Saturday, May 26, 2007




On July 21, 1861, volunteers in uniform, from the North (Union) and from the South (Confederacy), gathered to fight their first major land battle of the American Civil War. Confident that their foes would turn and run, neither side anticipated the death. Nearly one year later, between August 28 and August 30, 1862, both sides met again on the same battlefield with the Confederates winning a victory that brought them to the height of their power. In August 1984 some Portuguese speaking lawyers, attending an conference in International Financial Conference in Washington, DC,

"MANASSAS or BULL RUN? - During the war, the North generally named a battle after the closest river, stream or creek and the South tended to name battles after towns or railroad junctions. Hence the Confederate name Manassas after Manassas Junction and the Union name Bull Run for the stream Bull Run"

"STONEWALL JACKSON - Thomas Jonathan «Stonewall» Jackson (January 21, 1824 – May 10, 1863) was probably the most revered Confederate commander after Robert E. Lee. He is most famous for his 1862 Valley Campaign and as a commander in the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee. His own troops accidentally shot him at the battle of Chancellorsville and he died of complications from an amputated arm and pneumonia several days later"



"A WILDERNESS OASIS IN THE BUSY EAST... is the way the National Parks site treats Shenandoah National Park. It deservers the label... and actually, looking at the horizon from the peaks of Shenandoah National Park it’s hard to believe that one is just 75 miles from Washington, DC"

"SHENANDOAH CAVERNS - Beautiful odd formations on an easy-going environment..."

Saturday, May 12, 2007



at least is what they say!
While in D.C. we profited from the oportunity to stroll around during the week-ends. The first visit was to Baltimore, Maryland, one of the three independent cities in the US that are not in Virginia. Actually, an independent city in the US is a city that does not belong to any particular county. There are 42 independent cities in the United States, 39 in Virginia and the remaining three are Baltimore, Maryland, St. Louis, Missouri and Carson City, Nevada.
In Baltimore, we didn't go much further than the Inner Harbour, but anyhow it was an interesting experience. The Inner Harbour was basically a light freight commercial port and passenger port until the 1950s, when economic changes ended both freight and passenger use. The area became a grass-covered parkland that was used in 1976 for the bicentennial visit of tall ships, and its transformation into a major cultural and economic area of the city continued under Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer (1971-1987). The main anchor attractions are Harbourplace, the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center.

"SHOPPING MALL - Located at the water's edge, Harbourplace & The Gallery is Baltimore’s premiere shopping, dining and entertainment destination. It offered a great variety of stores as well as restaurants. Concerts, street performers, holiday fireworks, and special events to visiting ships there is always something for everyone..."

"THE WATERFRONT PROMENADE, a sidewalk along the water, was often the site of free entertainment. It seems that once completed it will become an important component of the National Historic Seaport of Baltimore and will provide visitors with a way to tour the entire harbour along the one continuous route. In 1984 it was interesting to see it crowded on week-ends..."

"USS CONSTELATION (1854) is the last existing American Civil War-era naval vessel and was one of the last sail-powered warships built by the US Navy"

"THE INNER HARBOUR 1984, with the Baltimore World Trade Center, the world's tallest equilateral five-sided building. Its observation deck, called «Top of the World», is open to the public and some of the photos in this post, including the first one and the next one, were taken from there. The 1977 landmark tower, designed by I.M.Pei, also houses the headquarters of the Maryland Port Administration"

"THE NATIONAL AQUARIUM in Baltimore, constructed during the urban renewal period of the city, was opened in 1981. The aquarium's collection has 10,500 specimens of 560 different species. Particular attractions include the dolphin display and the rooftop rainforest. The 2005 Annex came much later"



Saturday, May 05, 2007



"THE OLD POST HOUSE - Ranked as one of Washington's top eight attractions, The Old Post Office Pavilion offers international cuisine, sophisticated shopping, as well as relaxation with a jazzy piano or a string quartet...

"SMITHSONIAN CASTLE, Smithsonian's first building, was designed by architect James Renwick Jr., whose other works include St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, and was completed in 1855. It houses the Institution’s administrative offices and the Smithsonian Information Centre"

"THE HIRSHHORN MUSEUM AND SCULPTURE GARDEN is the Smithsonian's museum of international modern and contemporary art, started in 1966 with the extensive art collection of Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981). The Burghers of Calais (Rodin) and Six Dots over a mountain (Calder) are among the sculptures seen here in the Garden"

"THE AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. It now even includes Air France Concorde «Fox Alpha», the first Concorde to enter service. It is located at the Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Centre, not at the Mall building, however"

"NATIONAL GALLERY - David Smith's «Circle One, Circle Two, Circle Three», Miro's «The Farm», Picasso's «Family of Saltimbanques", and many more can be seen at the Gallery"