Posts tagged ‘Americas’

June 21, 2022

Curiosities of the Americas !! Part III

Looking at my vault, found some older pictures on paper and took my electronic camera to take picture of the pictures and use them in my blog. This allows me to show in my blog places not shown or pics with new angles of places shown in the blog. Nostalgia sets in and here I go on the curiosities of the Americas !!, Part III.

Aventura is conveniently located between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, just east of I-95 in Florida USA. The northern boundary of the City is the Miami-Dade/Broward County line, the western boundary is the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC), the eastern boundary is the intracoastal waterway and the southern boundary is NE 176th Street. One of our most memorable trip while living there was to go visit Pierre Books or official the Pierre International Bookstore at 18185 Biscayne Boulevard. Here we had our French language and many memorable moment with the owner Belgian born Vivianne Friedlich, and husband Pierre,  which my wife became very good friends and we had all the French movies transfer to the US system for dvd movies. Later once in France we heard the store was moved to Hollywood for better rental costs, and officially closed several years back,without hearing from Vivianne maybe she reads my posts and contact me! For info, the official city of Aventura on thing to dohttps://www.cityofaventura.com/309/Visitor-Information

Aventura Pierre books belgian pierre et vivienne

John Berkely “Peanuts” Taylor was the main name behind the wonderful Drumbeat Club in 1964. Years after the closing of these clubs, he would re-open The Drumbeat again at The Nassau Beach Hotel in 1975 and subsequently at its final location near the British Colonial Hotel downtown Nassau. West Bay street, which where I caught up with him, the club staying at a hotel just steps from the British Colonial which name escapes me next to the El Greco hotel is now, The British Colonial is also closed as all are unfortunately , here for the memories of always. For info. the Bahamas tourist office on Nassauhttps://www.bahamas.com/fr/islands/nassau-paradise-island 

Nassau

Nassau Drumbeat club night

There you go folks, a walk of nostalgia from my very earlier trips in the Americas. The wonders of the Americas that still rings a bell to my ears on each stretch of meter I take on this world. Hope you enjoy the post as I reviving these old pictures into the life of my blog.

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

Tags: ,
June 21, 2022

Curiosities of the Americas !! Part II

Looking at my vault, found some older pictures on paper and took my electronic camera to take picture of the pictures and use them in my blog. This allows me to show in my blog places not shown or pics with new angles of places shown in the blog. Nostalgia sets in and here I go on the curiosities of the Americas !!, Part II.

Bogotá is the largest city and the capital of Colombia. This is where people from all over the country converge, so it is a diverse and multicultural city, at the crossroads of old and new. It is located at high altitude. La Candelaria, its cobblestone center, features colonial-era landmarks like the neoclassical Teatro Colón performance hall and the 17C Church of San Francisco. Popular museums are also located here, such as the Botero Museum, displaying the art of Fernando Botero, and the Gold Museum, displaying pre-Columbian gold coins.. Memories forever of my trips here in the 1990’s.

Plaza Bolivar square in its center a statue of Simón Bolivar. Located in the historic center, La Candelaria, it hosts the Primada Cathedral, the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and the Archdiocese , the City/Town Hall (Palace Liévano) built by the French architect Gaston Lelarge , the Courthouse and the National Capitol. The Catedral Basílica Metropolitana de la Inmaculada Concepción was built between 1807 and 1823 on the very spot where three of the city’s former cathedrals were successively erected and demolished.

Bogota plaza de Bolivar et Cathedral

The city of Bogotà on the Plaza Bolivarhttps://bogota.gov.co/mi-ciudad/cultura-recreacion-y-deporte/lo-que-tu-no-sabias-de-la-plaza-de-bolivar-de-bogota

The Igreja Nossa Senhora das Dores  or the Our Lady of Sorrows Church located in the city of Porto Alegre, State of Rio Grande do Sul. Located at Rua dos Andradas, 587. It is the oldest church in the city still standing. Its construction dragged on for a long time and the facade plan was modified while it was still under construction, showing today an eclectic style, but the interior is richly decorated with gilded carving in a late-Baroque style with neoclassical elements, in addition to having an important group of life-size baroque statues of Christ representing the cycle of the Passion The restoration work was completed in 2017, with the completion of the chancel. Ancient parietal paintings were discovered during the restoration.

Porto Alegre ch nossa senhora das Dores

The city prefect of Porto Alegre on its heritage : https://prefeitura.poa.br/gp/projetos/conheca-porto-alegre

The Parque Farroupilha or Farroupilha Park, better known as the Redenção Park or simply the Redenção, is the most traditional and popular park in Porto Alegre, capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The place where the park is today was formerly called Varzea do Portão, a large marshy plain near the old gate of Vila de Porto Alegre. Of the park’s original 69 hectares, today 35.7 ha remain, with 45 monuments inside. On Sundays, the traditional Brique da Redenção is held in the park, with numerous stalls selling handicrafts, food and antiques. Parque Farroupilha is a place commonly holding popular demonstrations. My local friends took me here each time in the city sadly no time for more pictures.

Porto Alegre parque Farroupilha

The official Parque Redençâo or Farroupilhahttp://www.parqueredencao.com.br/

The Avenida Paulista is one of the largest and most famous avenues in the city of São Paulo. The avenue is bordered by the Tenente Siqueira Campos Park commonly known as “Trianon Park” and composed of trees and vegetation from the primary forest. It is also the main tourist, artistic, cultural and media center, bringing together television channels and radio stations. Real estate prices are the highest in Latin America, It was inaugurated on December 18, 1891, My favorite street used to stayed in the off of it Maksoud Plaza Hotel for many years my home in Sao Paulo ! And as the story goes not enough pictures in those days ! It is located in the Bela Vista neighborhood, the 3 km stretch of Avenida Paulista runs from Rua Treze de Maio to Rua da Consolação !

Sao Paulo avenida paulista

This is a hugely wonderful avenue and will just pinpoint some of the great sites of it. You can go up to Mirante do SESC a great way to get ready to explore Avenida Paulista from the top ,location : Avenida Paulista, 119 , The MASP, São Paulo Museum of Art, is among the main attractions on Avenida Paulista and also in the city of São Paulo. In the museum, names such as: Cândido Portinari, Di Cavalcanti, Anita Malfatti, Rafael, Botticceli, Delacroix, Renoir, Manet, Monet, Degas, Cèzanne, Picasso, Modigliani, Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, Matisse and Chagall, among others stand out. Tops located at Avenida Paulista, 1578, The Fiesp Cultural Center offers visitors a very varied program between the art gallery, theater and mezzanine spaces. Location : Av. Paulista, 1313, The Itau Cultural presents a collection dedicated to the history of Brazil. Location : Av. Paulista, 149, The wonderful Casa das Rosas with gardens filled with roses, the house is a delight for all. Those who arrive there will be able to enjoy not only the green space and the elegant architecture , but also an inspiring cultural program, especially dedicated to poetry and literature, Location : Av. Paulista, 37, Cine Belas Artes / Petra Belas Artes dedicated to alternative and art films. Hidden on the corner of Av Paulista and Rua da Consolação, the art here is named: Villa-Lobos, Candido Portinari, Oscar Niemeyer, Aleijadinho, Mario de Andrade and Carmen Miranda. Off Av Paulista at Rua da Consolação, 2423, Along Avenida Paulista and nearby streets there are several options for those looking for culture in good theaters and concert halls can be found at the Gazeta Theater, Eva Herz Theater, Renaissante Theater, Frei Caneca Theater or Procopio Ferreira Theater, The Livraria Cultura is one of the few remaining mega stores dedicated to literature, art and culture. Location : Av. Paulista, 2073, Enjoy the Avenida Paulista !!

The Baths is a beach on the island of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. The Baths is located about 1.9 km south of Spanish Town, at the southern end of the island, between Spring Bay and Devil’s Bay. The Baths is an area of unique geological formations and one of the main tourist destinations in the British Virgin Islands. The rocks form natural pools, tunnels, arches and panoramic caves open to the sea. The largest rocks are about 12 meters long. This is heavens and glad visited, many nice memories and stories here as went on a singles cruise many years ago. So happy to have found some pictures and do see my other posts on the BVI and Fantôme sailboat! 

Virgin Gorda bath outside

You’ll navigate through caves, across boulders, up small ladders, and through short tunnels until you finally reach Devil’s Bay. Once you get there you’re rewarded with a swim in a beautiful little bay. The Bitter End Yacht Club is gorgeous and many nice antics here with my then Canadian girlfriend from Vancouver…. Another spot and wonderful memory and an institution in the Virgin Gorda, BVI was the Hog Heaven. This little dive bar sits high up in the clouds and offers the most beautiful views of Virgin Gorda and the North Sound including the Bitter End Yacht Club and Saba Rock. Wonderful memories forever and so glad to have it in my blog.

Virgin Gorda bath inside

The limited BVI tourist officehttps://www.bvitourism.fr/en/arriving-by-air/

The National Parks of BVI on Virgin Gorda:  https://www.bvinpt.org/the-baths

There you go folks, a walk of nostalgia from my very earlier trips in the Americas. The wonders of the Americas that still rings a bell to my ears on each stretch of meter I take on this world. Hope you enjoy the post as I reviving these old pictures into the life of my blog.

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

Tags: ,
June 20, 2022

Curiosities of the Americas !!

Looking at my vault, found some older pictures on paper and took my electronic camera to take picture of the pictures and use them in my blog. This allows me to show in my blog places not shown or pics with new angles of places shown in the blog. Nostalgia sets in and here I go on the curiosities of the Americas !!

The Cathedral of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception  of Havana is an 18C Baroque-style cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary, located in the Plaza de la Catedral on Calle Empedrado, between San Ignacio y Mercaderes streets in Old Havana.

Havana cathedral

The Church of San Francisco de Paula is located at the intersection of the streets Desamparados (Avenida del Puerto), San Ignacio and Paula (Leonor Pérez), just where the Alameda de Paula ends. This church is an example of Cuban Baroque from the first half of the 18C. In the year 2000 the church was restored, and since then it hosts concerts of ancient music and functions as an exhibition hall for the best works of outstanding contemporary Cuban artists, In the place that occupied the church that existed since 1664, a hospital for women and a hermitage under the invocation of St Francis of Paola.

Havana ch of paula

The Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro or simply Morro castle was built between 1589 and 1630 to protect the entrance to the port of Havana, The Morro castle protected the mouth of the port with the help of a hanging chain connecting it to the San Salvador de la Punta fortress placed on the other side of the bay. The fort has walls almost 3 meters thick. Inside the fortress is an exhibit on Cuba’s lighthouses,Also, restaurants. Pic is from Morro to old Havana and harbor. Far left is Casablanca old arsenal.

Havana Morro castle to old havana

The Monumento de los Niños Heroes or the Monument of the Children Heroes serves as a tribute to the cadets of the Military College who gave their lives to defend Chapultepec Castle from the North American invasion on September 13, 1847. It is a mausoleum located in the Chapultepec Forest, right at the beginning of the road that leads to the Castle of Chapultepec.

Mexico mon ninos and chapultepec castle

Holy city located about 50 km from Mexico City, built between the 1C and 7C, Teotihuacan, the place where the gods are created, is characterized by the very large dimensions of its monuments, the most famous of which are the temple of Quetzalcoatl and the pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, and by their geometric and symbolic arrangement.

Mexico Teotihuacan pyramids calzada de los muertos

Xochimilco ,Mexico;  this simple working-class neighborhood features the famous Xochimilco Canals, which are the last remnants of a vast maritime transportation network built by the Aztecs. Colorful boats reminiscent of gondolas take visitors on cruises past food vendors, artisans and mariachi bands. The atmosphere is festive, especially on weekends. Go there by heading to Tasqueña metro station, which is at the very end of Blue Line 2. From Tasqueña, there is a special train called Tren Ligero that departs from Tasqueña and arrives at Xochimilco.

Mexico Xochimilco

The Palacio de la Moneda, or simply La Moneda, in Santiago de Chile, is one of the most remarkable buildings ever built by the Spaniards in their colonies in Latin America. The palace stands in the center of Santiago, in Plaza de la Constitucion or Constitution square and Avenida del Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins. Currently, Moneda is the seat of the Presidency of the Republic and of three ministries, including that of the Interior, as well as the General Secretariat of the Presidency and that of the Government.

santiago de chile palace of the moneda

The Plaza Sotomayor is a square in Valparaíso, It is named after Rafael Sotomayor. The Plaza Sotomayor originally called Plaza de la Aduana (Customs Square), then Plaza del Palacio (Palace Square) and later Plaza Intendencia (Intendancy Square), is the most important civic square in Valparaíso , The square is lined by buildings occupying full block-fronts of the streets that flank it. The focus of the square is the monument that honors the Chilean sailors who fell during the Battle of Iquique and the Battle of Punta Gruesa, In 2004, the design of the square extends to the Prat Wharf, turning it into a touristic walkway from which was possible to embark in order to cross the roadstead of Valparaíso from the sea. At the Prat wharf is possible to see a replica of the Santiaguillo, (little Santiago) a small sailing boat which was the first Spaniard vessel to dock in this bay called Quintil ,The first wharf completed in 1883 corresponds to the passengers’ wharf, made of wood and metal with hexagonal shape.

valparaiso plaza sotomayor

The Port of Valparaiso is the maritime terminal, It is the port with the highest passenger arrivals in the country and the second one with the highest container movement,  The Port of Valparaiso can be divided into the commercial port (mainly containerized cargo), the passenger port (cruises). Each of these activities has its own space, separated from the others, with facilities and specialized personnel. Most cruises depart and visit Valparaiso from fall to spring when the weather is typically very mild, Like most modern cruise ship terminals, Valparaiso Terminal de Pasajeros also serves as a public events venue during no-ship days / times. The passenger terminal is adjacent to a container dock, and features a convenient railway station.

Valparaiso port cruises

The Caminito is a street museum and a traditional alley, located in La Boca, a neighborhood of Buenos Aires. The place acquired cultural significance because it inspired the music for the famous tango “Caminito” of 1926, music by Juan de Dios Filiberto. lyrics by Gabino Coria Peñaloza. Sang by the mayor tango singers of all time including Carlos Gardel, Hugo del Carril, Libertad Lamarque etc.

Buenos aires caminito la boca

There you go folks, a walk of nostalgia from my very earlier trips to Latin America. The wonders of the Americas that still rings a bell to my ears on each stretch of meter I take on this world. Hope you enjoy the post as I reviving these old pictures into the life of my blog.

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

June 20, 2022

The Seminole Gulf Railway of Ft Myers!!

And again in nostalgia lane of my beloved Florida. I had the opportunity while living there to criss cross the entire State, and keep wonderful memories of my 18 years there. I had the great opportunity to visit it with the family in 2009 and again on a business trip in 2015. All beautiful wonderful memories of my Sunshine State of Florida. Pulling from my vault , got me a picture of a ride took with the boys in Fort Myers and the Seminole Gulf Railway train ride at the time back in about 1997. Let me tell you about it now, and hope you enjoy it as I.

Ft Myers seminole gulf train ride NF

A bit of history I like to start

The Seminole Gulf Railway is a short line freight and passenger excursion railroad headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida, that operates two former CSX Transportation railroad lines in Southwest Florida. The company’s Fort Myers Division, which was previously the southernmost segment of CSX’s Fort Myers Subdivision, runs from Arcadia south to North Naples via Punta Gorda, Fort Myers, Estero, and Bonita Springs. 

And the concept we love as done both the day ride and the murder mystery ride! And they still do the runs!!

Ft Myers seminole gulf train ride

Seminole Gulf Railway also operates a popular Murder Mystery Dinner Train from Fort Myers. The dinner train runs five nights a week, year-round from a station at Colonial Boulevard north to a point just south of Punta Gorda before returning. The dinner train uses a fleet of 1930s-era vintage rail cars named after nearby barrier islands (some of which were previously Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus rail cars). The dinner train includes a five-course dinner and has featured over 80 different murder mystery productions throughout its history.

The official Seminole Gulf Railwayhttps://semgulf.com/ 

The Ft Myers tourist office on the train ridehttps://www.visitfortmyers.com/visit/editorial/go-for-a-ride-on-the-murder-mystery-dinner-train

We passed by but never inside, however, I will post here as it is related in Fort Myers and a good idea combination with the above ride. So here is the Railroad Museum of South Florida.

The Railroad Museum of South Florida operates a 3,200-square foot museum located in Lakes Regional Park. The museum is open 7 days a week, although ,do have a shorter summer schedule in August and September. Located in the museum are “S” and “N” scale model train layouts, as well as an overhead “G” scale train, a “live steam” scale locomotive, and artifacts including an authentic brass bell from a steam locomotive, rail tracks, lanterns, ticket punches, spikes, tools, and baggage carts on display. There is an interactive locomotive simulator, featuring the actual control console from a decommissioned diesel locomotive. The museum also houses a movie theater where you can sit and watch a video giving some history of the park and railroad. 

The Railroad Museum of South Florida in Ft Myershttps://rrmsf.org/#home

There you go folks, another nostalgic look back of my beloved Florida, the one that needs to be seen to appreciate the boundaries of this Sunshine State! Fort Myers has many other things to see and just south is my family at Cape Coral, and north more family in Tampa ;well all over the State of Florida. Hope you enjoy the ride or visit as I

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

June 19, 2022

Curiosities of Florida, USA !!

Looking at my vault, found some older pictures on paper and took my electronic camera to take picture of the pictures and use them in my blog. This allows me to show in my blog places not shown or pics with new angles of places shown in the blog. Nostalgia sets in and here I go on the curiosities of Florida, USA !!

Boca Raton Mizner park as per picture, Mizner Park is a high-end shopping, residential, and entertainment district located in the affluent downtown neighborhood of Boca Raton .The district consists of a collection of high-end shops and restaurants with luxury apartments built in a Mediterranean Revival architectural style. It is named for architect Addison Mizner, founder of Boca Raton. The site of Mizner Park was previously a conventional enclosed shopping center called Boca Mall, which opened in 1974 In 1989, Levitz relocated and Jefferson Ward closed The closure of these anchors led to the mall’s demolition and redevelopment Mizner Park opened in 1989, expanding in 1996.

Boca Raton mizner park

Mizner Park is an open-air venue. The design is inspired by a setting reminiscent of a charming European City, beautifully landscaped with gazebos, fountains and lush tropical gardens. Guests are invited to stroll the park like streets; tour the fine art exhibits at the Boca Raton Museum of Art; take in a special showing at the Cultural Arts Center; and listen to a concert at the Count de Hoernle Amphitheter featuring a diverse line up of concerts and entertainment. The retail component is the heartbeat of Mizner Park, offering discriminating clientele a high level of luxury choices. Dine in or al fresco at an amazing collection of restaurants for every taste. Nice memories coming up to browse ,shop, and eat. Still friends lives there!

The city of Boca Raton on Mizner Park :https://www.myboca.us/facilities/facility/details/Mizner-Park-42

The Palm beaches tourist office on Boca Ratonhttps://www.thepalmbeaches.com/explore-cities/boca-raton

The official Mizner Park shopping mallhttps://www.miznerpark.com/en/directory/map/

Palm Beach Royal Poinciana Way (A1A road) as per picture, The Royal Poinciana Way Historic District is a historic commerce and residential district in Palm Beach, Florida. Formerly known as Main Street, the Royal Poinciana Way Historic District served as the primary location for commerce and civic activity in the early history of Palm Beach. This was because Royal Poinciana Way is the location of where a pedestrian and rail bridge would be constructed in 1901, providing a direct route (and the only bridge to Palm Beach until 1911 for travelers to Henry Flagler’s hotels in Palm Beach, The Breakers (b.1896) and the Royal Poinciana Hotel (b. 1894), both located just south of where the Royal Poinciana Way Historic District stands today. Now moving up with the joneses this is ultra chic area, but nice to visit!

Palm Beach Royal Poinciana Way

The Royal Poinciana Plaza mall :https://www.theroyalpoincianaplaza.com/explore/

Just off of it you have the Breakershttps://www.thebreakers.com/about-breakers/

The Palm Beach County tourist board on Palm Beachhttps://www.thepalmbeaches.com/explore-cities/palm-beach

Sanibel Island lighthouse as picture, Sanibel Island is located off the coast of southwest Florida, just west of Fort Myers ; it is a sub-tropical barrier island located in the Gulf of Mexico. Considered one of the most beautiful beach destinations in the world, Sanibel Island offers 15 miles of pristine shoreline and 25 miles of paved trails to explore. Enjoy shelling, spotting wildlife at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, and lively dining as the sun sets over the Gulf.

Sanibel island lighthouse

You can’t climb the 130-year-old lighthouse, but the grounds are always open for walks along the boardwalk and nature trails. The City of Sanibel now owns the Point Ybel tract and structures, although the tower is still operational under U.S. Coast Guard control. The historic Sanibel Lighthouse was built in 1884, it was one of the first lighthouses on the Gulf Coast  at 98 feet high (about 30 meters), iron structure was complete. This area call Punta Rassa became an important port in the 1830s and remained so up to the Spanish–American War (1898). It was primarily used to ship cattle from Florida to Cuba. Until the railroads reached the area in the 1880s, ranchers drove their cattle from open ranges in central Florida to Punta Rassa for shipment to Cuba.

The official Sanibel Island lighthouse :https://sanibellighthouse.com/

The Ft Myers and the beaches tourist office on the lighthousehttps://www.visitfortmyers.com/beaches/lighthouse-beach-park

Saint Petersburg Beach as per picture,and one of my favorites in Florida. You can start your day with a practice of the windsurfing , jet ski, or parasailing on St. Pete Beach.  To do your shopping or eat out head for Central Avenue renowned for its crazy side and its artistic and relaxed atmosphere . Also, take a look at St. Pete Beach’s two other nice streets, Corey Avenue and historic 8th Avenue, in Pass-a-Grille.

Saint Petersburg beach

St Pete Beach officially had its name changed in 1994 to lessen the confusion with the City of St Petersburg, located on the mainland. This barrier island has been drawing celebrities and savvy travelers in search of tranquil seas and soft shores for generations. You’ll find the posh, historic Don CeSar – aka the Pink Palace , and other popular resorts  and  Old Florida motels offering a dose of nostalgia along with modern-day amenities. Beach shacks serve surprisingly tasty food at very affordable prices and water sports equipment can be rented along the various beaches. Sublime!!

.The city of St Petersburg Beach on its beacheshttps://www.stpetebeach.org/Facilities?clear=False

The St Pete/Clearwater tourist office on St Petersburg Beachhttps://www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/communities/st-pete-beach

And last but not least, Hollywood Beach as per picture. This was the closest beach to my last former home in Florida as going all out east on Hollywood Blvd which becomes Pines Boulevard you could have reach my house in 35 minutes by car! Hollywood is a city in Broward county, and many times confused with that other famous town out west…In 1920, Joseph Young arrived in South Florida to create his own dream city in Florida. His vision included the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean stretching westward with man-made lakes, infrastructure, roads, and the Intracoastal Waterway. He wanted to include large parks, schools, churches, and golf courses; these were all industries and activities that were very important to Young’s life. He almost did exactly that with the help of many others.

Hollywood beach

The one-of-a-kind Hollywood Beach Broadwalk is a promenade that stretches nearly 2.5 miles along the Atlantic Ocean. Named one of America’s Best Beach Boardwalks by Travel + Leisure magazine, this brick-paved thoroughfare hosts pedestrians, joggers, bicyclists, rollerbladers, and millions of visitors every year. The promenade also features the Hollywood Beach Theatre, a children’s water playground at Charnow Park, public art displays, and many other attractions. Hollywood Beach also offers dozens of luxury hotels and condominiums. A newly reconstructed path for walkers, bicycle lane and jogging path. Outdoor cafes from organic farmers market and juice bar, to gourmet meals and ice cream cones, you name it is here.  Parking is available on side streets or in parking garages for a fee, and public trolleys run through the day. Awesome, and lots of nice family memories forever!

 The city of Hollywood Florida on the beachhttps://www.hollywoodfl.org/1049/Hollywood-Beach

The Hollywood city tourist office on beach and boardwalkhttps://www.floridashollywood.org/hollywood-beach-broadwalk/ 

There you go folks, a walk of nostalgia from my very earlier life and later visits to my Florida. The wonders of the Sunshine State of Florida that still rings a bell to my ears on each stretch of meter I take on this world. Hope you enjoy the post as I reviving these old pictures into the life of my blog.

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

Tags: ,
June 19, 2022

Curiosities of Cuba, Brazil and Spain !!

Looking at my vault, found some older pictures on paper and took my electronic camera to take picture of the pictures and use them in my blog. This allows me to show in my blog places not shown or pics with new angles of places shown in the blog. Nostalgia sets in and here I go on the curiosities of Cuba, Brazil, and Spain !!

The Coliseo de la Ciudad Deportiva is an indoor sporting arena located in Havana. Built in 1957, the Sports City Coliseum is one of the most important works of Cuban Civil Engineering. The capacity of the arena is for 15,000 spectators , and its construction began on November 1952. It is a 20,000 m² circular concrete building with an outside diameter of 103.2 meters and is located at the confluence of the Vía Blanca and Avenida de Rancho Boyeros roads (the latter takes you to the airport) . Did went once as a boy here for a volleyball game I believe…

Havana

The Monument to Antonio Maceo in Havana is located between El Malecón and the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital ,put here in 1916. In front of the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital, at 701 Calle San Lázaro . It is a bronze representation of the heroe of the First War of Independence (known as the war of 1868) , one of the most important Cuban general, known as the Bronze Titan and buried outside my native town of Punta Brava.  It sits in an important neighborhood of San Lázaro with importantas things to see such as Caleta de San Lázaro, Calle Belascoáin,(one of my family’s favorite), Calle San Lázaro, Torreón de San Lázaro, Hospital San Lázaro (today  Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital. ) On March 3, 1901, the Basques Jai Alai frontón was built, but today in ruins as much there now . The Cuban Grand Prix was a sports car motor race was run here until 1959.  Arrested at the age of 16, José Martí (Cuba’s independence heroe) was sentenced to six years of imprisonment of hard labor in the San Lazaro Quarry in the western part of the neighborhood, where he was sent to cut coral rock. It is now a memorial called Fragua Martiana . The Santa Clara Battery was built on top of a hill that was home to one of the most historic caves on the island. The hill of Taganana, located in the coastal outcrop of Punta Brava (also in Tenerife and name of my native town) near the cove of San Lázaro took its name from a cavern in the Canary Islands where the princess Guanche Cathaysa took refuge. She was captured and sold by the Spaniards as a slave in 1494. The Spaniards finally took over the island of Tenerife in 1496 from last Guanche king Bencomo!

Havana mon antonio maceo malecon

The Morro Castle or Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro named after the three biblical Magi, is a fortress guarding the entrance to the Havana harbor. Originally under the control of Spain, the fortress was captured by the British in 1762, returned to Spain under the Treaty of Paris of 1763. Although the castle is an irregular polygon, the stonecutting works on its walls are very attractive. The castle houses a beautiful lighthouse, an exhibition on the lighthouses of Cuba, a small underwater archaeology exhibition, a 20-meter-deep (66 feet) moat, central barracks, old cannons, guns and batteries, dungeons, a church, the office of the current harbormaster, wells, and very old bathrooms. A cannon is fired at 21h (9pm) nightly, the “El Cañonazo de las 9” is a leftover custom kept from colonial times signaling the closure of the city gates and port.

Havana morro castle inside moats

Niterói is a city in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The city is located on the eastern side of the entrance to Guanabara Bay, facing Rio de Janeiro, 13 km distant, to which it is connected by the Rio-Niterói bridge and a catamaran service. Niteroi is ultimately a miniature Rio, between its beaches, its hills and its lagoons, the resemblance is disturbing. The beaches of the Atlantic facade, Piratininga and Camboinhas / Itaipu stare insistently at the famous Copacabana and Ipanema. the Parque da Cidade with its view of the entire bay, it feels like having a huge 3D map unfolding at our feet! From the park, 2 launching ramps allow the practice of paragliding or hang-gliding, (see photo)

Niteroi me and back copacabana rio de janeiro

The Palacio Vistalegre is a multi-spectacle complex located in Madrid. The building is built on an old bullring called La Chata, dating from 1908 and then destroyed in 1995 to make way for the current building. The latter was inaugurated in 2000. In the lower part are located a shopping center and two thousand parking spaces. There is also a covered and air-conditioned arena with a capacity of 15,000 seats. In addition to its bullfighting function, the new facility allows regular hosting of musical and sporting events. From 2004 to 2010 , it hosted the Real Madrid basketball team (see photo).

Madrid palacio vista alegre RM basketball

There you go folks, a walk of nostalgia from my very earlier trips to Cuba, Brazil, and Spain. The wonders of a great combination of Europe and the Americas that still rings a bell to my ears on each stretch of meter I take on this world. Hope you enjoy the post as I reviving these old pictures into the life of my blog.

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

June 6, 2022

Curiosities of Mexico city !!

My many trips there over the years , saw plenty, had a great time but most importantly the friendships gathered now for over 20 years and still strong are tops. It is fun and lots of architecture and history so therefore, here is my curiosities of Mexico city (DF). Hope you enjoy this post as much as I.

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

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The Parque de la Bola is located a few steps from Insurgentes Sur right on Calle Mercaderes. Vendors, artists and families gather here. The official name of it is Parque de la Insurgencia, in homage to the Father of the Nation Don Miguel Hidalgo and the heroes who offered their lives for the Independence of Mexico. It has a beautiful spherical fountain, for what is known locally as the Parque de la Bola. The statue of Miguel Hidalgo stands at the top and the sphinxes of other national heroes, such as José María Morelos y Pavón, Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez; Ignacio Allende and Vicente Guerrero, appear represented around the central part of it. You can see busts of famous Mexican writers such as: Juan de la Cabada, Rodolfo Usigli, Rafael Solana, Luis G. Basurto, José Revueltas, Juan Rulfo and Josefina Vicens; in tribute to these great pens.

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A view by Centro Manacar shopping center on Insurgentes Sur avenue on foot. This is a great chic shopping mall in a great area for walks too,

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I like to tackle some of the streets of Mexico city or at least my most frequented ones.   I have driven by it or driven with for most of it. However, have some on foot as well. Hope you enjoy it in one of the world’s most congested cities, driving is a thrill and a challenge. All handle well by your road warrior!

Let me start with my favorite area. The place known as the Zona Rosa is a space that over the years has become a commercial area. Located within Colonia Juárez, which belongs to the Cuauhtémoc Delegation of Mexico City. It is surrounded to the north by Paseo de la Reforma, to the south by Avenida Chapultepec, to the east by Avenida de los Insurgentes and to the west by Avenida Florencia . All largely walked by yours truly over the years as well. This is my Mexico city central!

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You know why this area was call Zona Rosa or pink zone? Well several theories, my favorite was written by the Mexican painter José Luis Cuevas, whose explanation was that the pink color of the area comes from being a red area at night, and white area during the day. Indeed this is a happening area and my home even if over the last few years it has become the LBTG central as well.  Likewise, he has declared on numerous occasions both in the press and on television, that the name originally emerged as a tribute to the Cuban actress Rosa Carmina born in Havana,(1929), who is a film actress and Cuban television, dancer, singer, rumbera and star based in Mexico ; you can search for her work. She belongs to the so-called Golden Age of Mexican cinema as one of its main stars. For some years, she lives in Barcelona, Spain.

The most notable street for bars has to be Calle Amberes. All between Avenida Chapultepec and Paseo de la Reforma!   This is my central central and as said lately the home of its LBTG bars even if all are welcome including me! I have stayed here several times on the Royal Hotel and the Basque/Spanish Tezka restaurant, and just around in Calle Genova the Konditori (now closed). And by Calle Hamburgo, El Lugar del Mariachi still open. And just across the street Avenida Chapultepec another old favorite the Segovia Regency Hotel.

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Moving on to Calle Mercaderes,Colonia San Jose Insurgentes is   home of Fiesta Inn hotel City Express Hotel and the El Gran Leon de Oro restaurant. All of my usual stays over the years. As well as Le Pain Quotidien Belgian chain resto ; Teatro Insurgentes and the Parque de la Bola!

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 And really central for me and close to all the others is the hugely popular and grand Avenida de los Insurgentes which is a set of three continuous avenues that form one of the main road axes in Mexico City. With a combined length of almost 29 km, it crosses most of the Mexican capital. It is divided into three avenues or zones: the Norte (north), the Centro (center), the Sur (south) zone, which is the one I have been the most. The Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur, from Paseo de la Reforma, to the Caminero Monument, its numbering starts north and ends south between 1 and 5000, north to south. This area begins at the intersection with Paseo de la Reforma and due to its extension it will be divided into several areas.My office building when visiting.

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The Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (Cuauhtémoc – Juárez). Between Paseo de la Reforma and Avenida Chapultepec It is characterized because to its west is the popularly called Zona Rosa, while to the east is the Colonia Juárez which is characterized by its architecture, where the modern and tall buildings that surround it. The Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (Napoles – Del Valle). Between the Miguel Alemán Viaduct and the Interior Circuit. We find one of the areas with the highest economic level in the country, in which there are several colonies such as Napoles, Colonia Insurgentes Mixcoac, Colonia Nochebuena, Colonia del Valle and the remains of the Pueblo de San Lorenzo. Tlacoquemecatl. In this segment, the World Trade Center building in Mexico City stands out (see my post on views from above Mexico city). You , also find in this area the wonderful Monumental Plaza de toros (bullfight arena) and the so-called Estadio Azul (Blue Stadium) This stadium was home from 1996 to 2018 of the Cruz Azul FC of the Mexican first division football/soccer. It has been said, that it might be demolished in 2020 as the team plays now its games at the Estadio Azteca. Good news, on June 26, 2020, the league approved Atlante’s move to Mexico City, after 13 years in Cancun and placing the team in the new Expansion League, due to the suspension of the Ascent League, where it had played since 2014.Therefore, the stadium is sitll in football/soccer!

mex torre mayor to reforma oct12

Santa Fe, dominated by office skyscrapers, is Mexico City’s most modern neighborhood (and one spot of business visits on several occasions in addition to one of my best friends lives there! ). The streets are lined with international establishments ranging from fast food to gourmet cuisine. The area includes several university campuses and global hotel chains, as well as the Centro Santa Fe, a vast shopping center with 500 stores that is among the largest in Latin America. The mall is chic shopping like if you were in Paris: https://centrosantafe.com.mx/

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The Mexico City tourist officehttp://cdmxtravel.com/en/

The Mexico tourist office on Mexico city (DF)https://www.visitmexico.com/en/mexico-city

The Atlas on Tourism of Mexico City  (gov site) : https://atlasturistico.sectur.gob.mx/AtlasTuristico/inicio.do?lang=EN

And there you go a wonderful tour of Mexico City; you do not have to do it by car, once in the location walking around is magical and allows you to see the architecture styles of this great metropolis. Great memories of my curiosities of Mexico city and hope they can become yours too, Hope you enjoy the post as I,

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

June 6, 2022

My transports stories from Mexico!

As I do ,there is always those public transports ups and down that I tend to laid aside but after a while they can be annoying so start ranting about them lol! This time there was a few, and here they are. This is an update on one of my glorious trips to Mexico lindo y querido! It was an 11 days trip and lots of things to tried especially driving and using public transports in Mexico city

My trip started at home driving to the Nantes Atlantique airport which is in Bouguenais but normally call the Nantes airport. This airport has been my base for the last 11 years , a smallish airport but very convenient and clean. I parked in covered parking as I bring my own car, and its easy in and out. The trip takes me about 1h30 from home on the N165, and usually no traffic unless come in at rush hour which I avoid. 

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

I am so used to CDG by now is like walking in the park, very used to it. The connection here was with Aeroméxico to Benito Juarez international airport in Mexico city (DF). This flight took almost 11 hrs on a business economy seat, the best was arriving Sunday went straight to my hotel. This was the City Express by Insurgentes Sur and Calle Mercaderes.

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I moved into more business like areas and reach the Avenida Centenario, by delegation Alvaro Obregon home of Teatro Centenario Coyoacan and Arcos de Centenario a very nice residential area of friends.

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The Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (Roma). Between Avenida Chapultepec and Miguel Alemán Viaduct and it begins at the so-called Glorieta de Insurgentes , built by the works of Line 1 of the Metro and where the Insurgentes metro Station is located, this gazebo is characterized by being sunk with respect to the rolling area, having several tunnel accesses, such as the Zona Rosa.

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I did had my usual business meeting in Polanco and by Santa Fé districts which ,also provide an opportunity to see these chic areas of Mexico City and with a driver lol!!

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The Mexico city , metrobus network is vast and clean, nice to take almost everywhere in the city. I have used it for the thrill of it as always with a car or driven by as said. My experiences have been nice and easy along Insurgentes Sur to go to Manacar shopping mall or to Teatro Insurgentes or by the Calle Felix Cuevas. While at it saw the bike rental stand by Calle Santander. All on line 1. Metrobus webpage with lines: https://www.metrobus.cdmx.gob.mx/mapas-de-sistema/mapa-completo-del-sistema

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As I had a nice weekend end of September to do something extra and know that I have family living in Merida, Yucatàn for several years now took the opportunity for a visit. Online got me a ticket on Interjet airlines of Mexico.  The flight took off from terminal 1 at Mexico airport to Merida international airport for an easy landing and getting out.

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The flight was easy and comfortable and had my cousin waiting for me at the airport to take me to her house. I had the inmense pleasure of seeing cousins and aunt (she lived to 90 but has since passed away, my mom’s sister RIP) that had not seen in person for several years, and we all had a great time. I was able to finally go out into some shopping and restaurants as well as eating a real meal at a home away from home!

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The trip back was on Interjet as well landing at Terminal 1 in Mexico city . Here was just a transfer to my international flight back to France on same terminal with Air France.  The return trip was less than 10 hours landing at CDG on T2E satellite L and moving easily with time to eat and spare to terminal 2 F to get my flight to Nantes from gate F41 on Air France as well. Landing at Nantes ,and then over to the covered parking for my car, waiting nicely !

The drive back as it was just after rush hour was easy with no major traffic , flawless on the N165 reaching home by 20h30! And another trip done and another trip to Mexico done! with the added bonus that this time was able to see my family!!!  And even thus this time did not drive, I was driven, by car well traffic is bad but you can still know the locals how to avoid it as much as possible and with flexible hours its ok. As it was, this was my last trip there before the covid and now hoping for a return eventually.

The Mexico City tourist office on how to get around: http://cdmxtravel.com/en/visitor-info/how-to-move

The Mérida ,Yucatàn tourist office: https://visitmerida.mx/merida

And there you folks, another wonderful visit of Mexico City and the added bonus of Mérida, Yucatàn to see family. Traveling on foot once on town or with locals is the best way to soak in on the architecture, and history of the places. Great memories of my visits of Mexico city and Mérida, Yucatàn of good friends and family. Hope they can become yours too,and enjoy the post as I.

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

May 31, 2022

Edison Township , NJ!!

Coming back at you as found one picture from a memorable place that needs to be in my blog. As you have read in previous posts on New Jersey and towns in my blog will cut it short right into the memorable town of Edison township, Middlesex County , New Jersey, Part of my early life in the USA and still very much in my mind. Even if came to live in France and have worked/lived in several countries , Middlesex County , New Jersey ,the Garden State rings loud and clear in my mind. I and my family will always be thankful of the New Jersey experience. This is my humble homage to one of its towns we played and shop a lot there, Edison Township!!

Ok so we move on to the county I lived for 13 years of my early life; Middlesex County.  Middlesex is part of the New York metropolitan area, and its county seat is New Brunswick (where i became US Citizen in 1980) . The center of population of the state of New Jersey is located in Middlesex County, in East Brunswick Township, just east of the New Jersey Turnpike.

A bit of history I like

The town of Edison Township (or Menlo Park before 1954), What is now Edison Township was originally incorporated as Raritan Township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 17, 1870, from portions of both Piscataway Township and Woodbridge Township (see post), portions of the township were taken to form Metuchen on March 20, 1900, and Highland Park on March 15, 1905. The township got its original name from the Raritan indigenous people. In 1954 the town originally named Menlo Park  was renamed Edison in honor of its famous resident inventor (Thomas Edison ,nicknamed The Wizard of Menlo Park) one of America’s most important electrical pioneer inventors , founder of General Electric, one of the world’s first industrial empires. In December 1877, Thomas Edison demonstrated his phonograph there, burning a brief recording onto a cylinder and playing the result again to an astounded audience. On December 31, 1879, over 3,000 people witnessed the first public demonstration of Thomas Edison’s light bulbs, the experiment proving the validity of the halogen incandescent lamp !

My most vivid memories here is coming to the fame Menlo Park Mall that opened here in 1959, a two level shopping mall right next to the road US 1, My parents love it so I came along and nice memories still, (see pic ). One park I went to play catch and just stroll with my parents was Roosevelt Park, located between Parsonage Road and Route 1, west of the Edison Mall, covers 88 Ha or about 217 acres , including the 3 Ha or about 8 acres Roosevelt Park Lake. The park was established in 1917, making it the oldest county park in Middlesex County.

Edison menlo park mall pipo y mima

The Menlo Park Mallhttps://www.simon.com/mall/menlo-park-mall

The Middlesex County Gov site on Roosevelt Parkhttps://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/Home/Components/FacilityDirectory/FacilityDirectory/89/261

A bit more on the Edison Township, The town is primarily a middle-class community with more than 75 ethnic communities represented. Edison has a large Jewish community with multiple synagogues . Edison also has a growing Indian community and a number of temples serving the religious needs . Reflecting the number of Edison’s residents from India and China, the township has sister city arrangements with Shijiazhuang, China and Baroda, India. It is the largest and most diverse South Asian cultural hub in the United States. In Middlesex County, election ballots are printed in English,  Spanish,  Gujarati,  Hindi, and Punjabi

The  Edison township  borders the towns of East Brunswick, Highland Park, New Brunswick,  Piscataway, Sayreville, South Plainfield and Woodbridge Township in Middlesex County; Clark, Plainfield and Scotch Plains in Union County. Edison is about halfway between Midtown Manhattan, and New Jersey’s capitol, Trenton, being about 48 km or 30 miles from both. Edison Township is a transportation hub, with an extensive network of highways passing through the township and connecting to major Northeast cities, State roads include Route 27  and 440, (my favorites too) . U.S. Route 1 (glorious road of memories) ,also passes through the township,  Interstate 287 passes through Edison, where it houses its southern end at I-95. The town, also houses about a 5-mile (8.0 km) section of the New Jersey Turnpike ( I-95) Exit 10 is located in Edison, featuring a 13-lane toll gate and a unique interchange design (awesome!) , Never taken but Edison train station, located in South Edison, is served by NJ Transit northbound trains to Newark Penn Station and Penn Station New York, and southbound to the Trenton Transit Center via the Northeast Corridor Line, with connecting service to Amtrak, and SEPTA (PA transit network).

The Edison township on its history : https://www.edisonnj.org/about_edison/township_history/index.php

The New Jersey tourist board on Edison townshiphttps://visitnj.org/nj/edison/attractions

There you go folks, a bit of nostalgia of Edison Township, Middlesex County, and the great State of New Jersey! My Garden State !  The memories lingered even if last time there was 2007 on a brief 3 day visit ; these memories forever for me now glad told in my blog, my history. Again, thanks for coming along and hope you enjoy it as I. And, thanks for reading me since November 2010!!

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

May 30, 2022

Take a look at St Augustine, Florida !

So looking back into my blog I sadly realised have not written much on the city of St Augustine, Florida! It is a shock to me as used to lived for many years just 55 minutes from it and went there even for lunch/dinner, played soccer/football, and just plain sightseeing first with my parents and later with wife and kids. Well ,found me some old pictures in my vault and decided to do justice with another post on wonderful St Augustine, Florida !

St. Augustine is on the Atlantic coast of Florida. This is the county seat of Saint Johns. about 60 km (37 mi) from Jacksonville and 90 km ( 56mi) from Daytona Beach. Today, Saint Augustine is one of Florida’s most popular destinations. It is ,also, the oldest city in the United States ,founded in 1565 by Pedro Menendez de Aviles for Spain!

The Bridge of Lions completed in 1927 was constructed during the extravagant land boom times in Florida. It was designed as a work of art as much as a transport for cars, connecting downtown St. Augustine with Anastasia Island (great beach!),across Matanzas Bay. A double-leaf bascule bridge, or drawbridge, it opens for boat traffic several times throughout the day. The bridge gets its name from two white marble lion statues guarding the bridge on the west side name Fiel and Firme,or Faithful and Firm, In 2015, two new granite lions were added to the east side of the bridge ,name Pax and Peli, or Peace and Happiness.  A walk across the bridge and back to see all four lions is about a mile (about 1,6 km), and worth every step. From its earliest days, it was hailed as “The Most Beautiful Bridge in Dixie.” (south US), It has long been a symbol of the US oldest city.  Renovation work was completed on March 17, 2010 when it reopened for use. The restored Lion statues were returned after a 6-year absence, early in the morning of March 15, 2011. The current bridge’s west entrance features manicured gazebos, landscaped palm trees and a new publicly accessible dock extending partially into the bay.

Saint Augustine bridge of lions into town from beach side

The city of Saint Augustine tourist office on the Bridge of Lions:https://www.visitstaugustine.com/thing-to-do/bridge-lions

One of my best memories of the town is the Flagler College (univ) a wonderful place where I came to play soccer/football against them and usually won! I came later to show it off to parents, wife and boys for many more years.  Flagler College 74 King St.: is a unique combination of the past and present, and an architectural icon of the city of St. AugustineThe college, founded in 1968, is centered on a former luxury hotel, the Ponce de Leon hotel, built in 1888 at the request of the industrialist Henry Morrison Flagler. Originally for women only, the college became coeducational in 1971.

Saint Augustine

In 1887, Thomas Edison and the Edison Electric Company installed the world’s largest incandescent lighting plant at Hotel Ponce de Leon, also making it the first building in the country to be designed with electric wiring throughout. Upon opening in January 1888, the structure was considered an engineering and architectural marvel due to it being the largest structure made of poured concrete at the time, plus modern amenities like electricity, running water, game rooms, private parlors , and of course all of the Gilded Age splendor inside and out. The hotel notable guests include Presidents Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, and John F Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon B Johnson, writers Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Ernest Hemingway, Edna Ferber, star athlete Babe Ruth, and so many more. The Ponce de Leon saw major success which prompted Mr Flagler to build Hotel Alcazar across the street, now the Lightner Museum and City Hall. The hotel was taken over by the federal government during WWII. It was primarily used as a Coast Guard Training Centre; the hotel was permanently closed in 1967. In 1968, it was reopened as the Flagler college.

The city of St Augustine tourist office on Flagler college :https://www.visitstaugustine.com/thing-to-do/flagler-college

The Lightner Museum 75 King Street . Enjoy the atmosphere and artwork of another age at this elegant Museum, formerly the Alcazar Hotel. The Lightner Museum is a museum of antiques, mostly American Gilded Age pieces .The Hotel Alcazar was commissioned by Henry Flagler, to appeal to wealthy tourists who traveled south for the winter on his railroad, the Florida East Coast Railway.  The hotel had a steam room, massage parlor, sulfur baths, gymnasium, a three-story ballroom, and the world’s largest indoor swimming pool; however, after years as an elegant winter resort for wealthy patrons, the hotel closed in 1932. On August 20, 1947 Chicago publisher Otto C. Lightner purchased the building to convert the old hotel into a hobbies museum. He used the space to house several collections, including his own extensive collection of Victorian era art . He then turned it over to the city of St. Augustine and the museum opened to the public in 1948.  The museum occupies three floors of the former Hotel Alcazar and is housed in the former health facilities of the hotel, including the spa and the Turkish bath, in addition to its three-story ballroom.

Saint Augustine

The official Lightner Museumhttps://lightnermuseum.org/

The Castillo de San Marcos  1 South Castillo Drive: The oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S., the castle fortress is the focal point of historical St. Augustine. The Castillo de San Marcos built by the Spanish, is the oldest fort built between 1672-1695. It changed its name several times: it was called Fort St. Mark during the British period (1763-1784) then Fort Marion between 1821 and 1942.

Saint Augustine castle San Marcos

In 1670, the establishment of Charles Town (current Charleston in South Carolina) located only two days of navigation by the English made the construction of the fort all the more necessary. Work on the Castillo de San Marcos began in October 1672 , done with Anastasia Island coquina  used for the walls; this is a limestone sedimentary rock formed mainly from incompletely consolidated shells found on the coasts of Florida . The manpower that is lacking on site comes partly from Havana (Cuba), as does the military engineer in charge of the work, Ignacio Daza. Native Americans are also involved.  The Castillo de San Marcos site covers 8.3 hectares. The fort is surrounded by water ditches whose height is regulated by a gate according to the tides. Several bastions and turrets are there to avoid blind spots. The fort has a square plan, each vertex of which is extended by a diamond-shaped bastion. Each bastion has at least one cannon. In the center of the building is the plaza de armas around which the different rooms are distributed.

The National Parks Service on the Castillo San Marcoshttps://www.nps.gov/casa/index.htm

The city of St Augustine tourist office on the Castillo San Marcoshttps://www.visitstaugustine.com/thing-to-do/castillo-de-san-marcos

The Basilica Cathedral of St. Augustine 38 Cathedral Place.  America’s first parish and the oldest Catholic Church in the city. Explore this exquisite building and view the Spanish-inspired architecture. The Basilica Cathedral of Saint Augustine, was built over five years between 1793–1797. It’s congregation, founded in 1565, is the oldest in the United States. This pic is a repeat and newer but I like it ::)

St Augustine cathedral panel PF 1990s

The first church of Saint Augustine was only a frame construction, decorated with disparate materials. The original parish had only an ephemeral existence, since it was sacked and burned in 1586 by the English privateer Francis Drake.  The church raised an extraordinary tithe in Spain, which made it possible to build a permanent church in 1605, with the participation of masons and carpenters already familiar with the materials available in the New World. This new building lasted 95 years this time despite visible dilapidation, before being burnt down in 1702 during a failed raid on the city, led by James Moore. When Spain recovered these lands in 1784, a civic and patriotic revival pushed the fortunes of the country to undertake the construction of a cathedral, between 1793 and 1797. Florida had been a U.S. state since 1845; on April 12, 1887, the cathedral was again engulfed in fire but this time the coquina masonry was repairable.  Thanks to donations from Henry Flagler and a nationwide campaign to expand the building to give it a Latin cross basilica plan, and a European-style transept.

Saint Augustine Cathedral main altar

The facade of the Basilica Cathedral of St Augustine, marries the neoclassical style with the architecture of the Spanish missions characterized by their scrolled gable , austere interior lighting, a roof in tiles in terracotta, a semi-circular tympanum, abundant niche statuary and bare walls.  At Saint Augustine, neoclassical elements frame the portal: the entablature decorated with triglyphs is enhanced by a pediment and rests on two Doric columns. Nice

The Diocese of St Augutine virtual tour of the Cathedralhttps://thefirstparish.org/virtual-tour/

The city of St Augustine tourist office on the Cathedralhttps://www.visitstaugustine.com/thing-to-do/cathedral-basilica-st-augustine

For more on Saint Augustine, the area tourist office of Saint Augustine and Ponte Vedrahttps://www.floridashistoriccoast.com/things-to-do/

There you go folks, ths is a must when visiting FLorida . Enjoy St Augustine, as I always had, and looking forward one day eventually to revisit. Hope you enjoy this retrospective with older photos as I

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

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