Posts tagged ‘Americas’

July 28, 2021

A nostalgic look at New Brunswick !!

Well this is another gem taken from the vault of memories not yet written on. After going over updating many older posts in my blog, and what a thrill it has been!! I found this nice picture that reminded me of a town visit several times in my youth back in my days of New Jersey USA! Therefore, let me tell you another of my nostalgic posts this time on New Brunswick!!

As briefly as possible as already written on NJ but just to remind new readers.  New Jersey  State borders on the west by  Pennsylvania and Delaware, on the north by New York State, and on the south east by the Atlantic Ocean. It’s capital city is the historic Trenton and its biggest city is metropolitan Newark. It is one of the smallest State but one of the most densely populated one as well. Sitting in what we call, the Tri-State area of NJ, NY, and CT was my area or Central NJ.

I lived in Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, (see posts). Part of Central Jersey but stuck up near North Jersey and across from New York City.  The capital of the county is New Brunswick! Perth Amboy borders the Arthur Kill, (and my house was by there looking at NYC Staten Island), and features a historic waterfront. Here I spent my Middle School name William C McGinnis; and graduated from Perth Amboy High School (or PAHS) ; the Panthers!!!(see posts)

At New Brunswick, I became an American citizen in December 13 1980 in the municipal courthouse, 25 Kirkpatrick Street!


New Brunswick is the seat of Middlesex County. It is located 50 km from New York, on the south bank of the Raritan river, about 24 km from the mouth of it.  The site of New Brunswick where the first settlers settled in 1681 was first inhabited by the Amerindian people of the Lenapes. This first colony was called “Prigmore’s Swamp” from 1681 to 1697 then “Indian’s Ferry” from 1691 to 1714. It was not until 1714 that the young colony took the name of “New Brunswick”. New Brunswick was delimited by Royal Charter on December 30, 1730, between other towns in Middlesex County and Somerset County, and was again delimited by Royal Charter on February 12, 1763. The name comes from that of the German city of Brunswick. Brunswick was an influential and powerful city within the Hanseatic League, then the Holy Roman Empire, and was the seat of the Duchy then of the Principality of Hanover whose prince-elector became King George I of Great Britain who reigned between 1714 and 1727.(change name after WWI and now continues as house of Windsor).

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was first read in public in Philadelphia, after having been promulgated there by the Continental Congress, and was then read for the third time in public in New Brunswick. The 3rd public reading of the Declaration of Independence took place outside a tavern on Albany Street on July 9, 1776. The document was en route from Philadelphia to New York when Col. John A. Neilson stood outside a tavern, atop a table, and read it to the townspeople! A life-size bronze statue commemorating this significant moment in our city’s history is located in Monument Square, in front of the Heldrich Hotel.

The city is also home to most of the Rutgers University campus.The main NJ state university. New Brunswick is remarkable for its Hungarian community. It counted nearly a quarter of the population of Hungarian origin residing in New Jersey.

Things to see in my opinion are: Old Queen’s College, the oldest building on the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, built between 1808 and 1825. Rutgers Church, Douglas College. Statue of William of Orange in Voorhees Mall on the Old Queen’s College campus . The home of Henry Guest, alderman of New Brunswick and friend of John Adams and Thomas Paine. The birthplace of Joyce Kilmer. journalist, poet, literary critic, lecturer and editor.

Sadly in these years my hobby was turn into post card collection (4K+ 76 countries) and pictures were not important so now do not have hardly any of this period. Needless, to say have New Brunswick in my blog because know the city, played soccer against their HS and went in summer matches against kids there, visit and played on the Rutgers univ stadium and just about everywhere including obtaining my US citizenship there. Another memorable spot in my world map!

Some webpages for further info on New Brunswick are:

The city of New Brunswick on things to do / see

The New Brunswick tourist office

The New Jersey tourist board on New Brunswick:

There you go folks , a nostalgic spot in my world map has a post and I feel good about it. New Brunswick was part of my early life in the USA, memories forever. Hope you enjoy the post as I!

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

July 27, 2021

Simply E R A U ,Eagles Soar! My alma mater!

A thrill and lots of good memories to update this older post to you and me. Relieving wonderful moments of youth! There you go folks!  I have said my blog is about travel and anecdotes, well it’s time to come back to a bit of a story on my past. We write about beautiful interesting places we visit and or live/d and I recount my every day living on my series Some news from …. ,but I have souvenirs never to be forgotten either ,such as my university days. Do you have university days stories to tell? I have plenty but let’s keep it clean lol! I will tell you a bit more on my university ERAU, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA. I was living in New Jersey where I grew up, and college time came in, my dream at those tender ages was to go into aviation and from a friend heard about ERAU= Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. One application form and I was accepted right away,this was back in August 1977 !!! And fully graduated honor roll and dean’s listed on April 24, 1982!! Ceremonies at the Peabody Auditorium of Daytona Beach!

Daytona Beach

Now I want to tell you a bit more on the University per se. As brief as possible, here is my story.

Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) is a private university offering associate, bachelor, master’s, and PhD degree programs in arts and sciences, aviation, business, engineering, computer programming, cyber security and security and intelligence,etc. It is the largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, and has campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona, and about other 22 locations around the world mostly in US military bases.  On December 17, 1925,Talton Higbee Embry and John Paul Riddle founded the Embry-Riddle Company at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, Ohio. In spring 1926, the company opened the Embry-Riddle School of Aviation. In 1939 Riddle, John Graham McKay and wife Isabel re-established the school in Opa-Locka airport near Miami, Florida. The airport is still there as a general aviation/business airport, webpage:

John Paul Riddle, I had the pleasure of meeting him! He had admission to both the US Naval Academy and West Point and finally chose the first one. He met later on one of his former flying student now with some wealth Talon Higbee Embry and with a contract from Waco Aircraft both founded the Embry-Riddle Company in 1925! They only had two Jenny airplanes and a dream. They won several air mail routes and eventually Cincinnati got air mail service. By now the service was flawless and by 1927 was the only of two companies that could fly passengers, the other was the Boeing Air Transport Company. On a led by Gen Doolittle the flying school got to be one of the first instrument flight instruction in the USA. The Aeronautic Board of the Dept of Commerce gave the school the endorsement as a safe flight company, only five in the USA in 1929. As the business grew financing was found by W Averell Harriman and Co and Lehman Brothers to create a financial aviation company, Aviation Corporation of Delaware in March 1929. They purchase several smaller companies and this company later became the famous AVCO. By 1930, a new holding company was founded called American Airways (today still goes on as American Airlines)!

In Florida, he came to continue his dreams by purchasing other companies in the aviation industry. In 1939, he founded in association with John G Mckay the Embry-Riddle School of Aviation, leaving the name of the original founder on the name of the school. The school flew even seaplanes on the McArthur Causeway in Miami. The school provided help to Great Britain in WWII, they were exposed directly as continental Europe had surrender to Nazi Germany and needed pilots to defend the island. The British were shipped to Jacksonville (now major naval base at Mayport).  Where I still have Alumni friends who resides there! Webpage:

From there ,they were transported by bus to the now famous fields of Carlstrom, Clewiston (no 5 British flying training school) , Dorr field, and the seaplane base in Miami. ERAU trainers did all the work on them, and later trained American pilots too! they have lease the Old Fritz hotel in Miami as headquarters located at 3240 NW 27 avenue or SR9 (now a courthouse). They trained pilots up to August 6 1945. By the time of the peace treaty more than 26K men and women had graduated their wings by the school.

In 1944 however, they have created the first flight training school in Brazil under the Escola Tecnica de Aviaçao in the neighborhood of Mooca in Sao Paulo, training 3500 Brazilians on how to flight before turning it over to the government. The School was now called the Embry-Riddle International School of Aviation. It signed contracts for training for advance flight to the Free French Republic pilots. By October 1947, the school finally moved to Opa-Locka. The school contracted with the US Air Force to trained pilots there with more than 1500 graduating. Later, it continue training USAF pilots in the ROTC program ( Reserve Officers’ Training Corps). The school grew internationally training pilots from many countries including Cuba, China, Turkey, Belgium, England, Canada, etc. etc. By 1958 the 1000 students came from 21 countries and 44 US States. By 1963, the facilities at Opa Locka were too small for this growth. While the operations in South Florida the school trained over 40K students!

The new president (with John Paul Riddle on the board) became Jack Reed Hunt, he was famous as been the one piloting the first non stop round trip flight across the Atlantic in a US Navy blimp ZPG-2 in March 1957. The route was Massachusetts to Portugal, Africa, Puerto Rico, Cuba, to Florida. He received his presidential medals.  President Hunt (my school president during my time) did immediately the decision to move to bigger place a location needed to be found, candidates were Sebring, Fort Pierce, Plant City, outside Miami in Dade County ,and Daytona Beach. The city of Daytona Beach got going and did all it could to win the prize, and I am so glad they did!! Operation Bootstrap started moving the school ,setting up new campus there and all help from shoestrings by donations and help from the business community there. All was moved by themselves and on trucks. Ormond Beach (where I later lived!) decided against the move so the decision was to set up by the Daytona Beach Regional Airport (now international airport) ,and also next to the Daytona Beach Speedway (NASCAR auto racing) on 185 acres of land. This indeed proved to be a top notch location! The school arrived at Daytona Beach operational on May 19 1965. Only 239 students including the 168 relocated from Opa Locka.

By 1968, we had Cessna 150s, Piper Cherokee, single engine Aero Commanders, twin engine Beech B-18 and some biplane stearmen; by 1968 the school was accredited to the SACS or Southern Association of Schools and Colleges! By 1968 the first dormitory was built to housed 386 students, this was known as Doolittle Dorm 1 (my first dorm)!! three stories high. By 1970, the school was known as the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Institute earning approval by the FAA =Federal Aviation Administration. The info on the Dorm 1 Doolittle now see in school webpage:

Daytona Beach ERAU dorm bridge 1977-1978 year

By 1972, the school is known as we know it today , Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the one I came in on August 23 1977 to start classes! I visited many times President Hunt residence on the beach at Ormond by the Sea (now sold and gone a while back). This house we call it the Battleship (was sold now gone) as it look one from the distance, and we had the University Center where the cafeteria was at ,to eat and mingle you know. By my first year 1977, the school already counted with 2 725 students! me included lol!  By 1979, Times Magazine called us the “Harvard of the sky” And before that in 1978, we purchase Prescott college in Prescott Arizona to serve as our western campus. The International Campus was started ,now call the Extended Campus with over 100 locations many online. Now the Daytona Beach and Prescott campuses have both about 5000 students. President Jack Hunt passed away of cancer in January 7 1984 RIP. He said, ” it may be easy to get in to Embry-Riddle, but it is not easy to get out” Amen.

ob pres home erau battleship

As the new team took over the school continues to grow and influence the world of aviation. In 1986 , the school was awarded the management training of the FAA and a specific center was opened in Palm Coast, Florida.  The school has won several prizes in aviation flight competition; these are call NIFA/SAFECON, and remain the provider of about 50% of US Air Force pilots the best flyboys in the world!!!Following a short illness, on April 6 1989, John Paul Riddle passed away at his home in Coral Gables, near Miami he was 87 yrs. old. RIP Sir. His last airplane ride took place on April 10th when following funeral services and a memorial service at the University, his ashes were sprinkled over Biscayne Bay and in the Oak Ridge cemetery at Arcadia, Florida.

Ok not all is goody goody, the Administration announced in July 2014 that Embry-Riddle has been accepted into the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II membership. Embry-Riddle began intercollegiate athletics competition on its Daytona Beach Campus in 1988. Well not really, from the photos you will see that I participated in the NCAA Div 2 soccer program already in 1978-1980 playing against much bigger schools like FIU, Univ of Florida, Univ Central Florida, South Florida Tampa, etc with good results, winning records. However, the school decided to leave sports in 1981 and even with petitions by students the decision remained until starting again in 1988. The unfortunate thingy here is that those who participated before are not been recognized in school records!!! We had , also, baseball, tennis, and golf teams.  And of course, we had intramural sports and I did volleyball and softball ,where I was also the captain. The special school webpage for athletics now:

db ERAU management club softball team pedro in green in front seated 1981

de pedro ERAU soccer unif daytona beach 1980

There is an ERAU alumni network, that has tattled with lack of support for a long time. I was on the first meeting to do an alumni network at the Harley Hotel in Atlanta, GA back in 1984; then another try from Florida at the city hall of Hollywood Fl back in 1994, and finally was the Director of Alumni relations in France until 2017, where we have over 60 French students graduated from my university now working in French aviation/Aerospace industry, some of them quite well designing the wings for the A 380 to test pilot on maiden mission Toulouse-Hamburg, to working on the Arianne rocket etc. I helped organized the Paris Air Show of several years back believe it was 2009 with a dinner organized by me at the prestigious  Aero Club de France ; 6 rue Galilée, Paris 16éme ,but nothing of support so I decided to leave the organizing back in early 2017. The position still vacant!! More on the alumni ERAU :

Atlanta Hartfield airport people mover ERAU visit 1981

Another organization that does not exist no more and I was very active was the Management Club; I was the Treasurer 1981-82 and helped created the club as a non profit organization with the help of Accounting professor Mr Campbell and created the first scholarship fund to helped students pay for their book with the help of my Finance professor Mr De la Rosa back in 1980.  Both with the help of my/club councilor professor Mr Knabe. Memories forever, and thank you profs!

db pedro speaking mgmt club ERAU daytona inn 1981

I, even kept some pictures from class trips, this one visiting the Hartfield Atlanta International Airport on a thrill bus ride and fun antics in the Days Inn hotel we stayed, location forgotten but the actions did not ::) The planes are Lockheed 1011 from Delta!

Atlanta apt pedro at control Delta L1011 plane atlanta airport 1980 ERAU

Some more facts on Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University :

Embry-Riddle’s aerospace engineering program is the largest in the nation. Embry-Riddle’s engineering physics program is one of the largest of all such ABET-accredited programs in the nation. Aeronautical science (professional pilot) program is the largest in the nation. Student flight teams have won numerous national championships in NIFA SAFECON competitions, more than any other institution in the last decade, and are top performers in the women’s Air Race Classic. The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, and others rank Embry-Riddle highly in the categories of best undergraduate aerospace engineering programs, best undergraduate engineering programs, best bachelor’s degrees in engineering, best colleges in Arizona and Florida, best regional universities (South), and best college astronomy observatories. U.S. News & World Report, Military Times, Military Advanced Education, U.S. Veterans, and G.I. Jobs publications consistently name Embry-Riddle in the categories of best for veterans, top military-friendly school, top veteran-friendly school, best online bachelor’s programs for veterans, best regional universities (South) for military and veterans, best online MBA programs for veterans, and best online non-MBA graduate business programs for veterans. U.S. News & World Report and College Choice list Embry-Riddle’s Worldwide Campus in the categories of best online bachelor’s programs, best online graduate MBA programs, best online graduate non-MBA programs, and best online engineering degree programs.  Embry-Riddle is ranked highly among private colleges for best value, best starting salary, and best return on investment by Forbes, Best Value Colleges, PayScale, SmartAsset, College Choice, and Affordable Colleges Online.   Embry-Riddle’s two Air Force ROTC detachments form the largest university-based Air Force commissioning source in the nation. Embry-Riddle’s Air Force ROTC detachments also produce more commissioned officers and more pilots and other rated officers for the Air Force than any other institution in the nation except the Air Force Academy. Embry-Riddle is the nation’s largest supplier of air traffic controllers with bachelor degrees to the FAA. Seven Embry-Riddle alumni are current or former astronauts. Embry-Riddle was named by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 provider of online bachelor’s degrees programs and undergraduate programs for veterans in 2021. ERAU has provided so far 7 astronauts to the Space program over the years.

Some of the reading I did while attending or as an alumni were: The LIFT magazine webpage:

And the still call Avion campus newspaper webpage:

The text above the information was gathered from memories, yearbook Phoenix from graduation 1982,  and the book “The Sky is Home”, (by former prof John McCollister) and the Alumni directory of 1998 all jealousy guarded by yours truly.

My last visit to ERAU campus in Daytona Beach Fl was back in August, 2009, I visited Florida with the family and did pay a visit to ERAU as to show my boys the thrill of college non existent in France. We got a nice ride from the Alumni office to all of us, memories of young at heart. Memories forever, thanks Chris.

Daytona beach Chris cart tour ERAU 20aug09

There you go folks, an adventure recommended to all, college life is awesome. Those that tried should tell you, a thrill and an experience never to be forgotten. And more when you are an Eagle, of ERAU Daytona Beach FL Campus, Eagles forever!! Hope you enjoy the post as I and if an Eagle do stop by anytime.

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

July 26, 2021

A bit of nostalgia of Florida!!!

Well in these days of pandemic and little travel, I have been looking back updating some older posts. This has brought lots of memories and thrills to relook these family trips that by then were buried in my blog. To my surprise, there were some new opportunities for posts with pictures that I had overlook posting, and this is the time as good as any to do so. Therefore, here are some of my nostalgic moments of our time in Florida, several years, college graduation, marriage, sons to show for it. Hope you enjoy the post as I, and thanks again for reading me since November 2010!!

Let me tell you about some dear towns that were buried in my blog or not mentioned at all on my bit of nostalgia of Florida!!!

Let’s start with Davie in my Broward County,of my nostalgic Florida, situated approximately 24 miles north of Miami.

A bit of history tell us  that prior to European colonization, the Tequesta indians were the native people of what is now Davie. A few campsites and graves have been found in Davie, the oldest dating back 5,000 to 7,000 years in Pine Island Ridge. After Spanish colonization, many of the Tequesta died and the remaining few escaped to Havana with the Spanish when Florida became a British colony (1763 for a few months) or they assimilated into the newly arrived Seminoles indians in the late 18C.

Davie had always a reputation as a “Western” town, with many earlier buildings having “Wild West” architecture. It boasts a significant horse-owning population and once was home to many herds of cattle. One of the nice attractions here is Flamingo Gardens  a 60-acre (24 ha), Tropical Botanic Garden and Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary, aviary and zoo, located at 3750 South Flamingo Road.

The city of Davie on activities

However, the main thing my family came here was the Egyptian deco cinema which was and is awesome. I love this Cinemark. It was close to our last home in Miramar Silver Lakes and even visited and saw film while visiting from France in 2009. The popcorn and the frosty coke is awesome. Love it. Also you can hide here in case of a hurricane. This place is very secure. The seats are big and very comfortable. awesome theater… definitely worth coming here over other places. Indeed. Their webpage:

davie cinemark paradiso front feb02

Davie inside cinemark for HP movie 22aug09

Next , I take you to Sunrise, an interesting town we were here a lot. Sunrise is of course, also, in Broward County, A bit of history tell us that in 1960, Iowa-born developer Norman Johnson paid $9 million USD for 2,650 acres of land in southwestern Broward County. By 1961, this community of 1.75 square miles ,which Johnson named Sunrise Golf Village . In 1971, the City, by referendum, changed its name to the City of Sunrise. The City is situated approximately six miles west of Fort Lauderdale, and is adjoined by the towns of Weston, Davie, Tamarac, Lauderhill, and Plantation.

The National Car Rental Center ,now the BB&T Center opened its doors in 1998. The arena is the home of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers, and hosts top entertainers and events.

The city of Sunrise on things to do/see

However, the one we came almost every weekend while living in Miramar Silver Lakes was Sawgrass Mills shopping center. This huge  2.7-million-square-foot shopping mecca welcomes approximately 25 million visitors each year, making it the state’s second-biggest tourist attraction after Walt Disney World!! Its 400+ name brand retail stores include Off 5th/Saks Fifth Avenue, Last Call! Neiman Marcus, Kenneth Cole and Nordstrom Rack, etc. This is a huge shopping/eating/entertainment city in a mall! One of our favorite store was Books A Million ,well they were several and some have closed but this one have a picture! The Sawgrass Mills webpage:

sunrise books a million sawgrass mills mall my boys Aug09

Our favorite eating place was the family restaurant my dear late wife Martine love was TGIFridays in Sunrise, many memories here,and sadly it has closed.


And last but not least, will tell you of the closest town to my last in Florida. Pembroke Pines is of course in Broward County, and only 22 miles north of Miami. The surrounding towns to Pembroke Pines are Southwest Ranches, Davie, Cooper City, Hollywood ,Miramar, and the Everglades natural reserve.

Pembroke Pines was officially incorporated on January 16, 1960. The city’s name, Pembroke Pines, is traced back to Sir Edward J. Reed, a member of Britain’s Parliament for the County of Pembroke from 1874 to 1880, who in 1882 formed the Florida Land and Mortgage Company (still the basis of land plots in this part of FL) to purchase from Hamilton Disston a total of 2 million acres of mostly swampland located throughout the southern half of Florida. A road put through one of the tracts came to be known as Pembroke Road. When incorporating the city, Walter Smith Kipnis, who became the city’s first mayor, suggested the name Pembroke Pines because of the pine trees growing near Pembroke Road. (and this road was the diving line in my house between Pembroke Pines and Miramar !).

In 1980, property from Flamingo Road to U.S. 27 was incorporated into Pembroke Pines, doubling the size of the city. This expansion included the property that is currently C.B. Smith Park as well as what was once the Hollywood Sportatorium and the Miami-Hollywood Motorsports Park. Also in 1980, construction began to extend Interstate 75 from U.S. 27 towards Miami, passing through the new western part of the city. By 1984 the expressway reached Pines Boulevard, the main east-west arterial road in the city.

Right at the junction of Pembroke Pines and Miramar my twin boys left the USA to France from Silver Lakes Elementary School , and my oldest left from Silver Trail Middle School.

The roads were by car the king here and we took a lot the Interstate 75 or simply I75 highway as well as the US 27 (along the Everglades) ,Pines Blvd (SR 820) ,Pembroke Rd (SR 824) , and Flamingo Road (SR 823).

The city of Pembroke Pines on activities

The shopping other than some specific stores were done in Pembroke Pines Mall with some familiar stores such as Dillard’s (my parents favorite and gave me all their gifts from there!) Webpage:

pembroke pines lakes mall halls aug09

I am sad to see some of our favorite places have closed, so pictures are just for the memories. These were Quiznos sandwiches , Toys R Us, and Blockbuster Videos! However, glad to see WalMart Supercenter still there.

pemborke pines pf quizno aug09

pembroke pines toys r us the boys c2000

pembroke pines blockbuster videos aug09


There you go folks, a dandy on memory lane. Wonderful times never to be forgotten, Florida is big for us! We must move on and found places just as good or better as now in my belle France; however, the memories of these places will remain in our hearts forever. Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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July 26, 2021

A bit of nostalgia of New Jersey!!

This is one of the positive effects of the pandemic, not been able to travel much, I am able to relive wonderful moments of my travels. Also, and just as awesome, to find in my vaults pictures of places dear to me that should be in my blog. After all, my blog is a recompilation of my travel, and family history to keep for the future of children and grand childrens to come. Hope you enjoy the posts as I, and thanks for following my rants since November 2010

Now let me turn to my first encounter with the USA at my first American home in New Jersey. I have several posts of the town I lived ,(see posts ) but need to tell you more of the other towns that were like home to me back then , way back now. Very nostalgic post for me indeed.

The first one of these is Woodbridge Township, where we ate, shop, and play for many years.

Woodbridge Township is located in Middlesex County.  The township borders the towns of Carteret, Edison, Perth Amboy (mine) and Sayreville ;also,  Clark, Linden and Rahway in Union County. Its border with the borough of Staten Island in New York City in the Arthur Kill. (kill is bay in old Dutch so they tell me)

There are distinct towns that for the whole of me always figure them as separate towns , and played sports against them separately! ,but are part of  Woodbridge Township. Several of these towns have their own ZIP (postal) codes,, but they are all unincorporated towns and neighborhoods within the Township that, together, make up Woodbridge Township. These are Avenel , Colonia , Fords , Iselin , Port Reading , Sewaren , Woodbridge (the town proper) are unincorporated towns located within Woodbridge Township. Other unincorporated towns and place names located partially or completely within the township include Boynton Beach, Demarest Hill Top, Edgars, Fairfield, Hazelton, Hopelawn, Keasbey, Lynn Woodoaks, Menlo Park Terrace, Ostrander, Saint Stephens, Sand Hills, Shore View, Union and Woodbridge Oaks.

The roads are king here and no experience with public transport other than the airports. The wonderful Garden State Parkway extends 7.5 miles ( about km) through Woodbridge Township, including exits 127 to 131. In addition, the fast and furious, New Jersey Turnpike ( part of Interstate 95 or I95) passes through Woodbridge Township for about 5+ miles ( about 8 km), and is accessible at Exit 11 (which features a 24-lane toll gate). The sublime  U.S. Route 1 and U.S. Route 9 serve the township and merge heading north of the township as the U.S. Route 1/9 together into the Jersey shore ! Other roadways passing through the township are Route 27, Route 35, Route 184, and Route 440. The first cloverleaf interchange in the world, the Woodbridge Cloverleaf, opened in 1929 at the intersection of Route 25 (now U.S. Route 1/9) and Route 4 (now Route 35)!

The Township of Woodbridge is the oldest original township in New Jersey and was granted a royal charter on June 1, 1669, by King Charles II of England. Woodbridge Township was incorporated by the Township Act of 1798 of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as one of the initial 104 townships incorporated in the state under the Township Act. Yes part of old USA!

The Woodbridge Township on things to do/see webpage:

Woodbridge Center is a major two-level shopping mall located at the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and U.S. Route 9.  This was our home turf when shopping and many memories of going here with my dear late mom Gladys. Memories forever!

woodbridge wood center mall feb11

It features 200 retail establishments and 3 anchor stores been our favories JC Penney and Macys. The eating establishments are spread throughout the mall with their own individual seating areas and restrooms. The mall’s location near Staten Island and the benefit of no sales tax on clothes in New Jersey makes this mall,a popular choice for New York shoppers. It is now the third largest of all shopping malls in New Jersey, (when lived they were No 1), and now the 34th largest in the United States.  The mall opened in 1971 with Abraham & Straus, Ohrbach’s, and Stern’s. oh yes Abraham & Strauss was later purchase by Burdines and in turn by Macys. It was my favorite shopping store then.

woodbridge wood center mall applebees feb11

The Woodbridge Center mall webpage:

Moving south into that wonderful Route 1/9 or even closer coastal Route 35 you come into our fav city to go fishing , something I did a lot when young even still at college. I went down with my parents into Point Pleasant Beach and there rented the boat Dauntless. Wonderful family memories, was lucky glad to bring my paternal grandfather Manolo on these trips too back in the early 80’s.

The city has a wonderful beach , one of the best me think, and plenty of family activities. The city page on activities on the boardwalk is run by Jenkinsons; webpage:

The city of Point Pleasant Beach things to do/see:

Other than beach time, we came even in winter to go fishing from here, love it many nice memories of always with my parents and later my paternal grandfather!! Amazing looking for info on the internet the Dauntless boat is still going on by the same family!! The town of Point Pleasant Beach is in Ocean county!


This is from their webpage: They will clean your catch for a nominal fee. Drinks and snacks available. Music on board for your enjoyment. The cabin is centrally heated and heated handrails for your year round comfort. Clean Ladies and Men’s accommodations. Ample Free Parking at the dock. Bring your Family fishing on the 85′ DAUNTLESS for one of the most enjoyable and memorable trips of your vacation. Sailing Daily All Year 7h30  to 15h30 (7:30am – 3:30pm) Summer Season Only from  7h30 to 01h00 (7:30pm – 1:00am). Their webpage:


And last but not least on this memorable tour of mine, and hopefully you will get to see these places, wonderful indeed. I arrive at the world famous Atlantic City! We came here as adults for the casinos, there since they opened!

Atlantic City is located in Atlantic County, on the Atlantic coast at about 50 miles or 80 km from Philadelphia, PA. It is built on the island of Absecon and surrounded by lagoons, on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. City famous for its casinos and marina. Well it has a beach and a nice boardwalk but our interests for it were the casinos...

Atlantic city casino pipo c1980

In 1870, a first wooden promenade was built along part of the beach. The idea was popular and the promenade was lengthened and modified several times. It is now the longest in the world. The New Jersey voters accepted the opening of casinos in 1976, and Resorts International became the first legal casino in the eastern United States on May 26, 1978. Other casinos were built shortly thereafter along from the promenade and later in the marina area; they are nine today.

From my time there and was a visiting founder are still the Tropicana, Resorts, Harrah’s, and Ceasar as my favorites hangouts when I was a proud member of Telly Savalas (Kojak tv series), casino Players Club International membership card and spent lots of money there lol !!! Too bad could had use it to travel….

The Atlantic City International Airport but never used it as always came by car . The airport webpage:

I came down the Garden State Parkway to exit 38 and then the Atlantic City Expressway toll road as well to the city center North Arkansas Avenue ,and right into the casino parking.   On street parking is not easy and not advise so look for a parking garage if not staying at a casino.

Some of the things happening here other than play and fun in the Casinos were: The streets of Atlantic City were used in the original American version of Monopoly. The city is the setting for Bob Rafelson’s 1972 film The King of Marvin Gardens, starring Jack Nicholson and Bruce Dern. The city is the setting for Louis Malle’s film Atlantic City in 1980. The song Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen released in 1982 on the album Nebraska is about the city. The episode of season 5 of The Simpsons The Last Temptation of Homer , released in 1993 contains a part set in Atlantic City. Brian De Palma’s film Snakes Eyes, released in 1998, is set in Atlantic City. At the heart of the Boardwalk Empire series is the prohibition era in Atlantic City. The film American Bluff (2013), based on real events, describes the arrival of casinos in the city. Its night time party time!

The city of Atlantic city  :

The Atlantic City tourist office on Casinos

The New Jersey tourist board on Atlantic city

There you go folks, a bit of nostalgia of my New Jersey! The efforts of a new country, language, customs and all fruitfully triumph in glory for my parents and I. Memories forever for me now glad told in my blog, my history. Again, thanks for coming along and hope you enjoy it as I. Thanks for reading me since November 2010!!

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

July 1, 2021

Two symbols of Mexico City!

And coming back to the Americas to tell you again about two symbols of Mexico City! In my walks in the city i was lucky to stayed near them and have great memories of it . I like to update this older post with text and links for you and me. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Let me bring you up to the top, high up symbols of Mexico DF or Ciudad Mexico, or simply DF in of course , Mexico. I have several blog posts on Mexico having visited the country in numerous occassions and with family now there in the Yucatàn peninsula area.  I like to bring you up to two symbols of the Mexico lindo y querido I know. The Mexico pretty and loved that I know. These are the Angel de la Independencia tower and the Fountain of Diana Cazadora, both around the Paseo de la Reforma.

The fuente de la Diana Cazadora (eng. Huntress Diana Fountain) or originally La flechadora de las estrellas del norte (eng. the arrow of the stars of the North), is a monument located in the roundabout at Paseo de la Reforma and Calle Río Misisipí and Calle Sevilla, on the border of the neighborhoods of Colonia Cuauhtémoc and Colonia Juàrez, and was begun in 1938.


The sculpture of the Diana , was started to create when a program of beautification of the city that included the creation of several monumental fountains in roundabouts or representative corners was designed.  The model was then 16 years old, it was called Helvia Martínez Verdayes and worked in the evenings as secretary in the offices of Petroleos Mexicanos, (petroleum of Mexico pemex). It was there that it was proposed to her the model for the sculpture. The young woman accepted and the sculpture was elaborated from April to September of 1942, month in which finally the bronze smelting of the same one was made. During all that time, Helvia Martínez Verdayes posed naked for the sculptor without receiving another pay than the vanity of seeing her body immortalized in one of the most beautiful avenues of the city. The Fountain of the Arrow star of the North was inaugurated on October 10, 1942 and from that moment the affection of the people was won, who began to call it the Diana the huntress fountain.

To take advantage of the celebration of the Olympics of Mexico 1968, it was decided to remove the bronze loincloth of the sculpture, and thus after 25 years, the Diana returned to show its original beauty in 1967. However, in doing so, the statue suffered some damage. To solve the situation, it was decided to melt a new piece without defects to occupy that place, while the one that was damaged was sold by the artist to the regent to avoid that the piece be destroyed. This piece was donated by the politician to the city of  Ixmiquilpan, in Hidalgo, his hometown, where it remains since 1970. For 1974 with the construction of the Interior Circuit (today Bicentennial Circuit) ,the Diana was removed from her place and kept for two years. After the works, in 1976 it was relocated to one side of the extinct cinema Chapultepec, in the Parque Ariel, in that place the singular lady remained forgotten for a space of 16 years. Faced with the pressures of the citizens, the Diana returned in 1992 to the Paseo de la Reforma, but this time at the crossroads of Calle Rio Misisipi and Calle Sevilla, where she remains until today wearing her firm body, wavy hair, eternal beauty and her bow without arrow. Nice story me think.

The Angel de la Independencia or the Independance Angel.  El Ángel de la Independencia is a column located on a roundabout in the end of the Paseo de la Reforma. The column has 36 meters high, and the statue, which weighs 7 tons,  and about 7 meters, for a total of 43 meters. Made with gold leaves.  El Ángel was built in 1910 to celebrate the centenary of the independence of Mexico (September 16 1810 Grito de Dolores) . In 1925, a mausoleum was made at its base containing the remains of the heroes of the Independence of Mexico. The statue of the winged Victory located at its summit is inspired and is a quasi-conforming copy of the statue of the Genius of Liberty located on the column of July, Place de la Bastille in Paris, France.


Visitors are allowed to enter the monument, view the memorial plaques at the base level, and climb to the top of the tower. Entrance is free. To go up people must get a permit at the Cuauhtémoc borough (delegacion) where you must show ID. Groups of no more than 6 are then allowed into the monument for about 15 minutes. webpage:

There are 200 stairs, and the climb is arduous. The first approximately 15 stairs, in the base, are wide and comfortable. The stairs in the column itself, approximately 185, are circular, metal, very narrow and without a landing or resting point until one reaches the top. Visitors who are not in good physical shape will find the climb exhausting, and those not comfortable with tight spaces should avoid the climb as there is insufficient room to allow others to bypass. Some areas of the staircase are very dark, and there are only a few slits to let in light. The top balcony, though narrow, offers a commanding view of the wide avenues that surround the column. The return trip down is by way of the same circular staircase.

The Mexico city  visitor information webpage:

The Mexico city on the Angel de la Independencia

The Mexico city on the Diana Cazadora fountain

DEFE (DF saying in Spanish) private webpage on the Angel de la Independencia

The Chilango private webpage on the Diana the Huntress:

There you go folks, two beautiful monuments of Mexico DF or city of Mexico or Ciudad  de Mexico to see! Enjoy your walks. Enjoy the post as I, and looking forward to be back

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

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June 10, 2021

Bahia de La Habana!!!

I found them!! Its not easy to find pictures that are in several modes from paper to usb to cd roms but finally got to these ones. I like to have it in my blog and hope you enjoy it as much as I. This is going back deep back in my life when as a boy lived in Havana or La Habana or San Cristobal de la Habana! I remembered walking a lot around the main points there and was able to visit again as recently as 2012 to see it one more time before it really goes dilipated. I like to tell you my side of the Bay of Havana!

The Bahia de la Habana or Havana Bay is the bay around which stretches Havana, the capital of Cuba. Havana Bay is considered one of the safest bays in the Caribbean and America. It has a strategic geographical and economic location due to its confluence with the Straits of Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the old channel of the Bahamas. It is navigable only in 120 meters and has 87 percent of the occupied territory, and 63 percent of the productive sector with 71 berths and 50 docks. The bay which actually forms a roadstead extends over 5 km2 communicates with the Caribbean Sea through a channel 1.2 km long and approximately 220 meters wide. There are coves on the outskirts with the 3 main ones being the Marimelena, Guanabacoa and Atarés. There is a wonderful road tunnel inaugurated in 1958 makes it possible to cross the entrance of the bay. This tunnel appeared there between the seven wonders of the French civil engineering. Underneath the bay of Havana for 733 meters, and a depth of 15 meters, was built by the French company Société de Grands Travaux de Marseille. It was inaugurated exactly on May 31 1958.

Havana tunnel almendares apr12

The bay of Havana is bordered by the towns/neighborhoods of Habana Vieja (old Havana), Regla , and La Habana del Este or (East Havana). Since the second half of the 16C, the entrance to the bay has been protected by two fortresses: El Morro to the east and San Salvador de la Punta to the west.


The constant attacks by corsairs and pirates during the first years of the 16C, as well as the constant expansionist sieges of France, England and Holland, forced the Spanish Crown to establish a defensive system to protect the location of the bay and its port. Then important fortifications arise such as the Castillo de la Chorrera, located at the mouth of the Almendares River; the Castillo de la Punta , the Castillo del Morro , the Castillo de la Real Fuerza and the San Carlos de La Cabaña Fortress, built after the attack and capture of Havana by English troops in August 1762. This system of fortifications was joined by the construction between 1674 and 1797 of the Wall of Havana, which divided the city into two zones. It was from 1561, with the decision to concentrate the Fleet of the Indies in the Port of Havana before its trip to Spain, that the city began a flourishing development and with it the establishment of the first residential nuclei and public buildings to along the coast of the Port.


My personal take as it was my city…long ago ok. If you start from the Malecon next to the castle of San Salvador de la Punta (for short La Punta) you will see the monument to the medicine students of 1871 killed by Spain under the colonial rule. Continue you see the Monument to Maximo Gomez (hero of independence war vs Spain) , and arrive at the nice park Parque Céspedes. Follow by the smaller park parque Luz Caballero right in the corner on calle Empedrado street you see the remains of the ramparts wall of Havana! And next you see the Castillo de la Real Fuerza de la Habana (for short La Fuerza) , after you turn right into calle Narciso Lopéz to see the El Templete or small temple the spot of the first Catholic Mass in Cuba! You continue along the bay street and you see on your right the nice jardin de la Princesa Diana de Gales (princess Diane of Wales garden) ; quickly follow by the back of the Lonja or bourse commerce stock exchange from colonial times. You quickly see the square or Plaza Francisco de Asis and the wonderful Basilica San Francisco de Asis or St Francis of Assisi. Further to see in my opinion is still bordering the bay on your right hand side the Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula or the Church of St Francis of Paula. Then, further down along the bay you reach to the back of the Estacion Central de Ferrocarriles or Central Train Station of Havana, and further on your right you will end the walk with the Castillo de Atàres or Atares castle.

If you start across the bay at the point you will be at the Castillo delos Tres Reyes del Morro (Morro castle for short). You would go up on the esplanade to reach the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña (for short la Cabaña). Right here by the esplanade they still do the 21h or 9pm cannon shot announcing the closing of the bay of Havana and a bit further You will go up to the Cristo or Christ . Afterward you will reach the town of Casablanca . Here there is a ferry boat that takes back to Havana central or the other town on the bay that of Regla. However I heard this was in disrepair so not sure if still doing the runs.

There is no specific webpage for the Bay of Havana the above taken from my books on my Havana. However, if you follow my guide above on foot you will be delighted to see the beauty or at least recognised the beauty of old in the new Havana. Hope you enjoy the post and see my other posts on Havana in my blog.

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

June 10, 2021

The Mercado Central of Curitiba!!

And here is another find wow! So many wonderful memories of my stayed in Curitiba Brazil and now looking at older posts realised missed much on Curitiba! Well I am now catching up and will tell you a brief entry on the central market or mercado central of Curitiba!!

The Mercado Central of Curitiba was founded in 1958 as a meeting point for residents who enjoy big fairs, whether to buy or to eat. The space offers dozens of stalls with spices, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, sausages, meats and all kinds of good ingredients for a delicious dinner. In addition to the stalls specializing in food products, there is also the offer of clothing, electronics and household items. Good choice to stroll and take time off from the mundane.

curitiba mercado central jul08

This was spot central when living in Curitiba for 3 months and love it. The very best and great ambiance as well as on the road to my apparthotel Mercure Batel!! Lots of good memories and good friends. The Mercado Central is located at Ave. Sete de Setembro, 1865,and is open Tuesday to Saturday 8h to 18h. Sunday: 8h to 13h with Restaurants open until 15h.

curitiba mercado central above jul08

A bit of history I like

The first public market in the city of Curitiba appeared in 1864, in the old Largo da Ponte, currently Praça Zacarias. In 1873, on the anniversary of the emancipation of Paraná State, on December 19, the cornerstone was laid for the construction of a new headquarters, then located in Largo da Cadeia, now Praça Generoso Marques. On October 11, 1874, the new Municipal Market was opened. In 1890 Largo da Cadeia was renamed Largo do Mercado. In 1912, the building was closed and demolished to make way for the City/Town Hall, and thus the market was provisionally transferred to Largo da Nogueira, currently Praça 19 de Dezembro. In 1915, another transfer, now to a Chalet-style property, in Batel, (my neighborhood living there!) which was where the Plaça Theodoro Bayma is today. At this address it remained until 1937, when it was demolished and the locals were left again without a fixed market for the purchase of food.

The construction of the new Mercado Central of Curitiba was done between May 1956 and July 1958, the project was carried out on a site, in front of the workshops of the former Rede Ferroviária, current Rodoferroviária de Curitiba (bus terminal see post) ,and inaugurated on August 2, 1958. In 2010, it was renovated and expanded, taking over the entire block between Avenida Sete de Setembro and Avenida Presidente Affonso Camargo.

The official mercado central of Curitiba

Now I am happier, wonderful time, great welcome, and great bunch of guys to work with and allow me to know more of Brazil and especially the State of Paranà and the beautiful city of Curitiba. See my other posts on them!

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

June 9, 2021

A Cathedral in Curitiba!!!

And once again, unbelievable found another subject not shown in my blog but did spent long in Curitiba Brazil! Have several posts on the city but not on the Cathedral! This is brief post to remedy this as it was memorable to walk around it several times and finally going in. Hope you enjoy it as I. Thanks again for reading me since November 2010!

The Catedral Basílica Menor Nossa Senhora da Luz or Minor Basilica Cathedral of Our Lady of Light in the city of Curitiba, in the state of Paraná, Brazil. The old section of the birth of the city at praça Tiradentes. The short story goes that in 1668 a small wooden church was built on the site, in the old town of today’s Curitiba, with a church dedicated to Our Lady of Light and Good Jesus.

curitiba Catedral Basílica Menor Nossa Senhora da Luz front jul08

In 1693 the town council was installed there in order to elect the first municipal authorities. On March 29 of the same year, the founding of the town of Nossa Senhora da Luz e do Bom Jesus dos Pinhais de Curitiba was made official. As the long official name of Curitiba.   Years later this small church gave way to a larger church in stone and clay, whose completion occurred in 1721, called the Church headquarters. This in turn was demolished between 1875 and 1880, to finally build the current cathedral, whose work was carried out between 1876 and 1893. In 1947, an annex was built.   On June 7, 1993, one hundred years after its inauguration, the Cathedral was elevated to the rank of Basilica Minor, in awe of Nossa Senhora da Luz dos Pinhais, the patron saint of the capital of Paraná, Curitiba. The cathedral was built in the Neo-Gothic or Roman Gothic style. Sorry for the pictures it was with mobile phone but only ones I can find in my vault!

curitiba Catedral Basílica Menor Nossa Senhora da Luz stained glass window jul08

At the entrance on the right-hand side, visitors have the opportunity to see the chair where Pope John Paul II sat when he visited the city in 1980. Near the altar is a 9 meters deep well (about 30 feet), believed by the historians to be the only remaining piece of the original structure.

The official Cathedral Basilica Minor of Our Lady of the Light in Portuguese:

The city of Curitiba on the Cathedral in Portuguese:

The Archidiocèse of Curitiba on the Cathedral in Portuguese:

There you go folks, this is a nice Cathedral Basilica Minor of Our Lady of the Light in a very memoral city of Curitiba for me as lived there for 3 months a while back, and still many friends in touch. I am glad finally got the Cathedral out into my blog, worth a detour once there for sure.

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

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June 9, 2021

Rodoferroviária of Curitiba!!!

Another forgotten spot in my memorable Curitiba and getting all those pictures from my old cd rom disks!! This took once with friends to see the Iguaçu Falls for which cannot find any pictures! The rest I stop by several times because the mercado central (see post) was across the street and wanted to see the buses going in and out when nothing else to do. I lived in Curitiba for 3 months on expats assignements from France!!

Let me tell you a bit as brief because I am no expert and the information is from the Portuguese language sites in the links below on the Rodoferroviária of Curitiba or main bus terminal!

curitiba rodoferroviaria bus station jul08

The city of Curitiba has an excellent bus system that is acknowledge worldwide and even this every time is packed with people using it. I was lucky was given Chevy Prisma car to move about! The system is the Integrated Transport Network , and this is a trunk-fed bus system in exclusive lanes (Bus Rapid Transit or BRT) of the city of Curitiba. The Rede Integrada de Transportes (RIT) was the first bus rapid transit (BRT) system implemented in the world. The Curitiba Integrated Transport Network has as its backbone of its operation 72 km of exclusive routes for buses that run through the 5 main axes of the city and that constitute the so-called fast lines (Expresso Biarticulado) whose stations are easily identifiable by their shape tube. The system served as a model for the systems of several cities in Brazil, the TransMilenio in Bogotá, the MIO in Cali, the Trolleybus, the Ecovía and the Metrobus-Q in Quito. , the Metropolitano de Lima, the Transantiago in Santiago, the Orange Line in Los Angeles and the Metrobús in Mexico City. Also, the Walt Disney transportation in Orlando Fl USA!

curitiba ave emiliano perneta bus tubes jul08

curitiba bus double jul08

The system is broken down into several line service and will give you the main connections here.

The Fast lines (Expresso Biarticulado): services operated by high-capacity buses of three sections , which use the reserved platforms traveling the five main axes that radiate from the city center: Boqueirão, Norte (north), Sul(south),   Leste(east) and Oeste (West). The Fast direct lines (Ligeirao Azul): services operated by buses that have the same characteristics as the Expresso. The main difference it has is that it offers a faster service than the Expresso, since it has fewer stops. The Lines between neighborhoods (Interbairros): routes made by green buses that connect points outside the city center. The direct lines (Linha Direta): they are usually called ônibus ligerinho (fast bus) and constitute the fastest link between two points of the city covering long distances with few stops. The conventional lines (Convencional): services carried out by yellow buses without constituting an integrated network and that connect the city center with the neighborhoods radially. And the Tourist line (Linha turismo) that run through the main tourist centers of the city. Paying your fare allows you to get off and ride the bus five times. (The one I tried as had a car).

curitiba rodoferroviaria bus parking jul08

I  did went over to see it. Rodoferroviária de Curitiba is the unified terminal for intercity and interstate passenger transportation, as well as rail transportation in Curitiba, capital of Paraná state. It is located in the Jardim Botânico neighborhood (botanical garden see post) , in front of Avenida Presidente Affonso Camargo, and serves road transport routes between several Brazilian states and towns, including some international locations located in Paraguay and Argentina, in addition to the railway boarding station for tourist trips between the capital of Paraná and the cities of Morretes and Paranaguá, on the coast of the state (the Sierra Verde train). It has 465 urban and metropolitan bus lines, last count.

curitiba rodoferrorivaira back jul08

The city of Curitiba bus network URBS (see right hand column for “horario de onibus” to choose your itinerary):

Comec, Information on the intercity bus service in Portuguese:

The bus terminal in Curitiba in Portuguese:

The bus network in Brazil on Curitiba

There you go folks, I feel better telling you and reminding me of this wonderful adventure. I got to go in front of it every day from my home at the Mercure Batel hotel and my job in the nearby town of Piraquara. Glad the blog is making these memories come alive! Hope you enjoy the post and do visit Curitiba an excellent city with plenty to see and do; I love it

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

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June 7, 2021

Belize – México border crossing!

This is something I had hidden in older posts and really need to share it with you with more details and a post of its own. One of the nicest experience of traveling in the Americas was crossing the border at Belize to/from Mexico!!! Let me tell you a bit about with new text and same old photo. Hope you enjoy it.

The land border between Belize and Mexico is an international border of 193 km by land and 85 km by sea. Its current route, almost entirely delimited by rivers such as the Río Hondo or the Río Azul, dates back to 1893. Oh yes this is Central America in the Americas folks.

A bit of history I like

The border between Mexico and Belize was very difficult to explore and demarcate around 1860 because of its isolated position, in a very sparsely populated region, on the borders of the Mexican State whose capital is located several hundred kilometers to the north. The weak Mexican presence in the region allowed the British to form the colony of British Honduras in 1871, currently Belize.   From that time on, the Mexican position shifted due to the government’s desire to end the smuggling of arms from Belize which fed the rebel Mayans fighting against Mexico in what was called the War of the Castes between 1847 to 1901.

The treaty between the two countries to minimize the above was signed on July 8, 1893 in Mexico City, and an additional convention was added to it on April 7, 1897. It is made up of four articles: the first fixes the border; by the second the United Kingdom undertakes not to supply any more weapons to the Mayan rebels, the third establishes the obligation for each state to prevent the Amerindians of their respective territories from engaging in incursions into the neighboring country and, finally, the fourth establishes the ratification of the treaty by the respective governments . The additional convention of 1897 established the freedom for Mexican merchant ships to navigate without restriction through the Boca Bacalar Chico and within the entire Chetumal Bay. On the other hand, the military navy could not do it, and, to allow its access to the bay through Mexican territory, it was decided to dig the Zaragoza Canal.

And the road warrior trip Mexico/Belize!

There are two entry points between the two countries. The main one being located between Subteniente López, in the State of Quintana Roo, Mexico, and Santa Elena, in the district of Corozal, Belize. It is close to the capital of Quintana Roo and main town in the region, Chetumal 10 km away. This is how I got in and out.

The second crossing point is located between La Unión, Mexico, and Blue Creek Village, in the Orange Walk District, Belize, near the confluence between the Río Azul and the Río Bravo, which form from this place the Río Hondo.

Significant commercial and legal tourism activity has also taken place, especially in Belize, which has established a free zone at the northern crossing point and authorized the construction of casinos, which are prohibited in Mexico, and which constitute an important tourist attraction. And we stop here to eat , see , shop and rest on both ways.

mex duty free passing border belize jul14

I came by rental car from Chetumal but there were local friends who did this so the paperwork I was not involved. There is a fee at about 7 dollars to enter and again out of Belize per person and you need a copy of your passport. I have heard there are other fees like for fumigation, insurance etc but not my experience so cannot tell you; just check it out from official sources.

However, did see and acknowledge bus service into Belize from Chetumal, Mexico. The bus station I saw are ADO and first class buses,located at Av. Insugentes at Calle Palermo (close to Plaza Las Americas and my hotel way back for one nigh see post) , and the old ADO bus station, located at Calle Salvador Novo near Av. Insurgentes and Av. Belice.

As said, we rented a car in Chetumal done by my friends and before we came by air from Mexico city. This way is cheaper than if flying from CDMEX to Belize City by air! Somehow I was told.

As I read in local newspaper, the dredging of the Zaragoza canal (see above) will allow tours from Islas Mujeres and other points in the Caribbean to Chetumal!! This should be ready by mid 2022. I invite you to see my other posts on Belize, Chetumal, Bacalar Mexico in my blog.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are:

The official Free Zone of Belize webpage:

The Duty Free Zone independent webpage:

There you go folks, really an off the beaten path road trip between two countries with lots of memories forever. We stay in Chetumal on the way back and see my posts. In Belize , we stay by Plasencia and rode most of it and see posts. Hope you enjoy this post of the unique border crossing between two countries .

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

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