Who would've thought...

Trip Start Mar 17, 2011
Trip End Apr 15, 2011

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Amazonas,
Friday, April 1, 2011

I'm free and recovered after two days of confinement.  We awake with the announcement from the captain, that we are ready to dock and the Brazilian authorities say that the boats that are in the way will usually move...sometime...some how....soon...maybe.  He’s British skipper and has a funny, dry sense of humor so his updates are usually worth a chuckle or two.  The marriage of the waters, Amazon and Rio Negro flowing side by side, has taken place and now we are tying up to the port on the Rio Negro side. Manaus is the city both Spain and Portugal claimed at different times in their empire building as well as the lure of the rumored gold and even cinnamon, which was considered almost as valuable.  The biggest deal here though seems to be the rubber boom that brought all kinds of European business, people, culture, and architecture here.  We did tour the Teatro Amazonas, completed in 1896.  Despite being located in the heart of the jungle, it is apparently the most famous  manmade landmark in the city.  The dome has ceramic tiles set in a mosaic of the colors of the Brazilian flag made in France, the entrance has columns and steps of Italian marble, the box seats have railings made by Scottish ironworkers, the individual seats are made of jacaranda wood, while the floor is Brazilian cherry, cut in the forests, shipped to Portugal for shaping and smoothing, then shipped back to Manaus for installation.  There is also an upper ballroom,where smaller , intimate musicals are held. Its parquet floor is exquisite, no nails or glue, thousands of pieces of wood to represent the marriage of the water.  We had to wear slippers over our shoes to walk on it.....rather like ice skating. Gustave Eiffel hung out in Manaus for awhile , here and there are ironwork  bridges, a mercado and arches erected in his style a la the Eiffel Tower.  Then it was three o’clock and the skies opened up.  Back to the Veendam, but we have another day here to explore tomorrow.
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Janet Chitwood on


Mike and I are having such fun reading your blog. We returned from Italy Sunday night. Today is Tuesday. So we had a lot of catching up to do with you and your travels. So sorry to hear that you have been confined to your cabin for a few days. I came home from Mexico with a terrible sinus infection, just barely got it settled before leaving for Italy. Yesterday, I was not feeling well, again. What is it with health and us old people? Sounds like Michael is having the time of his life. It's good he and George got to spend some time together without you for a couple of days. I know we really enjoyed our time with Tony this past couple of weeks. We will be so anxious to hear about your cruise in depth some day. Hope the days ahead are the best for the three of you.

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