Saturday, April 28, 2007



After New England, Canada and Mexico in August/September 1983, Guida got pregnant and Di, our daughter, was born in June 1984. We travelled several times between Lisbon and Faro, and in August 84 I attended an International Conference in Washington, DC. These are some of the pictures taken during the three weeks in the USA.

"UNION STATION - It opened in 1907 and for over 90 years, Union Station has welcomed people to Washington, D.C. With over 32 million people passing through each year, it is the most visited site in all of Washington, D.C. I arrived at National Airport"

"APARTHOTEL - The lodging was not in an interesting neighbourhood (4th Street SW/School St), but was close to Federal Center Metro Station and had a Safeway with good steaks just around the corner..."

"TV SET - It was on this TV that I saw Carlos Lopes win the gold medal of the Los Angeles Olympic Marathon for Portugal"

"SUPREME COURT - In 1984 we were in the Burger Court era. Several important decisions were taken during the Burger Court. In Portugal we have a saying: «Depois de mim virá, quem de mim bom fará...» (After me someone will come who of me good will make...). That was what happened with the Rehnquist Court (see «A Court Divided», by Marc Tushnet) and more recently with the Roberts Court"

"THE LIBRARY OF THE CONGRESS is the US oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with more than 130 million items on approximately 530 miles of bookshelves. The collections include more than 29 million books and other printed materials, 2.7 million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.8 million maps, and 58 million manuscripts. The Library of Congress occupies three buildings on Capitol Hill. The Thomas Jefferson Building of 1897 (photos) is the original separate Library of Congress building, and some say it's the most beautiful building in Washington. The John Adams Building was built in 1938 and the James Madison Memorial Building was completed in 1981"

"CAPITOL - Although not in the geographic centre of the District of Columbia, the Capitol is the focus by which the quadrants of the district are divided. The current dome and the House and Senate wings were completed under the supervision of Edward Clark"

"DOME - The building is marked by its central dome above a rotunda and two wings, one for each chamber of Congress: the north wing is the Senate chamber and the south wing is the House of Representatives chamber"

"SENATE - «Parliamentary obstruction - filibustering - is a political sport for which the season is always open» Lindsay Rogers"

"THE MALL seen from the west terrace of Capitol Building"

"PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE is called the «America's Main Street», connecting the Capitol Building with the White House. A National Historic Site, Pennsylvania Avenue has seen marches, parades, promenades, and protests all the way up and down"

"THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT, at the centre of the Mall, is one of the most prominent landmarks in Washington, DC. Authorized by the Congress in 1833, its construction began in 1848, the exterior was completed in 1884, and it was opened to the public in 1888. The Washington Monument is roughly 170 meters tall and is made of marble from two different quarries resulting in the change of color about one-third of the way up"

"FROM THE TOP - An elevator takes visitors on a 70 second trip up to the 150 meter platform for magnificent views of the city. EAST, towards Capitol Hill"

"NORTH - The White House"

"WEST - The Lincoln Memorial"

"SOUTH - Jefferson Memorial and the Potomac River"

"LINCOLN MEMORIAL - With and without ducks..."

"LINCOLN - «In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever». Beneath these words, the marble statue"

"PORTUGUESE SPEAKING LAWYERS - Three Brazilians, One Portuguese"

"THE WALL - Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The stone walls bear the names of the 58,000 servicemen who died in the Vietnam War between 1961 and 1973"

"JEFFERSON MEMORIAL - Honouring the third President of the United States. My favourite..."

Monday, April 23, 2007



"UNIVERSITY - The most important Mexican university was founded in 1551. It is the largest university in Latin America and it is ranked the best in Latin America and also the most important university in the Spanish-speaking world. The building with the mural is the Library"


"XOCHIMILCO lies 28 km south of Mexico City and has been included in the UNESCO's World Heritage List. According to the UNESCO site, «with its network of canals and artificial islands, it testifies the efforts of the Aztec people to build a habitat in the midst of an unfavourable environment. Its characteristic urban and rural structures, built since the 16th century and during the colonial period; have been preserved in an exceptional manner»"

Monday, April 16, 2007



After visiting the Aztec and Mayan ruins we made a break and went to the beach in Cancun. The weather was not particularly nice, as some hurricane threats were in the air, but finally everything ran smoothly!

CANCUN, originally a small Mayan settlement situated in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, was chosen in 1970 to become a tourist resort. The main complex lies on a narrow island separated from the mainland by a tropical blue lagoon, with 14 miles of tropical beach and is surrounded by Mujeres Island, the Caribbean Sea, and the Nichupte and Bojorquez lagoons. The mainland - Cancun City - is connected to the island by two bridges. Further to the tourist resort, the existence of a Convention Centre and the organization of some international conferences also helped to foster the development of the site"

"KRYSTAL HOTEL - In 1983 there were much fewer hotels in Cancun than nowadays. The Krystal, which opened exactly in 1983, was one of the best, and its location was superb. The white powder sand of the beach was fabulous. It seems that after hurricane Wilma destroyed the beach in 2005, the new sand that was brought in during the recovery process is much coarser and somewhat darker than the powdery white original. Shame"

"CAMINO REAL - Another great hotel in those days, and probably still today"

"FERRY TRANSFER to Isla Mujeres. Located opposite Cancun coast, Isla Mujeres is 7.5 km long and an average 500 meters wide"

"ISLA MUJERES - The publicity states that «Isla Mujeres is a privileged place with a unique natural and cultural wealth in Mexico. It combines the beauty of the Caribbean, the dense tropical jungle and the wonderful heritage of the Mayan civilization. It stands out as one of Mexico's natural treasures, a truly delightful paradise on earth» Well, there is no need to exaggerate..."

"BEACH - The beach was good, and empty..."