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The Ancient Near East (Ancient Near Eastern Studies) 2014

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image. Category:Maps of the ancient Near East (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ancient Near East

I know things are a little hot there right now, but if you ever get the chance I recommend a visit to the cradle of ancient civilization. Mesopotamia. Including the ancient states of Sumer, Akkad and Babylon. Modern Iraq. Significant expeditions have been led over the years by various institutions and artifacts are on display at major art museums throughout the world. A good alternative given the political situation there now.



  • Louvre, Paris: Standard of Ur, Stele of Narum-sin, Law code of Hamurabi, Sargon of Akkad
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Ashurnasirpal II
  • British Museum, London: Layard excevator of Nineveh and Nimrud, Assysia, Leonard Woolley
  • Berlin Museum: Ishtar Gate of Babylon
Map of the Ancient Near East during the Amarna...

Map of the Ancient Near East during the Amarna period (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Ancient Near East.

Ishtar Gate

Ishtar Gate

Tel asmar statuette

Tel asmar statuette



Travels in Germany 1978 map

My travels

My travels



Kallmunz was a village north of Regensburg on the Naab river a left bank tributary of the Danube, where Kandinsky lived a short time in 1904 during his formative period.

Napoleon was hospitalized at the Karthauspruell abbey after being wounded at Regensburg in 1809.

Kloster Pruefening west of Regensburg has the largest Roman cemetery in Germany.

Things about Germany that are German

  • Lederhosen
  • Gummibären
  • Oktoberfest
  • Max Beckmann
  • Wasily Kandinsky-Bauhaus Desau
  • Universities
  • German Expressionism
  • Protestantism
  • Black Forest tort
  • Beer and hundreds of kinds of sausages
Kloster Prüfenig

Kloster Prüfening


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Europe Madrid 1974: More on one of my popular blogs


Europe Madrid 1974








Now, I’m asked tell us more about that first trip to Europe in 1974. The one when you were 17. The one forty years ago.

Madrid was the first city I visited in Europe.

Well, actually I was supposed to go when I was in 8th grade with my PE teacher, but that one fell through because we didn’t get enough people to sign up. There were other trips to choose from including ones to Germany and Salzburg.

The great thing about that Madrid trip was we spent a month  studying the art, history, and culture of the countries before we left. Europe has some great art museums. We spent time in Madrid just walking around looking at shops and supermarkets. They had interesting  soft drinks and coffees for sale. I am very excited. It is so much fun just walking around the hotel looking at things. We also visited Retiro park, the Rastro, Botins, a bullfight, and my favorite department store in Madrid el Corte Ingles. We also visited  the Plaza Mayor and the Royal Palace.

There is no king. Other landmarks include the great post office and telecommunications building and plaza mayor.Our trip also included a side trip to the ancient capital of Toledo. Madrid is a lively city with a great nightlife. I returned there in 1975, 1978 and with my wife in 1992. Well with the death of Franco in November 1975, Juan Carlos became King of Spain. He served until 2014 until he

abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI.

We ate most of our meals in the hotel, chicken I think, a few times we got beef. I went to my first discotheque in Madrid. Some of the girls got their nails done at Elisabeth Arden.  After a few days in Madrid we flew to Rome on Alitalia.

Madrid has a different culture. Everything shuts down after lunch. Shops close. Dinner often isn’t taken till after 10 o’clock at night. The national delicacy is pulpo in su tinta squid in its own ink.

Edie’s big five art museums, two are in Italy.

  1. The British Museum, London a little different no paintings
  2. Vatican Museum, Rome the atlanten,  Gallery of mosaic maps, and of course the Sistine Chapel
  3. Uffizi Gallery, Florence Botticelli, Leonardo, and Raphael. Now you have to wait in line forever. In 1974 you could just walk right in.
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    Hermitage, Leningrad/Saint Petersburg I went there twice.

  5. Louvre, Paris the word’s most famous and most visited museum with all those goodies. O, where to begin? You can visit the Louvre for free any day until your 18th birthday. Closed Tuesday.

Runners up

The Prado, Madrid


Goya Clothed and Naked Maja


KHM Infatada Maria Thersa

Museum of Fine arts (Kunsthistorishes museum) Vienna

Old picture gallery, Munich (Alte Pinakothek)

National Museum, Tokyo

  •  What is your favorite museum?
  • Do you remember your first trip abroad?
  • What interesting drinks or foods do you remember about that trip?
  • What was your favorite thing of memory about high school?
Leonardo Alte pinakotek

Leonardo Alte Pinakothek


Travel Post 2970 My View

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What is your favorite travel destination? Please share your travel experiences.

Who is your favorite painter?

Is breakfast your favorite meal of the day?

Berlin and Istanbul are both considered divided cities, but in a different way. Explain.

Last Stop Jerusalem, On to Israel 1982

We are on the third week of our honeymoon. We crossed the Allenby bridge over the Jordan River to enter Israel. The customs was intense. They even took our shoes and magazines. They gave the shoes back, but kept the magazines. Our destination was the ancient city of Jerusalem. Israel is a country of 8,500 sq mi. The climate here is low 70’s and dry in June. Some places have air conditioning.Jerusalem1

We found a nice hotel with a nice patio porch outside the Damascus gate. They had a nice breakfast. The food situation is still Middle Eastern, but with a twist. Many restaurants are small, privately held with three or four tables only. We are staying near the Arab quarter.

I will relate two coincidences. We met a man, who had a nephew who owned the Falafel House a restaurant in Clifton in Cincinnati. I met this man and talked to him before our trip. We also met an Armenian at a souvenir shop in the old city. He told us his name Karagesian meant black eyebrows. Bedukian a famous flavor chemist is also Armenian.

Map of Israel

Map of Israel

We know some Karagesians, he said they were related. The old city is divided into four quarters Armenian, Christian, Jewish, Muslim. The language of Israel is Ivrit or modern Hebrew.   Arabic and English are also widely spoken. Known as Palestine it was a British mandate and before that part of the Roman and Ottoman Empires. Sacked by Roman general, later emperor, Titus in 70 ad, destroying the second temple. Site of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. On medieval maps Jerusalem was considered the center of the earth.

Crusifixtion P. P. Reubens

Crucifixion P. P. Reubens

Six churches share custody of the Christian relics.

There are many religious sites in Jerusalem including the Mount of olives, site of the Last supper(Cenacle), Golden Gate, Solomon’s stables, Absalom’s tomb and the Western Wall.

We followed the Stations of the cross. Culminating at the church of the Holy sepulchre on  Golgotha. The Aedicule shows the place of the burial of Christ.

Jerusalem, Grabeskirche, Eingangsbereich

Jerusalem, Grabeskirche, Eingangsbereich (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Holy Sepulcre

Way of sorrows via Dolorosa we had trouble finding the sixth station. A man had to show us were it was. I t was hidden inside of the Ethiopian church

Here are some things we bought, an olive wood creche. A bible with an olive wood cover. A book form the British & Foreign Bible Society describing 900 languages, one of my favorite books. We went to the Hadassah medical center at Mount Scopus to see the Chagall windows. We couldn’t get in, unlike Peru they weren’t friendly at all.  If you missed it by ten minutes that’s just tough, come back tomorrow.

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Dome of the rock is one the Temple mount. Also the Al-Aqsa mosque site of the assassination of Abdullah the grandfather of the King of Jordan in 1951.

Stopped for a Gin tonic at the Intercontinental Hotel. It was so good after walking in the hot sun all day. We had two, even at $3.00. Worth every penny. It even had ice and a whole bottle of tonic, apiece. Next time we’re definitely staying here.

We visited the tomb of the patriarchs in Hebron. The burial site of Sarah, Abraham, Rebecca and Isaac. We also saw Rachel’s tomb it is right by a bus sop in Jerusalem.

Bethlehem The birthplace of Jesus. We met a man outside the Church of the Nativity. He showed me a hand illuminated bible written in Syriac ܡܫܝܚܝܘܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ and told us the sad history of his church. He invited us to come back and visit him in the winter at Christmas. The start of the Crimean was over custody of the keys to this church. The entrance to the church is a half-door to keep the Turkish from riding their horses into the church.

Al Aqsa in Jerusalem ‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Al-Aq...

Al Aqsa in Jerusalem ‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Al-Aqsa Moskeen i Jerusalem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Milk Grotto, this is where Mary and Joseph are said to have stopped during the Flight to Egypt.  Quite a day for an old Sunday school teacher/

It is impossible to sink in the Dead Sea. It was warm enough for me to go swimming, however. The Dead sea is 400 m below sea level. En gedi and Bersheba are near by.

We spent the night at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv TLV, before returning home in the morning. We weren’t allowed to leave the airport because of the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon, which started that day June, 6 1982. We had to sleep on the chairs in the airport. This is the airport serving   Israel. 

  • How many languages are spoken on Earth?
  • What is you favorite book of the Bible?
  • When is the last time you went to Church?

Jordan اَلأُرْدُنّ‎ Al-ʾUrdunn We left Cairo and flew to ‘Amman the captial of Jordan.

Jordan  al ‘Urdan  اَلأُرْدُنّ‎  Al-ʾUrdunn

 ‘Amman عمانis the capital of Jordan. Jordan is a Kingdom.  We flew from Cairo CAI to ‘Amman  AMM on Royal Jordanian. The Queen of Jordan attended Princeton in the United States. It is a very civilized country. The offices are very business like. We visited some airline offices collecting information for our next trip. At that time, it is not a very large city. Originally just a rail stop on the Hejaz railway. Msgr. Diviney, the priest who married us, had a nephew working in ‘Amman, as an architect. We didn’t have a chance to look him up. ‘Amman has grown considerably since then. It is now a city of several million. Like Rome it was originally laid out on seven hills.
Got my copy of Hans Wehr Arabic-English Dictionary. I carried it all the way back home, long before the days of Amazon when you can get any book you want from anywhere. We forgot to bring the pop tarts. We are getting very tired of falafel. The food is about the same as in Egypt except you might get a green salad if you are lucky. The climate here is different. The altitude is higher. Still a desert but not as hot as Cairo. Sometimes, they even get snow in the winter
I decided to get a haircut. The barber gave me an Iraqi magazine and a calendar. The censors took the magazine when we got to Israel, but they let me keep the calendar. It was here that I was introduced to the curious Eastern practice of hair threading.
map_maan_jordan 0385418957
We were waiting at the bus stop a man approached us. I said to him Wain al Ballad? How do we get downtown? He offered to show us around the old city. An elderly man, he seemed nice we decided to trust him. He took us to his office. We had tea.
It turned out he had a business importing replacement windows to Jordan from the United States. The windows were made in Cincinnati, of all places. He wanted to talk to us about the United States and Ohio.  He had never been there. He introduced us to the people in his office. They had lots of questions, too. They were all so nice. We enjoyed our visit. They did show us the sites.
They add cardamon to the coffee here.  They have nice sweets and pastries, too. Tea is ubiquitous. Coffee is more expensive. Ninety percent of everything here is imported. The manufacturing base is almost nonexistent. They even sell slushies, just like in the US. A good deal in a hot country. We saw many trucks on the highway carrying freight to and from Syria. They grow oranges here.
‘Amman is an ancient city, a Greek and Roman colony, mentioned in the Bible as Philadelphia in the Decapolis. There are ruins and a Roman amphitheater downtown.  It has grown 10 times since we were there. There have been two wars, since we were there. King Hussein died in 1999.
We rented a  car and drove to Petra, Aqaba and could see Eilat in Israel. The power went out for a while. Luckily we had brought a flashlight with us. Petra is the ancient stone city of the Nabataeans. Like Machu Picchu has remained hidden until modern times (1810.) The rose-red city half as old as time. Carved into solid rock it is a true archeological marvel. It was the highlight of the trip. The entrance is hidden by a path through sheer rock. There was no hotel in Petra.
In Aqaba we rented a tent on the shore of the Red sea. We were only 12 miles from Saudi Arabia, but we didn’t have a visa. So we didn’t stop there. We did our laundry.
What no Surf? KT went swimming in the Red Sea, too cold for me. We decided to do something different. We saw little rotisserie chickens like in Germany–Wienerwald and Chinese food. We tried them both. This is truly and interesting place. Even the Chinese food tasted like falafel. I think it’s because of the oil. There must be a Chinese restaurant in every town in the world.
We were influenced by the movie Lawrence of Arabia and the book Seven Pillars of Wisdom. On the way back we stopped in Wadi rum, a desert oasis, to visit the Bedouins.
We had to leave Jordan by bus and cross the Allenby bridge over the Jordan river into Israel. It is impossible to cross the other way. A man invited us to visit him in Syria. We said maybe next time. I would love to visit Damascus. You cannot have an Israeli stamp in your passport. They are very serious about this. I had bought some tea cups like I had seen in Turkey and Russia. I left them in the waiting room. I can’t tell you what a stir that caused. The driver said you left a package at the bus stop? We had to drive back immediately and get it.
On the way to Jerusalem we drove by Jericho the oldest city in the world. The bible is coming alive here.
  • Do you like to travel?
  • What is your favorite country in the Middle East?
  • Do you know any other languages?
  • Does the current political situation make you afraid to travel there?

1986 Venezuela Our Last Stop 4/4

Colonia Tovar entrance.

Colonia Tovar entrance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We left Lima  for Caracas, Venezuela. The plane made a stop in Bogotá BOG, Columbia El Dorado International one of the busiest airports in the world. Another high plateau with more samples of coffee. It’s really popular and all the countries compete with each other. I’m sorry but Columbia beats Brazil hands down. Katie remembered the beautiful emeralds they had for sale there. We would visit Cartagena on another trip.

Caracas CCS only 15 miles from the coast sits at the top of a high cliff. Fifteen miles at an altitude of 2200m It seems like the drive from the airport is straight up.  We are back on the Atlantic side now. We are visiting  Belgian friends who had transferred  from Cincinnati.  Jean-Pierre was with Procter & Gamble. They had a new baby. The baby’s name was Lucie.  At 18 mos she was just learning to talk, French. She was a Belgian baby being raised in Venezuela. All she could say was qui, qui, qui or who?  She is very cute. We stayed with them at their apartment. It was very nice. It was a high-rise. It is hot in Caracas.

Jean-Pierre had to work but on the weekend he took us to the German colony of Colonia Tovar.  The original settlers from the Black forest in 1843. The efficient Germans were quickly isolated and kicked out of town to form their own colony by the  people of Caracas. One day Dominique drove us to visit the faculty of chemistry at Ciudad University. The Capitolio is a small gold domed building downtown.

Well, the most important thing to know about Caracas is that it is the birthplace of the great liberator, Simon Bolivar, the George Washington of South America. He was raised in Caracas by his nursemaid Hipolita. During the Napoleonic Wars Spain was occupied by France. One by one, Bolivar picked off the Latin American colonies winning them independence. In sixth grade I wrote an oil company pamphlet asking people to come to work in Caracas.

Jean-Pierre is an excellent host. He gave us some gifts. Locally grown cocoa. two bottles of Polar, a local beer and a small reed bow and arrow. Use by the natives to shoot and poison frogs. He also gave me samples of the local coins and currency.


Caracas Faculty of Chemistry University City

1986 Cuzco, Macchu Picchu and Bolivia 3/4

Copacabana peninsula, Lake Titicaca

Copacabana peninsula, Lake Titicaca (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did I mention we are using the same backpacks we used on our honeymoon in Egypt in 1982?

Stella took us into town to a shopping mall with a travel agent were we booked our trip to Cuzco, Macchu Picchu and the flight back from Bolivia. She didn’t seem sure we knew what we doing, but we were. It all seemed a little adventurous to her. Bolivia just sounded so interesting.

We were going somewhere she had never been. Her favorite destination was the United States. Jackie, Stella’s daughter told us, I’ve never been to Bolivia. It’s our neighbor like Mexico is to you.  Katie got a really nice purse it was really soft. Later we gave it to Marion. We also went to a very famous silver shop, Camusso. They had really nice things.

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Tiwanaku, Bolivia

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SouthAmerica1 001

Macchu Picchu

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Macchu Picchu

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Macchu Picchu

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Macchu Picchu

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Fresh Fish, Copacaana

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Cuzco, Peru

We got up early and to take the plane to Cuzco CUZ, the capital of the Inca Empire. Pancho took us to the airport . When you get there you drink coca tea and rest because of the altitude change. Those that didn’t sure regretted it. The train for Macchu Picchu leaves at the crack of dawn. It follows the valley of the Urubamba river valley that is a beautiful view in itself.

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Human Sacrifice, Ollantaytambo, Peru

Macchu Picchu remained hidden until 1911 when discovered by Yale archeologist Hiram Bingham. The thing about it is the days and nights are about the same leangth. Being near the equator it gets dark early.  We spent that afternoon exploring the ruins. We spent the night at Macchu Picchu, also known as the lost city of the Incas.  In the morning we climbed to the top of Huayna Picchu, the small peak. The view is actually better from the ground. As is so often the case, something big looks better when you’re not standing right underneath it.


When we got back to Cuzco, the children were buying bundles of grass to feed their cuy or Guinea pigs. Yes, they’re actually native to SA.

Back at Cuzco we visited the nearby fortress of Ollantaytambo and Saksaywaman.

Believe it our not in fourth grade I had a friend who moved to St Louis from Bolivia he spoke French. There was a scary guy on he train named Jerry. He had come all the way from Iquitos in the rain forest in one day, sea level and was obviously suffering from altitude sickness. We got to Puno after dark we had been warned about the crime at the train station and the backpack slashers. We got out of there as fast as we could. The next day we got on a boat and were on our way across lake Titicaca for Copacabana in Bolivia.Much of Bolivia is Called the altiplano. It’s the highest plateau in the world after Tibet. In the sixteenth century Bolivia provided fantastic wealth to the Spanish empire from Potosi or mountain of silver. Today the silver is played out and tin is mined. Bolivia is a poor country as shown is the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. One of the best buddy movies ever made. Originally known as Upper Peru the name was changed to Bolivia to honor Simon Bolivar. On the boat we met a couple from Austria.

Changing Money At that time inflation was rampant in Bolivia. The government couldn’t print enough large bills so the money changers just bundled them together with rubber bands. One night I ran out of money so I had to change with the waiter at the restaurant since the banks were closed. While driving to La Paz we saw trade caravans crossing the desert on Llamas, following the same route they had used for centuries.

Our Austrian friends told us they were leaving La Paz because they people made them feel unwelcome. That’s a shame because they had come such a long way.

Did you take water from the Titcaca see. Along with Mexico Bolivia is very popular with Germans and Austrians.

Tiwanaku is the famous archeological site outside of la Paz. Its totems are well know and have great psychological significance. We gave a post card to our German friend she said this is just for me I’m not sharing it with any one.

On the flight back to Lima from LaPaz LPB we stopped in Arequipa AQP the white city and flew over the Atacama desert.

The Atacama desert is the driest desert in the world. Some parts have seen  less than 10mm of rain in 200 years. This is what makes the fishing so great. Anchovies and Tuna. The Birds eat the fish and the poop collects. A very important source or nitrate very important during WWI. The cold Humboldt current comes up anticlockwise from antarctica. It is much warmer at comparable latitudes on the Atlantic side of the continent.

1986 Next Stop Peru 2/4

A visit to Lima, Peru on vacation through Sout...

A visit to Lima, Peru on vacation through South America, July 2010 (cc) David Berkowitz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

archivo de presentación en la Plaza San Pedro,Lima

archivo de presentación en la Plaza San Pedro,Lima (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even though our plane arrived a day late, Pancho was waiting for us at the airport.  When we asked him how he knew how to find us, he said that’s easy I just called the airport and asked if any planes were arriving from BA today. They said not today but we do have one tomorrow, mañana. I think our plane arrived about 6 pm. It was Thursday. The flight on Lufthansa took about 8  hours including a stop in Santiago to pick up fuel and more passengers. That’s the SA way. No way to call ahead and let him know in those days. That just the way things were done.


Map of Lima

So different in those days without Yelp or google. A good deal of time was spent on research, reading relying on locals and friends.
Finding things and getting lost.

Now I should say a few things about the Finns and the connection with
SA. Eduardo del Rosario and my father-in-law, Mr. Finn had been in basic training in the Mojave desert in California during WWII.

They renewed their friendship at Fort Knox during the Korean War. When Rosario returned to Peru he became a general. They had a daughter named Stella. They sent her to college in Cincinnati. She used to visit the Finns on weekends. Pancho was studying in Kansas, he used to drive to Cincinnati for dates sometimes. That’s about 700 miles, before interstates. It’s a wonder what a man will do for love. Katie was about nine years old.  Katie told me he had a record player hooked up in his car so he could listen to music. No CD’s or eight tracks, then. The first time I met Katie she told me her brother was staying with friends in Peru. I thought well isn’t that interesting. I never thought of Peru as a place people actually visited. There were Political problems in Peru in the 60’s. The Generals’ had staged a coup and overthrown the President. There was trouble with the US over fishing rights, especially tuna. I remember my dad telling me about it.

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Pancho owned ladrillos Rex in Lima, a foundry that made bricks. They have four children. The little boy really liked his He-man space mountain. He had all kinds of other He-man toys to play with. Pancho built his own house with bricks from his factory. One of the girls gave up her room to me and Katie. Pancho paid as much for his car as he did for his house. Labor is cheap imports are expensive. When we arrived at their house from the airport, they had a special surprise for us. It was Budweiser from St. Louis. We did get to try some of the local beer as well.

Lima is one of the oldest cities in the Western hemisphere. It was founded by Pizarro. Its port is Callao. They had a terrible cholera epidemic there in 1991. Peru was one of the last countries to win independence from Spain. At one time the entire South America was ruled from here, known as the viceroyalty of Peru, Limeños are very proud of that fact. Lima is also home to one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of San Marcos. I had an Austrian friend in Cincinnati who used to teach Pharmacology there during the summers, their winter.

A word about the calendar we arrived in September so it was just about the end of winter there, but since Lima is close to the equator 60 F is about as cold as it gets, but with the humidity it’s still a chilling cold. The climate is moderated by the cold Antarctic Humboldt current. More on that later.

Unlike the dialect spoken in BA the Spanish of Peru is modeled on Castilian Spanish. Peru is also under the influence of two native languages Quechua and Aymara, also due to many Asian workers, Chinese and Japanese. It is a fascinating country a melting pot in its own special way. In many ways Lima is just like any other city on the Pacific coast in California, in many ways not. Miraflores and San Isidro are nice. One day we went to a Chinese restaurant with Stella’s friend, Linda. The special dish was pigeon. Pancho didn’t tell us about it until after we ate it. It wasn’t bad. It tasted like pigeon, though.

Well, Pancho took good care of us. One night, we went to a Bodega. Things didn’t really get hopping until after 11 pm. Unlike Argentina, they have a curious way of getting on the highways here. They don’t necessarily use an exit if there was a hole in the fence somewhere, they just get on there. Why waste all that gas driving all the way to the exit? The other cars will slow down won’t they? Some people here drive like maniacs. I’ve seen that in Spain and Mexico, too.

One Saturday Pancho took us for a drive. We drove up into the mountains with the children. It was beautiful. I still don’t know how the seven of us fit in that car. It was a big Mercedes like the one I have now. On the way back we stopped at some friends. They are always doing things like that. Dropping in on people. They are very social. They throw lots of parties. One night went to a christening.

Senduro luminoso or shining path was a band of Maoist guerillas who were terrorizing the country. Blowing up power plants, bridges and other infrastructure. The had murdered a New York Times reporter in Ayacucho. Fortunately they were not active in Lima. One time Beatriz heard the fireworks at the Reds game in Cincinnati. She was scared. She thought it was the shining path. We said don’t be scared. We don’t have things like that here. She was good friends with Katie’s mother.

Lima is one of those cities you either love or hate. It does have a problem with air pollution. Katie and I loved it. We loved the history and the people. We ate at many nice restaurants and sometimes at home. The food is excellent especially the fish and shellfish. Pancho never let us pay for a meal. We really appreciated that. One night we ate a special place that had a decor with little huts like the African jungle another night on a pier that jutted right out into the Pacific Ocean. It was just beautiful. There is a special Inca museum called the Gold Museum.

57 Cad RF 0704

1957 Cadillac

One day we went downtown on our own. We saw some of the sights including Plaza de armas, Plaza St Martin, Parliament, the cathedral of Lima and the Palacio de Torre Tagle. Some of the older homes still have wooden balconies. We met a Deputy of the Parliament of Peru. He enjoyed showing us a round. He gave us his card. Like many Spanish towns the Plaza de Armas is laid out on a square grid. New Orleans and Cuzco have the same plan, if you look closely. The cathedral was closed the day we came, but we told them we couldn’t come back they let us in anyway. 

Pancho took us on a tour. He showed us a special square built for the anniversary of Peru all of the buildings around the square are identical. He is very proud of his city and rightly so.

We saw a coulple of old 1957 black Cadillacs. The ones that my grandmother loved so much.

gold museum
downtown Lima

1986 So this is what happened 1/4

Español: escritor argentino jorge luis borges

Español: escritor argentino jorge luis borges (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Satellite image of the falls

Satellite image of the falls (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Katie and I decided to go to South

America. We had just bought our house on Berry Avenue in Cincinnati. It was 1986.

Katie’s dad Mr. Finn was scared he didn’t want us to go. He came over to the house to take us to the airport but really he wanted to talk us out of it. He couldn’t talk us out of it so he took us to the Cincinnati airport, which is in in Kentucky CVG.
Then we got on the plane and flew  to Buenos Aires in Argentina EZE. I’m sure we didn’t fly direct. Stopped in Brazil had a free coffee in the airport, Rio GIG I think. We had this big game with us called He-man space mountain it was for Fracisco Arrenetta. Katie carried that thing all over SA until we got  Peru. It was for the Arrenettas who lived in Peru. We left the airport on the bus and went to the hotel. It was beautiful. The highway was modern and just like any highway in the United States.
The hotel was great. It was a residence hotel on Maipu and it turned out Jorge Luis Borges, the famous blind Argentina poet lived there. Although he lived there we never met him. He died soon after that. I was a nice old style hotel with a beautiful lobby.
We had dinner one night at a wonderful restaurant called El Palacio de la Papa Frita, the french fry palace, with red wine a sparkling mineral water mixed together white table cloths and  a huge steak called baby beef. It was very crowded and busy but the waiters  did a great job. When we got to Peru, Pancho told us he had heard of it and had eaten there too. He even knew about the baby beef.
Florida avenue in the Retiro district beautiful pedestrian shopping street with lots of nice furniture and antique stores and  cafes and bars. Lavalle street and the plaza de Mayo are also main sights.We got a tour of the beautiful Teatro Colon Opera house by and opera student. Maybe not as well known as the one in Manaus in Brazil, but I’m sure the operas are better these days. The one in the Herzog movie Fitzcarraldo starring Klaus Kinski. We sort of did our own walking tour. The pink house or Casa Rosada, the white house of Argentina is pink. It felt very much like Europe especially Italy which I also like very much. Argentina is beautiful and the people are very sophisticated and fashion conscious.
My friend Beatriz, who worked for Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati had been helping us with our Spanish before we Left. She said now Ted just stop at any pub and ask for dos cervesas, por favor that means two beers please. Well the first time we tried it the waiter looked at me and replied dos cervesas o una grande, which means two or one big one? We couldn’t stop laughing. We hadn’t thought of that one. Beatriz would later return to to Peru and be elected Prime Minister the first female PM of any Latin American Country. That night we went to a fancy restaurant, nightclub, milonga and tango. Katie had been working hard so she had gotten a$100 bonus award. We tried to spend it all but it was impossible even with dinner, champagne, nightclub tango, milonga and taxi tour including la boca barrio. I think we spent about half or $54.Image In the 70’s Argentina had been known for wild inflation, death squads and the Dirty war when tens of thousands of people just disapeared.
I’ll never forget I was in Spain when the infamous Argentine dictator Juan Peron died. We saw it in all of the newspapers.
Then we took a plane to Iguazu falls IGR and back to Brazil and an over night stay in Paraguay, Ciudad del Este not Asunción the capital. I had to buy the plane tickets at the airport using my Spanish.  Bought them the day before and then came back just to be sure there was space. It is a very popular place I think it was a Tuesday It was a small plane with the old stairs no jet way and the cockpit door was open the whole flight. Many people had never flown before so they just got up and started talking to the pilot, pre 911 of course.
The Iguazu falls straddle the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. It’s a triple border. It is one of the most amazing places I have been in my life and I have been to some amazing places. Three times the volume of Niagara Falls. In Brazil they speak Portuguese of course and the Falls are know as the Cataratas de Iguacu.
From Puerto IguazuImagewe missed our bus to the falls. We should have just followed the crowd. You must see the falls from both the Argentine and Brazilian side. The views are quite different, although I now understand Brazil now charges Americans $150 for a
visa. Back then you could just cross back and forth across the border as many time as you wanted. The    view from Argentina is up close. The view from Brazil gives a better perspective of the immensity of the falls.
Misiones province We took a cab across the friendship bridge from Foz de Iguacu, Brazil to Puerto Presidente Stroessner now Ciudad del Este. Named for the cruel dictator who had ruled this land locked South American country with an iron fist since WWII(1954). Foz de Iguacu will play host to part of the ESPN Summer X Games in 2013.
ImageThat night we met a charming guy with Scotch whisky and a pick up date at a cool hotel with an outdoor restaurant and colored lights. It reminded me of Christmas even though it was August.
There was an outdoor  market and Katie bought a purse. Katie said, I never even knew Paraguay was a place and all of a sudden I was there. When we got back to Cincinnati Mr. Finn was sure I meant Uruguay but that was one place we hadn’t been, yet. I would love to take the hydrofoil from BA to Montevideo some day like in the movie Gilda with Rita Hayworth.

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Our plane to Peru LIM had mechanical trouble and was delayed one full day. That’s the way they do it in SA no planes today, come back tomorrow. Lufthansa flew over the  Andes and with a stop in Santiago SCL those mountains are so high it seemed the plane had just enough altitude to make it over them.