComer . Wonderful place and a full wine section with wines from all over the world! It all looked tempting!!  more here: LaComer Insurgentes Sur

Another is Galerias Insurgentes at avenida Insurgentes Sur 1552 and calle Parroquia 194,right in the corner,  with colorful tiled floors and a glass roof. This shopping mall is still a good choice for a rainy Mexico City day and includes a range of stores that will please everyone. You have a nice Chili’s restaurant here and Crabtree and Evelyn store. A very nice pastry store El Globo, my old favorite shoe store Florsheim ,and Lacoste, Sanborns restaurants, and finally a nice Neve Gelato ice cream parlor. More here: Galerias Insurgentes

mexico

Right across the street almost is one of Mexico’s leading department store, Liverpool. It has been favorite of mine for several years visiting the store in Polanco district. However, this is in Insurgentes Sur and just as nice. If you have been to an Au Printemps or Galeries lafayette in Paris, this is the closest you will get in Mexico. Sublime! More on the store here: Liverpool dept stores

A bit more from the tourist office on the store at avenida de los Insurgentes Sur 1310: Liverpool Insurgentes Sur

mexico

Another great center that I have stayed next to it is the Patio Universidad shopping mall. Nicely located in Calle Popocatepetl 546 corner with Avenida Universidad. Here there is a range of restaurants very nice and compact such as IHOP for great breakfasts;  the Best Buy of old favorite store, El Bajio great local food restaurant, old favorites such as Olive Garden and TGIFridays and very clean spacious lobby area. To be enjoy ! More here: Patio Universidad on yelp

mexico

Another is Plaza Universidad at Calle Parroquia 1056 and Avenida Universidad 1000; similar to the above but bigger selection of stores. 63 stores and 17 restaurants! nice video store Game Planet and Massimo Dutti for men,Springfield, Zara, and the old favorite Sears store. A nice Cielito Lindo Café, and old favorites Sbarro, and Applebee’s restaurants. Another spot for Cinepolis cinema very nice indeed More here: Plaza Universidad shopping

Another not far to indulge yourselves in good food and shopping is Centro Insurgentes at Avenida Insurgentes Sur 1605 , there you have a wonderful Sanborn’s cafeteria, and the Italian Antica Toscana; in Sanborns you have a shopping store with gifts and accessories. This is walking distance from Teatro Insurgentes with great shows theater style of great renown there. More here: Centro Insurgentes

In Merida, Yucatàn, I visited a couple of big shopping mall. The smaller and older was Plaza Altabrisas, here you have Docker’s, Adolfo Dominguez, Tommy Hilfiger, C&A, Sears, Game Planet, old favorite Radio Shack, and a big hypermarket Soriana, which is very good with huge selections too. They have many old favorites to eat such as Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen ice creams, Chili’s and IHOP as well as Subway and a nice local one El Fogoncito. Great for the whole family; more here: Plaza Altabrisas Merida

merida

merida

merida

merida

Another one even bigger than above and recently open is La Isla at Merida. An artificial island that is why the name la isla, the island. It is at  Plaza la Isla Cabo.  For starter one of my old favorite Osh’Kosh children store, Calvin Klein, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, another big Cinepolis cinema and a games exchange place we enjoyed in Spain and name CEX; old favorite eateries such as Krispy Kreme, a nice irish pub MaCarthy’s with a nice terrace and an upper level bar Distrito Gourmet with sports TV screens, and a lineup of drinks of all sorts. More here: La Isla shppping Merida

Back to Mexico and very near my hotel, I found the Centro Manacar . Manacar is a 22-story skyscraper (Torre Manacar) and shopping center in the Insurgentes Sur, 1457 of Mexico City at the intersection of the city’s north-south artery, Avenida de los Insurgentes, and the Circuito Interior inner ring highway  Some of the stores there are Cinemex cinema Premium, H&M , Massimo Dutti, Tommy Hilfiger, Sephora perfums and American Eagle Outiffters, while restaurants include Chili’s It only opened in 2017 and can fit 2700 cars in the underground parking. There is no webpage that I can find on it so will give you the cinemex site with the address here: Centro Manacar Cinemex cinema

Another popular store of mine is my old Walmart ,there is a nice one by Plaza Universidad at Avenida Universidad 936. Here you can find almost anything you need for living or visiting, I just stop by to check on prices of wines etc, but good deals can be found:more here: Walmart hypermarket Universidad

mexico

Last is the Plaza Polanco in Calle Jaime Balmes, small on a nice area good for last minute shopping while having lunch ! Not a place to dwell on but if eating nearby why not stop by indeed! more here on Foursquare : Plaza Polanco

mexico

Hope you have enjoyed as I did, this shopping spree thru Mexico city and Merida; plenty here for all tastes and pockets.

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

October 3, 2018

My transports stories from Mexico!

Back from another wonderful trip to Mexico lindo y querido! This was 11 days trip and lots of things to tell ,but one at a time ok. The weather there was cool nice sometimes rainy in Mexico city and very hot humid in Merida, Yucatan.

As I do ,there is always those public transports ups and down that I tend to laid aside but after a while they can be annoying so start ranting about them lol! This time there was a few, and here they are.

My trip started at home driving to the Nantes Atlantique airport which is in Bouguenais but normally call the Nantes airport. This is a smallish airport but very convenient and clean. I parked in covered parking as I bring my own car, and its easy in and out. The trip takes me about 1h30 from home on the N165, and usually no traffic unless come in at rush hour which I avoid. More on the airport here: Nantes Atlantique airport

I have my usual Air France trip to Paris CDG or sometimes Amsterdam or Madrid for connections, this time it was to be Amsterdam Schiphol airport but last minute flight was cancelled and they automatically rerouted me thru CDG.  This again is at Roissy-en-France dept 95 Val d’Oise but normally referred to as the Paris airport. The trip had hardly any time difference. Here at CDG landed at T2 F and transfer to my connection with Aeromexico airlines on T2 E satellite L . Paris airport webpage here: Paris CDG terminal layouts

The Aeroméxico link is here: Aeromexico airline

paris

paris

paris

paris

paris

I am so used to CDG by now is like walking in the park, very used to it. The connection here was with Aeroméxico to Benito Juarez international airport in Mexico city (DF). This flight took almost 11 hrs on a business economy seat, the best was arriving Sunday went straight to my hotel (see entry on hotels and restaurants in another post). The airport webpage is here: Mexico airport airline terminals

The view from the office: Mexico City

mexico

I landed on Mexico city airport on terminal 2 and my driver was waiting in terminal 1 which was the original destination but since change from AF to aeromexico now was at terminal 2. There is about 30 minutes delay to come get me at T1. From there to Hotel and that was a nice ride.

mexico

mexico

mexico

mexico

As I had a nice weekend end of September to do something extra and know that I have family living in Merida, Yucatàn for several years now took the opportunity for a visit. Online got me a ticket on Interjet airlines of Mexico. Their webpage here: Interjet airlines

The flight took off from terminal 1 at Mexico airport to Merida international airport for an easy landing and getting out. The airport webpage is here: Merida airport Asur main page

merida

merida

merida

Here the flight was easy and comfortable and had my cousin waiting for me at the airport to take me to her house. I had the inmense pleasure of seeing cousins and aunt that had not seen in person for several years, and we all had a great time. I was able to finally go out into some shopping and restaurants as well as eating a real meal at a home away from home!

The trip back was on Interjet as well landing at Terminal 1 in Mexico city by 15h30. Here was just a transfer to my international flight back to France on same terminal with Air France. The Air France link is here: Air France

The return trip was less than 10 hours landing at CDG on T2E satellite L and moving easily with time to eat and spare to terminal 2 F to get my flight to Nantes from gate F41 on Air France as well. Landing at Nantes by 19h10 and then over to the covered parking for my car, waiting nicely !

The drive back as it was just after rush hour was easy with no major traffic , flawless on the N165 reaching home by 20h30! And another trip done and another trip to Mexico done! with the added bonus that this time was able to see my family!!!

Now sifting thru the photos and momentos to get done by this Saturday I hope as on Sunday going out again for another trip, shorter of 3 days. And ,of course, catching up on the post and paperwork and work emails yikes!

Ok these have not taken in a long while ,the metrobus of Mexico but worth a try !

mexico

mexico

mexico

And even thus this time did not drive, I was driven, by car well traffic is bad but you can still know the locals how to avoid it as much as possible and with flexible hours its ok.

You stay tune, as there is more to come on the travels of me, the magician ::) And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

September 20, 2018

The Statue of Liberty in France!

On a mundane Thursday, I started writing this post on a famous statue that believe it or not many come searching for it in Paris especially. However, is in a few other places in France. I welcome all comments to tell me if there are any others.

Oh yes, of course, it is the Statue of Liberty by Bertholdi. The nicest one in my opinion is in Paris.

The Statue of Liberty is just to the south, smack in the middle of the Seine river, the quarter-scale replica sits on the southern end of Île aux Cygnes,(swan island) an artificial island built in the Seine in 1827 to separate river traffic from the busy port of Grenelle. Over time, a tree-lined walkway was built that runs the full 850-meter length of the island, and three bridges were built across the island to connect the 15th and 16th arrondissements. Île aux Cygnes is the third-largest island in Paris.

The statue itself was given to the city of Paris in 1889 by the American community in Paris to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution. This Pont de Grenelle Statue of Liberty was installed some three years after the New York Statue of Liberty, and in fact was originally one of the working models made whilst preparing to construct the “real thing.” The statue can be accessed via either the Pont de Grenelle or the Pont de Bir-Hakeim, both of which cross the Île aux Cygnes. While this is not the only Statue of Liberty replica in Paris, both the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée des Arts et Métiers house their own; this is the only Statue of Liberty replica in Paris that was featured in National Treasure: Book of Secrets.

A bit more on the Île aux Cygnes is a small artificial island on the Seine river, in the 15éme arrondissement . It was created in 1827 to protect the bridge named the Pont de Grenelle. The uninhabited island is 850 meters (2,789 ft) long and 11 meters (36 ft) at its widest point, making it the third-largest island in Paris. A tree-lined walkway, named L’Allée des Cygnes (Path of Swans), runs the length of the island. The island is crossed by three bridges: the Pont de Grenelle, the Pont Rouelle and the Pont de Bir-Hakeim. The Statue of Liberty  here is  22 meters tall and facing west in the direction of its larger sibling in New York City. Inaugurated by President Marie-François Sadi Carnot on 4 July 1889, nearly three years after its US counterpart, it was donated to the city by the American expatriate community in Paris to mark the Centennial  of the French revolution. Get closer walking to it or by metro Javel line 10 and Bir Hakeim line 6.

Paris

Much smaller  at 2, 85 meters, the bronze reduction installed in the Palais du Luxembourg, then in its garden in 1906, was moved into the nave of the Musée d’Orsay in 2012. A copy was placed in its place shortly thereafter.  The museum of Orsay is at   1, rue de la Légion d’honneur 7éme arrondissement with  Métro: Solferino line 12 or RER C station Musée d’Orsay, You go in by the rue Guynemer Métro : Saint-Placide line 4.

Paris

Fully realized in plaster, the construction model that rests in the Museum of Arts and Crafts (musée d’Arts et Métiers)  makes no less than 14 tons. It is she that Auguste Bartholdi will use to achieve, by enlarging it, the New York Statue of Liberty. The museum also hosts a reproduction, also in plaster, scale 1/16, of 1876. This model was also used to make the bronze statue that stands, since 2010, outside the museum.  292, rue Saint-Martin  3éme arrondissement , métro : Arts et Métiers  lines 3 and 11.

The replica of the flame of the statue, the flame of freedom, offered by the United States in Paris, is located in Alma since 1989. It became known worldwide by becoming the place of recollection in memory of Princess Diana, who died in August 1997, in the Tunnel of the Alma which passes under the monument. Pont de Alma  8éme arrondissement. Metro: Alma-Marceau line 9.

Paris

There is a very small reproduction of the Statue of liberty in the beard of Caesar’s Centaur, place Michel-Debré, in the 6éme arrondissement. A miniature is part of the elements composing the Centaur. It’s a small size. It’s up to you to find it.

Near me, I see it every day is another replica. In Ploeren, a statue of Liberty greets motorists along the Nantes-Brest Expressway (voie express N165). Installed in the business park of Coëtdigo, it still measures 7, 20 meters high.

Ploeren

Others I come across are:

In Blérancourt, at the National Museum of Franco-American cooperation has a small scale version in terracotta. In  Nice, on the Quai des Etats Unis (United States wharf), a small copy  of  1.35 meters  weighing 80 kg has been installed since February 1, 2014.  In Bordeaux, place Picard, in memory of the victims of 11 September 2001, re-edition in the form of a resin casting made by the workshops of the Reunion of National Museums of France, the original statue having been melted in 1941 by the Nazis in the framework of the recovery of non-ferrous metals.

There you go some nice statue reminds me always how lucky I have been after all. Enjoy it.

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

 

 

 

 

September 14, 2018

Two souvenirs from La Habana!

Ok this is just a nostalgia post on a quiet Friday in my Morbihan Breton of  Brittany, France. I am remembering my early life and thought about Havana , and search for some photos , hardly any left but at least the memories still lingered of what it was. My Havana.

When I was just a little boy back in the 60’s I remember my mother taking me on bus rides the 27, 99, 35 etc into Havana as well as with some friends and family by car; old Oldsmobile and Chevrolet Bel Air’s mind you.

One of the essence of Cuba is the cooking, coming from mixtures of races European, African, and in between some Orientals. The choices were big back then, and notice some resurgence recently with the easing of provisions for private businesses.

One of my old time favorites that I have found photos are El Conejito (little rabbit) and El Potin (coming from old French Gossips). They are still in my heart today thanks to my dear late mother Gladys or mima as I called her.

The El Conejito was created by 1966 in Vedado district of Havana. On Calle M and 17 . It was a sumptuous restaurant serving many dishes all with the rabbit as main course. I do not recall how many variarities of it they did but it was a full menu carte.  There is not much information now but found one popular webpage with some information on it here: El Conejito on Cuba Junky site

Havana

I remembered we always had to make reservations and it was packed back in the late 60’s. We would be visiting old Havana and on the way home we stopped here; just great souvenirs. Luckily for you,the restaurant is still there and I highly recommend you try it while in Havana. A family hairloom memory photo above. I believe they are still open.

The El Potin cafeteria restaurant was even closer to home at Linea and Paseo del Prado in Vedado district as well. This is actually a French name meaning gossip, and we really enjoy the cafeteria style sandwiches that are so famous in Paris such as croque monsieur and croque madame as well as French desserts like the Paris Brest! Coffee of course was sublime from the mountains in eastern provinces of Cuba like Oriente; where many French landowner colonists from Haiti settled after the Haiti Revolution of 1805 made them leave there.

We came here even more often I recalled, and sat by the terrace looking over Linea street which is a no number street in Vedado. It is one of the modern historical streets there. Linea was for the streetcar (tramway of today ) tracks that ran along this street. It was renamed to Avenida del Presidente Wilson in 1918 and to Doble Vía General Batista in the 50s, but people kept calling it by its original name. One thing that is peculiar about this street is that it has a tunnel across the Almendares River. The below photo was passing by car as had no will to entered, too many memories.

Again not much information online but the same place as above has some directions here: El Potin in Cuba Junky

Havana

I again highly recommend coming here, is not what it was but the feel of Havana and Cuba is still there, and you will mingle with locals. Enjoy it

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are

Cuba Junky

La Habana guide to Havana

Tourist office of Cuba on Havana

Ministry tourism of Cuba

Hope it helps you enjoy your stay and visit some unique places that are still hanging in there after so many years, around 52 years!!! And I will be back there end of Sept18.

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

 

 

 

September 13, 2018

An encounter with Brazil!

So here I am to talk to you about South America and especifically Brazil. There is a story behind my continuing writing on this country. I have written several blog posts on Brazil and you can do search to find a plethora of information on the country in my blog.

I will just give you one post for reference as I believe is the oldest: Wonderful memories of Brazil

Many years ago, in my working life in another country, my boss ask me to do some business traveling. The year was around 1999 or so, do not recall exactly and did not dated my photos. My boss a CFO was a very busy men and we have even become friends over the years and still in touch. He was doing all the traveling and I stayed behind handling the battleship (office) of a multi billion dollars corp traded in the NYSE.

Finally, one day he sat with me and told me I need to travel. I try to evade it claiming have small children and do not wanted to be away so much from home. However, he insisted and touch a nerve on me when he told me that he trusted my decisions and was sure I would do a good job doing these travels. That was it, confidence and self acknowledgement are men’s best friend , could not refuse anymore.

The trip that I needed to do for two weeks! included Porto Alegre, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! Now to most this would be like a dream trip, but at that time I was sad to go leaving my little boys( ages 7 and 5 ,5) behind for the longest period as of that time in 1999. The rest is history, memories, souvenirs , the best experience of my life up to that point, the trip went beyond my expectations ,the job was done well but what I saw and the friends I met have stayed with me even today. Yes, today, still have friends from that trip from Brazil in touch with me in social media!!!

Previously to this trip i had played football/soccer with the Portuguese community clubs and was aware of the language to a basic level. This trip push me to learned the language which now I do fluently and improved each time with subsequent trips. A Vida É Bela!!!  What can I say more than to tell you again a bit more on these 3 cities and get some old photos from my vault.

Porto Alegre is the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, located between the Rio Guaíba and its many islands. 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 municipality 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.

Many memories here of a family who would read this having white wine in her restaurant that kept her cellars loaded with wine bottles!! right in old city center. Always nice memories, thank you!

Porto Alegre

The port of Porto Alegre is the southernmost of Brazil. A river system that unites the regional producer center on streams that flow into the Lagoa dos Patos with the largest seaport of Mercosul, the port of Rio Grande, 300 km south, on the South Atlantic Ocean. Its old entrance portico was built in an iron structure decorated with stained glass, commissioned in Paris in 1919. The latter is a tourist attraction point of the city, from where the cruises on the Rio Guaíba leave.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Porto Alegre

Tourist office of State of Rio Grande do Sul

São Paulo is a town in southeastern Brazil. It is the largest city in Brazil and South America. On the plateau of Piratininga at 760 meters above sea level, the city is crossed by two rivers, the Rio Tietê and the Rio Pinheiros which confluent before crossing the whole State of São Paulo and to throw themselves in the Rio Paraná. Founded in 1554 by Portuguese Jesuits, the city developed thanks to the gold of the surrounding mines until the end of the 18C, and then became prosperous thanks to the cultivation of coffee and sugar. In the last century, it has gradually become the economic heart of Brazil, with its business district around Avenue Paulista (I stayed next to it), hosting the São Paulo Stock Exchange and seats of large Brazilian and international companies. The city is known for its unpredictable climate, its architecture-and in particular its skyscrapers-, its gastronomy, its gigantic traffic jams and the number of helicopters flying over the city (biggest in Latin America).

And again many memories of good cheers and still good friends, who would read this page. Thank you!

Sao Paulo

Many things to see here, my favorites are:

The city has many monuments, parks and museums such as the Latin American Memorial, the Ibirapuera Park (big park and many business conventions attended there) and its flag monument, the Municipal Theater b. 1911; The Museum of Art of São Paulo (MASP); The Cathedral of the Sé, the Botanical Garden ; the Trianon park, the Zoological Park , Rua 25 de Março ,the largest outdoors market place of Latin America, with over three thousand stores, the wonderful Sao Bento monastery , the Benedictines arrived in São Paulo in 1598, but only in 1634 was created the Abbey and the Chapel was dedicated to St. Benedict. The site, which hosted Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Brazil, home to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption and the monastery. Avenida Paulista; the most popular avenue of the city  (yes) concentrates all that is best in São Paulo. It is possible to visit museums and cultural centers, find a park amid great skyscrapers, check book launchings, enjoy the happy hour in one of its many bars, enjoy the evening at nightclubs, watch theatrical performances and movie sessions of the most diverse productions, and go shopping: all in one place!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Sao Paulo on tourism

Tourist office of Sao Paulo

Rio de Janeiro, located in the southeast of the country, is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro.Originally designated the Bay of Guanabara, discovered on 1 January 1502 by Gaspar de Lemos and Gonçalo Coelho, captains of the fleet of the Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, discoverer of Brazil. On March 1, 1565, marks the foundation of the city of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro (“St. Sebastian of the River of January”) in honor of King Sebastian I of Portugal and the celebrated Saint on the day of his birth. San Sebastian who remains the patron of the city is celebrated every year. The capital of the Portuguese kingdom was thus transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, which became the only European capital located outside the European continent. It 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 (1889-1930), of the Estado Novo (1937-1945) and the beginning of the Second Republic until 1960.

The Bay of Guanabara is 30 km into the landside. Its entrance is guarded by two forts of the 17C and 19C. It is easy to cross the Bay of Guanabara to get to Niterói (great gliding here see photo below) or the islands, from where you discover a magnificent view of the city of Rio and the lush mountains that crimp it. The most interesting stage is the island of Paquetá, one of the 84 islands of the bay, where the landscape has not changed since the 19C. In this island, cars are not allowed. The largest of the islands is the island of the governor (Ilha do Governador), where is located the international Airport Antônio Carlos Jobim.

Rio de Janeiro

Many memories here, the anecdote is that upon ariving at the airport, my buddy call to verify the hotel reservation, the company had cancelled it because he booked the Palace in Copacabana!!! very expensive place; in the haze to change the reservation the company made a booking at another hotel in Copacabana beach, but booked it for two nights instead of one, so we took advantage lol!! The view from my hotel below !!!

Rio de Janeiro

Many things to see here ,my favorites are

Pao de açucar (Sugar Loaf) is a rocky peak at the altitude of 395 meters and the so singular form that has always been the symbol of Rio. The famous statue of Christ the Redeemer , 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. Copacabana beach (my hotel was always here! )and its extension to the north, the Leme, with its six kilometers of length that describe a perfect curve is certainly the preferred beach of foreigners. Ipanema Beach is located in the most exclusive residential area of the city.  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. The São Conrado beach is located in a cove surrounded by mountains covered with dense vegetation. There rises the Pedra da Gávea, a huge block of granite much more impressive in its shape and size, with its 842 meters, the mountain of Pedra da Gávea overlooks the long beaches of fine sand. You can access it after the Botanical garden . Each of the 141 hectares of the Botanical garden hosts specimens of the Brazilian and World Flora.

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 (colourful ceramic tiles).  National Historical Museum 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.

Case apart for this beauty and the errors of incapables governments/

National Museum, located in the park of Quinta de Boa Vista, the Sunday promenade of the Cariocas (natives of Rio are call) of the suburbs, this former 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 of zoology, mineralogy, archaeology, ethnology in Brazil. Unfortunately for lack of funds and proper fire system ,on September 2, 2018, the museum is ravaged by a fire that has burned hundreds of rooms and destroys all historical archives!! This museum webpage and follow up on the disaster is here: National Museum at Rio

A tourist office webpage on Rio de Janeiro that will be handy for a visit there, a must.

Tourist office of Rio de Janeiro

There you go, a nice 1 2 3 punch to enhance all the beauty of Brazil. Hope you enjoy it.

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

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: