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!

Siegburg Travel

Siegburg is a wonderful small city located on the banks of the rivers Sieg and Agger; in the district of Rhein-Sieg-Kreis, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

Siegburg sits on the base of a mountain.

Siegburg is one of the few cities in the world that has converted – most – if not all of it’s street lights; to energy efficient – LED – bulbs. Reducing the use and cost of energy tremendously in Siegburg.

In 1816 Siegburg became the county seat of the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis.

Some of Siegburg most interesting sites in Siegburg are:

Holzgasse – The Holzgasse is a long cobblestone paved street full of shops and restaurants.

Abtei Michaelsberg – The Abtei Michaelsberg is the former residence of the Benedictine Monks; who produced a liquor called Siegburger Abtei-Likör and a beer called Michel.

Medieval Christmas Markett – Siegburg is known for it’s medieval Christmas market. The market features Medieval tents, full of the era’s artifacts and medieval music. A variety of wines are served – this includes honey wines and some of the era’s most tasteful breads. It’s a great place to step back in time.

Siegburg Museum – The Siegburg museum features the history of Siegburg from prehistoric times until the Federal Republic. The museum has a medieval cellar vault; conserved from 1826.

Oktopus Siegburg – The Oktopus Siegburg is a great place to go to if you like deep sea diving – here you can do it indoors. It’s one of the deepest indoor diving centers of Europe. The tower has a depth of 20 meters and a diameter of 10 to 18 meters.

Cineplex Siegburg – The Cineplex Is the biggest cinema in Siegburg; it shows the latest movies. It consists of: 2 small – cozy movie theaters, 4 medium size – movie halls, and one huge movie theater – that can house 500 people.

Michealsberg Abbey – Is a former monastery of the Benedictine Order, founded in 1064 by the Archbishop of Cologne, the monastery is dedicated to the Archangel Michael.

During the 14th century, the abbey was said to be directly subject to the Holy Roman Emperor. This led to a war, with the town of Siegburg.

In 1676, the abbey became the subject of local territorial power.

During the period of the Thirty Years’ War, the abbey became – a center of literary and musical studies.

There is no doubt that Siegburg is a great place to travel to; a small town with a huge history and great restaurants.

When you visit, check your electrical items – the voltage in Germany is 230 V 50 Hz, adapter C / F.

Let me know about your trip to Siegburg, did you dive? How deep did you go – was it cold outside when you did it?

Auf Wiedersehen!

Wernigerode Travel

During the course of the year we hear our self say, ” I need a vacation”.  The main reason usually is; that you feel tired. You want to sleep late and break from your daily routine.

You then start to plan a vacation. You need to travel.

Resting is included, even though it’s not written in any of your notes. Thereafter, you go on vacation and return home just as tired as you were when you left.

Here’s a tip: Green areas are known to be restful.

There is a great little town – in Germany – called Wernigerode, it’s green and it’s the perfect place to travel and rest.

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Wernigerode has a interesting history,  architecture is southwest of Halberstadt. The small town of Wernigerode lies at the base of the Brocken. It has a castle that sits on a hill; overlooking medieval houses with elaborate wood carvings. The Holtemme river flows through the town, and it’s joined by the Zillierbach stream, on the north slopes of the Harz Mountains.

The town’s borough consists of Hasserode, Nöschenrode, Stadtfeld, Burgbreite and Harzblick. As well as the villages of Benzingerode, Minsleben, Silstedt, Schierke and Reddeber.

The amounts of precipitation and temperatures in Wernigerode, are influenced by the Harz Mountains. Wernigerode was the capital of the medieval County of Stolberg-Wernigerode.

Listen to your body, if you want to go on vacation – so you can rest. Do it.

The hotel you chose for vacation, has a lot to do with the amount of rest you get.

Resting during your vacation, is not a myth. It’s a choice.

Brief Historic Facts

After the Napoleonic War in 1815, Wernigerode became part of the Prussian Province of Saxony. After World War II, Wernigerode was included in the new state Zillierbach .

In 1990, Wernigerode became part of the restored state of Saxony-Anhalt – after the German reunification.











There are no written sources confirming exactly when the town was established.

The town’s name suggests; that it was a protected settlement. Klint was the first area to be settled, there was a small castle called Schnakenburg. In 1805, the ruins of the castle site were demolished. Klint was an ancient forest at the time of the settlement, typical of the Harz area.

On the 17th of April of 1229,  the settlement was granted town rights along the lines of that for Goslar.

In 2004, Wernigerode celebrated the 775th anniversary,  of that occasion.

The suffix –rode –  in the name Wernigerode = means clearing.

The Marketplace

Wernigerode contains several interesting Gothic buildings, the Town Hall has a timber facade from 1498.

Hasseröder lager, cigars and dyes are among the products manufactured in Wernigerode.

Wernigerode has numerous museums, galleries, libraries, and monuments.

Everywhere in this town is that pleasant freshness of the woods and nature, at a distance you can hear the streams running thru the rocks.

One of the most beautiful walk trails – starts at the edge of the town and follows the River.

Schloß Wernigerode Castle

The original Schloß Wernigerode Castle was built in the 12th century, but the present castle was built between 1862 and 1893 by Karl Frühling and includes parts of the medieval building.

Werningerode Castle is a breathtaking palace, in the Harz Mountains.

It was originally used as a hunting lodge for the old emperors of Germany.

Visitors as well as locals may be invited to banquets in the main dining hall of the castle.

Return Flights from New York to Paris with Air France!

The castle is available to those desiring a fairy-tale wedding!


Harzer Schmalspurbahn is a narrow gauge railway that leads from Wernigerode to the Brocken, 1141 meters to the highest peak in the Harz Mountains.

It goes to Nordhausen  – South of the Harz Mountains. The second highest peak is 971 meters – Wurmberg it’s accessible by cable car.

Take a ride an old steam train to the top the mountain; the network of narrow-gage rails runs through a number of towns in the Harz

The Harz Mountains – The land of  Fairy Tales

Steep-Roofed Houses, Cobblestone Roads, Enchanting Forests, Crystal Color Streams of water and Stormy Mountains.

Sounds familiar, yes it’s the Harz area a beautiful restful place tucked away deep in a wooded valleys.

It also sounds looks like the scenes of your favorite childhood stories:

The Harz Mountains have long been famous as an important source of German folklore.
There are many stories that are well known throughout the world of the witches, royalty, dwarves and animals in the Harz area.

Here are some of the most popular:

Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, Rumpelstiltskin, Tom Thumb, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, The Frog Prince, and The Wolf and the Seven Kids.

Find any of your favorites?

You can find lots of books to read, to relax with in Wernigerode

Don’t forget to include some fairy tales.

This region is also known for it’s many silver mines; many villagers made their living underground and the towns’ wealth is said to have come from the mines.


There are hints of this in the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Hike,Walk,  Rest 

If you like hiking, walking, riding bike, or just sitting in front of a stream and soaking your feet.

Weinigerode is a great place to do it.

Get the rest you  want, next time you plan a vacation – consider Wernigerode, Germany.

Don’t forget to pack your camera -o you can take photos of it’s ancient structures and your favorite fairy tales.

Let me know how your trip went….