Posts Tagged With: Disney

Nice Knockers

The homes of Cartegena are dressed in tropical and flowering vines. Door knockers or Aldabas reflected the status of family in residence. They spoke to the families social and economic status without saying a word. The door knocker came about in the middle ages when most people could not read or write. The pictorial images were the ultimate status symbol. Although today they are merely ornamental, they hearken back to the family’s status and wealth. Cartagena1_-17Nautical motifs that feature creatures of the sea such as fish and mermaids were used by families that made their living by the sea. Usually as merchants importing goods into the New World or traders. Cartegena1_-27

Cartegena1_-19Lions were the symbol of the military. It is the epitome of strength, pride and power. The protectors of the city lived behind these doors.Cartagena1_-13

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Cartagena1_-15Aldabas shaped like lizards refer back to the country’s royalty. Families with these often were members of royal family or could produce a connetion to the royals. Cartegena1_-14Both the size of the knocker and the material that it was made of, were also important indicators of the family’s status. The actual meaning of the different styles comes into question quite often. Where some say the Lion represents the military, others say it is meant for teachers. And if the lizard is truly a symbol of royalty, there must have been a huge royal family living in Cartegena based on the dozens of lizard aldabas that I saw. Any way you look at them, the aldabas are beautiful bits of decoration on some wonderful homes. Cartegena1_-15

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Exploring the Old City of Cartegena

Head towards the clock tower and you will find your way to the Ciudad Vieja or Old Town. The Old Town and Ciudad Murallada, the Walled City, lie just behind.  La Puerta y la Torre del Reloj is your entry into this amazing city. Cartagena1_The Plaza of the Carriages (Plaza de los Cloches) next to the clock tower, was the site of the original slave market. Slaves were brought into the New World through Cartegena and Veracruz, Mexico. And yes, you can pick up a carriage ride in the Plaza de los Coches. Cartagena1_-5If you’re on the hunt for some vintage record albums or a used copy of the South Beach Diet, this market is just for you.Cartagena1_-3Be sure to check out the street vendors and maybe pick up a Panama hat to keep you cool. The heat and humidity are overwhelming and most people stay away during the heat of the afternoon.Cartagena1_-18A towering statue of Christopher Columbus stands in the Plaza de la Aruanda. Columbus explored the coast of Panama, which was part of Columbia on his fourth voyage of discovery. Cartagena1_-4Modern art sculptures adorn the streets and plazas. This palenquera was one of several sculptures in the Plaza San Pedro Claver.Cartagena1_-6The Church of San Pedro Claver was built in the early 17th century. Saint Peter Claver was known as the slave of slaves by his Jesuit brethren. Unlike his brothers, Claver did not support Slavery and chose to minister to the many slaves brought through Cartegena. He would meet the slave ships before the human cargo was unloaded so that he could be the first and only friendly face they saw in the New World. San Pedro Claver was the first saint canonized in the New World. Cartagena1_-8The $5 entry fee was well worth it to get out of the hot sun for a half hour or so. The church grounds feature heavy wood furniture offset by the gleaming white washed walls. Cartagena1_-9Cartagena1_-7The altar is dedicated to San Pedro and his remains are visible underneath. You can check out his skull if you want to get up close and personal. Cartagena1_-12Cartegena1_-26 The mausoleum in the back of the cloister houses more recent parishioners.Cartagena1_-11Cartagena1_-10

LINKS:

Saint Peter Claver

The Church of San Pedro Claver

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The streets of Cartagena

It has been called by some ‘The Queen of The Caribbean Coast’. Cartagena, Columbia is a bright maze of cobblestone streets. Just inside the ancient city walls, you can find used booksellers. The brutal heat and humidity were overwhelming but wandering the neighborhoods was not to be missed.Cartegena1_-2The thick walls of Las Murallas surround the Old Town. Originally built to keep out enemies, Las Murallas is in remarkable condition.  Even though there are numerous guide books on Cartagena, it is better to just wander about. Colorful buildings line the streets with their open patios and balconies.Cartegena1_-3Street vendors sell a variety of fresh fruits, ranging from coconuts to papayas and bananas. It’s safe to try some of the produce, the water in the larger cities is safe to drink and the fruits and vegetables are also safe.Cartegena1_-10You are sure to encounter some of the brightly dressed Palenqueras. These black women were originally from San Basillo de Palenque, a small village located in southeast of Cartagena. San Basillo de Palenque was founded by runaway African slaves and is one of the first free towns in the Americas. Tourists snap up pictures of the beautifully dressed women with bowls of fruit on their heads. But beware, if you do not tip them first, they will hiss at you and hide their faces. Cartegena1_-18For a dollar each, I got some great shots, but as soon as the cameras stop snapping, the smiles disappear from their faces. Even though they are used to being the center of attention, they really are tired poor women who have to sit all day in the sun and heat to make some sort of living.Cartegena1_-17As colorful as the tropical parrots that freely fly around, the buildings are dressed in bright yellows, blues, reds and oranges. Cartagena was one of Spain’s important ports along with San Juan and Havana.Cartegena1_-11Cartegena1_-12Cartegena1_-22Cartegena1_-23

LINKS

Cartagena

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Tales of Pohjola

Walking around Helsinki, dodging the rain and sleet, I happened upon this really cool building. The Pohjola Insurance Company building is decorated with forest animals and monsters from the tales of the Kalevala. The Kalevala is studied in schools and well known by boys and girls across Finland. Finland1_Kullervo is an orphan boy in search of a real family. In his journey he finds his real family, who he thought were slaughtered, but accidentally sleeps with his sister. When he finds out her identity he kills himself on his own sword. Not quite a happy ending.Finland1_-2

Pohjola is the mythical land of Finnish literature. Kalevela, the Land of the North is eternally winter and ruled by an evil witch. Finland1_-3

In another tale, Louhi, The Mistress of Pohjola, sends a bear to wreak havoc on Kalevala’s cattle. The hero, Väinämöinen kills the bear and they hold a feast. The bear is treated as a welcome guest, and the feast is in his honor.  Väinämöinen sings of the birth of the bear, friend and brother to man, born upon the shoulders of Otava, the Big Dipper. Helsinki1_-6Pohjola is where many believe that the roots of the world tree are. This could account for all of the trees and squirrels across the building’s front. More broadly the word refers to any northerly direction. Given its mythological namesake, it’s no surprise that the Pohjola Insurance company agreed to decorate their building with statues of monsters, fools and animals.Helsinki1_-7Helsinki1_-33

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The Streets of Tallin

The capital of Estonia, Tallin is becoming  a popular cruise ship port on the Baltic Sea. Tallin’s old town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe. The earliest traces of human occupation go back to 5000 BC. Unlike neighboring towns, Tallin has never been razed and pillaged.Tallin1_-25Toompea, the upper town is where you can visit Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. During the period when Tallin was under the control of the USSR, the cathedral was much hated by the people. They saw it as a symbol of oppression and in 1924 the authorities scehduled the cathedral for demolition. Unfortunately a lack of funds caused the project to be abandoned. Tallin1_-20

Tallin1_-21Between 1549 and 1625, St. Olaf’s Church may have been the tallest building in the world. Up until 1991, the KGB used the church’s spire as a radio tower and surveillance point.Tallin1_-31.jpgColorful buildings and twisting cobblestone streets are made to wander through. Tallin1_-23Local artists set up their masterpieces along the old city walls.Tallin1_-22Russian nesting dolls known as matryoshka are available for sale in many shops. Tallin1_-33Knitting played an important part in Estonia’s history, so much so that it wasn’t uncommon for hundreds of mittens to be knitted as gifts for wedding guests.Tallin1_There is something magical about the brightly decorated doors along Tallin’s city streets. Bright colors, metal and wooden embellishments turn each into it’s own work of art.

LINK

Visit Estonia

Trip Advisor: Tallin

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Tivoli Gardens

In 1843 the King of Copenhagen granted Georg Cartensen, permission to open Tivoli Gardens. The exotic and elegant gardens were opened to guests for the first time on August 15, 1843. Fairytale write Hans Christian Anderson was among the first visitors and some say this visit inspired him to write his story, “The Nightingale”.

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The stories of Hans Christian Andersen are featured in one of Tivoli’s popular attractions, The Flying Trunk or Den flyvende Kuffert. You may sense a similarity to Disney’s It’s A Small World.

Amusement parks had gotten a reputation of being somewhat seedy, but Tivoli was a clean and orderly park with lush flowers, family friendly rides and a fun festive atmosphere. Art Linkletter visited Tivoli in 1952 with Walt Disney and remembers Walt writing down notes about the gardens, seating, rides, food and all of the details that would inspire Disneyland a decade later.CPH1_-11CPH1_-10CPH1_-31CPH1_-30CPH1_-29Among the Bamboo Garden is the Japanese Pagoda, built in 1900. Originally it was known as The Chinese Tower until 2009, no one knows why the name was changed. Tea and refreshments are available for purchase inside.CPH1_-28In 1874, thousands of electric lights lit up the night in the gardens, There are approx. 2,800 bulbs on The Japanese Pagoda. The Pagoda was the first of the park’s buildings to get LED bulbs. The twinkling light bulbs are often referred to as Tivoli Lights. CPH1_-264The Moorish Palace in Tivoli is home to luxury Hotel Nimb designed by Knud Arne Petersen. In 1909 Wilhelm and Louise Nimb, who had created a restaurant empireOlder Posts in Copenhagen were brought in to manage the restaurant Divan 2, which still exists.CPH1_-19In October 2015 Hotel Nimb was awarded “Hotel of the Year” by Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) from 520 hotels across 82 countries around the world.CPH1_-20

Links

Tivoli Gardens

Nimb Hotel

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Yo Ho, Yo Ho – A Pirate’s Life For Me

Boom (1 of 1)

June 14th – 16th, the seaside city of Cocoa Beach was invaded by pirates. The annual Cocoa Beach Pirate Fest attracts pirates and fans from around the world.

Raquel and her little cannon

Raquel and her little cannon

Demonstrations included period firearms and cannons

A Pirate named Brave

A Pirate named Brave

A pirate encampment allowed guests to see how pirates may have lived off their ships.

Steadfast Steel

Steadfast Steel

The group Steadfast Steel gave demonstrations of swordplay and combat.

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Pearl (1 of 1)

The lovely but deadly, Pearl

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Undead Pirate

Undead Pirate

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Castle Hogwarts

High above the town, looms the magnificent castle of Hogwarts Wizarding School.

We enter the Castle via the massive underground labyrinth. You never know what you may find in the basement of Hogwart’s. This statue of a Hunchbacked Witch figures into Harry Potter’s tale.

Roaming the twisting and turning corridors of Hogwarts castle you are sure to see some amazing things. These portraits aren’t content to smile pretty, they talk to each other and even leave their frames to visit their neighbors.

Our day at the school has come to end as the night envelopes the castle.

We make our way back though the dark streets of Hogsmeade.

Perhaps we have time for one last drink before we leave. It’s a rather quiet evening at the Hogshead tavern in the town. Normally, the place is bustling with witches and wizards.

The namesake of the Hog’s Head Tavern. Here’s a tip, tip the bartender and you may see something fun.

After a delicious frozen Butterbear, we grab an ice cold Pumpkin Juice for the walk back to the Hogwarts Express and reality.

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To The Forbidden Mountain

Dawn

Overlooking the MountainsEarly Morning in the village of Serka Zhong. Gupta's Gear

As dawn tries to banish the night, I make my way through the desolate village. Other trekkers have already made their way to the local coffee shop and are getting ready for the climb.

The Temple Mandir

Not quite daylight and not still night. A blue light is cast over the temple.

The Trekking Office

The Trekking Office in the village isn’t open for business yet, so I wander around the buildings.

Mr. Panika's Shop

Mr. Panika’s Shop is getting ready. If you can’t find it here, you probably don’t really need it.

Wall of Art ?

I walk through the empty Yeti Museum. The locals have a special relationship with the Protector of the Forbidden Mountain.

THe Yeti Museum

The Yeti

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Whirlwind World Tour


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