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Preview: Blogtrotter Revival - The 90's

Blogtrotter Revival - The 90's



The arrival of the Blogtrotter 90s may lead to a more lengthy update of the Blogtrotter, as well as the 80s (the 70s is now completed and merged with the 80s), but will, hopefully, show some interesting parts of our world!



Updated: 2016-05-18T17:46:12.919+01:00

 



FRANKFURT AM MAIN

2012-02-12T17:48:56.280+00:00

BEFORE THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK - JULY 1997This was Frankfurt, when the European Central Bank was only the European Monetary Institute... ;)"THE MAIN RIVER - From the Intercontinental Hotel""STÄDEL MUSEUM""FRIEDENSBRÜCKE - View from the Intercontinental"""COMMERZBANK and Untermainkai""PREPARING TO TOUR""RIVER CRUISE""RÖMERBERG PLACE""THE RÖMER - The old city hall or Rathaus for more than 600 years is one of the most important city's landmarks. The Römer family sold it to the city council in March 1405...""SHOPPING? - Better visit the Eschenheimer Tower, a city gate part of the late-medieval fortifications. The tower, built at the beginning of the fifteenth century, is at once the oldest and most unaltered building in the city centre""THE OLD OPERA HOUSE""CURRENTLY THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, Then the European Monetary Institute..."[...]



STROLLING IN ROME

2009-12-24T01:24:47.650+00:00

VATICAN CITY & ROME - JUNE 1997Rome is a fantastic city and shares with the Vatican some of the most extraordinary treasures one can find on Earth... "ST. PETER'S BASILICA - From St. Peter's Piazza. With the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, holding 60,000 people, it is the most important of the Roman Catholic churches""ST. PETER - From the Vatican Museum""VATICAN GARDENS & MUSEUMS - The Museums, founded by Julius II in the sixteenth century, are among the greatest museums in the world and include the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms and the incredible Gallery of Maps!""TOP OF THE DOME - This was the second time we walked up there to see St. Peter's Piazza and the Via della Conciliazione""TOP TWO - The River Tiber and the trees in the margins""VIEW OF THE PANTHEON - Probably one of the most extraordinary buildings in Rome...""QUIRINAL PALACE - Housed Popes, then Kings, now the President of the Republic...""IL VITTORIANO - Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II) or Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland), also known as «The Typewriter», is a monument to honour Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy""BOCCA DELLA VERITÁ - Only the young lady would dare to put her hand inside the Mouth of Truth...""GALEASSI - Since 1907 in Trastevere; is competing with Sabatini for the best restaurant in the piazza...""FONTANA DI TREVI - You're supposed to throw a coin into to return to Rome. Never did; returned seventeen times. Spared a lot of coins..."[...]



CITTÀ ETERNA!

2008-08-08T08:17:46.024+01:00

ROME - JUNE 1997After an Easter in Prague, I was in Paris in May 1997. No pictures, however. But in June, we travelled again, the three of us. Rome was the destination!Rome is also known as the Eternal City! Furthermore, there is Roma, Città Aperta of Rossellini and Roma of Fellini, as well as many other Roma(s). This post does not envisage to be included in the list ;). It's just a personal view made out of some disposable camera lousy pictures taken in June 1997 (times when the video camera was the queen), twenty two years after our first time there in 1975!"VIEW - The Intercontinental De La Ville Hotel is not the Hassler, though it's located next door at Via Sistina. Anyhow, it's a nice place to stay and the view from our top floor room was quite enjoyable""SCALINATA - The Spanish Steps, close to the Spanish Embassy in Rome, are a must for every tourist in Rome. The result can be seen here around the Barcaccia Fountain!""TRINITÀ DEI MONTI - On the top of the Scalinata, we may see the Obelisco Sallustiano, the Church also known as the «Santissima Trinità al Monte Pincio» and, on the right hand side of the photo, the Hotel Hassler with the famous rooftop restaurant. The church was started in 1502, by Louis XII of France to celebrate his successful invasion of Naples. It was consecrated in 1585""COLOSSEUM - The Flavian Amphitheatre is an elliptical amphitheatre, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. Its construction started between 70 and 72 AD and was completed in 80 AD, when it was prepared to seat up to fifty thousand spectators. «Panem et Circenses»!""PALATINO - According to Wikipedia, «The Palatine Hill is the centremost of the Seven Hills of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city. It stands 40 metres above the Forum Romanum, looking down upon it on one side, and upon the Circus Maximus on the other». Always loved to stroll there...""THE FORUM - The Roman Forum, located between the Palatine hill and the Capitoline hill, is the area around which the ancient Roman civilization developed and was the actual centre of the Empire""THERMAE - The Baths of Caracalla, built between 212 and 216 AD, during the reign of the Emperor Caracalla, were a huge leisure centre in Rome, including, further to the Baths, a library and a gym! Now you may attend the «Open-air summer festival by the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma», usually in July""VIA APPIA - The Appian Way, «THE QUEEN ROAD», was the most important ancient Roman road connecting Rome to Brindisi. On the left we may see the tomb of the fifth Caecilia Mettela, daughter-in-law of Marcus Licinius Crassus, the Roman general who suppressed the slave revolt led by Spartacus and entered into First Triumvirate, with Pompeius and Julius Caesar" "CAMPIDOGLIO - The Capitoline Hill (Campidoglio in Italian) has almost all Roman ruins covered up by the Medieval palaces that surround the piazza, mostly designed by Michelangelo. Capitoline was also the origin for the English word capitol...""LUPA - This is the famous bronze sculpture depicting the Capitoline she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Thought to be an Etruscan work of the 5th century BC, it seems however, according to recent radiocarbon dating, that it was manufactured in the 13th century AD. For sure is that the twins were added in the late 15th century!""ISOLA TIBERINA - The Tiber Island, a 270m long and 67m wide boat-shaped island, is the only island in the Tiber river. The bridge we see here is the one to be crossed to get to the nice restaurants in Trastevere...""GINO DA TRASTEVERE - Gino is one of the nice restaurants in Trastevere. Eating fish and looking at people...!"[...]



EASTER IN PRAGUE - PART TWO

2008-05-25T01:57:45.457+01:00

TOURISTS IN PRAGUE - MARCH 1997"OLD TOWN (Staré Mesto) SQUARE - The historic square is located between Wenceslas Square and the Charles Bridge and is probably the most popular meeting place in Prague. The Memorial in the centre was erected in 1915 to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Jan Hus, a religious reformer who was burned at the stake for his beliefs" "TYN CATHEDRAL - A Church of Our Lady in front of Týn has been in the old square of Prague since the 11th century; the current late gothic church dates from the 14th century. The towers are 80 m high and topped by four small spires""PRAGUE ORLOJ (The Astronomical Clock) - The Orloj, mounted on the southern wall of Old Town City Hall, is composed of three main components: the astronomical dial, representing the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky; «The Walk of the Apostles», a clockwork hourly show of figures of the Apostles; and a calendar dial with medallions representing the months""JOSEFOV - The former Jewish Ghetto is the smallest cadastral area of Prague, entirely within the old town. It seems that the first Jews arrived in Prague on the 11th century""OLD JEWISH CEMETERY - It is estimated that there are 12,000 graves in the cemetery, the oldest preserved tombstone (Avigdor Kara) dating back to 1439""NEW TOWN (Nové Mesto), founded in 1348 by Charles IV just outside the old city walls, is the youngest and largest of the five towns that today comprise the historic centre of modern Prague. In 1378, a census found that Prague had 40,000 inhabitants making it the fourth most populated city north of the Alps after Paris, Ghent and Bruges, and the third largest city in Europe in area after Rome and Constantinople" "WENCESLAS SQUARE was the Horse Market place in the Middle Age; it is now named after the patron saint of Bohemia. Wenceslas Square is the historical landmark of the New Town and a traditional setting for demonstrations, celebrations, and other public gatherings""GRAND HOTEL EUROPA - Built in 1889 at the Wenceslas Square, it was rebuilt in Art Nouveau style between 1903 and 1905 to appear in many films...""HOTEL PARIS - Built in 1904 in the Art Nouveau style, just a couple blocks from the Old Town Square""U FLEKU, a large pub, restaurant and brewery, is the finest example of all the traditional Czech pubs in Prague, from the architectural point of view. Located in an ancient building dating from 1499, U Fleku has a brewery museum installed in the former malt house""MASARYK QUAI - Beautiful houses from the early 20th century with a beautiful view of the river and towards the castle""THE DANCING HOUSE (or Drunk House) was designed by Croatian-born Czech architect Vlado Milunić in co-operation with Frank Gehry. Originally named Fred and Ginger (after Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers) the house stands out among the Neo-Baroque, Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings of the nearby Masaryk Quai""CUBIST HOUSE - In the Vysehrad district, near the River Vltava""VYSEHRAD - The castle was built in the 10th century, on a hill over the Vltava River and within its limits is the Cathedral of Saint Paul and Peter, as well as a cemetery, containing the remains of many famous people from Czech history""INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL""TYROLEAN AIRLINES - An exciting experience for the (however learned) young traveller... "[...]



EASTER IN PRAGUE - PART ONE

2008-05-24T09:52:11.865+01:00

CITY OF A HUNDRED SPIRES - MARCH 1997Prague, whose town centre was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1992, is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Located by Vltava (Moldau) River in central Bohemia, it has been the political, cultural, and economic centre for the Czechs in the last 1100 years. In 1997, end of March, profiting from Easter holidays, we visited Prague. I've never seen so many Spanish adolescent/students together in my life..."THE RUDOLFINUM, one of the most important neo-renaissance buildings in Prague, was constructed during the years 1876–1884 and named in honour of Rudolf of Hapsburg, Crown Prince of Austria, who presided the opening on February 8, 1885. It was originally designed as an art gallery and House of Artists and in 1946 it became the seat of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. However, from 1918 to 1938 and a short period after World War II (1945-1946), it also housed the Czechoslovak Parliament""CANAL CESTOVKA, quite close to the Vltava River""CHARLES BRIDGE - The construction of the bridge dates from the reign of the King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, who, according to the legend, controlled everything up to the smallest detail. The oddest seems to be the date of its foundation: 5:31 am, 9. 07. 1357. Only odd digits and, except 9, all prime numbers!""UP THE HILL - View towards the Castle from the 1464 Lesser Bridge Tower" "CHARLES BRIDGE - View from the same tower towards the Bridge""ROYAL ROUTE gets its name from the coronation processions of the Bohemian Kings, starting with George of Podebrady in 1458. It used to link the gates of Old Prague to the Prague Castle, a route full of houses with beautiful façades""TO THE CASTLE""ST. VITO - The Gothic cathedral, whose original name is St Vitus, St Wenceslas and St Adalbert Cathedral, is the biggest and the most important church in the Czech Republic. It's the place where the coronations of the kings of Bohemia were held until 1836 and also where saints, kings, princes and emperors of Bohemia are buried""BELL TOWER - View from the 14th century Bell Tower on the southern side of the Cathedral""GOLDEN LANE - The Street was created during the construction of the northern fortification at the end of the 15th century. In 1597 the emperor Rudolf II decided that the 24 marksmen who guarded the castle should live there. However, as space was at premium, the marksmen had to build very small houses for their families""PETRIN TOWER - Built in 1891 for the Jubilee Exhibition, this small version of the Eiffel Tower offers one of the best views of Prague and its surroundings. The tower, on the top of Petrin hill, is only 60m tall but you need to climb 299 steps to reach the platform for the magnificent view""OLD TOWN BRIDGE TOWER - Designed by Peter Parler at the end of the 14th century, it's a beautiful Gothic construction. Further to being an ornament for Charles Bridge, it was used as a watch tower and part of the defensive structure""VLTAVA RIVER, Charles Bridge and St. Vito Cathedral""OLD TOWN FAÇADE""WALLENSTEIN GARDEN was built in 1623–30, together with the first large secular palace of the Baroque era - the Wallenstein Palace, nowadays the seat of the Senate of the Czech Republic. Many statues that you see there, representing heroes from Greek mythology, are copies of the ones made by artist Adrian de Vries, as the original works were plundered by Swedish as war booty in 1648. The copies were brought to the garden only in 1912-1918"[...]



UNDER THE SUN - BOCA RATON

2008-05-24T10:00:35.659+01:00

FLORIDA - MARCH 1977By 1925, Addison Mizner (1872-1933), who had never had formal training in architecture but had studied design his entire life, had a dream! He joined Florida’s great land boom, and wanted to create «the world’s most architecturally beautiful playground»! The start was promising; however, by the autumn of 1925, Florida’s great land boom began to unravel and a hurricane in September 1926 destroyed most of the chances of Mizner’s dream come true. Anyhow, some parts of the dream survived in the Boca Raton Resort and Club! The Boca Raton Resort & Club consists of the Cloister, the Tower, the Boca Beach Club, the Boca Bungalows, the Boca Country Club, the Yacht Club, two 18–hole golf courses, 30 tennis courts, the Spa Palazzo, a golf clubhouse, six pools, an indoor basketball court, a 32–slip marina, and a half–mile of private beach... Enough? I deliberately omitted the conference facilities, where I spent too much time..."SUNRISE - It must have been the time difference that made me wake up and take sunrise pictures""THREATENING SKIES - The same spot, another day...""BOCA BEACH - Late afternoon, after meetings...""THE BEACH CLUB - It seems to be closed for renovation until 2009! Anyhow, in 1997, it was a great place to stay!""SHUTTLE BOAT - Waiting to get to the Cloister""TRAVEL COMPANION""THE CLOISTER, THE TOWER and the famous BOCA PINK""PALM BEACH on the way, and the Breakers, set in 1896 amidst 140 acres (57 hectares) of oceanfront property""THE BEACON HOTEL - South Beach, Ocean Drive" "KEY BISCANE - This one is dedicated to Isabella, who must be enjoying beach delights while most of us are inside..."[...]



ONCE NEW YORK, ALWAYS NEW YORK

2008-05-24T11:12:53.863+01:00

BLUE SKY - MARCH 1997After Paris and Bangkok (through London), I flew again via Heathrow to New York to spend some time before heading to Florida. The sky was blue and the weather, though cold, was perfect for a walk. So this is the result of one of such walks..."THE WOOLWORTH BUILDING was the world’s tallest building between 1913 and 1930. According to Wikipedia, it is still one of the fifty tallest buildings in the United States as well as one of the twenty tallest buildings in New York City. But it must be coming down the ranking...""NEW YORK CITY HALL, built between 1803 through 1812, is the seat of the government of the City, housing the office of the Mayor and the chambers of the City Council. Apparently, it's the oldest City Hall in the United States that still houses its original governmental functions""THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE started to be constructed in 1869 and took 14 years to complete. The bridge, 1.5km long, spans the East river from Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan and has an elevated pedestrian path which gives you the chance to have a great view of either downtown Manhattan's magnificent skyline or of Brooklyn's residences and offices""BROOKLYN HEIGHTS - Brooklyn, founded by the Dutch in the 17th century after their native town of Breukelen, remained an independent city until 1898, when its residents voted by a slight majority to join with Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens and Richmond (later Staten Island) to form the modern City of New York. Brooklyn Heights, considered to be the first suburb in America, has some beautiful mansions. In one such mansion George Washington made his decision to retreat from Brooklyn and on August 29th, 1776, Washington's army crossed the East River, leaving Brooklyn to the British. The British Empire ended its occupation of New York on November 25, 1783, celebrated as the Evacuation Day for more than a century""THE PROMENADE at Brooklyn Heights, built atop the double deck Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, may take your breath away, as it displays spectacular views of the East River bridges and the skyscrapers of Manhattan. For some residents, including Wall Street workers, it's a Manhattan neighbourhood, located on the better side of the river...""THE US POST OFFICE is a beautiful building at Cadman Plaza East, Downtown Brooklyn""PIER 17 at South Street Seaport is a place I always liked; in particular, the view from the top terrace""PEKING, a 1911 four-mast barque, is one of the largest privately owned fleet of historic ships in the US, owned by the South Street Seaport Museum"[...]



STROLLING AROUND BANGKOK

2008-05-24T11:14:38.223+01:00

RIVER, PALACES, TEMPLES AND HOTELS - FEBRUARY 1997This post is the last from the February 1997 trip to Bangkok, and shows pictures taken during a long stroll in town."CHAO PHRAYA, the River of the Kings, runs for 372 km from north to south through the central plains to Bangkok and the Gulf of Thailand. The first picture shows an embarkation point for the ferry that runs up and down the river""HOTEL - From the Sheraton, a nice view of the strange form of what I thought was going to be a hotel. Couldn't confirm..." "PORTUGAL - The entrance to the Noble House, the Portuguese Embassy in Thailand""THE ORIENTAL - Still the best hotel in Bangkok""THE VINMANMEK ROYAL MANSION, located on Ratchawithi Road, is the world's largest building made entirely of golden teak. It was removed from Ko Sichang in the Chonburi province, rebuilt in the Dusit Palace in 1900 by order of King Rama V. Most of the building is now used as museums, showing Queen Sirikit's collection of handicrafts created by rural people and art objects including King Bhumibol's photography, portraits, ancient cloth, clocks, and royal carriages. It's a wonderful building and a nice place to visit""PARLIAMENT BUILDING""WAT BENCHAMABOPHIT - Back to the temple, fourteen years later""WAT SAKET (THE GOLDEN MOUNT) - The towering gold chedi of Wat Saket, an artificial hill constructed under King Rama III (1824-51), was once the highest point in Bangkok. The temple complex at the bottom of the hill dates back to the Ayutthaya era""VIEW - There is a nice view from the top of the Golden Mount""HYATT AND WTC - At one of the busiest corners of Bangkok, where one can find the Hyatt Hotel and the World Trade Centre Bangkok, you may also find a small and busy shrine...""MERIDIEN HOTEL - I started this series of Bangkok posts with pictures from a nice Hotel that was demolished and saw it's gardens occupied by a shopping mall. Now, to end, I show a photo of the Meridien Hotel after a fire burnt some of the floors... Strange things happened to hotels in Bangkok!"[...]



WAT PHRA KAEW AGAIN!

2008-05-24T11:16:32.273+01:00

BACK TO THE THAI GRAND PALACE - FEBRUARY 1997The first time I was in Bangkok and in the Grand Palace was in 1983, with Guida and on holiday. This time I returned alone for a meeting, but got some time off to get back to the magnificent palace!"THE WALL - The palace, erected by Rama I, has an area of 218,400 sq. metres and is surrounded by 1900 metres of walls built in 1782, when Bangkok was founded. Within the walls we find the Royal Chapel of the Emerald Buddha, as well as government offices and royal residences, nowadays used only for occasional ceremonial purposes. The Grand Palace adjoins Wat Phra Kaew in a common compound, but despite the proximity, there's a contrast between the Thai style of the Wat Phra Kaew and the European design of the Grand Palace (with the exception of the roof)""TEMPLE""KINAREE - Mythological creature, half bird, half woman""THE COMPLEX consists of over 100 brightly coloured buildings, golden spires and glittering mosaics... and thousands of tourists!""CHAPEL OF THE EMERALD BUDDHA - Wat Phra Kaew is Thailand's most sacred temple. It houses the little (between 60 and 75 cm) Emerald Buddha, which is located inside a glass box, high above the heads of the worshippers and tourists. The statue isn't actually made of emerald but rather of green jade""GIANTS -A cloister surrounds the temple, and depicted along is an extensive mural of the Ramakian, the Thai version of the famous Indian epic, the Ramayana""GARDENS, TREES and the Chakri Mahaprasad Hall"[...]



BANGKOK WAT(s) REVIVAL

2008-05-24T11:27:43.585+01:00

MYSTICAL TOUR 2ND ROUND - FEBRUARY 1997The first round of the Bangkok temples took place in 1983, and memories from such trip as well as descriptions of the temples may be seen here. So, I'll reduce words. Fourteen years later, when we compare sites and pictures, we may conclude that great improvements were made! ***WAT POWAT PO - The oldest and largest temple in Bangkok""GOLDEN BUDDHA""RECLINING BUDDHA in much better shape. Surely re-gilded..."***WAT ARUN"WAT ARUN - «Temple of the Dawn», probably the better known symbol of Bangkok"[...]



IN THE KINGDOM OF SIAM

2008-05-24T11:29:53.620+01:00

BANGKOK - FEBRUARY 1997After New Year in New York, I spent one week in Paris (in early February), and flew to Bangkok by the end of the month. It was the second time I was in Thailand, after the 1983 visit. This time I stayed at the Siam Intercontinental Hotel, a landmark that was closed on June 30, 2002, and destroyed afterwards. This post is dedicated to the late Siam Intercontinental Hotel, a remarkable hotel torn down to give rise to an incredible shopping centre named Paragon... A disaster!"GARDENS - The Siam Intercontinental Hotel Gardens won an award for its environmental protection work in 1999. However, when the hotel's lease expired, it was torn down to make way for a shopping centre, reducing the 26-acre gardens to a few acres""SIAM INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL - Opened in June 1966, the design seemed to resemble a hat worn by an early King of Ratansakosin. The view of its destruction is disgusting""RECEPTION, with flowers""VIEWS from my room: gardens and pool""ROOM""PEACOCK near the jogging trail""RIVER CHANNEL"[...]



NEW YEAR IN NYC - PART II

2008-05-24T11:31:42.430+01:00

STROLLING AROUND THE BIG APPLE - JANUARY 1997"THE CLOISTERS house the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection of art and architecture from medieval Europe religious and secular art. With approximately five thousand works of art from about 800 through the fifteenth century, the Cloisters are located on Fort Tryon Park overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan, showing some of the most dramatic scenery in New York. The building incorporates elements from five medieval French cloisters and from other monastic sites in southern France. The highlights, of course, are the five medieval Cloisters, and the Unicorn Tapestries, a series of 7 wool and silk tapestries depicting The Hunt of the Unicorn. In the Spanish Room the 3-paneled Altarpiece of the Annunciation, a 15th century work by Robert Campin, is shown. Three of the cloisters have gardens planted according to horticultural information found in medieval treatises and works of art, such as tapestries and stained-glass windows. The first time we were at the Cloisters was in 1979, and we fell in love with the building""JAZZ AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD, one of my favourite jazz clubs""FERRY - On the way to the Statue of Liberty""THE STATUE OF LIBERTY Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. Thus, it makes sense to post on her on July 14th... The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986""DOWNTOWN AND THE HUDSON boat tour""ELLIS ISLAND is a symbol of America’s immigrant heritage. From 1892 to 1954, this immigrant depot was the main entry facility for immigrants entering the United States. Nearly twelve million landed here in their search of an economic opportunity. The Ellis Island Immigrant Station was designed by architects Edward Lippincott Tilton and William Boring, who received a gold medal at the 1900 Paris Exposition for the building's design""WTC - Love this picture!""WALL STREET, Trinity Church and the Portuguese flag. The flag is no longer there, as the Bank that used to display it moved away""NYSE - The NYSE originated on May 17, 1792, when the Buttonwood Agreement was signed by twenty-four stockbrokers outside of 68 Wall Street in New York under a buttonwood tree. On March 8, 1817, the organization drafted a constitution and renamed itself the "New York Stock and Exchange Board". This name was shortened to its current form in 1863. The New York Stock Exchange building at 18 Broad Street opened on April 22, 1903!""CHELSEA PIER - Not to be confused with Chelsea F.C. of the Special One - José Mourinho! Lovely sunset""UNION SQUARE BIO MARKET, just in front of the Blue Water Grill, a restaurant I like.""DRAKE SWISSOTEL - Preparing to check out!"***FOR THE RECORD - NOV/DEC 1996!***On the last post I forgot to mention that still in 1996, and after Madrid and Toledo, I flew once again to New York early November, to Paris mid-November, to Brussels and London by the end of November, to Cape Verde - Sal and Praia - in early December, and finally back to NYC. From all these trips, there is only this conference picture in Praia, Cape Verde, that I post here as a memory of a nice time..."CAPE VERDE CONFERENCE"[...]



NEW YEAR IN THE BIG APPLE

2008-05-24T11:34:07.248+01:00

MINUS 13º CELSIUS - DECEMBER 1996"THE DRAKE SWISSOTEL at Park Avenue and 56th Street was for many times my home in New York. It was a quite nice European style hotel with a superb location. Last time in NYC I saw that there were works on the building, hopefully a renovation of the hotel. It would be a shame if we lose it as a lodging possibility...""DIM SUM AT 20 MOTT ST. - On Sunday, December 29, 1996, we headed to this Chinatown eatery, which used to be always crowded, for an excellent dim sum""CHINATOWN FISH MARKET, for the benefit of Ming the Merciless""DOM, West Broadway, where you'll find home furnishings and accessories that you just don't see anywhere else""CHRISTMAS TREE, Rockefeller Promenade""THE NUTCRACKER - George Balanchine's Nutcracker is a Christmas' must at the New York City Ballet! 2007 season is from November 23rd through December 30th"PARK AVENUE at 54th Street, just two blocks down from the Drake...""42ND STREET with a view towards the Chrysler building. This picture was taken from Tudor City, where we stayed in 1979, the first time we went to New York (without the young lady, who was not born yet...). Other memories from that trip can be seen here, and here, and also here!""UN BUILDING seen from Tudor City""UN GARDENS with the Chrysler and Queensborough Bridge""METROPOLITAN MUSEUM""HAPPY NEW YEAR - On December 31st, 1996 we went to see "Cats" and then joined the crowd in Times Square/7th Av! The temperature was MINUS 13 Celsius...""BACK TO THE DRAKE - On the way back to the Drake, we took these two pictures at the Redeye Grill, home of the Dancing Shrimp..., and at Harley-Davidson Cafe"[...]



POR TIERRAS DE CASTILLA LA MANCHA

2008-05-24T11:35:53.509+01:00

TOLEDO - OCTOBER 1996Toledo, the capital of the province of Toledo and of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha, is an interesting town located 70 km south of Madrid. It sits on a large hill, and is surrounded on three sides by the River Tagus. In 1986, it was included in the World Heritage Site List of the UNESCO. According to UNESCO, the reasons to include Toledo in the List were the following: «Successively a Roman municipium, the capital of the Visigothic Kingdom, a fortress of the Emirate of Cordoba, an outpost of the Christian kingdoms fighting the Moors and, in the 16th century, the temporary seat of supreme power under Charles V, Toledo is the repository of more than 2,000 years of history. Its masterpieces are the product of heterogeneous civilizations in an environment where the existence of three major religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – was a major factor». Many famous people and artists were born or lived in this city, including De La Vega, Alfonso X and El Greco."CALLE SANTA ISABEL - The old city retains its medieval road plan, with an irregular terrain and twisting streets. Here we are on our way to visit one of the must-sees in Toledo - the painting by Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) known as «El Entierro del Conde de Orgaz» (The Burial of Count Orgaz), a masterpiece of painting! It's the biggest painting of the Spanish 16th century (4.8 x 3.6 meters). It represents an old legend: when in 1312 don Gonzalo Ruiz, count of Orgaz died, both Saint Stephen and Saint Augustine helped to bury the body inside this church owned by the count. The composition has two scenes: one terrestrial (the lower side of the painting) with the representations of contemporaries of El Greco (including his self-portrait and his son's portrait); and another celestial, on the upper half of the composition""CATHEDRAL - The Cathedral of Toledo, one of the three 13th century High Gothic cathedrals in Spain, is considered to be the masterpiece of the Gothic style in Spain. It was built on top of a Muslim mosque, and before that it had been a church in the sixth century during the reign of the Visigoth King Recaredo. Its construction started in 1226 during the reign of Fernando III and was concluded in 1493, when the vaults of the central nave were finished, during the times of the Fernando and Isabel""AYUNTAMIENTO - The City Hall, located next to the Cathedral, was built in 1575 when Baroque-style was taking over from the Renaissance-style. It resembles El Escorial as its builders were the same - Juan de Herrera, Nicolas de Vergara el Mozo, Juan Bautista Monegro and Jorge Manuel Theotokopoulos. It has two floors with impressive towers on each side with impressive spires""PLAZA and HOUSES - Toledo has several imposing plazas, as well as interesting houses""MONASTERIO DE SAN JUAN DE LOS REYES - An architectural jewel of the Spanish Gothic style whose outstanding features are the cloisters and the arched galleries. The ground floor houses numerous sculptures along with some fine carved stone reliefs depicting images of animals and vegetation. The upper storey has a richly decorated mudjar-style ceiling""MURALLAS - There were Walls to protect Toledo since the Romans and the Visigoth times, but the Muslims were those who, after capturing the city in 711, reinforced the old city walls to adapt them to their new military function as the frontier capital of the newly created Islamic State. The old Moorish wall still stands. It's still possible to see some remains of the Visigothic wall near the Puerta de Bisagra""BRIDGE - San Martin Bridge was built in 1203 to replace a previous bridge made out of wooden boats that was destroyed by floods. It too was partially demolis[...]



QUE VIVA ESPAÑA!

2008-05-24T11:37:59.874+01:00

MADRID - OCTOBER 1996Madrid is a magnificent city, with splendid avenues, superb buildings, incredible museums and terrific tapas bars. The only missing is water: actually, the Manzanares, the river that crosses Madrid, is far from being remarkable… Some say the weather is awful (nine months invierno (winter), three months infierno (Hell)), but the fantastic cultural life, as well as the glorious night life used to compensate everything. It started in the late 70s of last century, when Enrique Tierno Galvan became mayor ("la Movida"), and there have been several movidas after him. I don’t know how are things today (we are so close that we don’t go there that often, but I’ve to re-visit it one of these days), but meanwhile you can enjoy the different aspects of Madrid at the wonderful Dsole’s blog. It has beautiful pictures, much better than the somehow lousy photos you can find herein below..."COLON - On the Paseo de la Castellana side of the Plaza de Colón, originally called St. James Square, there is a monument built in 1885 with a statue honouring Christopher Columbus, at the top of a tall column""CIBELES - The Plaza de Cibeles is a beautiful square with a wonderful fountain in the Paseo de Recoletos. It shows Cybele, the Phrygian goddess of fertility, sitting on a chariot and being pulled by two lions. On one of the corners of the Plaza there is the «wedding cake», a stunning building housing the headquarters of Correos y Telegrafos, the Spanish Post""REINA SOFIA - On the right hand side of the photo, we can see part of the façade of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid's 20th century art museum: the third location where I saw Picasso's Guernica. At the distance, there is the Atocha railway station where bombing attacks took place on March 11, 2004""ATOCHA - The old building of the railway station was taken out of service in 1992 and converted into a concourse with shops, cafés, a nightclub, and a 4,000 square meter covered tropical garden""PARQUE DEL BUEN RETIRO is a 1.4 square kilometre park in the city centre, not far from the Prado Museum. Originally the site of a royal palace built in 1632 that was destroyed during the Napoleonic Wars, it opened to the public as a park in 1868""ALFONSO XII - Within the Retiro Park there is a large artificial lake, next to which one can find the Mausoleum of Alfonso XII, featuring a semicircular colonnade and a statue of Alfonso on horseback on a tall pedestal""BOTERO - A nice sculpture from Fernando Botero, with the now renamed Gran Melia Fenix Hotel in the background""DON QUIXOTE - The most popular sight at the Plaza de España is the monument to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, writer of «El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de La Mancha». Visitors get their pictures taken in front of the bronze statues of Don Quixote on his horse and Sancho Panza on his mule. Behind them there is a statue of Cervantes himself. At night one can hardly see anything; furthermore with such a lousy camera...""VELASQUEZ - In front of the Prado Museum there is a statue of Velasquez, anticipating Las Meninas""PLAZA MAYOR - I prefer the Plaza Mayor at Salamanca, but this one is also a beautiful squre!""AYUNTAMIENTO - Some VIP was supposed to be inside, as there were almost as much security people as normal pedestrians...""CASA DE CAMPO is the largest park in Madrid (1,722 hectares to compare with the 142 hectares of Retiro Park and Central Park's 340 hectares. It used to be the hunting grounds for the Spanish Monarchy until May 1st, 1931, when it was donated to the public, under the Second Republic""PLAZA DE ORIENTE - View towards the Royal Palace""ROYAL PALACE - The Palacio de Oriente is the offic[...]



TABLE MOUNTAIN VIEWS

2008-05-24T11:39:59.468+01:00

SOUTH AFRICAN ATTRACTION - SEPTEMBER 1996The flat-topped mountain named Table Mountain, in Cape Town, sculpted from sandstone, is South Africa's first tourist attraction. At 1086 m altitude on its highest point - Maclears Beacon, above the bay - it provides visitors with stunning views towards the city and the sea."ON THE WAY UP - The main feature of Table Mountain is its flat summit, which measures nearly 3km from end to end. It's limited on the west side by Lion's Head and on the east side by Devil's Peak. Devil's Peak gets its name from a legend related to Van Hunks, a pirate in the 18th century, who retired from his life at sea to live on the ramp of the Mountain. It's said that he spent his days smoking pipe, until the day a stranger approached him, and started a smoking contest, which would last for some days. Then, the smoke built some clouds and the wind blew them towards Cape Town. At the end, Van Hunks won the contest, the stranger revealed himself to be the Devil, and the two disappeared in a cloud of smoke. This cloud of smoke they left behind became Table Mountain's famous tablecloth...""ON THE TOP - Breathtaking views from the top of the cable station. The easiest way to get up is with the cable car. The Cableway was opened in 1929 and takes almost 600,000 people to the summit annually, on a trip which lasts approximately six minutes to the top""EMULATING ANTONIO DE SALDANHA, another Portuguese, author of the first recorded climb to the top in 1503""BEACH - Looks great, but it seems that the water is a bit cold on this beach...""ROBBEN ISLAND at the distance - 12 kilometres from Cape Town, the Island was for a long time a place of exile and imprisonment. It became mostly known for having been the home of Mr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela during most of his 27 years in prison""TABLE BAY AND CAPE TOWN - Cape Town is a beautiful city, and one can enjoy it through the eyes of Kerry-Anne and Paul at Cape Town Daily Photo""ON THE WAY DOWN - Just enjoy..."[...]



CAPE TOWN SUBURBS!

2008-05-24T11:41:24.772+01:00

ON THE WAY TO CAPE POINT - SEPTEMBER 1996"FALSE BAY - Sixty kilometres south-west of Cape Town, the rocks and cliffs cut deep into the ocean to split False Bay from the colder waters of the western seaboard. It seems that this coast was Cape Town's first fashionable bathing area, particularly as it is said the water is five degrees warmer that on freezing Atlantic Coast" "BOULDERS BEACH - A sanctuary for the African Penguin. Almost 3000 jackass penguins, so called because their call resembles the bray of a donkey, live around False Bay""BABOONS - Kings of the roads""CAPE OF GOOD HOPE (Portuguese: Cabo da Boa Esperança), the best-known of the southern African capes, is the most south-westerly point on the African continent but not its southernmost point; this is 150 kilometres south-east at Cape Agulhas, where the two oceans, the Indian and the Atlantic «meet». However, the rounding of the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 by Bartholomew Dias was the an important milestone in the Portuguese attempts to establish a sea route to the Far East (which was concluded by Vasco da Gama in 1498)""CAPE POINT - A trip to Cape Point is a must for any Cape Town visitor!" "CAPE HANGKLIP""WINDY CAPE POINT""PORTUGUESE PADRÃO"[...]



STROLLING IN CAPE TOWN

2008-05-24T11:51:03.665+01:00

WALKING AROUND TOWN - SEPTEMBER 1996"THE COMPANY'S GARDENS at the top of Adderley Street as laid out on order of the Dutch-East India Trading Company by Jan van Riebeeck to assure vegetables for Cape Town inhabitants. Today it is a large public park and botanical garden""MUSEUM - The South African Museum, the oldest museum in South Africa, was founded in 1825, and in 1897 moved to its present building at the top of the Company's Gardens. Here you may see the remarkable fossilized human footprint - about 117 000 years old - and the «Lynton Panel», one of the most extraordinary stone-artworks of the San people. The South African Museum shows hundreds of different species, and the view towards the Table Mountain on its back is fantastic. In particular when the table is set with a white towel...""PARLIAMENT - Houses of Parliament: Plans were initially designed by Charles Freeman but later - when it was found that the foundations were inadequate - were amended by Henry Greaves. The building incorporated a high central dome, Corinthian porticos and pavilions at the four corners. The foundation stone was laid in 1875 and in 1884 the Houses of Parliament were completed""DOWNTOWN - Back to Long Street, I believe...""GREENMARKET SQUARE, with the original cobblestones still in place, hosts a flea market with closely packed stalls. The Square is flanked by restaurants and on one of its sides by the Old Town House, which started out as the Burgher Watch House and is now an art gallery""THE VICTORIA AND ALBERT WATERFRONT is situated between Robben Island and Table Mountain in the heart of Cape Town's working harbour. Set against a backdrop of magnificent sea and mountain views, one can park, shop, meet, work, holiday, play, berth and even live at the Victoria & Albert Waterfront...""HARBOUR CRUISE""PORTUGUESE PARTY - Cape Town has an important Portuguese community, mainly from Madeira Island. The community holds some parties and every month there is a dinner of the Portuguese Association «ACADEMIA DO BACALHAU» («Cod Fish Academy», the second oldest in the World, I think), where the traditional dried cod fish is eaten""PORT""SUNSET, with Table Mountain"[...]



VISIT TO SOUTH AFRICA - CAPE TOWN

2008-05-24T11:53:36.816+01:00

DOWNTOWN - SEPTEMBER 1996With the apartheid ended and Mr. Mandela already as President, I visited South Africa for the first time, though I had already been there once, at the Johannesburg Airport on the way to Maputo and back to Lisbon in 1992. This time I flew Lisbon-London-Cape Town-Johannesburg-London-Lisbon, but the stop was only in Cape Town. It actually made sense. In fact, already in 1487, the Portuguese sailor Bartholomew Dias set out to find a sea route to the Far East. Sailing along the west coast of Africa, his ships encountered a ferocious storm, which drove them out to sea and away from the coast. Once the storm had passed they resumed their journey in an easterly direction. After a number of days sailing without any sign of land, they changed direction and headed north, landing at the mouth of the Gouritz River on the east coast of Africa on 3 February 1488. Dias and his crew were the first Europeans on record to round the Cape, and another Portuguese - Antonio de Saldanha - was the first European to land in Table Bay. He climbed the mighty mountain in 1503 and named it «Table Mountain». The great cross that the Portuguese navigator carved in the rock of Lion's Head is still traceable.Mother City of Africa, Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and the oldest city in South Africa, with a cultural heritage spanning more than 300 years. It also has several of the top national attractions in South Africa. Finally, it's also in Cape Town that the Rainbow Nation justifies its name: Indonesian, French, Dutch, British and German settlers, the local Bushman and Hottentot tribes as well as the Bantu tribes from the north, all live in City."INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL - I stayed many times at Intercontinental hotels, and as a Gold member of their Six Continents Club they used to upgrade me. The Hotel in Cape Town was a good one, and I was given a nice suite" "THE VIEWS from my Hotel room: from the Table Mountain down to the Sea""CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE - The origin of the "Fort de Goede Hoop", built as a result of the constant threat of war between Britain and Holland, dates back to the Dutch merchant Jan van Riebeeck, who landed in Table Bay in 1652. Van Riebeeck immediately started to erect a fort, initially of wood, and from 1666 of stone brought in from Holland. It took about 30 years to complete. Today the Castle of Good Hope is the oldest building in South Africa. It has the shape of a pentagon with five corner bulwarks and an almost 10 metre high wall from massive boulders""CATHEDRAL - On 21 December 1834 St George's Church opened for divine service. It had no rector, and chaplains conducted the services until Robert Gray, the first Bishop of Cape Town, arrived in his newly-created diocese in 1848. Few cathedrals are completed in a lifetime. There are exceptions such as Coventry Cathedral in England, built within a decade, but others take longer. The Cathedral Church of St George the Martyr in Cape Town is still incomplete: three wars, depressions and recessions have delayed the completion of the vision of its first Bishop to have a cathedral worthy of the Mother City""THE OLD TOWN HOUSE was built in 1755 as Cape Town's first public building. It was given a prominent spot on the city's central square and served as Burgher Watch House, Senate and City Hall of Cape Town. In 1914 it became the city's first art museum and it now houses the Michaelis Collection of early Netherlands' art""VIEW from the veranda of the Old Town House, on a Saturday morning""BO KAAP, situated on the slopes of Signal Hill, belongs to the [...]



SAN FRANCISCO AND BAY AREA

2008-05-24T11:55:52.996+01:00

STROLLING AROUND - AUGUST 1996We profited the opportunity of being again in San Francisco to explore a little bit more of the Bay Area. This time, further to the city itself, we went to the Napa Valley, but took no photos, to Muir Woods, and once more to Sausalito. Then we returned home via New York. Time for Di to have a new pair of in-line skates from Bauer, and to try them in Central Park!***MUIR WOODS"THE FOREST at Muir Woods National Monument is simply superb. The Monument, declared by President Theodore Roosevelt on January 9, 1908, is what remains from the coastal redwood virgin forest that once covered a much larger area""THE SEQUOIA is an impressive giant tree. It belongs to the cypress family and can reach astounding proportions. It is usually considered the tallest tree in the world, reaching more than one hundred meters in height, and its diameter can reach seven meters in the base. It's also one of the longest living bodies on earth, as it can attain two thousand years..."***SAUSALITO"(SITTIN'ON) THE DOCK OF THE BAY - I learned from John that Otis Redding started writing the song at a houseboat in Sausalito. It seems that it happened after his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, and the Dock of the Bay was recorded on 6 and 7 December, 1967 in Memphis, Tennessee. Three days later, the airplane that was carrying him crashed into Lake Monona, near Madison, Wisconsin...""CRAZY SHIRT was an important supplier of T-Shirts for the whole family, mainly for the young girl. I still remember one smelling chocolate that actually kept the smell even many times after being washed...""SCOMA'S - I think the photo was taken at Scoma's Sausalito""THE FOG on the Bay was starting to vanish, as we can see from the hills before the Golden Gate Bridge. Anyhow, not enough to be able to see the Bridge. That's why we did not get the same pictures as the ones taken in 1993..."***SAN FRANCISCO"LEGION OF HONOR was the gift of Alma Spreckels to the city of San Francisco, and is now part of the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco. The building is a three-quarter-scale replica of the Palais de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris, and is dedicated to the California men who lost their lives in France during World War I""THE JAPANESE TEA GARDEN, located in the Golden Gate Park, is one of my favourite places in San Francisco""BUDDHA - This Buddha is already in one photo of the 1982 trip, as well as some of the other photos that follow...""THE PAGODE at the garden provides great viewpoints for the shots""TRANSAMERICA - The Transamerica Pyramid is the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco, and was designed (and built between 1969 and 1972) by William Pereira and Associates (I just mention this because Pereira is a typical Portuguese name, actually also the name of the pear tree). The building can be seen from many streets in the city""COIT TOWER - Finally the fog over the bridge dissipated a little bit and the Golden Gate Bridge could be seen from the Coit Tower""LOMBARD STREET is a must see for any tourist in San Francisco"***NEW YORK"IN-LINE SKATES AND TESTING"[...]



THE CITY BY THE BAY

2008-05-24T11:57:38.789+01:00

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 1996FISHERMEN'S WHARF AREAI like San Francisco!It's a city with a human dimension and it looks a bit like Lisbon, the city where I live. Of course, San Francisco was not conquered from the Moors on October 25, 1147, after 428 years of Arabian occupation, and cannot claim over 20 centuries of History. And you cannot hear Fado music there.But it has several hills, trams and the San Francisco Sound, with Jefferson Airplane, Santana and others!To make it more alike, we even copied the Golden Gate to build the first Lisbon Bridge over the Tagus River, inaugurated on August 6, 1966. With a main span of 1,013 m (Golden Gate 1280m) and measuring 2,278 m from the south to the north anchorage (Golden Gate has 1,966 m of suspension span including main span and side spans), the Lisbon bridge was the longest in Europe and included the world's longest continuous truss. The caisson foundation at the south tower, embedded in rock 79 m below water, is the world's deepest bridge foundation. It seems that San Francisco also likes me. The first time we were there in 1982, the temperature reached record highs, just to contradict the joke credited to Mark Twain, but not confirmed: «the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco». When we got back in 1993, the weather was also perfect. And finally - it’s incredible, more than ten years passed since the last time I was there – in 1996 I can’t complain, though the fog was present on the Bay, for the first time during my visits. The only annoyance was that sometimes we could not see the Golden Gate Bridge from our room at the upper floors of the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel, Number One, Nob (from the Hindustani word naváb, plural of nayab - viceroy - or nawwab that also generated the Portuguese word nababo) Hill... "BAY, FOG, SEAGULLS in a sunny blue sky: San Francisco at its best...""GHIRARDELLI SQUARE - Come in! The site was home, over a century ago, to the Ghirardelli Family's chocolate factory. It seems that everything started with Domenico Ghirardelli, who was born in Rapallo, Italy, in 1817, and started learning about chocolate at the age of 20. By 1893 his sons purchased a property by the Bay and started to construct the buildings: Chocolate in 1899, Cocoa in 1900, Clock Tower in 1911 and Power House in 1915. Ghirardelli Square was born!""RESTAURANTS, SHOPS - Today you still can eat, drink and buy chocolate at Ghirarderlli Square, but there is much more to do...""VIEWS - When you're tired of shopping and eating, you can always enjoy the views""THE ROCK, a small island located in the middle of the Bay, saw a lighthouse to function there from the summer of 1853 until it was torn down in 1909. It also saw a military fortification since 1850. But it only became world famous when the United States Department of Justice acquired the barracks in 1933, and transformed it in a federal prison in August 1934 - ALCATRAZ! It was used until 1963 and hosted some notable criminals as Al Capone, the same of the «best American sound film», so it was named by Jean-Luc Godard in Cahiers du Cinéma: «Scarface» directed by Howard Hawks in 1932! «Don't call me Scarface; I'm Capone, C, A, P, O, N, E, Capone...» I don't remember whether this is a quote from Hawks' film, but I perfectly memorized the scene, seen probably some thirty years ago...""SHIP at the San Francisco Maritime National Park, I think. Today is a maybe day...""SKYLINE - San Francisco skyline is unmistakable: the Transamerica building on the left and [...]



BEST PACIFIC ISLAND - MAUI

2008-05-24T11:59:06.075+01:00

HALEAKALA AND WAILEA - AUGUST 1996The CONDE NAST TRAVELER magazine organizes an annual Readers’ Choice Awards Poll. 2006 was the nineteenth year of the contest and Maui, for the sixteenth straight year, was voted «Best Pacific Island». With a score of 90.2, Maui captured the «Top Pacific Rim Island» category scoring higher than runner-up Kauai (88.4) and third place Moorea (84.7), two other fantastic spots. The title of «Best Island in the World» went to the Maldives this year (have to go there to check why), and it was the first time that Maui has not captured that title since the awards began.Anyhow, there were many good reasons to love Maui when we went there, and it seems that many of them still remain...***HALEAKALA"HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK - One possibility is to wake up in the middle of the night and drive uphill to see the sun rising. However, that would require a bit too much stamina, so we decided to get there a bit later...""THE PEAK of Haleakala volcano, at 3055 m above sea level, is the highest point on Maui, the third-highest point in the state of Hawaii""VOLCANO - The easily-accessible summit of the Haleakala volcano is a terrific experience. The landscape is deeply sculpted and richly coloured, and there are lots of alternative programmes to enjoy: from a few minutes looking for native birds in the bush land to hours hiking in the ashes desert, always surrounded by native Hawaiian plants and animals"""NATIONAL PARK HEADQUARTER stop, on the way down...""TEDESCHI VINEYARDS at Ulupalakua Ranch: Fine wines grown in the tropics, so they say..."***WAILEA"WAILEA BEACH, located on Maui’s sunny South Shore, is a large and wide golden sand beach. The relatively flat beach is great for sunbathing and, being protected on both ends, the calm waters are ideal for swimming. It's the finest beach and has the driest and sunniest weather in Maui. It seems to provide an exceptional whale watching vantage point from December through April, though I've never been there during the season! Anyhow, it does not match the best Algarve's beaches...""THE FOUR SEASONS - Wailea is full of resorts, maybe a bit too much crowded. The Four Seasons, however, is a superb spot. They say they have «the Island’s most spacious guest rooms» and the most «gracious service» and it's probably true. As far as the «luxuriant gardens», that can be easily confirmed. And Wailea’s crescent of Pacific blue is just nearby: «fresh water? cool towel? Evian spritz? Miss»""PASHA STYLE at the poolside cabanas""SUNSET"[...]



TROPICAL PARADISE - MAUI

2007-01-17T00:10:27.516+00:00

THE ROAD TO HANA - AUGUST 1996The Road to Hana is a classic of Maui's visit. It is said to be a trip back in time to the old style Hawaii and the way to see the most spectacular scenery found anywhere in the Hawaiian islands, as well as some of the most beautiful tropical rainforests available on Earth. However, it is not a piece of cake to get there, as one has to face a long and winding 53 miles road from Kahului Airport, with over 600 bumpy twisting turns and 50 one-lane bridges... So, be prepared to take your time, as it usually takes about three hours to make the drive, depending on how often you stop. There are also some tips for drivers: leave as early as you can, with a full tank of gas; bring some food and plenty of film; plan a whole day trip, and there you are; unless the reconstruction, which seems to have started in 1999, just ended with the thrill..."PUOHOKAMOA FALLS - One compulsory stop is for the Puohokamoa (what a name) Falls. The visit to the botanical Garden of Eden is a matter of choice...""BEACH - I love this photo!""HANA HIGHWAY - Further to the blue sea and the lovely girls, one can see the curves of the Hana Highway on the other side of the sea...""FIELS - Farming is still important for many people on Maui, so we'll find on our way the pineapple fields of Haiku, and the taro (or kalo as it is called in Hawaiian) fields of Keanae. Taro is a starchy root vegetable, and is used to make poi which one usually gets at a luau""NEAR WAILUA - Lush tropical rain forests with an astounding variety of exotic flora meets you on the way""POOL - We have seen many beautiful waterfalls, and fresh water pools, so we took a swim in, and it was delicious...""SEVEN SACRED POOLS - Some 45 minutes from Hana down the road one reaches Oheo Gulch, better known as the "Seven Sacred Pools". It's definitely worth going there. The pools are located in Haleakala National Park, which means that we are almost on the other side, close to Makena and Wailea. The point is that the connection, if any, was not an easy one, so the return had to be made the same way. Anyhow, it was a great swim...""OHEO BRIDGE - Upstream, over the ravine""WAIANAPANAPA - Just after Hana town, on the way back, is the Wainapanapa State Park with its wonderful black sand beach and some small caves. Swimming here, however, is not recommended for the average swimmers, as the currents are very strong""RETURN at sunset"[...]



HAWAII, FIRST TIME!

2007-02-20T10:08:29.016+00:00

BEAUTIFUL ISLANDS - AUGUST 1996***OAHUTwo months later, I was back to New York, this time with Guida and Di. We stayed one night at the Marriot, Newark Airport, and early next morning we're flying to Honolulu, via Los Angeles. The first stop was at Waikiki, and we stayed at the Sheraton Moana Surfrider, a very nice hotel that is said to have introduced the world to Hawaiian hospitality in 1901. We practically have no photos, since we were using the video camera to capture the beach, the Dole plantations, Iolani Palace and the rest... The only survival was this one taken to greet us at the arrival..."ALOHA"***BIG ISLANDThen, we flew to the Big Island. As the video camera was operating, no photos were taken. Unfortunately, after the visit to the Kilauea Volcano the camera broke down until today, and everything was lost... Well, there is one exception:"KING KAMEHAMEHA'S HOTEL at Kona Beach is on one of the most historic sites in all of Hawaii, as King Kamehameha the Great had his royal residence adjacent to the current site of the hotel. When we arrived the Hotel was extremely busy with the Big Fish Contest, but anyhow we managed to survive... and saw everything that was to be seen: Kailua-Kona, Kohala Coast Resorts, Waimea, Hilo, Lava Tree State Park, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (one video camera out of order for ever...), and back to Kailua-Kona!"***MAUIThe third Island to be visited was Maui, and for us it was the best of all three. Furthermore, the Four Seasons at Wailea is superb!"IAO VALLEY is a beautiful site. Furthermore, it is also the place where occurred in 1790 one of the most famous battles that changed Hawaii history forever. By then, King Kamehameha the First destroyed the Maui army in an effort to unite the Hawaiian Islands. It's better to bring mosquito repellent..."IAO NEEDLE is a natural rock pinnacle presiding over the Iao stream and surrounded by the walls of the Pu'u Kukui Crater""WAIHEE-HONOKAHUA. The road from Waihee to Lahaina via Honokahua and Kaanapali was impressive. You should pray not to get a car coming in the opposite direction, at least in some of the sections of the road. Some years ago there were recommendations not to bring rented cars to this road, but the views by the sea were superb...""LAHAINA - After the thrilling experience of the Honokahua road, we got to Lahaina, the so called «jewel in the crown of Maui». Lahaina town seems to be the second most visited spot on Maui after the beaches, and has an excellent restaurant: David Paul's Lahaina Grill. We managed to get three seats at the bar - tables were completely full - and had a superb meal cooked by David Paul Johnson. It was a remarkable experience""SHOPPING - After dinner we went shopping, which is one of the top sports in Lahaina. Crazy Shirt T-shirts and Aloha shirts were some of the buys. We also saved the Planet with Di's Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt, and then we returned home, to sleep at the Four Seasons in Wailea"[...]



AGAIN IN WASHINGTON DC

2007-01-17T00:17:50.300+00:00

HOT SUMMER - JUNE 1996

In May, I went back to New York for a trust meeting and profited to revisit old friends and see some new places. This time I did not stay, as I usually did, at the Drake, but quite close anyhow at the Four Seasons - 57 on 57 Street - which I had actually seen getting up from my room at the Drake.
The Pei designed hotel is fantastic and the room - on the 49th floor I believe - with a fabulous view west and northwest to Central Park, a jacuzzi and windows all over the place was unbeatable. Maybe the view from the suite on the top floor of the former Regent, now Intercontinental Hotel in Hong-Kong could match!
Unfortunately, there are neither photos nor videos, which is a shame...

***

In June, once again I went to New York on my way to a meeting in DC. From this trip, with the return via London, there is a one-hundred minute video. However, the photos are very scarce... I leave some of them here for the memory

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"GROUP PHOTO - All these guys and galls attended the meeting at the historic Ballroom of the Mayflower Hotel - «Washington's second best address»..."

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"ALEXANDRIA - Some of us went to Alexandria for dinner. Here one can see part of the Portuguese and Spanish delegations"

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"GREEK RESTAURANT - Dinner was at a Greek restaurant, with lots of yelling - OPA - and broken dishes..."

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"THE MALL - Early evening short walk..."