The words "massive," "monumental," "gigantic," "colossal," and "vast" fail to describe the scale of Mafra's Baroque royal palace. The grandiose monument was built in 1717 to celebrate the birth of a daughter to King João V and includes a convent and a basilica.
The extravagant king wanted the palace and basilica to compete in magnificence and grandeur with Spain's Escorial and St. Peter's in Rome, and at the time it seemed that such a huge project would never be completed. At one point there were 45,000 men working on it, and several artists came from abroad, with 7,000 soldiers overseeing the workforce. They ended up creating 5,200 doorways, 2,500 windows, 880 halls and rooms, 154 staircases, 29 courtyards, and two bell towers boasting the world's largest collection of bells (57 in each) that can be heard for 24km (15 miles) when they're played on Sunday.
In 1720 the French ambassador reported to his king that all the money in Iberia would be insufficient to pay for it, but the gold that flowed in from the rich mines of Brazil made it possible in 1735.
Jambianiis one of themost beautiful
villages I’ve ever seen. This villageofpalmhutroofsrelies entirelyon the white sandybeach.Thecoconut treesgenerouslyofferits shadow overthe whole village, there are no roadsor evendirt, just sand.
There is noelectricity orrunning water, television or telephone.
Only thelodgesorguest housesholdthis comfort.
out directlyon the beach,where
everything can be offered, from fried cakes toMasaicrafts,
shellscoming directlyfrom thereef, pareosandscarves, Hennatattoos, or even dinner bookingat any fisherman
We did notresistone of them, CaptainCook, whoprepared
us adinnerof lobster, rice andspinach (that looked like seaweedfrom the beach), we were servedat afine
sandycourtyardcovered withpalm leaves, while the dogplayedwithcrabsunderour table. It
was an amazing evening! :)
The wholevillage survives from
lobster fishingandfishfor their own
consumption, and from the seaweed harvestinggreatly appreciatedby the Japanese. Given the natureof the reef, which isclose
toa milefrom shore,wave actionduringtidal
leaves thousands of seaweed trapped iningeniousframesdriven into thesand.Onceharvested,
the seaweedaresun-driedand exportedto Japan.
Algaecultureare caughtdailyat low tide
Small fish caught by women, who castthe netsat
Thecoconutsare cutand frayed so braided rope can be made.
boats", local fishing boatsforsnorkelingnear the
reefor simplywatch thesunsetarealso a
sourceof income forthe entire
The preferredtransport of the entire populationisthe bikeused onlyon the beachwhere the sandis harder andalsowherearethe signs showing directions. Notonly do people usethe beachas aroad.Cows, goats andotheranimals alsoroamthe beach up and down all day long.
Diving from a
boat in the clear, blue ocean of Zanzibar is one of the most exhilarating
experiences to be had on a holiday in this part of East Africa. The visibility
is usually very good, the water warm and the marine life diverse and
Once, long ago,
before people appeared on Earth, the land was not the same as it is now. There
was no Moon and the Sun was alone in the sky. The Sun was lonely, and would
wander day and night through the sky. Always was the Sun searching for someone
to be his friend, his companion. One day, the Sun wandered farther north than he
ever had before, and there he saw a Glacier resting between two Mountains. The
sun thought the glacier was one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen.
And so it was that
the Sun came to the north more often and spent many days watching the Glacier
from the cover of the Mountains and the horizon. The Sun was clever but he
could not hide forever, and the Mountains soon told the Glacier that he was
hiding from her and watching from a distance. The Sun was ashamed and began to
run away, fearing the Glacier would be mad at him. To his surprise, the Glacier
was not mad and called out to the Sun, "Come closer, so that I may see you
as well." But the Sun was bright and hard to look at. The Mountains told
her to climb upon their backs so that she could see better. Still, she could
not clearly see the face of the Sun, and so she leaped to him in the heavens
and became the Moon.
The Sun made a
home for them in the heavens and there the Moon and the Sun danced together,
and they were happy. The Sun had never been more full of joy. He had found his
mate, and was no longer lonely. He beamed down upon all the earth and sung his love.
In this way, they lived a long time, but one day the Moon was not as happy as
she usually was.
"Why are you
not happy", asked the Sun?"
"I LOVE YOU, and I like dancing through
the sky with you, but I am homesick for the Mountains and their firm embrace. I
am going to return to them."
"I am sorry
my love", replied the Sun, "but you cannot return. You are no longer
the glacier that you once were. You are now the Moon and cannot return to the
Her reply was
filled with tears, "I shall try to return anyway. Do not think I love the Mountains anymore than I love you, this is
something I must do."
understand, and I will not let you leave my heart", said the Sun,
"every day you try to return to the mountains, I will follow. When you
decide that you no longer wish to search for the Mountains I will be behind
you, waiting with my heart open for you. Whenever you feel you cannot continue,
turn around and return to me."
When the People appeared
on Earth they saw the Sun and they watched as it followed the Moon. Every day
they watched as the Moon continued her quest searching for the Mountains of her
youth, and the Sun followed. The Sun has never stopped following the Moon, and
he never will. (by Roninspoon)