D Monde

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D Monde

Central America Caribbean » Panama November 6th 2018

We are finally back in Wifi range, here is an account of the last few days. November 3, 2018 This morning, before heading to Colon to board our boat, we went to San Lorenzo National Park. We drove through part of the park and got off to walk the last mile to San Lorenzo Fort. We saw howler monkeys and a toucan. There is not much left of the fort, only ruins, but you get a spectacular view of the Caribbean. In the afternoon we boarded the M/S Discovery, a 24-passenger catamaran to spent 3 nights on the canal. That afternoon we went through the first locks from the Caribbean to Gatun Lake. This man-made lake was created during the construction of the canal by damming the Chagres River which supplies the Gatun locks with more ... read more
M/S Discovery
Lowering the kayaks

Central America Caribbean » Panama November 2nd 2018

Today was my favorite day yet. We visited an indigenous tribe called Embera. As one of Panama’s seven indigenous tribes, this community embraces their traditional way of live and practices age-old customs as they were passed down through the generations. After a 2-hour bus ride we arrived at the Chagres National Park. We were met at the Chagres river by members of the Tribe. Then we embarqued into dugout canoes. Now try to imagine this: 3 canoe-loads of senior passengers sitting in canoes on very low benches, their asses lower that their knees. Does that make you smile. Then try to imagine these same seniors after a 40-minute ride trying to get up off those low seats. I can hear some of you laughing. Our visit started at their on-site school where we met the principle ... read more
Starting to board the canoes
arriving at the village
Welcoming committee

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Herrera November 2nd 2018

October 29, 2018 Before leaving Panama City this morning we visited El Chorrillo Neighborhood. It is well known in Panama for an incident the Panamanians call Black Christmas. In 1989, the United States invaded Panama in an attempt to overthrow military dictator Manuel Noriega, who had been indicted in the US on drug trafficking charges and was accused of suppressing democracy in Panama and endangering US nationals. Noriega’s headquarters were situated in the middle of this neighbourhood. On December 20, 1989, 4 days before Xmas, the US bombed Noriega’s headquarters. But of course, being in the middle of a crowded neighbourhood there were a lot of civilian casualties. There is a painted sign on a wall that says « Santa Claus brought bombs, this Christmas, to avenue A, December 20, 1989. » We then proceeded out ... read more
Cooking plantain
Sarigua National Park 1

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Panamá October 26th 2018

The first hotel we stayed at was in the modern part of the city, the financial district. What struck us was the skyline. Very tall buildings with interesting and unusual designs. My favorite was the one our taxi driver referred to as the screw (but our guide called it tthe corkscrew. We then moved to a hotel in the Casco Viejo to join our tour group. This is the older part of the city, my favorite part. A little bit of history first. The following descrption I found on the internet as I do not have the writing to describe these accurately. Panama Viejo Founded on August 15, 1519, by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias de Ávila, the city of Panamá was the first European settlement along the Pacific. For 150 years it flourished as Spain exported ... read more
Panama Viejo-Cathedral tower
Ruins in Panama Viejo
Presidential Palace in Casco Viejo

Central America Caribbean » Panama October 25th 2018

Leaving for Panama Friday October 26. Have to get up very early to get to the airport by 4:30 am. Haven’t gotten up that early since I retired almost 2 years ago. It will be painful. It’s a 9-day land tour + 3-day canal cruise. I will be travelling with my hubby and family and friends (9 of us this time). Bags are packed and ready to go. Whenever I mention that I’m going to Panama the first reaction I get from people who have been there is “oh it’s really hot there”. I will be adding blogs along the trip. If you don’t want to receive them just let me know and I will delete your name from the distribution list.... read more

Europe » Germany » Bavaria August 21st 2016

Today J, T, JP and I took a tour of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial site. The tour was quite informative although I thought the guide was rushing us through it. The Memorial Site on the grounds of the former concentration camp was established in 1965 on the initiative of and in accordance with the plans of the surviving prisoners who had joined together to form the Comité International de Dachau. On March 22, 1933, a few weeks after Adolf Hitler had been appointed Reich Chancellor, a concentration camp for political prisoners was set up in Dachau. This camp served as a model for all later concentration camps and as a "school of violence" for the SS men under whose command it stood. In the twelve years of its existence over 200.000 persons from all over ... read more
Inscription above camp entrance
Flogging table
Bunks inside barracks

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Munich August 20th 2016

August 19, 2016 Munich is the capital and largest city of the German state of Bavaria. It is the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg and the 12th biggest city of the European Union, with a population of above 1.5 million. The city is known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration and cavernous beer halls, including the famed Hofbräuhaus, founded in 1589. In the walkable Old Town, Marienplatz is a central square containing landmarks such as Gothic Neues Rathaus (town hall), with a popular glockenspiel show. This a clock tower with little bonhommes that come out and dance to the sound of music. August 20, 2016 Today we went on a most informative walking tour: Third Reich Tour Hitler's Munich. Munich is the birth place of Nazism. The tour covered all important facts and ... read more
Hall where Hitler gave his first speech
Golden pathway
Hiltler's favorite restaurant

Europe » Austria » Salzburg August 19th 2016

August 17-18, 2016 Salzburg is known as the birthplace of Mozart and setting for the film “The Sound of Music.” The hills are really alive in Salzburg. It has a population of only 150,000 (which includes 30,000 students) but receives 10,000,000 visitors a year. It is a beautiful city with the mountains all round and the river winding through it. The city is divided by the Salzach River, with medieval and baroque buildings of the pedestrian Altstadt (Old City) on its left bank, and 19th-century Neustadt (New City) on the right. The Festung Hohensalzburg, the city's fortress, was built in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhard, who made it his residence. It was greatly expanded during the following centuries. It is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. It sits atop a hill from where you can ... read more
View of the city from the fortress
Old town Salzburg

Europe » Austria » Vienna August 14th 2016

August 14, 2016 We arrived in Vienna today by train from Budapest. The train ride was uneventful, but quite enjoyable. On the way from the train station to the hotel J, B and JP (who were sharing a taxi) got a guided tour from the taxi driver. J got a little worried when the taxi driver told her that the hotel was cheap and that the showers were in the corridor. However, it is not bad, it is a 3-star, but it is clean and very close to the tourist area. Today we didn't do much, after checking in, lunch and a nap we went walking about. We had dinner at a spanish restaurant. We had a good time, between the big class of wine ( I'm sure it was 9 oz), the waiter screwing up ... read more
Hofburg Palace
St-Stephens Church
Roman ruins.under the Road

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest August 14th 2016

August 12, 2016Bratislava. Another city that was founded by Celtic tribes 2000 years ago. It has gone through the rise and fall of many empires. The historic old town is charming with its medieval castle, a maze of narrow pedestian streets and myriad sidewalk cafes. To date it is my favorite. There is much more to see here than I expected. However, we spent only one day, not enough time to see everything. But it was well worth the visit. It is the capital of Slovakia. Population: 500,000. The total population of Slovakia is only 5 million. Slovakia was part of the former Czechoslovakia. After the fall of communism it gained its independance, although 75% of the population did not want to separate (according to a public opinion pole). Our guide was telling us that the ... read more
Bratislava Town Square opposite view
Bratislava - Transportation in old town

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