08 Mar 2013
In Las Vegas Buzios is a nice restaurant in the Rio Hotel. In Brazil, Buzios is a wonderful seaside resort, just over 100 miles north of Rio.
It is definitely the nicest one we have visited. They have 22 beaches, 27,000 residents and about 300,000 people in town during the summer.
Punta del Este in Uruguay is where the rich and famous play. Unfortunately we were weathered out there a week ago and did not get to see the town.
Brigit Bardot spent some time there with her Brazilian boyfriend. Ergo the statue.
Pre- History – 520 million years ago Africa and South America collided and formed a huge mountain change similar to the Himalayas. Then they split and formed the Atlantic Ocean. Two places in Buzios give the geologists their facts.
07 Mar 2013
We keep traveling northeasterly up the east side of South America. There is no more cold this trip. It is hot and humid and we are still quite a bit below the equator.
For several days we have enjoyed quiet, quaint, fishing villages with not much going on but touristy boating, shopping, beaches and general loveliness. There hasn't been much to write about but the days have been very pleasant.
We have one more tomorrow then it is off to Rio for three days.
Did you know that Rio de Janeiro is a state as well as a city?
28 Feb 2013
Although the first Jews arrived in Argentina when they got kicked out of Spain in 1492, the first major immigration was from Eastern Europe in late 1800s escaping poverty and pogroms.
At its peak, the Jewish community in Argentina numbered between 310,000-320,000.
Jewish businessman and philanthropist, Baron Maurice de Hirsch founded the Jewish Colonization Association (agricultural colonies). The JCA founded agricultural colonies in Argentina and assisted Jewish resettlement in them. About 40,000 Jews settled in these colonies at the peak
Within three generations most had moved to Buenos Aires preferring business and academic education, over agriculture.
Anti-Semitism was the norm preceding the Holocaust, yet 30,000 – 50,000 refugees arrived from Hitler’s Europe. That stopped after WWII.
That is when Peron let in about 5,000 Nazi’s including 300 war criminals.
Previous supposition has been replaced by historical fact now that thousands of documents have been declassified around the world.
Escape routes, known as ratlines, were made possible and aided by not just Peron, but also Switzerland and the Vatican. Argentinean passports were handed out in their consulate in Barcelona.
After the war about 50,000 Argentinean Jews moved to Israel.
On the other hand, Argentina was the first Latin America country to recognize Israel and had significant trade with Israel. There were several other actions Peron took to appease and please the Jewish community
Buenos Aires is only the seventh largest city in Latin America but has the most Jews.
Most of their Jewish life centers in two neighborhoods which reminded me of New Yorks lower east side when it was Jewish.
Currently Jewish life is relatively stable (but for the economy) notwithstanding a couple explosions during the 1990s. Out of the country organizations are credited as being the culprits.
25 Feb 2013
Nothing says Argentina like the Tango.
Casa Rosada (Pink House) the President’s Palace, today is the office of the President and the living quarters are elsewhere. It is from this very balcony that Eva Peron addressed the adoring working class crowds (both the real Eva and Madonna).
Recoleta Cemetery is in the heart of the most upscale area of town and formerly was the burial ground of the Argentina’s wealthy. Ironically Evita is buried here (after years of being hidden in Milan) and is the reason for most of the visitors.
24 Feb 2013
Every year about this time the Crystal Cruise world cruisers compete in a series of events over several weeks.
Some are athletic and some are intellectual. There are a couple dozen contests that have about 20 competitors each.
She earned a whopping 6 medals in 8 events:
Sudoku – Gold
Mixed Doubles Shuffleboard – Gold
Team Trivia – Gold
Scrabble – Silver
Ladies Doubles Shuffleboard – Silver
Free Cell – Bronze
I won none.