Wednesday, May 31, 2006



Almost all of these photos were taken by Ana or José, and digitalized 12 years later. With the many hours of video recordings, they are the memories of one of the most fabulous holidays we ever had...

"NORFOLK HOTEL - When The Norfolk Hotel first opened in Nairobi on Christmas Day 1904, Nairobi was only 5 years old, the same age of the Savoy Hotel in London - the London Ritz was still a year away. Nairobi actually originated in 1899 as a supply station for the expansion of the railroad as it moved into the interior of Kenya, and it can be said that it developed itself around the railway station and the Norfolk Hotel. Afterwards, a lot of important visitors came to the Hotel, including, of course, the Baron and Baroness von Blixen"

"BRITISH CLUB - Typical!"

"NAIROBI - Not particularly interesting, but relatively safe at that time..."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006





"ATOMIUM - The «Eiffel Tower» of Brussels was built for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair (Expo '58). It is 103 meter tall and represents a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. Nine steel spheres of 18 meters in diameter are connected via tubes with escalators as long as 35 m. It was supposed to last only six months, but it has survived to become a popular tourist attraction rivalling Manneken Pis, as a national Belgian icon"

"VIEW FROM THE TOP - Windows in the top sphere provide panoramic views. Here we can see the Heysel Stadium - where Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht used to win some matches (recently it has been loosing its European matches in the new King Baudouin Stadium) and Brussels at the distance"

"GARDEN AND PARK - The Atomium lies near the mini-Europe Park, and has a very nice garden around it"



"SWISS VILLAGE with an Abbey"

"SIGHTSEEING in the Neuchatel Lake area"

Sunday, May 28, 2006



A beautiful town! It seems that it has been voted the "Best City in the Americas" for 2004 and 2005 by Condé Nast Traveler magazine, based on the categories of ambience, friendliness, culture and sites, restaurants, lodging, and shopping. Even if one suspects of these kind of votes, the fact is that the honour is well deserved!

It all started around 1592, when the Spaniards were exploring Canada's west coast. Spain claimed the west coast of North America by virtue of the Treaty of Tordesilhas, concluded in 1494 with the Portuguese, and which divided Earth in two hemispheres: one for Portugal, the other for Spain; everything blessed by the Pope!...

In 1792, British Captain George Vancouver arrived. He discovered the Spanish had already claimed the place, and met with Spanish captains Valdez and Galiano at Spanish Banks, one of Vancouver's best beaches. Later, Vancouver was created to become one of Canada's most beautiful places.

TOTEMS - On Stanley Park there are eight totem poles. Each one has a story to tell"

"MOUNTAINS - Seen from Stanley Park, Vancouver's first park and an oasis of 400 hectares just by Vancouver's downtown"

"EXPO 1986 - The site of the Expo, whose theme was «World in Motion - World in Touch». On May 2nd, 2006 Vancouverites celebrated the 20th anniversary of the opening of Expo 86"

"SCIENCE WORLD - The first photo was digitalized from the 1993 paper photo; the second from the photo negative: amazing differences...

"PLAZA OF NATIONS - The heart of Expo 86. Located on the False Creek waterfront, the Plaza of Nations consists of a giant covered public plaza, the glass-framed BC Enterprise Hall, a mini-forest, a marina, and shops and restaurants"

"MONORAIL - Built to link the site of the Expo to Canada's Pavilion, the Sky Train seems to have been working well up to now"

"CANADA PLACE - Situated on the Burrard Inlet waterfront, it was originally built as Canada's pavilion for the Expo 86. It houses now the Vancouver Convention Centre, the Pan Pacific Hotel, and the first in the world IMAX 3D theatre. It is also the main cruise ship terminal, where most of Vancouver's famous cruises to Alaska depart or arrive. We disembarked there, from Ms Volendam, in August 2002. The white sails of the building are a reference for Vancouver, and allow comparisons with the Sydney Opera House"

"PAN PACIFIC HOTEL - Luxury at the Harbour"

"HYATT REGENCY - Nice hotel, and nice views"

Wednesday, May 24, 2006



Vancouver Island, named after the British officer George Vancouver, who explored the Pacific northwest coast between 1791 and 1794, is the largest island on the western side of the Americas - 460 km long and up to 80 km wide. Located off Canada's Pacific coast, it is the world's 42nd largest island. Victoria is the capital city of the Canadian province of British Columbia.

"BUTCHARDT GARDENS - Robert Butchart began manufacturing Portland cement in 1888. Having been highly successful in the industry, he was attracted to Canada's West Coast's rich limestone deposits. He built a factory on Vancouver Island, and moved there with his family in 1904.
When the limestone near their house was exhausted, his wife conceived a plan to refurbish the resulted bleak pit. She got tons of soil from nearby farmland, had it brought to the estate, used it to line the floor of the abandoned quarry, and started creating a marvelous garden. That's how the spectacular Sunken Garden bloomed"

"INNER HARBOUR - Sail straight to you Hotel room"

"THE EMPRESS - In the heart of downtown is the Empress - a château-style hotel that was built between 1904 and 1908 for Canadian Pacific, to serve as a terminus hotel for the company's steamship line whose terminal was just meters away. When Canadian Pacific ceased its passenger services to the city, the hotel was changed into a beautiful tourist resort"

Thursday, May 18, 2006



It includes the Icefields Parkway, one of the world's most scenic highways, runs for 230km from Lake Louise to Jasper.

"CHATEAU LAKE LOUISE, A huge hotel building started in 1928, set in fantastic surroundings - snow covered peaks, wonderful lake, majestic glacier!"

"VICTORIA GLACIER - A spectacular ice river reflected in the emerald waters of Lake Louise"

"VALLEY OF THE TEN PEAKS - Ten magnificent peaks and Moraine Lake"

"EMERALD LAKE - Beautiful turquoise waters at the base of the President Range"


"PEYTO LAKE - Fantastic!"


"MALIGNE LAKE - Maligne Lake, located 48km southeast of Jasper, is home to a Canadian Rockies landmark: Spirit Island"

Friday, May 12, 2006



Rio de Janeiro is much more beautiful than it looks here. Anyhow, these are the only memories from a visit when there was a strange feeling of insecurity walking down the streets...

"ARRIVAL - GALEÃO - Airport, waiting for the connection to Salvador"

"BARRA DA TIJUCA - Brazil at its best..."

"ON THE WAY TO CORCOVADO - View over town (don't see much)..."

"SEPETIBA - We discovered the beauties of Sepetiba Bay in one day tour, departing from and returning to Itacuruçá Village (95 Km south Rio de Janeiro). We saw many islands - Jardim, Sororoca, Furtada, Bicho Grande, Jaguanum, Papagaio, Saracura, Bernardo, Laje Branca, Vigia... -, and jumped into water at several beaches, including Bonita Beach..."

"DEPARTURE - Two weeks later, back at Galeão Airport, now the «Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport»"