Posts tagged ‘Americas’

March 7, 2019

Lagoinha beach at Paraipaba,Brazil of course!

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

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

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

praia da lagoinha

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

praia da lagoinha

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

praia da lagoinha

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

Tourist office of State of Ceara on beaches with map

360 degrees Beaches site great videos on Lagoinha beach

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

praia da lagoinha

Praia da Lagoinha

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

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

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

 

March 7, 2019

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

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

Madrid santiago bernabeu sta 07avr10

Madrid

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

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

Madrid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Madrid

These are the domestic club titles:

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

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

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

International done just the same as good thank you;

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

madrid

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

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

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

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

Madrid

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

some links of interest below:

The official club webpage  Real Madrid CF

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

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

Madrid

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

madrid

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

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

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

Madrid

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

March 5, 2019

Monastery of Sao Bento, Vinhedo, SP Brazil!

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

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

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

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

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

Local gov site of Vinhedo on the wine festival in Portuguese

Tourist office of Vinhedo on things to see wine

Vinhedo

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

Vinhedo

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

Vinhedo SP mon Sao Bento entrance may17

Vinhedo

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

Vinhedo SP mon Sao Bento main altar may17

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

Official site of the Monastery of Sao Bento in Portuguese

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

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

March 5, 2019

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza (St Joseph).

And as I am in town ,why not tell you more about the city of Fortaleza, in Cearà State. It is more famous for the beaches and carnavals, but it has wonderful architectural monuments for all to enjoy ;hope you do as I did.

Let me tell you a bit about the city of Fortaleza as folks need to know more of it, me think.  Fortaleza  is the state capital of Ceará, located in Northeastern Brazil. The city has developed on the banks of the creek Pajeú, and its name is an allusion to Fort Schoonenborch, which gave rise to the city, built by the Dutch during their second stay in the area between 1649 and 1654. The motto of Fortaleza, present in its coat of arms is the Latin word Fortitudine, which means “with strength/courage”.

Fortaleza’s history began on February 2, 1500, when Spaniard Vicente Pinzón landed in Mucuripe’s cove and named the new land Santa Maria de la Consolación. Because of the Treaty of Tordesillas, the discovery was never officially sanctioned. Colonisation began in 1603, when the Portuguese Pero Coelho de Souza constructed the Fort of São Tiago and founded the settlement of Nova Lisboa (New Lisbon).After a victory over the French in 1612, Martins Soares Moreno expanded the Fort of São Tiago and changed its name to Forte de São Sebastião. In 1630 the Dutch invaded the Brazilian Northeast and in 1637 they took the Fort of São Sebastião and ruled over Ceará. In battles with the Portuguese and natives in 1644 the fort was destroyed. In 1654, the Dutch handed over this fortress to the Portuguese, who renamed it Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora de Assunção (“Fort of Our Lady of the Assumption”), after which the city of Fortaleza takes its name. Fortaleza was officially founded as a village 1726, becoming the capital of Ceará state in 1799.

Now let me tell you a bit more on the wonderful Cathedral of Fortaleza.

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza (St Joseph) is a historical monument, headquarters of the Archdiocese of Fortaleza, in Fortaleza, State of Ceará. It was built on the site of the old Sé Church. The work took 40 years to complete, and was initiated in 1938 and inaugurated in 1978. It has capacity for 5 000 people and its towers reach 75 meters high. Occupying most of the Praça Pedro II square, also known as Praça da Sé, in the historic center of Fortaleza, the temple stands out for the architectural grandeur and the beauty of the stained glass windows.  Saint Joseph is the Saint bound to the Cathedral.

fortaleza

The first main Chapel of the Fortaleza Church had its construction authorized by the Royal Order in 1746. In 1795, the work was finished. In 1821, the São José Chapel was in ruins, needing to be rebuilt. In 1861, after the rebuilding, automatically, the mother Church became a Cathedral. In 1938, a survey was made and a crack was found in the bases of its construction, by the sea side. The Cathedral was then again condemned and demolished in the same year. In 1939, the first stones of the new Metropolitan Cathedral  aka St Joseph was launched, designed by the French engineer George Mounier and that, like the other, took 39 years to complete. In apparent concrete, neo-Gothic style with predominance of eclectic and Romanesque elements, occupying much of Praça Pedro II, was inaugurated on 22 December 1978, with references to the Cathedral of Cologne and the Cathedral of Chartres.

fortaleza

The Crypt of the Metropolitan Cathedral of St Joseph was inaugurated in 1962, honoring six Saints who died young: São Domingos Sávio, Saint Pancracio , Saint Tarcísio and the Saintes Maria Goretti, Inês and Luzia. For this reason, it was devoted it to the young, calling it the Crypt of the Teenagers. In the Crypt is the Chapel of the Resurrection and the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, in addition to the remains of several prelates buried therein. The Crypt was reopened in 2011, after one year and four months of renovation, in which was placed a granite floor, a new lighting, an air conditioning system, and completed the altar. Currently, the Crypt allows to accommodate 350 seated persons.

fortaleza

There you a nice monument indeed and worth the detour while in Fortaleza. Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Archidiocèse of Fortaleza in Portuguese

Local gov foundation on the Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza in Portuguese

A site on the beaches of Fortaleza with info on the Metropolitan Cathedral in Portuguese

fortaleza

showing off in Fortaleza!

Nice youtube video on the Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza

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

 

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March 4, 2019

The Fortress of Our Lady of the Assumption, Fortaleza, Brazil!

So I bring you now over the Atlantic ocean to my old world and a wonderful country of Brazil. I have written several posts on it, and been all over the country for years as well as lived there for an extended period. It has so much to offer in history and architecture often overlook by visitors.

I like in my small way, try to change that, and show you other parts of Brazil, the one from a historical, architectural point of view that are off the beaten path trips all worth the detour. This is the case of the Fortress of Our Lady of the Assumption in Fortaleza, State of Ceara of Brazil. Hope you enjoy it.

For this part it merits to tell you a bit about the city of Fortaleza as it is the State capital of Ceará, located in Northeastern Brazil. The city has developed on the banks of the creek Pajeú, and its name is an allusion to Fort Schoonenborch, which gave rise to the city, built by the Dutch during their second stay in the area between 1649 and 1654. The motto of Fortaleza, present in its coat of arms is the Latin word Fortitudine, which means “with strength/courage”.

Fortaleza’s history began on February 2, 1500, when Spaniard Vicente Pinzón landed in Mucuripe’s cove and named the new land Santa Maria de la Consolación. Because of the Treaty of Tordesillas, the discovery was never officially sanctioned. Colonisation began in 1603, when the Portuguese Pedro Coelho de Souza constructed the Fort of São Tiago and founded the settlement of Nova Lisboa (New Lisbon).After a victory over the French in 1612, Martins Soares Moreno expanded the Fort of São Tiago and changed its name to Forte de São Sebastião. In 1630 the Dutch invaded the Brazilian Northeast and in 1637 they took the Fort of São Sebastião and ruled over Ceará. In battles with the Portuguese and natives in 1644 the fort was destroyed. In 1654, the Dutch handed over this fortress to the Portuguese, who renamed it Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora de Assunção (Fort of Our Lady of the Assumption), after which the city of Fortaleza takes its name. Fortaleza was officially founded as a city in 1726, becoming the capital of Ceará State in 1799.

The fortress (Fortaleza) of Our Lady of the Assumption is located on the left bank of the mouth of the Pajeú Creek, on Mount Marajaitiba. It currently houses the headquarters of the 10th Military Region of the Brazilian Army. The construction was launched in 1812, in honor of the anniversary of the Serene Lord Prince of Beira, Mr. Pedro de Alcântara.

fortaleza

It presents the shape of a square with 90 meters on the side, with bulks at the vertices, under the invocation, respectively, of Our Lady of the Assumption (northeast), São José (southeast), Dom João (northwest) and Príncipe da Beira (southwest). Initially with five pieces, it was funded with public funds and private donations, aside from donations of materials and services, from volunteers and slaves. In 1816, the fortress was armed with twenty-seven gun pieces.

fortaleza

Between 1846 and 1857, new buildings were erected, which hosted several military units such as the 11th and 15th Infantry battalions, the Military School of Ceará, the 22nd and 23rd battalions of Hunters, among others. Also known as the Turtle Fort, it was well preserved in 1906, and disarmed in 1910. At the time of WWI it was used as a barracks, between 1917 and 1918, by the 1st Independent Battery of the 3rd District of Costal Artillery. The Fortaleza of Our Lady of the Assumption, currently functioning as the headquarters of the command of the 10th Military Region, is one of the most famous sights of the capital of Ceará, having as highlights the history of the fortress, the museum and Phanteon of General Sampaio ( Patron of the Infantry divisions), the prison where was Bárbara de Alencar and also the statue of Martim Soares Moreno are located. The fort can be visited by prior appointment with the social communication of the military region HQ. The visit is made in the company of a military officer who addresses topics of interest on the monument, namely the Plaza de Armas (Arms square), the cell where Bárbara de Alencar was detained and the Chapel of the fort.

10th Battalion official webpage in Portuguese

10th Battalion oficial site, more info in Portuguese click above on  Quero visitar o  Sítio Histórico da Fortaleza de N.Sra da Assunção: Acesse aqui. It will tell you how to contact the military for a tour visit of the Fortress of Our Lady of the Assumption.

fortaleza

I think a nice youtube video from someone else on the Fortress:

Hope you enjoy the tour and when coming for the beaches take your time to walk in the city and see this marvel of architecture and history of Fortaleza, Cearà, Brazil.

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

March 4, 2019

Windjammers Barefoot Cruises, Fantome!

So today will take you on memory lane that unfortunately did not turn out well for many. I have in my earlier life enjoy cruisings especially the singles kind… This was wonderful cruises to the Caribbean and it was awesome. Even now the memories are vivid and nice even in the sadness of it all.

I came many many years back into the Windjammers Barefoot Cruises and was booked a cruise to the Caribbean British Virgin Islands I believe was like in 1987-1988 but can’t recall exactly. I went on to two more cruises into the Roatan , Honduras and Costa Rica areas but the Virgin Islands was tops.

As I came upon articles to write and saw the book, I decided to rend hommage to the folks who took these cruises and especially those that perished at sea on the SV Fantome! Here is a bit of their story.

Windjammer Barefoot Cruises was a leisure cruise line based in Miami Beach, Florida.  Founded in 1947 by Michael Burke, the company scheduled one and two week cruises in the Caribbean and Central America, using a fleet of sailing ships. The ships were former yachts and commercial vessels that were refurbished as cruise vessels, accommodating 60–100 paying passengers and 20–40 officers and crewmembers. The ships were refitted to resemble 19C sailing vessels called windjammers. Caribbean itineraries included the British Virgin Islands, French West Indies, Grenadines, the ABC islands, and the Bahamas. Recent and former Central American itineraries included Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, and Belize.

In September 2007, Windjammer’s entire fleet was suspended from operating any further cruises. All remaining parts of the company that were still operating were shut down in April 2008. Later that year, the company’s assets were auctioned off. The four ships they operated are all laid up and were left in a neglected state of condition. It was a sad ending to a tragic event.

Fantome was a 679-ton staysail schooner. Completed in 1927 for the Duke of Westminster,  it was purchased by Windjammer in 1969, and became flagship of the fleet. During her twenty-nine years of service in this regard, Fantome offered cruises in the Caribbean and the Bay of Honduras. She was lost in October 1998, during Hurricane Mitch.

Originally ordered for the Italian navy but before completion was purchased by the Duke of Westminster, who finished her as a yacht  in 1927.  The Duke of Westminster used the Fantome only a few years before it changed hands twice in short order. Ultimately, it was acquired by Irishman A. E. Guinness, heir to the brewing fortune that bore his family’s name.  Guinness had taken her into the Pacific in the late 1930s and when war broke out in Europe in 1939, the Fantome was in Alaskan waters. Reluctant to cruise further or return to Ireland, he elected to lay her up in Seattle for the duration of hostilities. At the end of the war she was stranded in Portage Bay for 14 years, barred by  King County from sailing pending the payment of back taxes. In 1969, Windjammer owner and founder Michael Burke flew to Greece to purchase the schooner directly from Aristotle Onassis. He bought it, sight unseen, in exchange for a freighter. Windjammer then set about refurbishing Fantome, which became the flagship of their fleet of six vessels.

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach

On 24 October 1998, Fantome departed the harbor of Omoa in Honduras for a planned 6 day cruise. Hurricane Mitch, then over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) away in the Caribbean Sea, was expected to pose a risk to Jamaica and possibly the Yucatán Peninsula. By dawn on the following day, however, Mitch seemed to change course. Fantome immediately changed course for Belize City, where it disembarked all of  its passengers and non-essential crew members. The schooner then departed Belize City, first heading north towards the Gulf of Mexico, in order to outrun the storm

The plan was to make for the lee side of the island of Roatan (Honduras). In case Mitch made landfall in the Yucatán or Belize, by being on the southern side of the island, it would provide her with enough protection to keep it from getting damaged by large swells and high winds. However, Mitch, now a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 180 mph (285 km/h), took a jog towards the south, directly towards Roatan.

Fantome made one desperate attempt to flee to safety, now heading east towards the Caribbean. Mitch’s forward motion picked up, though, and Fantome was unable to outrun the storm.  It has been recorded that around 16h30 (4:30 pm) on 27 October 1998, with Mitch having weakened but still at Category 5 intensity, Fantome reported that it was fighting 100-mile-per-hour (160 km/h) winds in 40-foot (12 meters) seas. They were just 40 miles (64 km) south of Mitch’s eyewall. Radio contact was lost with Fantome shortly after that.

On 2 November, 1998 a helicopter dispatched by the British destroyer HMS Sheffield discovered life rafts and vests, labeled “S/V Fantome,” off the eastern coast of Guanaja, Honduras. It was all that was found of the Fantome.  Sadly, all 31 crew members aboard perished, and a memorial service was held for them on December 12, 1998. RIP many of them I have come to know and were good hard working humble folks from many Caribbean islands trying to make a living. They were happy and proud to serve on such a wonderful ship ,the Fantome will be remembered forever so will they. Thanks for the memories.

The story was recorded in the book The Ship and The Storm by Jim Carrier (ISBN 0-07-135526-X). Of course, I have the book.

Daytona Beach

Caribbean Compass story on the Fantome tragic end

This one is for me , for the memories and for those who sailed with me ,before and after on the wonderful Fantome; memories to last a lifetime. If anyone is reading from this experience feel free to leave your comments. Much appreciated. Thank you.

This is one of several youtube videos on it, I like this one

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

 

March 3, 2019

The parks of Curitiba, Brazil!!

And I bring you south to South America that is and the biggest country there, wonderful Brazil! I have been visiting the country since 1992 and as latest as last year; even had the opportunity to lived there on a job assignment back in 2008. I lived in Curitiba and it was superb!

As done several posts , did not elaborate on its wonderful parks and I will that right now. Hope you enjoy nature of its best in Curitiba, Paranà, Brazil!

Tanguá Park is one of the main parks in the city of Curitiba, capital of the Brazilian state of Paraná. It is located in the northern region of the city, in the barrios Pilarzinho and Taboão. It was founded on November 23, 1996 by the then-Mayor Rafael Greca de Macedo, and built where there were two quarries, deactivated since then.

Curitiba

It occupies an area of 235,000 m², and serves a function of preservation of the northern basin of the river Barigüi, quite close to nascent, in the municipality of Almirante Tamandaré. It has two lakes and an artificial tunnel, which can be traversed by boat by the visitors. It is equipped with anchorage, bike trails, track and field courses, cafeteria and two parking lots for cars; one in the lower area and the other in the upper area.

In the upper area is the garden Poty Lazzarotto, inaugurated on June 6, 1998 by the then Mayor Cassio Taniguchi. Its name is in homage to the local artist Poty Lazzarotto. Annex, there is a lookout from 65 meters from the lower area lake with breathtaking views! I have to say it was my favorite park!

Curitiba Parana official site on Parque Tangua

Gov site on Curitiba Parana and parque Tangua

Gov site on Curitiba Parana map of parque Tangua

A nice video from youtube to give you an idea, the videos are not mine.

 

The Barigui Park is located in the city of Curitiba as well. The park is named after the Barigui River, which was repressed to form a large lake in its interior. It is among the largest in the city, being also one of the oldest. Several species of animals live free in the park, such as birds, capybaras and small rodents. A flock of sheep can also be seen daily in the low fields, under the care of staff. The most visited park and one of the oldest in the city was created in 1972 with the intention of containing the floods and preserving the native forest of the Barigui River basin in the region.

Curitiba

At the time of the founding of the village of Nossa Senhora da Luz dos Pinhais, (current Curitiba) the area where the park is located was a sesmaria or old donations of land. Ancient documents cite this locality with the denomination of Mariqui and the current name is a reference to the river itself that crosses the park and that means “River of the thorny fruit ” in the indigenous language, alluding to the fruit of the pine.

The total area is of 1.4 million square meters with the lake taking 230K square meters. There is a helicopter landing strip, public bathrooms and plenty of parking for cars.   Wide lanes, round the lake and other parts, for hiking and jogging. Outdoor equipment for gymnastics and stretching. Kiosks with barbecues.   Bike trails and aeromodelling. Multi-Sport fields. Exclusive track for bicycles and skates, around the lake. Hiking trails inside the park woods. Bars and restaurants. A Gym. Curitiba Automobile Museum (wonderful).   Exhibition center of Curitiba (Barigüi Park), pavilion with 10000 square meters of area and high platforms of 6 meters, destined to exhibitions and conventions. Hall of Acts of the city/town hall. And headquarters of the Municipal secretariat of the Environment.

Official Curitiba Parana gov site on Parque Barigui

Again a nice video from youtube will show you more:

 

The German forest or Bosque Alemao, formerly the Schaffer family with 38000 m² of area, was inaugurated in 1996 in the city of Curitiba. It is located in the neighborhood Vista Alegre (Jardim Schaffer) and is formed by dense native forest. It was created to honor the culture and traditions that German immigrants brought to Curitiba from 1833 [ The Neighborhood Vista Alegre (Jardim Schaffer), houses the entire area of the grove that is located between the streets Franz Schubert, Niccolò Paganinie and Francisco Schaffer.

Curitiba

Oratorio Bach, a music hall. It is one of the main attractions of the German Forest and is installed in the replica of an old church. The salon was inaugurated on April 13, 1996.

Some of the things to see here are, the Tower of the Philosophers, with a gazebo from where one sees much of the preserved area. The João and Maria Trail, where children have the opportunity to experience one of the most beautiful children’s tales. The Enchanted House, with a children’s library, and where is made the time of the tale for kids, with witches and fairies. The Germanic Culture Square, where the cultural richness of German immigrants is showcase. The Forest of native Atlantic trees is preserved with clear water springs.

The portal and reproduction of the façade of Casa Mila, Germanic construction of the early 20C, originally located in the center of the city. The Gradil in the central upper opening of the portal is original from the old building.

Official Curitiba Parana gove site on the Bosque Alemao

Again a nice Youtube video on the Bosque Alemao, nice

There you go , very nice parks good for the whole family and where the whole city of Curitiba meets. I always met my coworkers there on weekends for further chats and got to know their families in a friendly typical Brazilian way. The parks were it on weekends, just great memories and I hope you enjoyed the tour and go visit them.

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

March 3, 2019

Ecological park and a Divine Chapel, Mexico DF!

 

Doing my tour of the world and having visited Mexico on many occassions over the years , driving and walking the city and country! I have seen a lot of interestings places but it seems the small quant picturesques places are the ones that reminds me of how much there is to see and enjoy in our world.

This is the case of a small Chapel in the Ecological park of Peña Pobre, this is the Chapel of the Divine Providence! and I like to tell you a bit more about it. Enjoy it

The Capilla de la Divina Providencia  was built in the 19C and early 20C in what was the old paper factory of Peña Pobre. The factory had its chapel dedicated to the Divine Providence (Capilla de la Divina Providencia) , although it is also known as St. Peter the Apostle (San Pedro el Apostol).

Mexico

Mexico

It is now in the middle of the ecological park of Loreto and Peña Pobre located at the corner of Insurgentes Sur and San Fernando, near the center of Tlalpan and the archeological site of Cuicuilco, a place with a very old history where there was a civilization prior to Tenochtitlan and was buried under the lava of the Xitle volcano.

At the beginning of the 20C the Lenz family, of German origin, was established in the place, who inaugurated the first paper producer in the Valley of Mexico, the factory of Loreto and Peña Pobre. The factory remained operating from 1928 to 1987, when it was closed as a result of the protests of environmental groups, which denounced the heavy pollution that the factory produce. Currently, in addition to the Peña Pobre Ecological Park, Plaza Cuicuilco Mall (Plaza Inbursa) is also a vestige of what was the factory, as some of the original parts of it are preserved

Mexico

This park belonged to the paper factory Loreto and Peña Pobre, hence its name, and now have taken advantage of the terrain, not only as a green area, but also as a place to develop the creativity of children and make them aware of the importance of environmental care. For this there are workshops with different activities, located where the workers of the factory had their homes before.

The Chapel and park are at Avenida San Fernando 765, corner with Insurgentes Sur, open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 8h to 18h. You can get there on the metrobus station Villa Olimpica, free admission. I came by car of course!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are not many

YELP reviews on the Plaza Cuicuilco

Official mall Plaza Inbursa

This is a youtube video in Spanish with a bit on the history of the park!

 

Hope you enjoy this off the beaten path site of Mexico city and a lovely place to eat as there I ate in the restaurants of the Mall! At Sanborns!!! The routine lol! Enjoy Peña Pobre and the Chapel of the Divine Providence or San Pedro el Apostol ….

mexico

at Sanborns with local friends of many years

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

 

March 2, 2019

The War Remnants Museum , HCMC, Vietnam!

So lets come back to Asia shall we! I have come to Vietnam several times in the last few years, and always a nice welcome. The impressive country knowing of all the wars there is amazing the recuperation of its landscapes.

I have touch briefly on it but believe need to expand a bit more on this museum in Ho Chi Minh City, the the War Remnants Museum .

I visited the War Remnants Museum , this is a must to understand the war from French colonial and especially from the American intervention, with portraits, maps, weapons ,and real remnants of airplanes, helicopters, tanks, machine guns like the 107 mm huge; tracing the history of cooperation and support for the Vietnam liberation.  You take it as you know it. It is well worth the visit. 

ho chi minh city

The War Remnants Museum ,first opened to the public in 1975. Once known as the Museum of American War Crimes, it’s a shocking reminder of the long and brutal Vietnam War.  Graphic photographs and American military equipment are on display. There’s a helicopter with rocket launchers, a tank, a fighter plane, a single-seater attack aircraft. You can also see a conventional bomb that weighs at 6,800kg. American troops had used these weapons against the Vietnamese between 1945 and 1975.

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

Operated by the Vietnamese government, an earlier version of this museum opened on September 4, 1975, as the Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes. It was located in the former United States Information Agency building. In 1990, the name was changed to Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression, dropping both U.S. and Puppet. In 1995, following the normalization of diplomatic relations with the United States and end of the US embargo a year before (the war dead were forgotten), the references to war crimes and aggression were dropped from the museum’s title as well, and it became the War Remnants Museum as of today.

ho chi minh city

The most talked-about exhibits at the War Remnants Museum are the tiger cages. The South Vietnamese government kept their political prisoners in these confinements.  Locals believe the cages imprisoned up to 14 people at a time. The museum also has a guillotine brought in by the French government. Both the French and South Vietnamese used it to execute their prisoners until 1960. The museum comprises a series of themed rooms in several buildings, with period military equipment placed within a walled yard.  Other exhibits include graphic photography, accompanied by a short text in English, Vietnamese and Japanese, covering the effects of Agent Orange and other chemical defoliant sprays, the use of napalm and phosphorus bombs, and war atrocities such as the My Lai massacre.

ho chi minh city

ho chi minh city

The War Remnants Museum is currently one of the most popular museums in Vietnam. The War Remnants Museum is a war museum at 28 Vo Van Tan, corner with Le Quy Don Streets, in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City (old Saigon).

The official webpage of the museum is here: Official War Remnants Museum in English

Official Vietnam Tourism on Ho Chi Minh City and museum

There you something that needs to be told and visit and you make your own conclusion. Its part of the historically politically correct traveler. The War Remnants Museum is all that and more.

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

 

February 6, 2019

City hall of Perth Amboy, NJ!

So in an odd post as will put in the France category as well as Brittany but this is the USA my previous old home to France. This is the first city I lived there , the one of my teens , middle and HS schools, driving license, US citizenship, English, and first taste of real work before moving on there in life to Florida and then France. A long journey indeed, looking back it was all worth it.

However, there is not a place I have been that I am not thankful for whatever was given to make me a better person. The city of Perth Amboy and my Panthers of High School are still within me. I had written a post a long time ago about the City, County,and State but believe for historical reasons that I like necessary to mention the City or Town Hall of Perth Amboy as worthy of a post on its own. Therefore, here it is.

Perth Amboy is a city in Middlesex County, New Jersey, USA. The City is part of the New York metropolitan area. Perth Amboy was settled in 1683 by Scottish colonists. It was called “New Perth” after James Drummond, 4th Earl of Perth, and the Lenape Native Americans called the point on which the city lies “Ompoge”; the native name was eventually corrupted and the two names were merged. Perth Amboy was formed by Royal charter in 1718, and the New Jersey Legislature reaffirmed its status in 1784, after US independence. The city was a capital of the Province of New Jersey from 1686 to 1776.

The City Hall in Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey, is a historic building built in the early 17C, listed on New Jersey Register of Historic Places and the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It is now the oldest City Hall still in use in the United States.  Located at 260 High St, not far from the waterfront and across NY.

perth amboy

Perth Amboy is also home to the oldest City Hall in continuous use in the United States, built during 1714-1717 or 1718, to serve as the County courthouse and jail. It burned in a fire in 1731 and was not rebuilt until 1745. It was again burned in 1765 or 1766 when a man named Martin, angered by his earlier imprisonment in the City Hall on debt charges, allegedly set fire to the building. It was rebuilt in 1767. City Hall contained court chambers, rooms for the Provincial Assembly until 1775, and was used as a schoolhouse and for community meetings. It was in City Hall that the State of New Jersey became the first State to ratify the Bill of Rights. Although City Hall was renovated in 1826, 1872 and 2006, some of the 1717 structure still remains. The current structure is Victorian with a mansard roof and several new wings. A City Hall Park was also developed with a historic statue of George Washington and an exact replica of the Liberty Bell. In addition to the municipal offices, City Hall has been used for law courts, a jail, legislative meetings, church services, concerts, shows, public meetings, and a school.

perth amboy

On November 20, 1789, the State of New Jersey became the first to ratify the United States Bill of Rights. On March 31, 1870 Thomas Mundy Peterson became the first African-American to vote in an election under the just-enacted provisions of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution!

The historical footnote in this hard working class city is that Benjamin Franklin had a son called William Franklin, and they did not agree on principles. Therefore, Benjamin was the American heroe and a huge historical figure for the United States. While William was at traitor who sided with the English! They met twice during the war to try to settle their difference but to no avail, each hung strongly to their beliefs.

Benjamin and William Franklin only saw each other one time after the end of the war, when they met in London in 1785. The purpose of the meeting was not to heal the rift between them, but to sort out some business and financial matters, including the property which William owned in Willingboro.  The two men never reconciled as father and son, and they never spoked again.  Benjamin died in Philadelphia in 1790, and William died in London in 1813!

A webpage on the American wars on their story and that of Perth Amboy: Revolutionary wars in New Jersey on Perth Amboy

A wonderful building full of history and a town full of colonial historical treasures such as the house of Governor of East Jersey for the crown of England and where William lived ,still preserved in town as Proprietor House.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here searching historical treasures of the U S A!

City of Perth Amboy on its history

Middlesex County gov on Perth Amboy

Local newspaper Amboy Guardian

US landmarks site on Perth Amboy city hall

It is a nice ride from either New York or Philadelphia by train ,and nice big roads by car even if traffic has picked up over the years. I learned to drive a car there and as we used to say locally, drive here you can drive anywhere! indeed proven! From EWR Newark inter airport the AirTrain to Long Beach, NJ and then train to the Perth Amboy train station. From Grand Central Station in NY metro S line to Times Square 42 st walk over to Port Authority bus terminal and take the 116 bus line to Perth Amboy. By car , the easiest is to go under the Lincoln tunnel to the I95 interstate road that becomes the  NJ turnpike exit 10. Follow signs for Perth Amboy.

Hope you have enjoyed the bit of historical tip and do come over to New Jersey , a small State but huge in American history. And of course, Perth Amboy is a big part of it!!! Not to mention my life’s travels ::)

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

 

 

 

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