Puerto Rico Travel

Brief History of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a great place to travel to,  it’s  history is full of interesting facts; here are a few of them:
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico) is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the Caribbean.

It consists of the main island Puerto Rico, and three small islands which are the Isla de Mona, Culebra, and Vieques.
History books tell of an Ortoiroid people who were displaced by the Saladoid’s, a culture from the same region that arrived on the island some time around 250 BC.

The Taíno culture developed on the island between the 7th and 11th century. By 1000 AD, it had become the dominant race.
By 1493, when Columbus arrived, the island was populated by an estimated 30,000 to 60,000 Amerindians Tainos, led by the cacique chief Agüeybaná.

The Tainos called the island Boriken, which means “The great land of the valiant and noble Lord”.

Christopher Columbus claimed the island, for the Crown of Castile in Spain.

For four centuries after that the island was transformed into a colony of Spain.

This changed the islands ethnic, cultural and physical landscapes. Some of which is still evident in Old San Juan.

During this era the island’s population grew with Africans, Canarians, and Andalusian settlers from Spain.

Hundreds also arrived in Puerto Rico, Corsica, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Scotland.

As the population grew they immigrated to the islands of Vieques and Culebra.

In 1898, following the Spanish–American War, the United States of America appropriated Puerto Rico together with most former Spanish colonies under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.

The Spanish vocabulary of Puerto Rico has words that differentiate them from the Spanish spoken in other Caribbean islands.
It’s similar to the Castilian dialect from Spain, with some Taino words in it.

Mainly in the context of vegetation, natural phenomenas or musical instruments.

They also use some words that are similar to words used in the West African languages, chiefly in the contexts of music dances.

For the last century the culture in Puerto Rico is Americanized which has led to the increment of the use of Spanglish.

Spanglish are english-spanish words. Many of which now grace the pages of dictionaries.

Since the occupation of Spain, the Roman Catholic faith is the dominant religion in the island. Every town has a catholic church in it’s town center, usually close to the Town Hall.

Other christians faith have grown in the island are the Pentecosts, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Adventist and Mormon’s faith, and a few Jewish Synagogues.

It is now the dominant religion in Puerto Rico. All municipalities in Puerto Rico have at least one Catholic Church, usually located in the center of the town, close to the Town Hall.

The largest and oldest Public University is the public Universidad de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico University), it has 11 large campuses.

You must have a B average (3.0 GPA) or higher or to get in, and you must maintain it in order to graduate.

The quality of the education it offers has been compared to Princeton, and Harvard.

It has a four (4) schools of Science and Medicine, and three (3) – ABA-approved Law Schools.

Some of the islands most brilliant minds, prominent senators, scientists, and scholars are graduates of the University of Puerto Rico.

The University of Puerto Rico has helped restore the islands faith in public education.

Puerto Rico also is one of the few countries in the world to have 5 Miss Universe title winners.

Must see places in Puerto Rico
El Yunque National Forest, Old San Juan, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristobal, La Fortaleza, Museo de Arte de Ponce, Culebra, Vieques, Isla de Mona, Condado Beach, Arecibo Observatory, Cayo Icacos, Cuevas de Camuy.

El Yunque Rain Forest
Hike through El Yunque Rain Forest and discover a true green paradise. La Coca Falls has an impressive natural water fall.

Culebra Island
Flamenco Beach, Zoni Beach and El Polvorín are three of the must see beaches in Culebra especially for those who like to swim, dive or snorkel in a clear water – white – sand beach.

Culebra is a great place to do some beach hopping, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, and even surfing.

You can also hike and do some interesting like bird watching. There are tons of different birds and parrots. Some are huge.

Most people in Culebra park the car and walk everywhere.

Or you can just go there to get away from the city life, connect with nature and relax.

The Island Vieques
Vieques is an island to simply relax. There are no casinos, no golf courses, no strip malls no major shopping centers, like there are in the main island.

Vieques is a getaway. What is there? A low tide beach, great food, and a relaxing  atmosphere.

There is a bay that glows in the dark, the other is in Lares.

At night the sky lights up over Vieques – since the island is small the street lights do not dominate the space. The stars dominate the space. There are a few more than the city light allows you to see. I would say, a few hundred more.

Arecibo Observatory
The Arecibo Observatory is a radio telescope in the municipality of Arecibo.

The radio telescope terrestrial aeronomy experiments include the Coqui II experiment, supported by NASA. The telescope has military intelligence.

The Arecibo Observatory telescope is said to be the largest on the planet. See the video.

The city of Old San Juan
The first thing that you will notice about old San Juan is that it has been preserved. It houses, buildings, streets and forts that date back several hundred of years.

Old San Juan has the largest harbor in the region, and is the  the capital of Puerto Rico.

Take a boat trip around San Juan then walk thru the city. It’s a wonderful way to start a day.

By the water front, you will see the Condado (Tourist Area), the Fort San Cristobal, it’s the largest fort built by Spain in the New World.

North you will observe, the Capitol Building – it’s made of marble. Similar in shape as the one in Washington, D.C.

Across the bay you will see the Bacardi Distillery in the (islet) Isla de Cabras with its Fort, San Juan De La Cruz. They have daily tours.

In old San Juan you will also see the – Paseo de La Princesa (full of street vendors), the Roots Fountain, The Governors Mansion (San Catalina Castle) and Fort San Felipe Del Morro – which dates back several hundred years.

Camuy River Cave Park
Once you arrive at the Camuy River Cave Park, you will board a trolley to descend about 200 feet (60 m) underground to an million year old cave, where you will walk through Cueva Clara. It has a limestone floor. And a gothic looking ceiling.

The cave is said to have been used by the Taíno Indians.

For such a small island Puerto Rico has a huge history, one of the great things about Puerto Rico is being able to hop on a cruise boat and sail away.

Puerto Rico Cruises
Have a good time in Puerto Rico, whether you get there by plane or cruise ship – you’ll be amazed.

Don’t forget o let me know about your trip.

Buen Viaje!

London Travel

A Brief History of London

London is a great place to travel to,  it’s  history is full of interesting facts; here are a few of them:

According to the legendary Historia Regum Britanniae, by Geoffrey of Monmouth, London was founded by Brutus of Troy about 1000–1100 B.C. after he defeated the native giant Gogmagog; the settlement was known as Caer Troia, Troia Nova in Latin it means New Troy.

AD 200

Britain was divided in two. York became the capital of Britannia Inferior & London of Britannia Superior.

A century later, the Emperor Diocletian reorganized Britain to improve administrative efficiency.

London became the capital of Maxima Caesariensis, one of the four newly created provinces.

It remained the financial center of Britain, and home of the treasury.

Christianity appears to have reached the province at an early date and, only a year after the religion became official London had its own Bishop, Restitutus. Who is known to have attended the Imperial Council of Arles.
In 1097 William Rufus, the son of William the Conqueror began the construction of ‘Westminster Hall’, which became the focus of the Palace of Westminster.

In 1176 construction began of the most famous incarnation of London Bridge (completed in 1209) which was built on the site of several earlier wooden bridges.

This bridge would last for 600 years, and remained the only bridge across the River Thames until 1739.

In 1216 during the First Barons’ War London was occupied by Prince Louis of France, who had been called in by the baronial rebels against King John and was acclaimed as King of England in St Paul’s Cathedral.

Over the following centuries, London would shake off the heavy French cultural and linguistic influence which had been there since the times of the Norman conquest.

The city would figure heavily in the development of Early Modern English.

During the Reformation, more than half of the area of London was the property of monasteries. London was the center of Protestantism in England.

Henry VIII’s “Dissolution of the Monasteries” had a profound effect on the city. Most of the property changed hands.

The process started in the mid 1530s and by 1538 most monastic houses had been abolished.

The late 16th and early 17th century saw the great flourishing of drama in London. A iconic and prominent figure of the time was William Shakespeare.

During Queen Elizabeth I reign, some of her courtiers and wealthier citizens of London built themselves country residences in Middlesex, Essex and Surrey and permanently left the city.

This was an early stirring of the villa movement, which was a taste for residences which were neither of the city or on an agricultural estate, but at the time of Elizabeth’s death in 1603, London was densely populated.

The general meeting-place of the time was the Old St. Paul’s Cathedral. Merchants used to conduct their business in the aisles.

Lawyers received their clients at their particular pillars; and the unemployed went to the church to look for work.

St Paul’s Churchyard became the center of the book trade, while Fleet Street became a center of public entertainment.

Charles I, acceded to the throne in 1625. During his reign, aristocrats began to inhabit the West End in large numbers. On September 2nd of 1666 the Great Fire of London broke out at one o’clock in the morning at a bakery in Pudding Lane.

It was a windy night and the fire spread, for four days all efforts to extinguish it failed. On Thursday it was finally extinguished, but on the evening of that day the flames returned at the Temple. The fire destroyed sixty percent of the City, the Old St Paul’s Cathedral, 87 parish churches, 44 livery company halls and the Royal Exchange.

The number of lives lost was amazingly small; sixteen lives are said to have been lost in the blaze.

The new City was different from the old one. All the houses and structures were made of bricks. Wood houses were no longer allowed.

During the reign of Queen Anne an act was passed authorizing the building of 50 new churches to serve the greatly increased population living outside the boundaries of the City of London.

The 18th century was a period of rapid growth for London, reflecting an increasing national population, the early stirrings of the Industrial Revolution, and London’s role at the centre of the evolving British Empire.

The first railway to be built in London was a line from London Bridge to Greenwich, which opened in 1836.

In the mid-1960s, music was on the rise and the UK was noticed for such musicians as the Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

In the mid 60’s London also became a fashion trend – a household name of youth and fashion around the world.

London’s fame quickly spread when they introduced to the market thin built models in mini skirts and short dresses.

London became the home of models with thin build, androgynous looks, big eyes, long eyelashes, and very short hair – who wore mini skirts. Some with boots. It became a trend.

By 1966, the mini skirt phase put London on top of the Fashion world.

On 6 July 2005, London won the right to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics making it the first city to host the modern games three times.

However, celebrations were cut short the following day when the city was rocked by a series of terrorist attacks.

More than 50 were killed and 750 injured in three bombings on London Underground trains and a fourth on a double decker bus near King’s Cross.

As you can see London’s history is not only ancient, but intriguing. A must see place.

London Pass

When in London purchase the London Pass it provides you with discounts and free entry to over 60 of the very best tourist attractions in London. Plus a free hop-on hop-off bus tour.

There is also the London Pass for public transportation.

Some of the top attractions in London are the London Tower, Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace, Tower of London and it’s always delightful take a boat cruise in the Thames River.

Make sure to check that your devices are compatible with the 220v voltage of London.

In order to use electronics from the United States in England, as well as most other countries outside of the American continent, you need a voltage converter and a plug adapter, unless you have dual-voltage electronics.

England is a country that uses 220v. If your visiting other countries in Europe as well they mostly uses 220v; as well.
Great Places to Visit in London 

Buckingham Palace  Tour – usually a 2.5-hour visit to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the Guard Ceremony. Then, enjoy the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – See the sets, costumes, and props used in all the Harry Potter films.

The Coca-Cola London Eye is a major feature of London’s skyline. It boasts some of London’s best views from its 32 capsules, each weighing 10 tonnes and holding up to 25 people. Climb aboard for a breathtaking experience, with an unforgettable perspective of more than 55 of London’s most famous landmarks – all in just 30 minutes!

Madame Tussaud Museum – See world’s most famous faces up-close from Shakespeare to recent artist.

London’s Hop on Hop Off  Bus – It’s best to buy a 24 hour ticket and enjoy the freedom to hop on and off the sightseeing buses and explore some of London’s most famous places, without having to rush to do it all in one day.

Visit the  Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, one day and St Paul’s Cathedral and Trafalgar Square the next day – plus all the stops you can make at restaurants, rivers, canals, parks and shopping streets.

The  Tower of London, is one of the world’s most famous buildings, its 900-year interesting history as a royal palace, prison and place of execution, arsenal, jewel house and zoo.

There is a 90 minute tour thru London’s dark past that is believed to knock your socks off.

The Sea Life London Aquarium houses over 400 species such as sharks, stingrays, moray eels, clown fish, and green turtles.

Getting around London on the River Boats  are popular with visitors and commuters alike, it’s a great way of beating the traffic and just sitting back to enjoy the view.

There is a large selection of these boat tours, some include, dinning, music, and dancing.

Among the canals a must see is the  Grand Union Canal The single longest canal in Britain, the Grand Union links London and Birmingham.

The River Thames London’s is a wonder ful place to see – runs almost 350km (220 miles) from source to sea. It has an amazing history and offers countless places to just sit and relax. It’s a leisure opportunity.

As you well know; there is so much more to see in London. I just hope you enjoyed the brief history offered here. I too like to know a litle bit about the places I visit.  Enjoy the videos and use the links to book your trip. Below is one for an electricity adaptar in case you need one.

London has great hotels, motels, car rentals and restaurants.

Don’t forget to try the local cuisine, and take lots of photos.

Hope you share your experience with us!

Have a great time!

Paris Travel

Paris is and always have been a great place to travel to,  it’s  history is full of interesting facts; here are a few of them:

Paris, capital of France

It’s 105 square kilometres which is about 41 square miles, it was founded in the 3rd century BC by a Celtic people called the Parisii, who gave the city it’s name.

In the 12th century, it was the largest city in the western world, a prosperous trading centre. It’s also the home of one of the oldest Universities in history; The University of Paris.

In the 17th century Paris became one of Europe’s major finance, commerce, fashion, science, and arts center, a position that still keeps today.

Paris is the banking and financial centre of France, houses the headquarters of 29 of the 31 French companies ranked in the 2015 Fortune Global 500.

The city is also a major rail, highway, and air-transport hub, serves two international airports Paris-Charles de Gaulle which is the second busiest airport in Europe after London Heathrow Airport, and Paris-Orly.

The Paris Metro opened in 1900, serves 5.23 million passengers daily. It’s the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro.

The central area of the city along the Seine River is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site, and includes many notable monuments, including Notre Dame Cathedral (12th – 13th century); the Sainte-Chapelle (13th century); the Eiffel Tower (1889); the Grand Palais and Petit Palais (1900); and the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre (1914).

Paris is also known for its fashion, particularly the twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week, which includes Haute Couture, Paris Fashion Week for Men, and Paris Sping and Summer Collections.

Paris has alot of restaurants that are three stars or better, known for it’s fine food.


Most of France’s major universities and grandes écoles are located in Paris.

Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Libération are France’s major newspapers.


The association football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are also based in Paris.

If you are a sports fan you will like to visit the 80,000 seat Stade de France, which was constructed for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. It is located just north of Paris in the commune of Saint Denis.

Paris was also the hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros.

Paris hosted the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympics – and is bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016 were all held in the city, and every July the cycling Tour de France finishes there.

The Louvre Museum has some 35,000 artworks. View the paintings, sculpture and architecture from 450 BC to the 19th century.

Among the most popular is Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa.

The museum has an English-speaking tour guide, with audio headsets, great for those who like to stand behind the crowd.

Enjoy a walking tour of the Palais Garnier, Paris’ premier opera house, it’s one of largest opera houses in Europe.

The Opera Garnier, as it is often called, inspired the setting for the famous musical, ‘Phantom of the Opera.’

There you will see the Grand Foyer, the main staircase (Grand Escalier in French).

The Neo-Baroque décor of this beautiful palace was designed by French architect Charles Garnier in the late 19th century. A guided tour usually takes an hour and a half to complete.

One of the unique things of France is that it offers you the opportunity to take to the skies in a hot air balloon ride, over Fontainebleau.

One of the highlights is watching the balloon inflation process, then taking a flight over the Fontainbleau countryside.

This was a former hunting ground of French royalty.

Once above you can view the whole town, the castle, and the wildlife of the forest.

When you land, you get to enjoy a glass of Champagne for the traditional toast des aéronautes, and then return by vehicle to the starting point.


Montmartre is the hilly part of Paris, decorated by a staircase that leads to the famous Sacré Coeur Cathedral.

There is another church on the hill, the older Saint Pierre de Montmartre, which is the founding place of the Jesuits.

The area is also famous for its nightlife and artists. The Moulin Rouge the cabaret that invented the can-can, a feisty French dance that put Montmartre on the map.

During sometime in their life artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, Modigliani, Renoir and Dali all lived and or worked for some time in the area.

The Dali Espace museum is also worth a visit. Then make your way into a different kind of Paris as you stroll along quiet country streets that will make you forget you’re in a major European capital!

Air France

At the highest natural point you can appreciate two stunning views: the magnificent Sacré Coeur basilica on one side, and a panorama of Paris on the other.

If you are about to travel to Paris, do not forget to pack the right adapters for your small appliances. Otherwise, you will get yourself into trouble.

Electricity in France—and more generally in Europe—comes out of the electrical outlets at 230-240 volts. In the US, the voltage is 110 volts.

The Paris train, metro, RER, tram and bus system uses a smart card called Passe Navigo Découverte for week passes.

These passes are open to visitors as opposed to normal Navigo passes which are for residents of Ile-de-France only.
The services included are any metro, RER (suburban) train, buses (RATP/Noctilien/Optile), and trams up to the zone limits of your pass.

You can buy a Navigo Découverte pass at nearly any Metro, RER, Transilien train ticket window that normally sells tickets and passes.

Have a good time in Paris, take lots of pictures and share some with us, bon voyage!