Posts tagged ‘Americas’

July 11, 2019

Las Olas, beaches, Ft Lauderdale!

Ok so lets get back to the fun youthful days and my time in Florida (18 years strong!) . We were west of I75 expressway and we enjoyed a lot coming to the beaches especially in Ft Lauderdale that were straight east of us.

Again, I have written some posts on the city but felled in debt to do one on the beaches of Ft Lauderdale so here it is ,hope you enjoy it as we did.

fort lauderdale

 Las Olas Beach, has a small stretch of sand that attracts beachgoers of all ages. It is a smaller beach right of the chic Las Olas blvd and so beach amenities are not as plentiful as those offered at the bigger  and equally nice Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. However, visitors have access to beach chair and water sports equipment rentals, restrooms and metered parking. Restaurants, bars and shops are also available across the street. Just do not come during college Spring Break time as it gets rowdy and crowded otherwise is a great place to be at the beach.

fort lauderdale

The transportation to the beaches here is king Car but there are nice public transports from the city to the beach and back. The local bus lines 11 and 40 will do the trick. Here is their schedules in Broward county (where Ft Lauderdale is located).

fort lauderdale

The particular buses that comes to the beach are the No. 11 or 40 bus, see their schedules here: http://www.broward.org/BCT/Schedules/Pages/default.aspx

Another option is to take Sun Trolley’s Las Olas sort of like a little train on wheels : https://www.suntrolley.com/routes-schedules-fares/beach-las-olas/

Or the wonderful Water Taxi: https://watertaxi.com/

In the same venue of beaches , if you’re looking for more out of your beach day head over to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park just south of Las Olas blvd. At the bigger Ft Lauderdale Beach you’ll find a calmer and less chaotic version of other well known beaches in Florida, but with the same sugary sands and crystal clear water. There ,you’re more likely to find families relaxing or leisurely walking the waterline . Backing the shoreline, the palm tree-lined promenade bustles with visitors looking to shop and dine in the many establishments along it. All  just south of the wonderful Bahia Mar Resort, at 1100 Seabreeze Boulevard, this picturesque park has everything you need to maximize your fun in the sun time, from sand volleyball courts to a boat ramp to outdoor showers. There are grills for cooking, a basketball court if you get bored with the sand and a kid’s playground to keep the little ones busy. Park Facilities and Amenities available daily from 06h ( 6 a.m.)  to 21h (9 p.m.) include: Boat Ramp – non-motorized, Grills and Picnic Tables, Outdoor Showers, Restrooms,  Basketball Full Court, Children’s Playground, and a Volleyball Court. The above Broward bus schedule look for No 40 that takes you here. More info from the city of Fl Lauderdale here: City of Ft Lauderdale on the beach park

fort lauderdale

Here you will see closed by the Bonnet House , this came to be when in 1919, a wealthy settler gave the 35-acre property (named after the bonnet lily flower that grew on the grounds) as a wedding gift to his daughter . In 1920, began construction of Bonnet House, and later was donated to the city now open to all to marvel at its gardens and architecture along the beach! More info here: https://www.bonnethouse.org/

You will have another memorable spot for us there and lots of walks indeed in the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park located a few blocks north of the above Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. The park is position between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean makes it a fun locale for all types of folks. Those looking to get a little wet can canoe or kayak in the largest of the park’s coastal dune lakes. Adventurers who want to get their adrenaline pumping can bike along the nearly 2-mile paved park drive. Meanwhile, visitors who prefer to explore by foot can hike the Coastal Hammock Trail, which snakes through a native maritime tropical hardwood hammock ecosystem, one of the last of its kind in the county.(marvellous indeed!). More info here: https://www.floridastateparks.org/HughTaylorBirch

The Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea welcomes visitors to enjoy its beautiful beach, multitude of sidewalk cafes, frequent live music and enticing public plazas, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is widely acknowledged to be the South Florida shore diving capital. Snorkelers and divers come from all over to swim from the beach to reefs alive with tropical fish, turtles and even lobsters. And the Sun Trolley Las Olas can take you here too! You are worth coming up to El Prado Park( at 4501 N. Ocean Dr.) , this is the town’s most popular beachfront park and parking facilities just across at El Mar Drive (st)

And to close out let me tell you a bit on my fav Las Olas Blvd. A very chic place in So Florida which fame has relegated behind the more famous SoBe in Miami-Dade county. However, for my tastes this is more private, cosy, and chic a family event. Therefore, let me show you a bit of Las Olas Blvd, Ft Lauderdale, Florida, USA!

fort lauderdale

Las Olas Boulevard  runs from Andrews Avenue in the Central Business District (downtown/city center)  to A1A (road along the beachfront) and Fort Lauderdale Beach. The easternmost section of the boulevard is interlaced with canals and waterfront homes. The commercial stretch, approximately 1-mile (1.6 km) or the Golden Mile ::)  in length, features cool sub-tropical breezeways and courtyards with bars, nightclubs, bridal stores, shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and the historically nice  Riverside Hotel. https://www.riversidehotel.com/

fort lauderdale

The name “Las Olas” means the waves in Spanish. All but the westernmost fourteen blocks are also signed as State Road 842 (SR-842) . Las Olas has its own historic house, a nearby IMAX cinema and movie theater within a short walk. Las Olas Boulevard can be accessed by the water taxi. The boulevard is a popular dining and shopping destination for locals and visitors as it is situated close to Fort Lauderdale beach, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades. (cruise ship terminal), and has a wonderful arts museum such as http://www.moaflnsu.org/

The boulevard was constructed in 1917, when Las Olas was just a dirt road that crossed the swampy wetlands to the barrier island at Fort Lauderdale Beach. The boulevard begins at the famous Elbo Room bar where the beach meets the boulevard and ends in the west at the Arts Museum.  A few of the most notable who lived here are: Johnny Weissmuller, actor who played Tarzan and invented the signature yell. Wayne Huizenga, CEO of Waste Management, Inc, Blockbuster Video and AutoNation. Connie Francis, actress and movie star who was featured in the movie, Where the Boys Are which was filmed on Las Olas Blvd at the famed Elbo Room. Lee Majors, actor who played The Six Million Dollar Man and former husband to Farrah Fawcett. Sonny and Cher, singers and actors. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, television and movie stars. Stars of I Love Lucy fame. Gloria Vanderbilt, designer and socialite. Frank and Ivy Stranahan, founding pioneers of Fort Lauderdale and the first residents of Las Olas Boulevard. Their trading post Stranahan House is located between the boulevard and New River. More info on the house: Official Stranahan House

Official Tourist office of Florida on shopping at Las Olas blvd

fort lauderdale

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here and is a must when in Florida are

Official webpage of Las Olas Boulevard

Official tourist office of Ft Lauderdal, SUNNY

Official tourist office of Florida on Ft Lauderdale

This is a wonderful art festival on its 32nd edition! and has grown very nice right at Las Olas well recommended. Art Festival of Las Olas blvd

And there you go , a nice hommage to my last home in the USA. There were very nice 18 yrs in Florida and before that 13 yrs in New Jersey. Memories forever, as do not think will ever go back as France is awesome too, but the visits yes, and the memories forever, after all was married and my 3 boys were born in Florida! Enjoy Fort Lauderdale!!

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

 

 

 

 

 

June 15, 2019

Havana, La Habana, a beautiful postcard of vintage beauty,my Habana!

Ok so I would have like to reblog this post but could not do it so will just copy paste and reproduce here my post from February 2012. This is my Habana and would like to share it with my new readers as well as the old .Enjoy it!

Well sometimes surprises in life do happenned, and lucky me from work  I needed to go to Havana, Cuba. A whimsical place of many years and family memories, I was born there but left too young as a boy, came back once to see my grandparents who raised me, and now back again. What a change, what a shock full of wonderful memories and honest, too good people, humble ,nice, friendly, like been back into the family again.

This is La Habana Havana or the complete real name San Cristobal de la Habana; St Christopher the Saint in honor of Christopher Columbus and the indian taino word Habana meaning a savannah between two rivers the Cojimar (of Ernest Hemingway fame) and Almendares,(the best baseball team on the island,and my family’s team).

Upon arrival I had my cousin, husband there to greet me, but as in official company trip ,had a very nice friendly Cuban name Pedro Luis, who took me to the Casa Particular of his father Rogelio in the district of Playa, old Miramar, near the hotels Melia Habana,Commodore,Panoramico, and the Miramar Business Center. The house was built in 1923, and wonderfully renovated, huge bedroom,and bathroom with AC and TV, telephone on the hallways,central to all. The service was very friendly, the owner Rogelio chatted with me every morning for the ritual Cuban coffee expresso, strong and black and sweet!!! You and I were set for the day lol! His son Pedro Luis always in contact with me will come to pick me up for the business and took me around Havana for eateries and sightseeing a bit. Every night upon my return, the security person already knew me by name and hand me the key to the room!

I went to the wonderful Malecon, Plaza Vieja, Church of St Francisco de Asisi, saw the statue to the Caballero de Paris, gentleman of Paris a beggar who knew like Enstein and told wonderful stories to passerbyers from the 1950’s. We went by the bourse of commerce or Longia; and of course, we sip a daiquiri at Floridita Bar,(in 1957 Esquire magazine name it the best bar in the world!). We went inside the hotel Nacional, and walks it historical alleys and patio with its Aguiar canons, magical.

havana

havana

havana

havana

I saw my Morro castle, and the excavations of the Zanja Real or royal sewers now open and shown above ground to tourists.  Coming by grand Miramar on my way to visit my old native place, I saw the clock tower on 5th avenue of Miramar, the Palacio de Convenciones, and the wonderful old houses now occupy by foreign embassies.

havana

havana

havana

Foremost, wandering the streets of Havana, and Playa(Miramar),and Punta Brava took many memories of me, exciting and sad ,curious and forgetful; did not wanted to pass by the house I was born, too many strong memories,and better enjoy the sights tourists see. I am now a tourist in La Habana.

punta brava

We had lunch at El Bosque inside the hotel Melia Habana, Avenida  3rd. between  76 and 80 streets, Miramar , the Spanish chain of hotels have done a wonderful job here, by far the best in Havana. We ,also,, had our meetings there in the 9th floor breakfast business center with wonderful views of Havana.  I had lunch with the family at a parador private folks have at Parrillada 84  y 15, Playa, all done by charcoal, with my Aunt and cousins. The highlight was at El Palenque, near pabexpo Cuba, wonderful typical Cuban place and food, very nice lechon or pork with yucca,moro (blackened rice), and the local Cristal beer, address at Calle 17 & Calle 190 , Playa, La Habana  . In Havana we ate at Factoria Plaza Vieja, at Plaza Vieja, terrace outfit with shrimps and lobsters,pork,and chicken grilled platters. All very cheap compare to Europe.

havana

havana

havana

For a nostalgic trip we passed by El Potin resto, my Mom Gladys used to take me here as a little boy, just a sandwich and light platters place and ice cream,juice and soda drinks, still there!!! and it looks nice after 43 years!!!! Inspired by French immigrants! at Línea corner of Paseo, Vedado section of La Habana.

havana

Coming and going thru Madrid, I try for the first time the newer terminal T4 and T4S; very modern, spacious, lots of eateries, and shops, with a automated train between the two,and easy walking to the metro station of line 8 that ends there. 2,50 euros one way to Madrid. I had my lunch at Vinea, a nice tapas and wine place.

My return was to Nantes, almost by 11h (11pm) and took my car to arrive home here by 12h30 am. Very tired but happy to be able to see my family again (many of them most are already out of the country!) , even if now look more like a tourist than a native; the reception by all was very nice. Cheers,  enjoy the pictures from Feb 2012.

The tourist office showing Havana is here in English: Official Cuba Travel on Havana

Tourist office of Cuba in English

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

 

May 3, 2019

Menceys and Tenerife!

Ok I will once again deviate a bit from my usual posts to tell you about a personal place of mine. I grew up with the traditions and came to live in Spain, and visited Tenerife as an adolescent only to think for it always. As they tell me, the DNA is strong or blood is thicker than water! La sangre es màs espesa que el agua!

I like to tell you a bit about seldom heard history or misplace in the travels of many. This is my rendition of a special place for all of us Islenhos or islanders of Tenerife from whatever we are now! I will tell you about the square, the basilica, and the statues read on….

The Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias is a large square located in the main center of the Marianne Villa of Candelaria  on the island of Tenerife. It is located next to the Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria (Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria or Notre Dame) ,the patron Saint of the Canary Islands, and is the meeting place for pilgrims and celebrations of the most important festivities of the municipality.

In the place where the square is located, once was the Playa de la Arena beach, the place where the Convent and the old Church of the Virgen de Candelaria were situated. In the center of the beach was the castle of San Pedro, which was built in 1697. This bastion was designed to defend the Church and the Convent of the Virgin of pirate attacks and lootings, the castle was practically destroyed in the storm of November 1826, the same in which the original image of the Virgin of Candelaria was lost. After the start of the construction of the Basilica of Candelaria in 1949 was thought the need to create a wide square that framed the basilica taking advantage of the great natural esplanade of the beach. The foundation works of the square began at the end of 1950. Finally, the Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias is inaugurated on January 31, 1959.

The Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias has two main entrances, the Calle Obispo Pérez Cáceres, which is the pedestrian and commercial street of the town, and the Calle de los Principes which is the vehicular entrance street. One of the attractions of this last street, are a series of mosaics made in volcanic stones, located in a small tunnel  and where the seven Canary Islands are represented next to each other, except Tenerife which is in front of the other islands on the front wall.

The Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria ,and the Royal Convent  are located on the south side of the square, on the east side by the sea, is the sculptural ensemble of the Menceyes of Tenerife, meanwhile in the north wing is the Calle Obispo Perez Cáceres and on the west side is the main artery exit of the square .

On one side of this square are the statues of the nine Menceyes that ruled the nine Menceyatos (pre-Spain kingdoms) of Tenerife. Nowadays they are bronze statues, which replaced other volcanic stone sculptures that were moved to another avenue in the 20C. Specifically, it was August 13 ,1993 when the new figures of the Menceyes were inaugurated, the work of the sculptor José Abad. These statues are very appreciated by all the Canaries, because they represent a very essential part of our culture.

These bronze statues represent the nine Guanches kings (Menceyes in Guanche languages or Spanish Castilian -Reyes), and were the descendants of the Mencey Tinerfe the Great, son of Mencey Sunta, who had his court in the Menceyato of Adeje (one hundred years before the conquest by Spain) and ruled the entire island. Hence the name Tenerife or Tinerfe Anichet the land of Tenerife. These were divided into 9 menceyes or kingdoms as Acaimo: Mencey of Tacoma; Anjona: Mencey de Abona.; Añaterve: Mencey de Güímar (the one of my grandparents, that today is the territory of the modern towns of El Rosario, Candelaria (paternal grandparents were born here), Arafo, Güímar (my maternal grandparensts comes from a village south of here call Pajara),and parts of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and San Cristóbal de La Laguna). Bencomo: Mencey of Taoro.(last King 1496)  Beneharo: Mencey of Anaga. Pelinor: Mencey de Adeje. Pelicar: Mencey de Icode. Romen: Mencey of Daute. Tegueste: Mencey of Tegueste.

Candelaria

Candelaria

One of the statues held in his hand the “ Zanata stone “, in particular the Mencey Romén held it. It is a small rock of elongated form with inscriptions supposedly of Guanche origin ,the original  people of the Canary Islands. Currently, the Zanata stone is held at the  Archaeological Museum of Tenerife, city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Some webpages on the above to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Tenerife on the Plaza in English

Tourist office of Tenerife on the Menceyes -kings

A bit more on our Basilica of Our Lady Virgin of Candelaria . Even thus pictures are not allowed in for good reason.

The Basilica is consecrated to Our Lady  Virgen de la Candelaria (patron Saint of the Canary Islands) whose original image was found in 1390 by two Guanches shepherds. The Basilica of Candelaria was built in the place where the Guanches venerated the Virgin after the conquest; the Cave of Achbinico is situated behind the sanctuary. Today, the Basilica is one of the main Marian shrines and pilgrimages of Spain. Every February 2 (Day of the Virgin of Candelaria) and August 15 (Popular Day of the Virgin of Candelaria chosen by the Bishop) This Basilica welcomes the thousands of pilgrims who arrive at the Villa Mariana, to venerate the Virgin of Candelaria the days of her major feasts.

Candelaria

Basilica Ntra Sra de la Virgen de Candelaria, credit WebTenerife.com

The height that gives it its bell tower of 45 meters makes it a dominant feature on the horizon of the Villa Mariana of Candelaria and its surroundings. The Basilica of the Virgin of Candelaria is one of the greatest examples of neoclassical architecture in Spain. Next to the basilica and attached to it is the Royal Convent of Our Lady of Candelaria, run by the order of the Dominicans, religious order in charge of the sanctuary, in it is the Museum of Sacred Art.

In 1596, King Felipe III declared protector and patron of the Virgin of Candelaria, a position that his successors maintained. The monarch, after ascending to the throne, declared himself patron of the Royal Convent of Our Lady of Candelaria, hence the rank that the sanctuary has since. It is therefore the first Marian shrine in the Canary Islands to receive royalty title from the Spanish monarchy. On January 24, 2011, the temple was elevated to the dignity of Basilica minor  of very good degree by Pope Benedict XVI.

Tourist office of Tenerife on the Basilica

So therefore, go there for more than the beaches, and our mojo, there is more to Tenerife with its history of old and new and its wonderful monuments. Hope you enjoy the post as much as me writing it did. Candelaria, Pajara, Tenerife are with me is in my blood.

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

April 12, 2019

Wines of the world!

So in continuing with the good news on the wine world, my world maybe your world too, let me tell you some numbers. Even with the pressure to reduce comsumption the trend is up because wine is an integral part of our cultures and cannot be eliminated. It is like taken down Notre Dame Cathedral ,etc etc. En vino veritas!

According to the International Vine and Wine Organization (OIV). Italy confirms its rank as the first producer in front of France. World production reached a record level of 292.3 million hectoliters, up 14.5% !!, according to the OIV . It needs to  go back fifteen years to regain a comparable volume. This situation is all the more remarkable as the vineyard has not ceased to decline since 2004. It stabilized last year.

Some numbers: A world vineyard area of 7.4 million hectares in 2018. A strong increase in production, with 292.3 million hectoliters, representing a growth of 42.5 Million hectoliters compared to 2017. A quasi-stabilized consumption of 246 million hectoliters.  World trade in wine rising with 108 million hectoliters and an increase in value of 1.2% to reach the 31.3 billion Euros!!! Thank you world!!!

In Europe, the area would grow most in Italy between 2017 and 2018, of about 5000 hectares to reach 706 millions ha, unlike other European countries that show a stabilization of the vineyard areas. Nevertheless, Spain remains in the lead in the world ranking with 969 million ha. In Asia, after more than 10 years of strong progression, the growth of the Chinese vineyard  with 875 million ha slows, while that of Turkey 448 mil ha  sees its size stabilize in 2018 after a steady decline since 2003. In the American continent, the vineyard is increasing in Mexico, which is 34 mil ha. The vineyard of South Africa continues to shrink slowly since 2012, to reach 125 mil ha in 2018. In Oceania, the Australian vineyard of 145 mil ha) would see its recent decline slow, while the New Zealand vineyard remains almost stable, with an area around 39 mil ha.

Italy confirm its place of the premier global producer with 54.8 Mil hl, followed by France with 49.1 Mil hl and Spain which registers 44.4 Mil hl. On the other hand, weather conditions have been less favorable for some European countries. In Portugal  6.1 Mil hl, attacks of mildew and powdery mildew have had an impact on the production in 2017, which remains even all with a higher production than the average of the last years.

The United States would record in 2018, with 23.9 Mil hl, a production of wines excluding juice and musts greater than + 0.5 Mil hl compared to 2017. Argentina, with 14.5 Mil hl, grew by + 2.7 Mil hl. Chile recorded a strong progression: + 3.4 Mil hl, with 12.9 Mil hl, opposite Brazil, whose production declined with 3.1 Mil hl in 2018. South Africa sees a drop of-1.4 Mil hl per compared to 2017, explained the impact of drought and reached 9.5 Mil hl. In Oceania,  Australian production with 12, 9 Mil hl  in 2018 remains stable. The New Zealand production is 3.0 Mil hl, registering + 0.2 Mil hl increase compared to 2017

In 2018, World wine consumption, estimated at 246 million hectoliters, would seem to pause in its progression, mainly influenced by a decline in consumption in China and the United Kingdom.  The United States is still the world’s largest consumer since 2011 and reached  33. Mil hl, a slight increase from the previous year  + 1.1%. In South America, there is a slight setback, except in Brazil where consumption 2018 remained almost unchanged from 2017 and amounted to 3.6 Mil hl. In Europe , wine consumption stabilizes in the majority of countries, with the exception of Spain,  increase for the third consecutive year with 10.7 Mil hl in 2018, Portugal , 5.5 Mil hl in 2018, Romania 4, 5 Mil hl, and Hungary  2.4 Mil hl.  In China, the consumption by  in 2018 would drop by 6.6% compared to 2017, and would reached  18 Mil hl.  South Africa also registers a slight setback to reach 4.3 Mil hl. In Oceania, however, Australia increased by 6.1% compared to 2017 and reached 6.3 Mil hl. New Zealand remains almost stable at 0.9 Mil hl.

Spain continues to be the largest exporter in volume with 20.9 Mil hl, representing 19.4% of the the world market. France is still the world’s largest exporter in value with 9.3 billion Euros exported in 2018. Exports of  wines are still largely dominated by Spain, Italy and France, which account the three, more than 50% of the world market volume in 2018, or 54.8 Mil hl the first five importing countries are Germany, United Kingdom, USA, France and China-represent more than half of total imports.

First 2019 harvest estimates in the southern hemisphere  the harvest show a decline in most of the southern hemisphere countries (notably Argentina, Brazil and Chile).  In light of  high temperatures recorded were reportedly impacted by the harvest and South Africa would still be severely affected by drought. The only country that will harvest upwards from the previous year is New Zealand.

OIV entire article on World Wine Production here in English

The next OIV Congress will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, July 15-19 2019. This will be the  42nd World Congress of Vine and Wine. Who is the OIV well a brief description follows.

The International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) is an intergovernmental organization established in 1924. It works in the scientific and technical fields of the whole wine sector. The organization is comprised of 46 States that account for 85% of world wine production and almost 80% of world consumption.  In addition, ten international non-governmental organizations also participate as observers.  The International Organization of Vine and Wine was created on April 3, 2001. It replaces the international vine and wine office of 1958, replacing it with the international wine board of 29 November 1924.

There you go , wine is nice, good health, and helps provide millions of jobs for families of traditional values all over the World. Enjoy it wisely, consume smart, and share it. And remember, happy travels, (to vineyards is awesome) ,good health, (wine is an anti oxydant good for you), and many cheers to all (with wine the cheering will be better) !!!

 

March 26, 2019

The battlefields in France of WWI

Dates come and go and come and we sometimes find no time to write about certain dear things to us. This is the case of the efffort of many for a free Europe/World. I am particularly thankful to the Americans ,who I am and active voter from France on all elections. I like to pay tribute to those who fought and or died for our freedom from all Nations in this humble post. I have visited these places one time or another.

Suresnes

I married a French women from the Battlefields of the Marne, Monument Americain or American Monument on the Route de Varennes near Meaux, today , there is a wonderful WWI museum there that you all should visit.  Museum of the Great War, Webpage here :Museum of the Great War or WWI in Meaux

meaux

meaux

The Battle of the Somme in WWI was a huge battlefront of 750 kms (about 465 miles) including two periods. Since September 1914 the course to the sea around the monuments of Ovilliers, Guillemont, and Flers. And then a north south line along the villages of Beaumont-Hamel, Thiepval, La Boisselle, Fricourt, Maricourt, Curlu, Dompierre, Fay, Chaulnes, and Maucourt.

It then , came again in June 1916 in the second Battle of the Somme, from Beaumont-Hamel and Bapaume to the north to Chilly,Chaulnes to the south; here the British and French fought side by side until a line at Maricourt. The battle involves about a million men and 200 000 horses as the official encounter began on June 24.  By July 2nd the losses were big already 58K men of which 22K killed especially by the British, their biggest losses up to that point in any war. Total by the December 1916 the losses were big, 1,2Million men out of combat for a total of 3M; the British advance only 12 kms the French 5-8kms alone the line.  Here too it talks about the great British offensive of Yprés from June to October 1917, the battle of Cambrai in November (first using tanks), and the tragic offensive of the French at Chemin des Dames.  1918, mark the commandement unique of the allied army to Marichal Foch March 26 at Doullens, the offensive by the Australians at Villers-Bretonneux, the American monument at Cantigny, monument to the 2nd division Australians at Peronne and the Canadian memorial at Le Quesnel, all evoke the counteroffensive that led to the armistice of November 11 at Compiegne.

You should visit the Historial de la Grande Guerre at Peronne: Historial museum of the Great War at Peronne

peronne

You can see the Cross to the 16st Irish division at Guillemont and Ginchy with Irish Treffles  for heroic action on September 3 and 9 1916. Also, remembering all the Irish who lost their lives in WWI.  At Longueval,  and the taking of Bois Delville by the South Africans  on July 15-20 1916. at specific Longueval, we honor also the New Zealanders that took bravery here on September 15 1916 taking objective near Flers the wood of Fourcaux, or high wood done by the 47th London division of New Zealand! You can see the South African memorial of Bois Delville with 63 hectares land of South Africa from 1920. Behind you will find a museum too with a replica of Fort du Cap. The New Zealanders have their memorial with a cross of the 12th battalion of Gloucestershire and the cementary of Caterpillar Valley, Scottish monument of the 1th Cameron Highlanders, 1st Black Watch, and the 47th division with a Cairn of 192 stones coming from Scotland to honor the 192 who felled here from the 9th battalion Highland light Infantry (Glasgow highlanders) and the London cementary.

le quesnoy

The Canadians are here too, Memorial Canadien on the road D929 to the right hand side in granite stone toward the village of Courcelette, took part here September 3 to November 18 1916. Losing 24K of their sons. You have the memorial to Newfoundlanders  with 16 hectares done in 1925, you can see while getting there on the road a statue of a Caribou ,their mascot in bronce.  You can see at La Boiselle the Lochnagar Crater of 100 meters in diameter around here you saw the 34th Division of Scottish and Irish, there is a monument with a bas-relief in Bronce of Saint George attacking a dragon, cross of Saint Andrew(Scottish), and a large celtic harp(Irish) with inscription engrave in the stone relating to this battle of July 1,1916.

The great battles around Albert,  with great efforts by the British , the town was destroyed 90% and the town reconstructed with the help of the city of Birmingham in England. You can see the wonderful Basilique Notre Dame de Brebiéres, and not to miss the museum ,Musée Somme 1916Museum of the Somme 1916 at Albert

albert

You drive around the area and can visit the Monument to the American and French nurses at Chaulnes, a gift from the USA and France Red Cross; at Lihons on August 21 1916 died in combat after volunteering to fight the nephew of Napoléon Ier Marshal Murat, a prince, you can see it on the road entering Lihons coming from Vermandovillers there is a small route on the left after the town cemetery. See the wonderful Arc de Triomphe at Proyart , a huge memorial for a small town donated by a rich Champagne men who lost his only son in the war.  You can see the old train line that supplies the front lines, the P’tit Train de la Haute-Somme; and now its a tourist attraction at Eclusier-Vaux for the little train ride and a trains museum. More here: Little Train ride appeva site

On May 28 1918 ,just when the French retreat from the Chemin des Dames and losing Soissons, the Americans land and engage for the first time in the front of Cantigny, and they take the town on May 31.  The American who lost their lives here are buried at the huge American cementary of the Somme in Bony, not far from the imposing memorial of Bellicourt on the road N44, it has a chapel, secretary office, and welcome center. It is honoring of the Big Red One Division on the borders of the town in the road D26 direction Montdidier.(not far from the A16 direction Amiens.

At Villers-Bretonneux, you have the Australian Memorial on the road D23 direction Fouilloy/Corbie, two huge white towers with an even bigger one in the middle and the names of the dead written on it. It opened in 1938 and here it is held every year the ANZAC Day celebration. They were 331K volunteers from a population of 4,9M and casualties of  58500 men including 16000 dead. See ,also at the Le Hamel the Parc Memorial Australien built by Australia in August 7,1998; free to all with trenches intact.  It is here too in July 4 1918 Australian and American troops fought alongside with infantry, artillery, aviation, tanks, and paratroopers to begin the modern war tactics… More here: Museum Franco-Australian at Villers-Bretonneux

From the above webpage see more into ,visit the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, where over 72,000 men with no known grave are remembered. Climb to the top of the Newfoundland Caribou Memorial at Beaumont-Hamel for a moving view of the former battlefield.  See the enormous Lochnagar mine crater at La Boisselle, created at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme, on 1 July at 7h28 (7:28 am). Explore Delville Wood and the South African Memorial at Longueval, a former battleground today at peace. Take part in the moving ANZAC Day Dawn Service on 25 April at Villers-Bretonneux.  Participate with the commemorations of the Battle of the Somme at various sites of remembrance on 1 July.

Today, you can pay tribute to these great men in various cemetaries all over France,these are: The French are care by the Ministry of Defense and in the Somme there are 20 national cementaries.  More here Memories of men French Defense site can be in English

and for those seeking a love one,  this place can help: Memories of men French Defense ministry to search names can be in English

A site in French of many of them from many mostly Commonwealth nations here: Picardie 1418 on battlefields and men of WWI

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission takes care of the dead from the areas known as the Commonwealth UK, it takes care of 410 cementaries in the Somme along ; more here: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

From the USA, it is the American Battles Monuments Commission, who handles and maintain them, here is their webpage: ABMC cimenteries and memorials

In addition footnote information, for the Australians the most memorable places other than Villers-Bretonneux are Amiens, Corbie Plateau, Le Hamel, Albert, Poziéres, Sailly-le-Sec and Peronne.

Towns in general of WWI history and conflict are Doullens, hall of the sole command, Froissy, petit train de la haute somme, Thiepval, memorial Franco-Britanique, La Boiselle, Beaumont-Hamel, Rancourt, Longueval, Albert, Chaulnes,Cantigny,Lihons, Aveluy, Soyécourt, Frisé, Eclusier-Vaux, Maricourt, Feuilléres, Bouchavesnes-Bergen, Flaucourt, Courcelette, Martinpuich, Mametz,Fay,Moislans, Corbie, and Montauban-de-Picardie.

And of course, there are many others like Vimy, the Indian Memorial at Neuve-Chapelle, Notre-Dame de Lorette monument in Ablain-St-Nazaire, National Museum of Franco-American cooperation at Blérancourt, the Clairiére de l’Armistice at Compiegne, the Memory of Walls Museum at Verneuil-en-Halate, Caverne de Dragons and Chemin des Dames near Laon, Second battle of the Marne Memorial and Dormans Ossuary at Dormans, Navarin Ossuary at Souain, The First battle of the Marne memorial at Mondement, Vauquois Hill near Fleury, The world peace center at Verdun, as well as the Verdun Memorial, Douaumont Ossuary and Vaux fort.

For me including those of WWII as well is the American Cementary of Suresnes (dept 92 Hauts de Seine just outside Paris), And , also, the Lafayette Escadrile located inside the gates of Domaine National de Sainte-Cloud, (dept 92 Hauts de Seine as well)  of where I have been the most and event took visiting friends there. The  ABMC site has more info.

Rememberance is to honor them, never forget. As I see many who likes to come to cemeteries for the rich and famous, why not come to these ones, the feeling is much better and the experience unique!

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

March 24, 2019

Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, this is Florida!

OMG!, I just look back of my blog and realise not written on these wonderful spots since 2011! Times flies, this was my last stronghold in the USA before leaving permanently to France in 2003. I had not been back there since 2009 and now had 3 great days in the area. This is a re blog from November 2015!

This is the South Florida area where I still have lots of family.

It has a lot to offers other than the beaches and night life, but I let you mingle and decide on that with the tourist offices there of MiamiOfficial tourist office of Miami and the beaches

and Fort Lauderdale,  Tourist office of Ft Lauderdale area at Sunny

I was Lucky to have on my way back from Mexico the company ok to attend a finance conference in Fort Lauderdale arriving at Miami airport on American Airlines.  Airport info here! Official Miami International Airport  . I must add nothing compares with Air France ::)

Fort Lauderdale

 

One of my cousin was there to greet me and take me to eat at a local Cuban restaurant now very popular for the last 10 years or so;but there for over 30, Molina’s in the nearby city of Hialeah on which hospital my twin boys were born!!! The place was typical of old Cuba and the food very Cuban, something did not had for yearsss! picadillo ,moros rice, sweet plaintains, and a nice corona beer ::)  More here: Molina’s Ranch restaurant

Hialeah

Afterward ,I was taken to my conference hotel at Fort Lauderdale, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel; right off the ocean drive and very near Las Olas blvd chic area, the hotel info is here: Ritz Carlton hotel FT Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale

 

OF course, the hotel was top luxury, glad was not paying ::) the room well the apartment as it was two rooms with living room and bedroom, TV in both in addition to a smaller one in the bathroom. There had bathtub and shower and lavs for two. The wonderful beachside restaurant was wonderful too. A great place ,location, and friendly prompt service.

The evening had the chance to eat dinner there overlooking the ocean and Fort Lauderdale beach , nice oysters, shrimps, and cocktails mojitos was wonderful right at the bar with a friendly bartender. Needless to say went to bed very late into the morning hours lol!!!

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale

Once the conference was over, we were invited for dinner as part of it, to the wonderful Brazilian charrusqueria Chima’s right on Las Olas blvd and about 15 minutes walking back to the hotel which me and a group of warriors found out. More on Chima’s here: Chima’s steakhouse at FLL

Fort Lauderdale

Chima’s has a wonderful front terrace to mingle and drink, and then great laidout indoor tables for the feast of bringing those different cuts of meats charrusqueria style (call here steakhouse) all night long with wonderful glasses of red wines. Good company and pleasant evening afterward on the way back and at the hotel bar ::)

The last day got pickup by my cousin again and given a right in the laberinth of roads and tolls the area has become, really change feld big and different already. Saw the new Marlins baseball stadium, the Lincoln Road Miami Beach area, and the bridges before finally depositing me at Miami airport for the trip back home. A nice nostalgic if short trip to what was once call home ::)

Florida Marlins baseball

Lincoln Road Mall Miami Beach

Miami Beach

At Miami before flight had some snacks at La Pausa in concourse J Mia for a mahi mahi sandwich fries and a glass of California Hogue cellars red wine. A nice send offs more here MIA La Pausa Restaurant

The flight back was my first ever ,believe or not, delayed in airport, happening after a heigthening of security tension for the atrocious terrorist acts in Paris, they found two bags checked-in but no passenger so the plane was ask to return to gate!! wait and wait finally departed to Paris. There, as was getting ready to board my last flight to Nantes, once already in the passarelle to the plane we were ask to return back inside as they was a fuel leak on the plane, wait wait, finally took off. Arrive home five hours late missed by twins birthday outing and needed to catch up today lol! Now ready for another long journey tomorrow to Brazil!!!

Hope you enjoy the short trip ,for me a memorable spot always will be. I am thankful of all my previous experiences no matter what it always enrich your mind. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

March 19, 2019

How to be a Parisien…..really!

Re blog and still holds true, how to be a Parisien!

This came out in my favorite newspaper and magazine Le Figaro, so I am translating here from the French. The 100 ways you can be or are sure to be a Parisien. That fits my bill alright ::)

1. Had dinner at Tokyo Eat (16éme) and not needing to open the door to the Palais de Tokyo

2. Taken a breakfast in the terrace of Café Marly (1 éme)

3. Be seated at a table in l’Abtrance (16 éme)

4.  Had organise a goodbye party to a colleague at the Train Bleu, gare de Lyon ( 12éme)

5.  Had dinner at Lipp (6 éme) at the first floor and street side with preference next to a famous head statue

6. Had eaten an onion soup at Halles (1 éme)

7. had bought a ice cream cone at Bertillon, the main house in the 4éme

8.  Had tasted a Paris-Brest by  Philippe Conticini in the Patisserie des Reves in rue du Bac (7éme)

9.  have the pleasure to fill your basket in the Grande Épicerie du Bon Marché (7éme)

10.  Have fallen for the caramel macaron with salted butter at Ladurée (8éme)

11.  had taken a mint tea at the Mosquée de Paris  (5 éme)

12.  had for lunch a tamoul at Pooja ( 10éme)

13.  Clean plate of a côte de bœuf for two at 6am in Chez Denise or La Tour de Montlhèly (I éme)

14.  Believe you were stuck in New York having a club sandwich at Harry’s Bar  (II éme)

15. Had ordered a cheese dish at Marie-Anne Cantin (VIIe)

16.  Ruined yourselves a Sunday morning at the bio market in boulevard Raspail (VIIe)

17.  had lunch un bento at Kunitoraya 2  (Ier)

18.  had drank and participated with the winegrowers while the feast of Fête des vendanges de Montmartre, early October

19.  had eaten un fallafel a Sunday at As du Fallafel , rue des Rosiers (IVe )

 20. had spent 80 euros for two of a roasted chicken with potatoes afire in Ami Louis (IIIe)

21.  had found the bag to go buy the flowers at Rungis  and eat oysters

22.  had purchase the favorite tea at  Mariage Frères

23. had a picnic on the pont des Arts

24.  had taken a bite of a libanese sandwich  at avenue George-V to think you are in Beirut

25. had a stop a pause at New Nioullaville (XIe) to enter into the Chinese new year

26. had taken a cafe at Flore

27.  be seated in front of a breakfast « plateau » at Coupole, sitting on the red benches but not in the terrace

28. to not swear if by the head of veal at Apicius  (VIIIe)

29. to be hug on the quai de la Tournelle

30. to have order a cocktail at the Bar Hemingway in the Ritz, at the eye color of the invited person, (do it before it closes for renovations)

31.  to have rented a room at the Hotel Chopin at  passage Jouffroy (IXe)

32.  to have mark your name and of your love one in the walls of the catacombes

33.  had played the card of double winner, champagne plus plaid on one the bridges of a Bateau-Mouche toenjoy the lights of the city of llights

34.  to have appointment at least once on the parvis de Notre-Dame, the fountain of Saint-Michel or the steps of the Opéra Garnier

35.  to have taken a glass facing the sun set at Bourbon, behind the Assemblée nationale

36.  to take a walk at cementary Père Lachaise  passing in front of the tombs of Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde

37.  to have descended on the sewers of Paris to breath its odors !

38.  to have done a jogging in the jardin des Tuileries at sunrise

39.  to take a tour around the place des Vosges in trying to find the appartments of Jack Lang, Maître Binoche, and   DSK

40.  to have gone to Aubervilliers in the home camp of Bartabas

41.  to subscribe for a ride iin rollers blades in Paris

42.  to go walking in the city while celebrating a white night or Nuit blanche

43. to have purchase a subscription to a Vélib’

44.  to have taken the electric stairs at the Beaubourg

45.  to admire the windows of Christmas or  Noël in the big department stores

46.  to look for the Café des Deux Moulins, rue Lepic, thinking of Amélie Poulain

47.  to get lost in the basements of the  Châtelet-les Halles

48.  to walk along rue Saint-Honoré without spending nothing

49.  to be confused with  Shirley McLaine in  Irma la Douce (Billy Wilder) while walking  rue Casanova (Ier )

50.  to have missed a change in the change at Michel-Ange-Molitor and do a tour for nothing on the line 10 of the metro of paris

51.  to have assisted at march of the 14 Juillet  in the  Champs-Élysées

52.  to have put a small sailboat to ride in the lake of jardin du Luxembourg or des Tuileries

53.  to go see the old crocodiles at porte Dorée

54.  to finish reading a romance novel in a green chair (hard to find) at the jardin du Luxembourg

55.  to have purchase a ticket for a night of Pedro Almodovar or Lynch at the Cinema CHampollion (Ve) or for an episode of Star Wars at the Grand Rex  (IIe)

56. to have yell at and insulted the taxis that goes by all full

57.  to go dance at a  Bal des pompiers, an evening of the 14 Juillet

58.  to have waited for the tour Eiffel to flips it lights from the Théatre de Chaillot, at the entrance.

59.  to have taken an aperitif on the canal Saint-Martin, between two rounds of the game pétanque

60.  to have dance for a song of a DJ at Batofar

61.  to have dance on the salons of Maxim’s the friday evening for the parties of Belle Époque

62.  to have walk an evening of winter on the racecourse of trotters in Vincennes

63. to be seen been refuse entrance to chez Castel

64.  to have come in on foot a morning, because of no bus nor metro

65.  to have waited for the sunrise from the steps of Sacré-Cœur

66.  to go to the Collége de France and assist of its courses for free

67.  to be one evening on the presentation at the gallery Kamel Mennour (VIe) to see an artist such as Claude Levêque,or  Daniel Buren)

68.  to have seen an opera at the Bastille

69.  to have gone to the Louvre, simply to smile at the mona lisa and delayed your stay at the salle des Rubens

 70.  to have seen Podalydès play at the Comédie Française

71.  to have look and see at the aisles of La Hune (new address) or of the Écume des Pages (VIe)

72.  to have admired the work of  Nuit étoilée by Van Gogh at the museum of Orsay

73.  to have entered the Shop/atelier of Delacroix at  place de Furstenberg

74.  to have try to enter the Chateau des Brouillards in the butte Montmartre

75.  to have seen the work  Porte de l’enfer inside the park of the museum of Rodin

76.  to have understood what is Austerlitz at the Invalides

77.  to have entered the metro by the mouth of Guimard ,porte Dauphine or that of Othoniel at  place du Palais-Royal

78.  to have walk between the girafes and elephants in the Galerie de l’Evolution, jardin des Plantes

79.  to have seen a musical play at the Théatre du Chatelet

80.  have seen play the Philarmonica of Vienna or Berlin on the TCE

81.  Be entered in the drawers of the Bank of France while a heritage days event or Journées du patrimoine

82.  to have taken your companion to the oldest theater of Guignol of Paris , rond-point des Champs-Élysées

83.  to found yourselves seduce by shopping on Sunday in the rue des Francs-Bourgeois (IVe)

84. to have purchase old 45/78 vinyls music records at Crocodisc (Ve)

85.  to have pushed the doors at the Herboristerie du Palais-Royal (Ier) and ask plenty of questions

 86. to have obtain from your sample mold of a shirt at  Charvet (Ier), high temple of made to order

87.  to come out of Colette (Iéme) with many things of no use whatsoever

88.  to have desire to buy a pet dog right away at the animal stands along quai de la Mégisserie (Ier)

89.  tohave assisted to an Orthodox mass in rue Daru (VIIIe)

90.  to enrich yourself but not much in a sales room at Drouot

91.  to have taken time to take care of yourself in a spa on a palace hotel such as Plaza Athénée or Meurice hotels

92.  tohave spend 90 cents for an egg mayo at Voltaire  (VIIe)

93.  tohave try to walk the sidewalks of the palais de l’Élysée and be reprimend by the police force

94.  to have fallen for a ride with a nice taxi driver

95.  to have taken a glass at the first floor of Café Germain and see past the young bust of Sophie, the  sculpture of Xavier Veilhan

96.  to have attended a march of the ballet in the Opéra de Paris, and be ready for its reverence

97.  to have been mistaken for a statue in the columns of Buren

98.  to have done the experience of the high rise hair on the head of the electrostatique room of the Palais de la Découvertr

99.  had try the guitars n the stores of the rue de Douai (IXe)

100.  to have spent the month of August in Paris

Yes its sublime Paris isn’t it….Paris forever. The saying simply the best was created for it. Cheers ! Parisiens.

March 7, 2019

Lagoinha beach at Paraipaba,Brazil of course!

So I am bringing you down back to South America again. Needless to say been all over the continent and plenty in Brazil ,even lived in the south for a few months. The choices are endless, and will take me or any plenty of time to see them all. However, I am trying lol!

One of the highlights of any trip to Brazil are the beaches, and this one is gorgeous near the bigger city of Fortaleza. I will give you a bit more on the Lagoinha beach at Paraipaba, in the State of Cearà. In Portuguese, Praia da Lagoinha!

Paraipaba is a town in the State of Ceará. On the banks of the Curu River, Paraipaba has one of the largest irrigated projects in the world, where several varieties of fruit are found, and among these, the cultivation of coconut is the main agricultural activity of the region. Paraipaba has an exuberance of approximately 14 km of beach that extends from the mouth of the river Curu to the Barra, formed by the tranquil waters of the lagoon of Almécegas the unparalleled beauty of the beaches, dunes and lagoons that exist along the entire coast.

praia da lagoinha

At 11 km from the town lies the Lagoinha beach,precisely at main road Avenida Beira Mar,  which is well known for its dunes and coconut trees. In the format of half-moon, a cove of weak waves, surrounded by yellow dunes, reefs and coconut trees with fresh water, next to Morro do Cascudo where is the port of rafts.  Formed by a cliff of about 50 meters high, Lagoinha beach still retains a primitive natural landscape consisting of golden dunes and a vast and verdant coconut trees that go to meet a sea of calm waters and a stunning green. Lying at a distance of aprox 120 km from bigger city Fortaleza(see posts on it).

praia da lagoinha

To better enjoy the trip to Lagoinha beach, the indication is to make a delicious and adventurous ride in a vehicle known as Pau-de-Arara (an irregular flatbed truck). Soon make the crossing of the lagoon on a raft and buggy ride through the beach, make it more exciting to stay on one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. One of the most sought-after tours is for the Almécegas lagoon, also known as Lagoa da Barra, which has boats that cross its clear and clean waters. The final stop is in front of the many tents located both in the lagoon and on the beach, which offer a good service, highlighting the famous fried fish and seafood, plus delicious coconut water well chilled. The village is at the top of the hill and has a gazebo that allows a panoramic and magnificent view of the beach.

praia da lagoinha

Very nice beach worth the detour. Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of State of Ceara on beaches with map

360 degrees Beaches site great videos on Lagoinha beach

Hope you like the tour of another nice beach of Brazil.  I highly recommend to stay in the Vivamar Hotel right on the beach.

praia da lagoinha

Praia da Lagoinha

There is again a nice Youtube video I like to share, again is not mine.

The Praia da Lagoinha was a very nice experience and always looking forward for a repeat. Enjoy it.

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

 

March 7, 2019

Real Madrid, the greatest club in football/soccer history!

I will be talking about something personal, it is my club since many years, and never updated since my first entry in 2011! until now in my blog. I think at this moment it would be very opportune to re tell you about it. I lived in Madrid for four years between 1970 to 1974, and played for the Real Madrid in baseball,volleyball ,and football/soccer in the alavin division. Once a Madridista, always a Madridista to the grave. There is no other team club alike in the history of the game of football/soccer. Hala Madrid!!!!

Madrid santiago bernabeu sta 07avr10

Madrid

A bit of my life’s story goes like this:  I was just a young kid that was introduced to the organisation by a baseball umpire to play for their junior baseball team (sponsored by the Real Madrid in league of 8 teams which included the old US air base at Torrejon de Ardoz) at the parque de la Elipa, from my home at Calle Alcala, Quintana neighborhood or barrio (district Ciudad Lineal) it was just a bus P13 to it (now EMT bus 113). While there, friends used to go to see the team different sports  played, Ciudad Deportiva (the old one by the paseo de la Castellana now has four skyrises call towers as torre Espacio, torre Repsol, torre de la Mutua and torre Sacyr).

While going to these games, some kids who were already on the different sports organisations and had played football with me in parks like parque Calero and Retiro ,asked me to come to the Ciudad Deportiva installations for a tryout that was open. With the help of my baseball contacts that included member “socios” of the Real Madrid football team I got my first tryouts. Before long, I too, was wearing the white shirt of the football team, and move up from benjamin to alavin status. Those were wonderful memories even if just what is left is memories. Never forget that day in 1972 when I first enter the Real Madrid CF .

Madrid

From then on it has been a love affair whenever I may be living, trying for all means to obtain news of the team, and enjoying every second of my visits to the city from 1977 on to today. I am active in several forums that talks about the team, and go to the stadium often in season to see football and basketball games from Vistalegre to Caja Magica ,Ciudad Deportiva, WiZink Center, Valdebebas to Santiago Bernabeu.

The team , a bit of history. The team was born out of educators who sat around and found a club in 1897 around the Vallecas barrio or neighborhood. Quickly it became more organised by several of the members of the team in 1901 and eventually  Julian Palacios as first President officially  registered the club in 1902 as the Madrid Foot-Ball Club in 1902. By 1920 the king Alfonso XIII give it the royal rank of Real or royal as he was a follower too ::) ,and honorary member =socio. From June 1920 it became the Real Madrid CF that we know today. The team participated in the first Spanish league organised in 1929 finishing in second place.  The first league came on this period in the 1931-32 season, the first title !

The greatest period came after the war when on September 15 , 1943 when ex player and ex coach ,Santiago Bernabeu was named President of the club. After organising an international tournament in Colombia in 1952, they saw what was in 1953 their greatest signing that of Alfredo Di Stefano( Argentina) , considered by many the world’s greatest player , as well as the Spanish Francisco “paco” Gento from Santander and the league championship came back to the Real Madrid in the 1953-54 season.  Also, little refugee Ferenc Puskas of Hungary having left his country after the Soviet invation and took refuge in Spain where he signed for the club. They were the start of an amazing run of Five European Cups in a row (record) .  With player like Amancio and Velazquez the club again wins the European Cup in 1966 while continuing to pile up Ligas and Cups at home, these were the Ye-Ye years . The sad news came in June 2nd 1978 with the passing of Don Santiago Bernabeu, the greatest president ever, and today the stadium bears his name as well as the metro stop to it on line 10.

The team follow with the 80’s “la Quinta del Buitre” nickname given to Emilio Butragueño as well as Mexican Hugo Sanchez (Hugol), and many more Ligas however no European Cup. The team from the farm system delighed many and remains one of the most popular periods in the club history even without winning an European championship.  The team continue to wins Ligas in the 90’s with the incorporation of perennial and crowd favorite Raul Gonzalez Blanco, probably the best player ever from the farm system. Finally in 1998  the team came back to win again its trophy , the European Cup now call Champions league. In 1999 the great coach and former player Vicente del Bosque arrive promoting to the first team the legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas ,and with it winning again the Champions league in 2000.

With the election of 2000, a new president came into being the entrepreneur Florentino Perez, (those who follow me know he is not of my liking possibly guilty of the lack of titles of the club in the last few years) ;this was the so call Galactic era, where millionaires dotting shorts and representing the Real Madrid razzle dazzle the world without any title in Europe but huge paychecks from uncle Florentino. Ligas were won but not sufficient due to the expenditures made and another Champions league was won in 2002 with player like Figo, Zidane,Ronaldo, and Beckham. The chosen succesor made it look like an election was Ramon Calderon who created many administrative problems for the club,and was made to resigned in 2009. Ironically , it was Florentino Perez who replaced him single handily without opposition due to no changes in the club by laws where the rich wins, and the second Galactic era began with signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, the signing from England of Spaniard Xabi Alonso and from France Karim Benzema all very expensive contracts and no titles as I write. Me think, time for president Florentino Perez to open elections and retire, too many years there is beginning to look like a dictatorship!

The story continues with the coming of Cristiano Ronaldo already the club all time goal scorer with 451 goals. Also, the signing of former player Zinedine Zidane was awesome. The French coach and the Portuguese player team up to bring us the amazing record of 3 Champions league in a row, never before seen or done!!!  And we are en route to name again the Greatest Club of the 21C having won more league and champions title than any, regardless of the crybabies out there; we won FIFA Best Club of the 20C and the IFHHS European Best club of the 20C as well!!!

Nevertheless, the club is the most winning club in the history of the sport in Spain and abroad regardless of the so call media frenzy of popular teams with a lot less history due to ever increasing publicity and media manipulation.  The Santiago Bernabeu stadium was built in 1947, with a capacity of  80 354 spectators today. The new sport city or  Ciudad Deportiva is today at Valdebebas just outside Madrid and the basketball arena  is now at the WiZink Center in Madrid.

The club has participated in all seasons of Spanish first division football, and has won 33 Ligas, by far the most. The player who has obtained the most titles with the club are Francisco Gento and Manuel Sanchis with 21 titles, and the player with most games is Raul Gonzalez Blanco with 741 games.

Madrid

These are the domestic club titles:

Spanish Liga (33): 1931/32, 1932/33, 1953/54, 1954/55,1956/57, 1957/58, 1960/61, 1961/62, 1962/63, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1966/67, 1967/68, 1968/69, 1971/72, 1974/75, 1975/76, 1977/78, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1985/86, 1986/87, 1987/88, 1988/89, 1989/90, 1994/95, 1996/97, 2000/01, 2002/03, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2011-2012, and 2016-2017.

Copa del Rey or Kings Cup  (19): 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1917, 1934, 1936, 1946, 1947, 1962, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1980, 1982, 1989, 1993, 2010-2011, and 2013-2014

Super Cup of Spain (10): 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2012, 2017. League Cup (1): 1985. Eva Duarte Cup (1):1947. Regional Championships and Community trophies (28) 1904/05, 1905/06, 1906/07, 1907/08, 1909/10, 1912/13, 1915/16, 1916/17, 1917/18, 1919/20, 1921/22,1922/23,1923/24, 1926/26, 1927/28 ,1929/30,1930/31, 1932/33, 1933/34, 1934/35, 1935/36, and 1943. vice Champion of the Liga  (23): 1928/29, 1933/34, 1934/35, 1935/36, 1941/42, 1944/45, 1958/59, 1959/60, 1965/66, 1980/81, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1991/92, 1992/93, 1998/99, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2012-2013, 2014-2015, 2015-2016.  vice Champions of the Kings Cup (20): 1903, 1916, 1918, 1924, 1929,1930,1933,1940,1943,1958, 1959/60, 1960/61,1967/68,1978/79 ,1982/83,1989/90, 1991/92,2001/02,2003/04.2012/13. vice Champion Super Cup of Spain (3): 1982, 1995, 2007. vice Champion League Cup  (1): 1983

International done just the same as good thank you;

Champions League  (13): 1955-56, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1965-66, 1997-98, 1999-00, 2001-02. 2013-2014, 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-18.

madrid

UEFA Cup (2): 1984/85, 1985/86.

Super Cup of Europe (4): 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017.

Intercontinental Cup , later World Club Cup (7): 1960,1998,2002, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018.

Ibero American Cup  (1): 1994. Latin Cup(2): 1955, 1957. Club Small World Cup  (2): 1952, 1956.  vice Champion Champions league UEFA  (3): 1961-62, 1963-64, 1980-81. vice Champion European Cup of Cups  (2): 1971,1983. vice Champion Intercontinental Cup  (2): 1966,2000. vice Champion Super Cup of Europe  (2): 1998, 2000.

Madrid

The team has an inmense farm system or Cantera, that allows to maintain teams in many divisions and with excellent championship records as well such as Real Madrid-Castilla, and Real Madrid C team. It ,also has an excellent basketball section with 9 times champions of Europe.

some links of interest below:

The official club webpage  Real Madrid CF

if you want to be part of the family, then become a Madridista here  : Real Madrid fan Club Madridistas

if you want to shop online or find the store in Madrid webpage :  Real Madrid boutiques , for on site stores there is the stadium store on avenida Concha Espina puerta or door 55 or the calle Carmen 3 near Sol in city center,metro sol.

Madrid

if you want to buy ticket onlines ahead of games and pick up yours at the stadium, very easy then see this  : Ticketmaster

madrid

if you want to discuss in Spanish the latest trends in Spanish football and especially the Real Madrid join me in this forum Foro Real Madrid at webpage: Foro del Real Madrid fans forum

For the best sport journal ,in Spain in my opinion, and extensive coverage of football see AS at  Sport journal AS in English with various language and country version , I have it in English.

As the song says, nobody does it better!! Of course, we are human we lose too but overall we are simply the best! We will be back!! Always do always will. Just stay tune! Real Madrid CF forever Hala Madrid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Madrid

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

March 5, 2019

Monastery of Sao Bento, Vinhedo, SP Brazil!

So let’s go south a bit into the big country of Brazil from my last stop. Coming inland into Sao Paulo State, better known for the big city is awesome. You feel the real people, the real country of Brazil. I have a friend here and when visit there is a funny story.

Oh yes the main attraction for me was the monastery of Sao Bento or St Benedict and the Wine Festival! However, my friend had the in-laws visiting and I was put in a hotel nearby. He was so busy, I went out to seek a place to eat. I found one very nice superb meal, as I speak Portuguese. When back together with him and the family I mentioned the restaurant was very good and he never been there! A while after, maybe a few months, he called me and told me had a gathering of friends and took them there to eat and were all impressed with the food, prices ,and services. The end story is I can tell you where to go even in your own town lol!!!

Now let’s get back to the sights of history, architecture I like so much and tell you a bit more on Vinhedo. Where?

Vinhedo is a town in the State of São Paulo. It is located in the mesoregion of Campinas, 75 km from the capital of São Paulo. The region of the São Paulo Plateau was inhabited by several indigenous groups, some from the coast, which sought refuge from the wars and slavery moved by the Iberian colonizers. Others, lived in the region since before colonization. With the arrival of Europeans to the South American continent, the region was traveled by the Bandeiras, which occupied land considered unexplored and hunted Indians for slave labor, as well as seeking natural resources such as noble woods, gold and precious stones, during the 17C. For this, the indigenous tribes were decimated or expelled from the region. African slaves were introduced to forcefully assist in the Bandeiras or work in the newly created subsistence crops that were forming. At the end of the 19C coffee growers settled in the northern region of the municipality of Jundiaí . Many of them taking advantage of old farms that since the 18C produced sugar and brandy.

From 1948 onwards begins to be officially held the Grape Festival of Vinhedo, at the Piazza Sant’Anna. In 2009, the Grape Festival held the Wine Festival, which in 2019 will be in its 57th edition and which was currently incorporated into the calendar of events of the town of Vinhedo. The festivities takes place in Jayme Ferragut Municipal Park and receive thousands of people, both local and tourists. It has several attractions such as exhibition and sale and auction of fruits, crafts, amusement park, concerts with national renowned artists, dance performances, regional bands in various musical styles, varied performances, food court, parade of horse riders, motorbike rides, among other activities. It has become the main attraction of the town of Vinhedo.

Local gov site of Vinhedo on the wine festival in Portuguese

Tourist office of Vinhedo on things to see wine

Vinhedo

The other nice thing to see here on a hill overlooking the city of Vinhedo very nice indeed. The Monastery of St Benedict (Sao Bento).

Vinhedo

In the year 1649 on the site of the village of Santos, on the Paulista coast, and sensitive to the needs of those who passed through this bustling Port village, the Benedictine Frei Gregório de Magalhães, Superior of the Brazilian province of the Portuguese Benedictine congregation, decided to establish a small monastery that served both shelter for monks who use the port, and spiritual stronghold for those who wish to recover from the day-to-day assignments. In 1650, the monks of Sao Bento (Saint Benedict) receive, in donation, the Hermitage of Our Lady of Desterro, with the lands attached to it. As soon as they are established in Santos, the monks take charge of another Hermitage of Our Lady of Monte Serrate, received in 1652 the ownership of the same. For three centuries, the monastery of St. Benedict was a small monastery, being affectionately called by the Benedictines the  “Mosteirinho de Santos “ or monastery of Saints.

Vinhedo SP mon Sao Bento entrance may17

Vinhedo

In the 19C, the Benedictine Order of Brazil was almost eliminated due to the anticlerical laws that closed the novitiates of the order. With the advent of the Republic and the separation of the Church and State, German monks from the congregation of Beuron arrived in Brazil and repopulated the monasteries, accepting novices. In 1905 the Monastery of Sao Bento de Santos became independent Priory and began a re-flowering of monastic life. However, the story took a new course when Brazil entered WWII. Due to the presence of Germans among their monks the monastery was closed and the monks forced to leave Santos in 24 hours. A Benedictine monk from São Paulo took over the monastery for several years, not interrupting the Benedictine presence in Santos, especially in the shrine of Our Lady of Monte Serrate. The monks, expelled from Santos, spent a year in the capital, and two more years in Jundiaí, Sao Paulo State, buying the Bela Vista Farm, in the city of Vinhedo,  settling in the year 1948. Unfortunately, the community didn’t bloom in vineyard , and after the war, the few monks  divided themselves between the care of Santos and the administration of the enormous farm in Vinhedo. The new name was that of the Monastery of São Bento de Santos in Vinhedo.

Vinhedo SP mon Sao Bento main altar may17

In 1963, then the prior of the Monastery of St. Benedict of Santos in Vinhedo and its small community, decided to ask for help to the Archabbey of Saint Vicent in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The hope and faith of the vineyard community were rewarded when, in 1964, the then Archabbot of Saint Vincent, sent the four first monks to Brazil. The community then became part of the American Cassinense Benedictine Congregation.  At the beginning of the 1970’s, the community built and inaugurated a new monastery, settling definitively in Vinhedo. Then the American monks, along with the surviving Germans  reduced the large farm, built a house of ecumenical retirement such as the Casa Siloé, and began an ardent work in the communities of the region, founding Parishes such as the São Sebastião (St Sebastian) and Nossa Senhora de Lourdes ( Our Lady of Lourdes), and several communities, in addition to developing an intense training program for religious, young people and couples in the Casa Siloé (house of Siloé).

Official site of the Monastery of Sao Bento in Portuguese

There you go the whole story on Vinhedo ::) a nice town in inland Sao Paulo Brazil. If you ever around this around do come for the Wine Festival and the Monastery of St Benedict, it will be worth your time and money, me think. Hope you enjoy the tour.

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

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