Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Palma often called Palma de Mallorca, is the capital and largest city of the Balearic Islands of Spain. Located on the south coast of Majorca on the Bay of Palma.

Catalan is the local language spoken in Palma, Spanish is widely used.

The islands beauty and pleasant all year round climate has made Palma a huge tourist attraction; making the island alot wealthier than other regions of Spain.

Its airport, Palma de Mallorca Airport – Son Sant Joan Aeroport, receives more than 26 million people each year.

Palma is also known for it’s agricultural exports mainly almonds, oranges, lemons and olives.

The island also has copper mines and marble.

The city has several communities including Establishments; Nord, Son Espanyol, Ces Cases Noves, and Sa Creu Vermella.

The city borders the Serra de Tramuntana, the island’s major mountain range and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The transportation network of Palma is called Plaça d’Espanya. Intermodal provides buses and trains.

Palma is famous for La Seu, a huge cathedral originally built on a mosque from 1229 to 1601. The history behind the reasons that the construction took so long; is worth taking a tour of the church. It was restored in 1901.

Old Palma is behind the cathedral. It consists of a network of paths and streets designed by the Arab past of the island.

The Old City is also home to the Town Hall, the Convent of the Cathedral and the Banys Àrabs.

European style football – soccer – is the most popular sport on the island, led by the Segunda Division team Real Mallorca.

Palma’s sea location, makes it – an ideal place for sea sports. Road cycling is very popular in Majorca.

The city is also home to the Palma Arena. The Palma Arena is a multi sport pavilion.

The UNESCO listed Serra de Tramuntana – cliff jumping – is a great experience for height lovers in the heart of the mountains.

It involves leaping off cliffs and ledges into natural cool pools of water, then just flowing down stream. Instructors are present.

Bellver Castle, is a Gothic style castle from the 14th-century, it’s unique among Spanish castles. It has one of the best views of Palma.

Bellver means – lovely view – in Catalan.

For many centuries the castle was used as a prison. Nowadays it stores Palma’s municipal history, which traces the development of the island, it’s artifacts, and potteries from the islands Talaiotic, Roman, and Arab era.

There is no doubt that Palma de Mallorca; is a wonderful place to travel to, especially if you like walking, bike riding or just sitting back and enjoying a guided tour, let me know how your trip went.

Bon Viatge!

Portugal Travel





Portugal is a southern European country bordering Spain. Its location on the Atlantic Ocean has influenced it's tourist attraction - to the beaches, this in turn has played a role in their diet; salty cod fish and grilled sardines are national dishes.

Portuguese is the spoken language, which is related to Galician language, spoken in northwestern Spain.

The kingdom of Portugal lasted some 800 years, from 1139 to 1910.

The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, signed in 1373, is the oldest alliance in the world which is still in force.

Since 1910, the country has been a republic.

The modern democratic republic was founded in 1976.

The first Pirate code was invented in the 17th century by the Portuguese buccaneer Bartolomeu Português.

The modern Portuguese legal system has been influenced primarily by German law.

Due to the influence of Roman Catholicism, Portugal is one of the most socially conservative countries in Europe.

Portugal is the only country in the EU, along with Spain, where life imprisonment has been abolished.

The Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon is the longest bridge in Europe with 17,185 m/56,381 feet.

From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastel-colored buildings, Tagus Estuary and Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Nearby, the National Azulejo Museum displays 5 centuries of decorative ceramic tiles.

Just outside Lisbon is a string of Atlantic beaches, from Cascais to Estoril.

The Jeronimos Monastery was built in 1502 by order of King Manuel I. It was built to commemorate Vasco Da Gama’s voyage and to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for its success.

Great figures in Portuguese history are also entombed here, like King Manuel and King Sebastião, and poets Fernando Pessoa and Alexandre Herculano.

Jeronimos Monastery Cloisters was populated by monks of the Order of Saint Jerome , whose spiritual job was to give guidance to sailors and pray for the king’s soul.

UNESCO has classified it a World Heritage monument. This style of architecture became known as Manueline, a style of art that served to glorify the great discoveries of the age.

Each column is carved with coils of rope, sea monsters, coral, and other sea motifs. It portraits an era of sea exploration and the Biblical story of Joseph.

The Tower of Belém is typical of the Manueline style of architecture. The four-story tower was created in the shape of a ship’s bow jutting into the water.

The main side of the fortress faces the sea and is completely different from the side impression of the tower. Built from ivory-white limestone, the real beauty of the structure lies in the decoration of the exterior.

The Pena National Palace was built in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II, the palace was meant to be a summer home for the Portuguese royals.

Ferdinand’s taste was imposed on the builders and designers, the result was a Palace that looks like it has a little of all the other palaces of the era.

One portion caters to a medieval European castle, a portion of it is modeled after an Islamic tower dome. It’s full of colors – there is a purple wing, a red clock tower, a lots of yellow ornaments.

King Ferdinand said he wanted the palace to look like an opera.

It is now seen as one of the grandest examples of Romantic architecture.

Lisbon is Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city.

Porto’s Church
The Sao Francisco Church looks like an ordinary 14th century Gothic and Baroque construction.
There is a museum housed in the catacombs below consisting of artifacts from the former monastery.

Praça do Comércio is a large square on the banks of the River Tagus in Lisbon. It was built on the site previously occupied by the Palace Yard following its destruction in the 1755 earthquake. Lisboetas often still use the previous name for the square.

Along with the Arco da Rua Augusta at its northern end, the Praça do Comércio is one of the centerpieces of the redevelopment of the Portuguese capital by the Marquis of Pombal in the mid-18th century.

The U-shaped square, open at the Tagus end, was designed by Portuguese architect, Eugénio dos Santos.

Discover the best of Portugal’s capital on this hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Lisbon. Choose from four different routes, all offering opportunities to see the city’s monuments and explore its charming neighborhoods. An option line to Cascais allows you to explore the magic of that town as well. Tickets can be purchased for 24- or 48- hours.

 

Hop on a double-decker bus at the Lisbon Terminal in Marquês de Pombal Square. Settle in and cruise through Lisbon on one of four different but equally engaging sightseeing lines, including lines to Belém, Oriente, Castle or the charming beach town of Cascais.

Sunbathe on one of the many sandy beaches along the Cascais Line. Catch the best coastline views before settling onto a beach to unwind.

On the western side of the square is the main Lisbon Tourist Office (Turismo) with a stylish shop selling upmarket craft items from all over Portugal.

On this side of the square is the HQ of Viniportugal, which promotes Portuguese wine. There are tastings Monday through Saturday.

The world-famous Porto wine is a sweet Portuguese fortified wine from the Douro Valley, Portugal.
Over half of the world’s cork is produced in Portugal.

Salvador Vilar Braamcamp Sobral is a Portuguese singer and a former psychology student. He represented Portugal in
the Eurovision Song Contest this past May and gave Portugal its first win since their debut in 1964. Below is a video of the winning song for your enjoyment.

Portugal has great hotels, motels, car rentals, tours and restaurants.

Have a great time in Portugal, let me know all about your trip.

Washington, D.C Travel

Washington, D.C – capitol of U.S.A

Washington D.C is the capital of the United States of America, it borders with Maryland and Virginia. Home of three of the Federal Governments most important branches – the Capitol, White House and the Supreme Court.

The National Mall is home to Washington’s most interesting monuments, memorials and museums.

The US Navy Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial are powerful tributes to American history.

The White House, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, are are places you might want to reserve ahead.

Make a stop at Arlington National Cemetery, where you make a visit to the Kennedy family gravesite and spend some time with those who gave their life’s to protect our freedom.

Visit the nations’s capital and enjoy it’s rich history here are some facts:

December 23, 1788
Maryland voted to cede a 100-square-mile area for the seat of the national government; about two-thirds of the area became the District of Columbia.

January 23, 1789

Georgetown University was established by Jesuits in present-day Washington, D.C., as the 1st US Catholic college.

Jul 16, 1790
The District of Columbia was established as the seat of the United States government.

Mar 29, 1791
Pres. George Washington and French architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant examined the site along the Potomac River that would become the U.S Capital; land given by Virginia and Maryland.

Washington became the official federal capital in 1800.

Apr 15, 1791
Surveyor General Andrew Ellicott consecrated the southern tip of the triangular District of Columbia at Jones Point.
December 12, 1800
Washington D.C. was established as the capital of the United States.

February 27, 1801
The District of Columbia was placed under the jurisdiction of Congress.

March 4, 1801
Thomas Jefferson was the first President to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.

August 25, 1814
British forces destroyed the Library of Congress, containing some 3,000 books.

January 30, 1815
The burned Library of Congress was reestablished with Jefferson’s 6,500 volumes.

January 1, 1818
An official reopening of the White House took place after being repaired from burning by British during War of 1812.

December 24, 1851
Fire devastated the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroying about 35,000 volumes.

January 8, 1853
The first US bronze equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson was unveiled in Washington,D.C.

Mar 6, 1862
President Abraham Lincoln proposed to Congress a revised plan of compensated emancipation for slave-owners in the District of Columbia and the border states.

April 3, 1862
A bill was passed to abolish slavery in Washington, D.C. President Lincoln signed the bill April 16th, 1862.

April 13, 1862
In the Washington area volunteers led by Sarah J. Evans paid homage to the graves of Civil War soldiers.

March 4, 1865
President Lincoln was inaugurated for his 2nd term as President. The Inaugural Ball was held March 6th, 1865.

Apr 14, 1865
On the evening of Good Friday, just after 10 p.m., Pres. Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth while attending the comedy “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater in Washington DC. President Lincoln died, several hours after he was shot.

Upon the assassination Vice-President, Andrew Johnson became the 17th President of the United States – from 1865-1869.

July 5, 1865
The US Secret Service began operating under the Treasury Department. The Secret Service Division goal was to suppress counterfeit currency.

September 25, 1867

Congress created the 1st all black university, Howard University in Washington DC.

October 12, 1901
Theodore Roosevelt renamed the Executive Mansion, to The White House.

March 27, 1912

The first cherry blossom trees, a gift from Japan, were planted in Washington, D.C.

June 20, 1944

The US Congress chartered the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

 May 24, 1951

Racial segregation in Washington D.C. restaurants was ruled illegal.

September 7, 1954

Integration of public schools began in Washington D.C

March 19, 1979

The U.S. House of Representatives began televising its day-to-day business.

April 30, 1997

President Clinton reopened the newly renovated Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Washington also has a lot of things you can do for free, you can visit the Library of Congress, they have free lectures, concerts, exhibits and poetry readings.

The Supreme Court has session that begin at 9:30 a.m. outside the Front Plaza, visitors should arrive much earlier for a chance to attend a session.

You can also visit the National Zoo for free. Home to 1,500 animals of 300 different species.

Washington has great hotels, motels, car rentals, tours and restaurants.

There’s no doubt that Washington is a very interesting place – I know you will have a great time when you visit it.

Italy Travel

Italy is one of those countries everyone knows and talks about. One of the reason is it’s boot shape structure, the other is it’s history.Two good reasons to travel there and see all the wonderful sites.

Italian is the official language of Italy; spoken by the vast majority of people.While each region has its own dialect, Tuscan, the dialect of Tuscany, is the standard dialect for Italian.

French is also spoken in parts of Piedmonte and in Valle d’Aosta, where it has become the second official language of the region.

Slovene is spoken in the Trieste-Gorizia area, and German is widely used in Bolzano Province.

One can say that Italy then has a greater linguistic spectrum than given credit for.

The presence of the Vatican in it’s  region has given Italy (Italien) a strong religious identity world wide. 
Roman Catholicism, is affirmed as the state religion under the Lateran Treaty of 1929.

Italy’s highway system is considered, one of the world’s best, in 2002 totaled 479,688 km (298,366 mi). 

These expressways route Milan-Como-Varese, Venice-Padua, Naples-Salerno, and Milan-Bologna-Florence-Rome-Naples. All great places to visit.

A major highway runs through the Mont Blanc Tunnel, connecting France and Italy.

The Italian patrimony, based on Roman antecedents is the oldest in Europe over 2,500 years old.

The earliest known inhabitants of Italy were the Ligurians, Sabines, and Umbrians, in the 9th century bc they were largely displaced in central Italy by the Etruscans, a seafaring people, probably from Asia Minor.
LEANING TOWER PISA TUSCANY ITALY
Southern Italy and Sicily were conquered shortly after by the Phoenicians and the Greeks.

By 650 bc, Italy was divided  into ethnic areas: the Umbrians in the north, the Ligurians in the northwest.

The Latins and Etruscans in the central regions, and the Greeks and Phoenicians in the south and Sicily.

By 350 bc, after a series of wars with both Greeks and Etruscans, the Latins, with Rome as their capital, gained the ascendancy.

By 272 bc, they managed to unite the entire Italian peninsula.

From its inception, Rome was a republican city-state.

Four famous civil conflicts destroyed the republic:

Sulla against Marius and his son (88–82 bc).

Julius Caesar against Pompey (49–45 bc).

Brutus and Cassius against Mark Antony and Octavian (43 bc), and Mark Antony against Octavian.

Octavian, the final victor (31 bc), was accorded the title of Augustus (“exalted”) by the Senate and thereby became the first Roman emperor.

Under imperial rule, Rome undertook a series of conquests that brought Roman law, Roman administration, and Pax Romana (“Roman peace”) to an area extending from the Atlantic to the Rhine, to the British Isles, to the Iberian Peninsula and large parts of North Africa, and to the Middle East as far as the Euphrates.

The word Italia (Italy) appears on a coin dating back to the 1st century BC. Which was minted by the confederation of the Italic peoples who rose up against Rome.

The coin was found in the region of Abruzzo in Corfinio, the ancient Corfinium, capital of the confederation with the name of Italica.

The long Roman domination dating from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD has left a mark in Italy with its roads, aqueducts, temples, monuments, towns and cities, bridges, and theatres.

Travel to Italy,  and see a past that can still be seen in every part of the country.

The Netherlands Travel

The Neherlands is a wonderful place to travel to. It’s history is full of interesting facts – here a a few of them.

The Netherlands is the world’s second-largest exporter of food, flowers,  and agricultural products, after the United States.

Holland is a word that is used to describe The Netherlands.

It’s readily associated with windmills, wooden shoes, beer, tulips, and cheese.

Old Holland consisted of The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. The three were once one country – generally known as Holland.

Between 1588 and 1795, the area currently known as The Netherlands was the Republic of Seven United Netherlands.

The republic was conquered by French troops in 1795 and became the Bat-avian Republic. Napoleon appointed his brother Louis as king in 1806, turning the country into a kingdom.

The Netherlands remained a kingdom after Napoleon’s defeat. At that time, the area called “Holland” made the biggest contribution to the entire nation’s economy and wealth.

As such the name Holland became the commonly used term to indicate the entire country.

Pay Bas is another name associated with The Netherlands.

The Benelux Union refers to the political, cultural, and economic union of three Western Europe states.

Namely Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

Benelux is a cobination derived from the first two or three letters of the names of each of these countries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Benelux Union is one of the oldest economic unions in the world.

The union was established to promote cooperation and economic integration within the member states.

The Benelux was established in September of 1944 at the London Customs Convention, and took effect until 1948 – when the countries economies stabilized from the consequences of World War II.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The member states agreed on lowering custom duties and import duties, eliminating import quotas, and easing other trade restrictions among the union members.

West Germany, Italy, and France joined the Benelux Union in 1951.

Air France

 

 

The union grew to become the European Economic Community and later the European Union.

The European Union took prominence over the Benelux union.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nonetheless the Benelux Union continues to a strong pillar in the Dutch, Belgium, and Luxembourg culture, and a very important part of their history.

The three largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. Amsterdam being the capital.

When the United States formed the government consisting of the first 13 states, English became the official language of the United States by one vote – Dutch in second place and French came close with fewer votes – took third place.

The port of Rotterdam is the world’s largest port outside East-Asia, and by far the largest port in Europe.

Most people to date call  The Netherlands; Holland.

The Netherlands means “lower countries”, influenced by its low land and flat geography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding one meter above sea level.

The Netherlands also counts with a active beach area.

Very close to the dunes (man helped mountains). The dutch built them to keep the sea from invading their land. A great place to ride bike. One of the nicest sites in the area is watching people of all ages ride bike.

It’s not rare to see someone in their eighties ride bike. A site that makes the human heart rejoice.

Have fun, take a lot of photos and let me know about your trip to The Netherlands.

Don’t forget to take a boat trip…. Let me know how it was……