PE, Lima: Miraflores & Barranco districts and other impressions

How to Peru in 2 weeks, Day #3 – Miraflores and Barranco districts

The third morning in Lima was sneaking quietly, and we had to decide if we should visit some museums we had on our list, or get to Puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sights) in Barranco, while seeing more of the Lima’s street life.

The first stop was in Kennedy Park, so famous for its inhabitants: 60 cats. Located in the heart of Miraflores, the park is well known to the tourists, even though it looked like there were more locals at the time we stopped by. A little oasis in the middle of a bustling city, the park is much smaller than I imagined. Welcomed by a huge Pucara Bull, we had a chance to learn about this symbol, not knowing yet we will actually have a chance to visit the town of Pucara in the following week.

Kennedy park - Pucara bull
Lima-Kennedy park – Pucara bull, the symbol of prosperity, happiness and fertility in Andean culture

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HU, Budapest: A night cruise on the Danube River

After 2 days of walking in a sunny and hot Budapest, the time has come, finally. Time to rest our legs, to enjoy the cold drinks and the exceptional views of the Danube shore. Time to have a cruise on the Danube River to see the glowing Budapest.

Budapest - Buda, Danube Western shore
Buda, Danube Western shore

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CA, Ontario: Sault Ste Marie vs St Marys River

Around Huron Lake in 8 days: Sault Ste Marie vs St Marys River

Pursuing our road trip around Huron Lake after leaving Manitoulin Island, our next destination was Sault Ste Marie. Passing cities like Espanola, and Spanish, or reservations such as Mississauga First Nation, I couldn’t stop noticing the French hint of Sault Ste Marie’s name. Anyone can sense from the distance how rich in history this whole area is, isn’t it? But more intriguingly, between the French name of Sault Ste Marie, and the English name for St Mary’s Rivers, I couldn’t stop asking myself which one came actually first?

St Marys River Rapids as seen from the Bridge
St Marys River Rapids – view from the Bridge

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CA, Ontario: Manitoulin Island by Chi-Cheemaun; Wikwemikong – Manitowaning

Around Huron Lake in 8 days: Manitoulin Island by Chi-Cheemaun; Wikwemikong – Manitowaning

Chi-Cheemaun is not only a ferry. It is the Big Canoe (as it means in Obijwe language) that connects Tobermory in Bruce Peninsula with South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island, but also connects people, stories and spirits.

Tobermory shore and Big Tub Harbour
Tobermory shore and Big Tub Harbour, as seen from the ferry, before departing.

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US, Oregon: Columbia River – Bonneville Dam and Hatchery – Multnomah Falls

If you are ready for a road trip along Columbia River, then Columbia River Gorge is the destination you are looking for. The 130-km gorge, the boundary between states of Washington and Oregon, offers wonderful places and stops along the way.

The Columbia River, the largest river in the Pacific Northwest, is about 2,000 km long, starting its journey from Columbia Lake, in the Rocky Mountains in BC, Canada, and ending in Astoria, between the states of Oregon and Washington in the U.S.

Columbia River along I84
Columbia River along I84

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CU, Matanzas: Bellamar Caves and Bacunayagua Bridge

 

When Justo Wong, a land worker, dropped his tool on the ground, and it just simply disappeared in a hole, only his master Don Ramon Pargas had the courage to go down and investigate, discovering in this way the entrance of the cave.

Discovered in 1861, Bellamar Caves became the first attraction in Cuba, as Ramon built stairs, handrails, and a house on the entrance. He truly believed that this discovery is not only about the cave, but everything behind that, and he opened it for tourism and further exploring. Later on, once they had electricity there were lamps installed and staff to explain to visitors the history of the place. Continue reading

IT, Venice: Wandering through The Old City – St Mark’s Basilica – Doge’s Palace – Grand Canal

Understanding the beauty is totally different than understanding the beast. Once you have a preconception, it is very hard to remove the inoculated idea from the back of your mind. Most of the time, these preconceptions are born from jealousy, or just simply as a reason of personal denial. One should not have any preconception until one’s own eyes and heart are giving the whole picture to the brain to process the reality. And even then, we still have no guarantee the brain will process correctly the information, but we should hope for better.

Rumors that the canals in Venice are actually stinking came to me from different directions, but my refusal to believe or to think about this drove me to the idea that probably the smell was from some other time, season, or even space. And so it was. I was actually amazed to notice that even though most of the walls at the contact with water were slimy, with more or less green hanging weed, the surroundings were not smelly at all, even with the heavy heat I felt on my head from the sunny, and a little bit too hot Italian Sun. Continue reading

CA, Quebec: Tadoussac – The Whale Route – Sainte Anne Du Beaupre Basilica and Canyon – Chute Montmorency – Quebec City – Citadelle

If one will search for a certain destination, we can call it planning, but if one will find a casual pamphlet about a destination, we might call it destiny.

This is the circumstance I have turned my fate to these places when I found this piece of paper with nice pictures and a seductive title: “Route des baleines”. Doesn’t this sound alluring, mysterious, and perhaps romantic? The only way for me was to search and find what this was about.

And so I found that from Tadoussac to Blanc-Sablon, Cote-Nord is a land of nature, where one can observe and study the wildlife, where, along the route of over 1000km of St Lawrence River, one can watch the whales even from the shore, where one can do lots of outdoor activities, enjoy the food, the nature, and the people. Continue reading

US, Florida: Florida City – Everglades – Alligator Farm – Miami – Fort Lauderdale – Overseas Hwy

Talking to the sea was never one of my interests. But one day I have simply sit in front or her and closed my eyes. Then I understood that I can listen. To the sea and her long story about all her troubles and anxieties she is having every day, about her day to day struggle, about her torment and her sorrow. And to the wind that was backing her up, whispering and mumbling all sorts of gossip.

And then I realized that also there are sunny days, cloudless skies and azure seas. Swimming with the dolphins, idling on the beach, floating with a tide, glowing sunsets, and silent moonlights.

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