Tuesday, November 30, 2010

You Want Foie Gras with That?

The fast-food chain Quick will offer low-priced foie gras burgers in France as a pre-Christmas special.  The “Supreme Foie Gras” is 5€ ($6.57, £4.20) and will be available at more than 340 Quick outlets across France from December 17 to 19. The sandwich contains beef, relish, lettuce and duck foie gras; Quick said the foie gras will be in slices but the photo they've released shows little (not so

En la puerta de los Alpes, Aiguille du Midi

06/08/2010: Desde la localidad francesa de Chamonix tomamos el teleférico para llegar a uno de los miradores más visitado del mundo, la cumbre de Aiguille du Midi. Desde allí tenemos unas vistas únicas hacia el Mont Blanc (4.810 m)

La construcción de este teleférico a principios de siglo batió todos los records al ser en su inauguración el teleférico aéreo más alto del mundo.

Consigue unir Chamonix ( a 1.000 m) con la montaña de Aiguille du Midi ( a 3.842 m) en tan solo dos tramos, el cual uno de ellos era (desconozco si actualmente todavía lo es) el más largo jamás realizado en el mundo.


El recorrido consta de un primer tramo que asciende un desnivel de 1.279 m, con una pendiente máxima del 90% y el increíble segundo tramo con un desnivel de 1.471 m. Desde allí se sube en un ascensor por el interior de la montaña hasta la terraza superior.

En unos 20 minutos pasamos de 1.000 m a 3.842 m de altitud:

Cabina del Teleférico:
En pocos minutos conseguimos llegar a tener unas impresionantes vistas panorámica, antes solo accesibles para una minoría de experimentados escaladores:

Aunque estábamos en agosto y hacia sol, la temperatura era de -2ºC. Llevábamos ropa de abrigo, gafas de sol y protector solar.

Cumbre de Mont Blanc du tacul, 4.248 m:

Vista desde la terraza superior hacia la terraza Mont Blanc:

Enormes mantos blancos de nieve con algunos alpinistas:

Vista de Chamonix:
Desde esta espectacular posición se situan en las nubes más lejanas por detrás de las cumbres, los Alpes Italianos:
Con el Mont Blanc a mi espalda:

Plano de situación de las terrazas y diferentes zonas en Aiguille du Midi:
Tras bajar del teleférico y visitar las terrazas, tenemos que cruzar este puente para llegar al interior de la roca y subir en ascensor:
Alucinante el puente:

Impresionante obra de ingeniería:
Pared con los ventanales de la galería:
Vista de las terrazas y el puente:
Terraza superior:
Vista hacia la terraza Mont Blanc:
La punta de Aiguille du Midi:


Desde la terraza superior se tienen una de las mejores vistas de los Alpes:

Studying lights

My captain is making sure that I read my signs and lights, every night - for the hearings in the mornings. He is a very strict captain, my man, and he doesn't accept me to run away from any lessons or fail on any of my homework. Good with some discipline for a sometimes unfocused and distracted girl like me though.

It is of major importance that everyone who's intending to keep a night watch on a sailing passage knows what lights are shown on the ships and ferries we might encounter on the sea to decrease the risk of colliding with them. This, and the color combinations of buoys are on my reading list for tonight. /Taru

Cards can be found here: http://www.flipcards.co.uk/

San Pedro Claver church, Cartagena

The Spanish priest San Pedro Claver was born in 1580 and is the Saint of slaves. When the slave ships arrived in the port of Cartagena he took care of hungry and sick people. This was absolutely necessary because many of the slaves died or became sick during the transfer from Africa. He baptised and helped more than 300,000 slaves. The priest is still very popular in Cartagena. In the church, you find at the altar piece a glass coffin with the bones of Saint San Pedro Claver. We also visited his praying room and sleeping quarters. He always slept on the floor like the slaves.

De Spaanse priester San Pedro Claver is geboren in 1580 en is de patroon heilige van de slaven. Hij hielp de slaven die met Spaanse schepen in Cartagena aanmeerden. Dit was echt noodzakelijk daar zeer velen van hen uitgehongerd en zwaar ziek waren. Gedurende de overvaart uit Afrika stierven heel veel mensen. San Pedro Claver heeft meer als 300,000 slaven gedoopt. De priester is nog steeds heel populair in Cartagena. In de kerk vind je bij het altaarstuk een glazen kist met de overblijfselen van de heilige. We hebben tevens de bidkamer en de slaapvertrekken bezocht. San Pedro Claver sliep altijd op de grond net als de slaven.

San Pedro Claver church Cartagena
San Pedro Claver church Cartagena
San Pedro Claver church Cartagena
San Pedro Claver church Cartagena
San Pedro Claver church Cartagena
San Pedro Claver church Cartagena
Previous Cartagena article: Las Bovedas and shopping, Cartagena

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Portraits of the night

Cruise ships leaving Port Everglades

Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale near Miami is one of the major cruise Ports in the USA. On 6 November 2010, we saw the Oasis of the Sea sailing off, the biggest cruise ship in the world. On the video you also see the Crown Princess from Princess Cruises.

Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale dichtbij Miami is een van de grootste cruise havens in de VS. Op 6 november 2010, zagen we hier de Oasis of the Sea afvaren, het grootste cruise schip ter wereld. Op de video zie je ook de Crown Princess van Princess Cruises.



Previous Cruise article: Cruising is in the lift

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Cartagena shopping and Las Bovedas

Las Bovedas or the Dungeons are now a tourist shopping area. Originally build in 1796; the dungeons were used as storage rooms. Later they functioned as military prisons, which was very efficient because of the 15 meter tick walls. Here you don't find prisoners anymore but all kind of handcrafts and souvenirs. It is a special shopping area with typical Colombian items like t-shirts, art pieces, clothing, lace.... What you have to see is the fine Colombian coffee and cigars. Fruit ladies are everywhere in town, they want to join you for a photo, but you will have to pay one or two dollars. They are very assertive. It was nice to see the local products and the cigar girl was very beautiful and friendly, a contradiction to the fruit ladies.

Las Bovedas of de kerkers zijn nu een toeristische bezienswaardigheid en winkelgebied bij uitstek. Ze werden gebouwd in 1796 en gebruikt als voorraadkamers. Later waren het militaire gevangenissen, wat zeer efficient was met hun 15 meter dikke muren. Hier vind je echter geen gevangenen meer maar allerlei ambacht producten en souvenirs. Het is special door de historische kerkers en de typisch Colombiaanse zaken zoals lokaal getinte T-shirts, kunstwerkjes, kledij, kant,... Wat je zeker niet mag missen is de fijne Colombiaanse koffie en sigaren. Fruit dragende dames zie je overal in de stad en bieden aan samen met jou op de foto te staan, je moet echter 1 of 2 dollar betalen. Ze zijn zeer assertief. Het was interessant lokale producten te zien en het sigarenmeisje was zeer mooi en vriendelijk, een groot contrast tegenover de fruit dragende dames.

Dungeons Cartagena Shopping
Dungeons Cartagena Shopping
Dungeons Cartagena Shopping
Cartagena Shopping
Cartagena Shopping
Cartagena Shopping
Cartagena Shopping
Previous Cartagena article: Inquisition Palace, Cartagena

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Yeonpyeong island Korean Small conflict Island

Yeonpyeong Island become so famous this week. Not for its tourism or beautiful scenery, but because this island was bombed and fired by North Korea Soldiers.

Where is Yeonpyeong Island ?

Yeonpyeong Island is one of the closest South Korean territories to the communist North, nestled amid the Baekryeong Islands in the Yellow Sea about 8 miles from the North Korean coast. Altogether the islands are home to 5,570 citizens. Yeonpyeong -- pronounced yuhn-pyuhng (rhyming with hung) -- has just 1,780 residents, in addition to about 1,000 soldiers and marines stationed there, according to the JoongAng Daily newspaper. The island spans just 3 square miles.

Both North and South Korea confirm that Yeonpyeong Island was shelled this morning, though there is debate over which country shot first.

Yeonpyeong Island is just a small island, a sleepy fishing community on an island, become a hot topic in the world Two South Korean soldiers were killed and a dozen injured after North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto a South Korean island setting more than 60 houses ablaze and sending civilians fleeing in terror.

Yeonpyeong Island sits just two miles from the so-called northern limit line, a watery extension of the demilitarized zone dividing the Koreas. It was the scene of two deadly sea battles in the past decade.

Many of the island’s 1,600 civilian residents, mostly graying fishermen, said they felt caught in the middle. But they also say they are accustomed to the periodic escalations in tensions, which they describe as just another part of life on this disputed island.

Yeonpyeong Island Photos :

Yeonpyeong Island Map
Yeonpyeong Island Map


Yeonpyeong Island
North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells at the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, killing two soldiers and two civilians and setting houses ablaze in the worst attack on its neighbour since 1953


Yeonpyeong Island

Yeonpyeong Island

Yeonpyeong Island

Yeonpyeong Island


Watch CCTV video of North Korean bombs hitting South's Yeonpyeong island Video here







Stocking up the galley

The sun came back and... then it started to rain again. And what else can you do in miserable weather than wallow yourself in shopping. We have finally finalized our provisioning for the Atlantic passage and feeling content with the selections made (not the weight of it though but that's another story). Also we have had the chance to purchase the pressure cooker which so many people have been suggesting for us, I cannot wait to start using it - and a whole lot of other kitchen ware. One of my favorites for this week is this measuring cup in stainless, which indicates both Scandinavian measurements and American at the very same time. I am getting old apparently. Feeling almost as much excitement over a piece of baking equipment as I did with Chanel boots in lambskin leather for only a year ago. 

By the way, the maximum-spend-of-1000-Euros-per-month-budget we were planning to put into practice for this world tour, will have to wait even longer. At least until we get out of this place. We are way over that one for the moment and if we'll keep on like this we will most probably have to go Robinson Crusoe style very very soon. /Taru

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Inquisition palace, Cartagena

The Inquisition Palace is one of the most important historical buildings in Cartagena and dates from the late 18th century. So I can not really justify ignoring this museum. However, if there is one reason to lose all faith in the Church it must be the Spanish inquisition. The Spanish and the Roman Catholic Church have robbed Cartagena from all its natural resources and by using the inquisition they stole from the local population to build there fabulous churches in Europe. There was no tolerance; you had to believe in the Roman Catholic Church, if not, you were a witch or devil. Suspects had to undergo imprisonment, torture and death. The rich had to give their money and possessions to the church and they were released. The poor were tortured and murdered in the most extreme ways to frighten all others. You would believe in anything and give all your possessions before any question was asked. It is amazing that more than one billion people in the world are Roman Catholic, and have accepted to support there religious organisation after these criminal acts that lasted centuries. Even in Cartagena the religion is extremely important in the lives of the Colombians. One could question if this is out of fear or conviction. Let's hope this never happens again and that the modern Church will only do good things in people’s lives from now on.

Het Inquisitie Paleis is één van de belangrijkste historische gebouwen in Cartagena en dateert uit de laat 18de eeuw. Zodoende kan ik dit museum niet negeren na ons bezoek. Als er één reden is om al het geloof in de Katholieke Kerk te verliezen moet het wel de Spaanse Inquisitie zijn. De Spanjaarden en de Rooms Katholieke Kerk hebben Cartagena leeggeroofd en door middel van de Inquisitie werd alles gestolen van de lokale bevolking om fabelachtige kerken te bouwen in Europa. Er was geen enkele tolerantie, de bevolking moest geloven in de Kerk, anders was je een heks of duivel. Verdachten werden opgesloten, ondergingen folteringen of werden vermoord. De rijken dienden hun geld en bezittingen af te geven in ruil voor hun vrijheid. Armen werden gefolterd en vermoord onder de meest extreme omstandigheden om de gehele bevolking af te schrikken. Je zou in alles geloven en al je bezittingen weggeven om uit handen van de Inquisitie te blijven. Het blijft verbazingwekkend dat er meer als 1 miljard mensen lid zijn van de Rooms Katholieke die eeuwen deze criminele activiteiten hebben uitgevoerd. Zelfs in het leven van de Colombianen in Cartagena is religie nog steeds super belangrijk. Men kan zich afvragen of dit echt geloven is of diep gewortelde angst uit het verleden. Laat ons hopen dat dit nooit meer gebeurd en dat de moderne Rooms Katholieke Kerk enkel nog maar goede dingen gaat doen voor iedereen op deze wereld.

Inquisition Palace Cartagena

Inquisition Palace Cartagena

Inquisition Palace Cartagena

Inquisition Palace Cartagena

Inquisition Palace Cartagena


Previous Cartagena article: Views of the cathedral of Cartagena

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