Category Archives: South America

Places I’ve visited in South America

Y is for Y más: a review of my top five places

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Y más or “and more …” is my review of my top favorite places to visit — as least at of today! Here is my countdown…

Number Five:  Cadiz, Spain! I was so surprised at the  beauty and walk-ability of Cadiz. At to that a Fortress named after my patron saint that is constructed in a star shape, beautiful beaches and great seafood — what more could I want!

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Number Four: Lisbon has beautiful architecture, twisting streets, great museums, amazing music and, of course, good food and wine!

Number Three: Buenos Aires with it different neighborhoods, tango all night, and friendly people — I think I lost part of my heart there!

Number Two: Cuba!  I am still dreaming about Cuba and all it has to offer. I love Cuba and her people. Viva Cuba!

And number one should not be a shock to anyone who has read my blog … BARCELONA! If I could, this is where I would like to live. Architecture, people, beaches, food, night life, museums, concerts — it has everything I love (and did I mention football and Camp Nou?).

 

W is for Wildlife

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Learning how to photograph different things while I travel is part of the challenge and is becoming a passion. When I took a cruise around the tip of South America, not only sis I see cities and expansive landscapes, but I become challenged by taking photographs of wildlife. Here are some of my favorite photos of wildlife.

First group: sea lions in Argentina.

This group a seals found a floating dock to use as a place to catch some rays — and to play in the surf.

Birds have been more difficult for me.  Here are some of my first attempts at taking photos of birds. These were taking new Cape Horn.

Off the coast of Ushuaia, Argentina, there are groups of islands that are homes to various seals, sea lions, and water birds.

And of course, there are penguins!

So, I started looking for other opportunities. In the Canadian Maritimes, I was able to get a fox on a beach at sunset, I got “photo-bombed” by a seal near Cheticamp, and watched an eagle fish on Bras d’Or.

 

And finally, from near where I live, is Niagara Falls. If you look closely, you can see at least twobirds in this picture.IMG_6413_edited-1

U is for Uruguay

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Uruguay is a nice place to visit, especially after the spending time in Buenos Aries. It has beautiful beaches, friendly people and a great, laid back energy. One of the best beaches is at Punta del Estes, with soft, white sand and clear water.

 

The capital of Uruguay, Montevideo, has beaches, stunning artwork and palatial buildings.

 

 

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I barely got tp experience this wonderful country and I want to go back very soon!

J = Journeys through the Land of the Dead

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Cemeteries can be interesting places to find some fascinating artwork as well as quiet places to walk in otherwise busy cities. Here are some of my favourite ones.

Père Lachaise Cemetery is Paris is well-known and has some very interesting statuary and “residents”.

La Recoleta Cemetery is the large cemetery in Buenos Aries with many famous Argentinians buried there, including Eva Perón.

I stumbled upon a massive cemetery in Sao Paolo, Brazil. I thought it had interesting art, then I came to the edge of the cemetery and saw there was so much more. This is the largest cemetery I’ve every seen.

My last suggestion is the cemetery in Santiago de Cuba. Not only does it have a memorial to Jose Marti with a changing of the guard and other famous memorials.

 

 

A to Z Challenge: U = Ushuaia

U = Ushuaia, Argentina

UI could write about how beautiful Ushuaia, Argentina is. Or, I could write about the wildlife or the beauty of Tierra del Fuego. But I already wrote about my experiences here.  So I am going to just share the pictures again and remember the time I was at the end of the world. I hope you enjoy my memories of Ushuaia as much as I enjoyed making them.

Ushuaia sign

Ushuaia
Final destination: downtown Ushuaia!
Islands of Birds
Islands of Birds
Sea Lions
Sea Lions
Sea Elephant
Sea Elephant
Sea Wolf Island
Sea Wolf Island
Sea birds taking off
Sea birds taking off
Lighthouse at the end of the world
Lighthouse at the end of the world
Tierra del Fuego
Coastline of Tierra del Fuego National Park
Tierra del Fuego National Park
I call this one Freedom — the clouds reminded me of a woman flying and made me feel very free!
Tierra del Fuego National Park
The shoreline of the Tierra del Fuego Park
Tierra del Fuego National Park
Lake in Tierra del Fuego National Park
Fin del Mondo
The post office at the end of the world where you can get a postmark from “Fin del Mundo”

 

A to Z Challenge: P = Palaces

P = Palaces

PJust like cities, there seems to be one palace that many are compared to — Versailles. It may be the sheer size of the palace, or the ornate gardens. Whatever it is, all palaces seem to be compared to Versailles for one reason or another. By why should palaces be compared to another – each one has some that makes it unique and and reflects the locale. Here are some of my favourite palaces.

Versailles
Versailles
Peterhof fountains
Peterhof Palace fountains, St. Petersburg
Royal Stables
Royal Stables, Copenhagen
Hamlet's Castle, Denmark
Hamlet’s Castle, Denmark
Berlin
Berlin
Berlin
Berlin
Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden
Stockhom, Sweden
Changing of the Guard, Stockholm, Sweden
Royal Palace, Madrid
Royal Palace, Madrid
Royal Palace, Madrid
Royal Palace, Madrid
Casa de las Rosas,Buenos Aires, Argentina
Casa de las Rosas,Buenos Aires, Argentina

Here are some earlier posts on these locations

 

A to Z Challenge: I = Immigration

A to Z Challenge: I=Immigration

II wish this post could move to April 15th, as that marks my ten-year anniversary as a landed immigrant to Canada! This is as close as I can get to celebrating my Canadian  status as an immigrant and use this as an “I” word in the #atozchallenge. I do have other immigration stories to share from my travels, so I hope you enjoy them!.

 

Some immigration experiences are the same, no matter how you enter a country and, if you have come off a long flight, you are tired, hungry, etc. and this makes the experience very boring indeed. I’m sure we could find a more pleasant way to enter a country besides long lines to face someone sitting in a booth who stares at you and then stamps your passport. The immigration officers have to hear the same stories ad nauseum because they have to ask the same questions over and over again. They are probably bored, tired and hungry too!

Here are some of my more memorable immigration experiences.

Frankfurt, Germany airport  When you plan flights and connections, do not book a connecting flight within an hour of your previous flight if you are going through this airport.  Chances are very good you will not make the connection.  To anyone who has done this and made the connection, BRAVO! If you are coming from North America to Frankfurt, chances are good that you are landing early in the morning – and that you have had a “marvelous” transatlantic flight with screaming children and snoring companions. When you land, they park large planes away from the terminal and load you into buses. But, instead of loading a bus and heading to the terminal, ALL passengers from one plane have to be loaded into multiple buses and then all the buses travel together to the main terminal. This has been my experience on two occasions. Once in the terminal, you “follow” multiple and confusing signs until you come to a dreaded line – everyone has to go through a security check & then immigration, even if you are connecting to another flight! You never leave a “secure” area, however you have to be scanned and checked again (and no liquids – so drink any water you have!). I now try hard to plan alternate routes that do not take me through the Frankfurt airport.

The Santiago, Chile airport is easy by comparison. When you arrive, there are two lines – one for people staying in Santiago and one for people with connecting flights. The connecting flights line includes a scan of your carry-on baggage and a check of your ticket and passport. The difference between this and the Frankfurt airport is the whole process is much smoother and faster.  Then, once you arrive at your new gate – there are bars to get a pisco sour. Perfect!

Most places I arrived by ship are easy. Cruise passengers usually use their shipboard card or SeaPass as a “passport” to get in and out of the country (and very important to get on and off the ship) – and can leave your passport on the ship. I usually carry a copy of my passport and other photo id with me with me, in case there is a need. I had a panic moment in Venice while I was on the train that goes back to the cruise terminal — and I could not find my SeaPass. But, I did find it and all was good.

There are some ports that make do not allow usage of the ship’s card. In Tunisia, we had to take our passports and each person had to show the passport, but they did not stamp it unless you asked for it! In Alexandria, Egypt, I used my SeaPass card, but my passport was stamped on board the ship – it’s a cool stamp, too.

St. Petersburg, Russia was the most interesting. We had to fill out an immigration form and have a copy of either a visa or a information from the tour operator contact. If you book a tour, either with the ship or a private company like SPb Tours, your visa is taken care of. Without a vise, you cannot enter. Once off the ship, you go to a building and wait in one of several lines as one person at a time goes to stand between two sliding doors while the immigration officer (usually a woman) checks your papers and stamps your passport – without a word or a smile. Challenge – try making one of them smile.  I think a got a little “smirk” but it was gone quickly!

Immigration papers for Russia
Immigration papers for Russia
Immigration Control in St. Petersburg
Immigration Control in St. Petersburg

My easiest experience was the Athens airport – there was no one to check any documents. I’m hoping it was because we had been doubly checked in Frankford, Germany. I will say it made me a bit nervous – that is until I got to me hotel and there was a little bottle of ozo waiting for me!

So, next time you are standing in one of the long immigration lines at the airport of sea port – take a book, keep your headphones on and bring a lot of patience. Maybe you can even get the immigration officer to smile!