Valdez, Alaska

On the Black Gold Route

ice tunnel
Marco C. Pereira inside an iceberg of Glacier Valdez.
Meares glacier
The Meares glacier behind a forested meander.
Prince William Sound
Prince William Sound coniferous forests.
Sea lions
Sea lions on the shore of a fjord near Valdez.
Mini Alaska
Tiny islet in the vicinity of Valdez.
Stern talk
Passengers chat and contemplate the grandiose backdrops of Prince William Sound.
of escape
Puffin flees from the sudden approach of a vessel.
Port of Valdez
Vessels in the port of Valdez
under the blue
Asian travelers maneuver a kayak under an ice tunnel of the Valdez glacier.
summer ice
Ice fragments in the vicinity of the Meares glacier.
anticipation play
Young passenger holds a stuffed sea lion, shortly after spotting several colonies of these animals in earnest.
Lu Lu Belle
A boat leaves the port of Valdez to show visitors to the region the extreme scenery of Prince William Sound.
frigid alaska
Small icebergs released by the huge Columbia Glacier, possibly similar to those that caused the break in "Exxon Valdez".
Explorer friends prepare to kayak in a lake fed by the Valdez glacier.
oil terminal
Tanks at the Valdez oil terminal, safe from tsunamis.
In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker caused a massive environmental disaster. The vessel stopped plying the seas, but the victim city that gave it its name continues on the path of crude oil from the Arctic Ocean.

Rainier personifies and stars in genuine Alaskan life, so complex and open that it leaves no room for criticism or repair.

He comes to meet us at the port of Valdez, on a workday that is more troublesome than the rest.

“Chinese's son of a bitch, vent shamelessly.” Just today, I had to put up with that”. "The boyfriend left him and now he looks like an out-of-control child who's been taken away from all the toys."

Gerry laughs quietly. He tries to calm her down: “It's okay dear. You don't have to go back there anymore today”. And they kiss for the fiftieth time.

We followed Rainier's jeep to a trailer parked in a trailer park near the local airport. Upon arrival, he informs us without ceremony: “It's here. I live in a villa with my husband.

Port Valdez, Ships, Boats, Black Gold Route, Valdez, Alaska, USA.

Vessels in the port of Valdez

Rainier, Gerry and Chris: Valdez's Fascinating Trio-Amoroso:

This trailer, I use it to be with Gerry.” "Feel free. I'll be right back. I have to go tell Chris they're already here. He is full of desire to meet you.”

Gerry is a distributor and salesperson for the Dr. Pepper brand of soft drinks, Chris is one of those responsible for the security of Alyesca Pipeline, the company that operates the pipeline that brings Alaskan oil from the distant Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Alaska.

Only Rainier and Valdez have in common. Gerry was once a co-worker at Pepe's bar, a greedy and ill-regarded Spaniard with shady deals that would shine in any Almodovar movie. Gerry is the current boyfriend. Chris is Rainier's unofficially separated husband and father to Forest, their daughter.

Conversation leads to conversation, the prosperity of Valdez, granted by the black gold of the Alaska Sea, comes to the fore. Rainier responds motivated to impress us.

“Well, if that arouses your curiosity, even more interesting you will find my ex-husband. He knows almost everything about Alaskan oil.”

We continue the meal on the trailer with enthusiasm until the good-natured Chris appears with dried salmon, pieces of moose and seal, these, soaked in their fat, in addition to different sweets of wild fruits, thus renewing the relationship in the way of the ancestors.

Inupiaq Roots and Chris's Anti-Eskimo Testimonies

We tasted the delicacies and admired some of their sculptures in baculum penile bones of seals, walruses and male sea lions (oosik in various native dialects).

Ice Tunnel, Iceberg, Black Gold Route, Valdez, Alaska, USA

Marco C. Pereira inside an iceberg of Glacier Valdez.

Chris explains to us its unlikely Hellenic-Inupiaq origin and the ethnic logics of Alaska: as, as a rule, the Athabaskan ethnic group – dispersed throughout the south of the territory and over most of the country. Lower 48 – is the one that the “true” Alaskan Indians are most squeamish about.

As the term Eskimo makes no sense to either your Inupiaq ethnic group or any other. Then the conversation changes course. Chris has a twin brother, Joe, who is considered the Top Cop of Alaska, the subject of reports in major local publications.

Oil Prosperity Guaranteed by Alyeska Pipelines

He, in turn, has long worked for the Alyeska Pipelines Service Company, a company in the multimillion-dollar Alyeska consortium (big land, in the archaic Aleut dialect) formed by the companies that own the Trans-Alaska pipeline system that explore and market the oil of the 49th US state.

Valdez Oil Terminal, Black Gold Route, Valdez, Alaska, USA

Tanks at the Valdez oil terminal, safe from tsunamis.

“One of the main conditions for the native authorities to authorize the construction of the conduit system on their lands was a certain quota of indigenous employees in the service. I am just one of many.

I reached a high position and earn well (he confesses to us that an average of $120.000 a year) but I have a responsibility to match.

The Latent Threat of Conduct at Alyeska Pipelines

The pipeline is 1300km long. When they're not frustrated owners, they're irrational, radical environmentalists or some kind of nutcase. There's always someone interested in damaging or sabotaging that pipe.” From what he adds, we learn that Yankee paranoia has spread to the farthest reaches of the nation and contributes to a permanent state of turmoil.

”On 11 September 2011, it was spread throughout Valdez that the terrorists were going to crash one of the last hijacked planes on the city's reservoirs or pipeline. It was agony live until everyone landed.”

At the time, the small town came out unscathed. In 1989, he was not so lucky. The calamity of that time came from the sea.

Three years earlier, the National Steel and Shipbuilding company of San Diego, California had built two twin ships with disparate histories. The USNS Mercy was adopted as a hospital ship by the Red Cross for the purpose of assisting humanitarian missions all over the world.

The Exxon Valdez would be scheduled to secure the transportation of crude between Alaska and California. As the name on the keel suggested, Valdez would be one of the two mandatory stops on the routes.

Upon completion of the crude oil exploration project off the north coast of Alaska, the conclusion was confirmed that the ice there would impede a smooth and safe flow of oil tankers, no matter how strong.

Columbia Glacier, Icebergs, Black Gold Route, Valdez, Alaska, USA.

Small icebergs released by the huge Columbia Glacier, possibly similar to those that caused the break in “Exxon Valdez”.

The alternative was to build a pipeline to cross all of Alaska from north to south and find, at a lower latitude, a port free of compact ice. Sheltered in one of the various fjords of the Prince William Sound, Valdez proved to be the chosen location to host this terminal and the current 18 tanks.

The economy of the city, like that of the state, accelerated at the pace of fuel transport carried out by an average of 3 to 5 tankers per week. He would become a victim of negligence.

Exxon Valdez's Announced Environmental Disaster

On March 23, at 9.12 pm, the Exxon Valdez set sail for a refinery in Long Beach. A port pilot guided him through the Valdez straits before returning the maneuvers to the captain.

This diverted the tanker from the normal shipping lane to avoid icebergs floating off the Columbia Glacier.

Meares Glacier, Black Gold Route, Valdez, Alaska, USA.

The Meares glacier behind a forested meander.

Shortly thereafter, he handed over the commands to two other crew members who were in charge of the bridge. It is said that, by mistake, the boat was put on autopilot. Soon after, the commander obtained a new authorization to reject the exit lane – still obstructed by floating ice – and remain in the entrance lane.

At 12.04 am on March 24, the Exxon Valdez was on an erroneous course and collided with Bligh Reef. The vessel's hull was simple rather than reinforced, and it did not hold up.

Much thanks to the late response of the Exxon company – which infuriated the local population and environmentalists in general – it spilled and spread through the fjords and canals of the Prince William Sound and over 2000km, a minimum of 41 million of the 200 million of liters on board, in what was considered the biggest ecological disaster recorded in Alaska.

Prince William Sound and Alaska Ecosystem Damage

The impact on nature proved brutal. Thousands of animals lost their lives: between 250.000 and 500.000 seabirds, more than 1000 otters, 300 seals, 250 ospreys and 22 orcas not to mention the billions of salmon and herring eggs then deposited in the waters and the plankton that was the base of the region's food chain.

Valdez, most of the towns in the Prince William Sound and Alaska in general suffered and saw the lives of its affected populations to varying degrees. A few years later, the area seemed to have recovered, at least on the surface as much crude oil remains as polluting underground sediment from the coast and seabed.

Sea Lions, Black Gold Route, Valdez, Alaska, USA.

Sea lions on the shore of a fjord near Valdez.

Rainier and Chris were co-workers, raising their newborn daughter Forest, and thriving.

Like Meares, one of several shipping companies that allow us to take the final fateful journey of Exxon Valdez to the sound of a narrative of tragedy and be dazzled by the “responsible” glacier Columbia, with others imposing glaciers and icebergs and competing natural wonders nearby.

Despite the lasting environmental scars, the recovery benefited the entire city. Soon, many thousands of liters of crude would pass through Valdez again.

And tourists like Henry Kissinger or King Olav V of Norway, the most famous participants of excursions who visited the curious or emblematic points of the conduct.

Prince William Sound Forest Coniferas Black Gold Route Valdez Alaska USA

Prince William Sound coniferous forests.

Alaska Indigenous Social and Economic Bi-Polarity

These are the looks in which Alaskan Indians grow up, who, as Rainier summarized, fall into two classes: those who manage to study and be employed by Alyesca Pipeline (like Chris).

And those who can't and indulge in alcohol, or at best, undergo the arduous life provided by fishing and fish processing companies like Peter Pan Seafoods that employ hundreds of Sugpiacs, Yupiks, Tananas, Haidas and the “ rivals” from the Lower 48, the Athabascans.

The Valdez and Prince William Sound region has fully recovered from the environmental trauma.

Puffin, Black Gold Route, Valdez, Alaska, USA.

Puffin flees from the sudden approach of a vessel.

It attracts more visitors than ever, as soon as the summer starts, thousands of other seasonal workers join the permanent workers who, for three months, make the city's businesses work.

The Valdez Summer Refuge to Immigrants from all over the world

We find, in Valdez, Turks, Russians, Polynesians from Tonga e Samoa and, of course, younger or poorer Americans who migrate from Oregon, Washington, Montana, from the two Dakotas and even from Northern California, attracted by the big bucks, little or nothing taxed.

With all legal disputes over, the parent company, Exxon, paid more than 600 million euros in damages. Exxon Valdez, that one, was banned from returning to the vicinity.

After the repairs, it changed its name and areas of action several times.

In 2010, already in Asia, called Dong Fang Ocean and registered in Panama, it collided in the South China Sea with a Maltese freighter. Both ships were heavily damaged.

Last March, it was bought for scrap and, after a complex court battle, ended up on the muddy beaches of Gujarat (Indian region) to be dismantled in the surreal shipyard of Alang, already under the somewhat euphemistic name of Oriental Nicety.

Boat, Prince William Sound, Black Gold Route, Valdez, Alaska, USA.

A boat leaves the port of Valdez to show visitors to the region the extreme scenery of Prince William Sound.

Rainier and Chris' relationship also sailed through rough waters and ended up sinking under numerous marital hardships. It has been re-established in a mysterious and dynamic triptych version.

For the time being, he enjoys a calm that allows the two of them to coexist with Jerry.

It's up to time to decide the course of their lives in Alaska, like Valdez's lucrative but shaky future.

Key West, USA

The Tropical Wild West of the USA

We've come to the end of the Overseas Highway and the ultimate stronghold of propagandism Florida Keys. The continental United States here they surrender to a dazzling turquoise emerald marine vastness. And to a southern reverie fueled by a kind of Caribbean spell.
Ketchikan, Alaska

Here begins Alaska

The reality goes unnoticed in most of the world, but there are two Alaskas. In urban terms, the state is inaugurated in the south of its hidden frying pan handle, a strip of land separated from the contiguous USA along the west coast of Canada. Ketchikan, is the southernmost of Alaskan cities, its Rain Capital and the Salmon Capital of the World.
Anchorage to Homer, USA

Journey to the End of the Alaskan Road

If Anchorage became the great city of the 49th US state, Homer, 350km away, is its most famous dead end. Veterans of these parts consider this strange tongue of land sacred ground. They also venerate the fact that, from there, they cannot continue anywhere.
Mount Denali, Alaska

The Sacred Ceiling of North America

The Athabascan Indians called him Denali, or the Great, and they revered his haughtiness. This stunning mountain has aroused the greed of climbers and a long succession of record-breaking climbs.

icy blue planet

They form at high latitudes and/or altitudes. In Alaska or New Zealand, Argentina or Chile, rivers of ice are always stunning visions of an Earth as frigid as it is inhospitable.
sitka, Alaska

Sitka: Journey through a once Russian Alaska

In 1867, Tsar Alexander II had to sell Russian Alaska to the United States. In the small town of Sitka, we find the Russian legacy but also the Tlingit natives who fought them.
Juneau, Alaska

The Little Capital of Greater Alaska

From June to August, Juneau disappears behind cruise ships that dock at its dockside. Even so, it is in this small capital that the fate of the 49th American state is decided.
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Prince William Sound, Alaska

Journey through a Glacial Alaska

Nestled against the Chugach Mountains, Prince William Sound is home to some of Alaska's stunning scenery. Neither powerful earthquakes nor a devastating oil spill affected its natural splendor.
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

Timothy Treadwell spent summers on end with the bears of Katmai. Traveling through Alaska, we followed some of its trails, but unlike the species' crazy protector, we never went too far.
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Florida Keys, USA

The Caribbean Stepping Stone of the USA

Os United States continental islands seem to close to the south in its capricious peninsula of Florida. Don't stop there. More than a hundred islands of coral, sand and mangroves form an eccentric tropical expanse that has long seduced American vacationers.
Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coasts concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the extreme southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessible via six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is meager for the number of souls who desire it.
Little Havana, USA

Little Havana of the Nonconformists

Over the decades and until today, thousands of Cubans have crossed the Florida Straits in search of the land of freedom and opportunity. With the US a mere 145 km away, many have gone no further. His Little Havana in Miami is today the most emblematic neighborhood of the Cuban diaspora.
Grand Canyon, USA

Journey through the Abysmal North America

The Colorado River and tributaries began flowing into the plateau of the same name 17 million years ago and exposed half of Earth's geological past. They also carved one of its most stunning entrails.
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
Las Vegas, USA

Where sin is always forgiven

Projected from the Mojave Desert like a neon mirage, the North American capital of gaming and entertainment is experienced as a gamble in the dark. Lush and addictive, Vegas neither learns nor regrets.
Navajo nation, USA

The Navajo Nation Lands

From Kayenta to Page, passing through Marble Canyon, we explore the southern Colorado Plateau. Dramatic and desert, the scenery of this indigenous domain, cut out in Arizona, reveals itself to be splendid.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Herd in Manang, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 8th Manang, Nepal

Manang: the Last Acclimatization in Civilization

Six days after leaving Besisahar we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). Located at the foot of the Annapurna III and Gangapurna Mountains, Manang is the civilization that pampers and prepares hikers for the ever-dreaded crossing of Thorong La Gorge (5416 m).
Colonial Church of San Francisco de Assis, Taos, New Mexico, USA
Architecture & Design
Taos, USA

North America Ancestor of Taos

Traveling through New Mexico, we were dazzled by the two versions of Taos, that of the indigenous adobe hamlet of Taos Pueblo, one of the towns of the USA inhabited for longer and continuously. And that of Taos city that the Spanish conquerors bequeathed to the Mexico: Mexico gave in to United States and that a creative community of native descendants and migrated artists enhance and continue to praise.
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
Ceremonies and Festivities
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
patriot march

Formosa but Unsafe

Portuguese navigators could not imagine the imbroglio reserved for the Formosa they baptized. Nearly 500 years later, even though it is uncertain of its future, Taiwan still prospers. Somewhere between independence and integration in greater China.
Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Casa Menezes Braganca, Chandor, Goa, India
Chandor, Goa, India

A True Goan-Portuguese House

A mansion with Portuguese architectural influence, Casa Menezes Bragança, stands out from the houses of Chandor, in Goa. It forms a legacy of one of the most powerful families in the former province. Both from its rise in a strategic alliance with the Portuguese administration and from the later Goan nationalism.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Ross Bridge, Tasmania, Australia
Discovering tassie, Part 3, Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania from Top to Bottom

The favorite victim of Australian anecdotes has long been the Tasmania never lost the pride in the way aussie ruder to be. Tassie remains shrouded in mystery and mysticism in a kind of hindquarters of the antipodes. In this article, we narrate the peculiar route from Hobart, the capital located in the unlikely south of the island to the north coast, the turn to the Australian continent.
Vegetables, Little India, Sari Singapore, Singapore
Little India, Singapore

The Sari Singapore of Little India

There are thousands of inhabitants instead of the 1.3 billion of the mother country, but Little India, a neighborhood in tiny Singapore, does not lack soul. No soul, no smell of Bollywood curry and music.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

Music Theater and Exhibition Hall, Tbilisi, Georgia
Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia still Perfumed by the Rose Revolution

In 2003, a popular political uprising made the sphere of power in Georgia tilt from East to West. Since then, the capital Tbilisi has not renounced its centuries of Soviet history, nor the revolutionary assumption of integrating into Europe. When we visit, we are dazzled by the fascinating mix of their past lives.
Sentosa Island, Singapore, Family on Sentosa Artificial Beach
Sentosa, Singapore

Singapore's Fun Island

It was a stronghold where the Japanese murdered Allied prisoners and welcomed troops who pursued Indonesian saboteurs. Today, the island of Sentosa fights the monotony that gripped the country.
Correspondence verification
Winter White
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

In 1993, frustrated by the Portuguese government's disregard for his work “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago moved with his wife Pilar del Río to Lanzarote. Back on this somewhat extraterrestrial Canary Island, we visited his home. And the refuge from the portuguese censorship that haunted the writer.
Fisherman maneuvers boat near Bonete Beach, Ilhabela, Brazil
Ilhabela, Brazil

In Ilhabela, on the way to Bonete

A community of caiçaras descendants of pirates founded a village in a corner of Ilhabela. Despite the difficult access, Bonete was discovered and considered one of the ten best beaches in Brazil.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Soufrière and Pitons, Saint Luci
Natural Parks
Soufriere, Saint Lucia

The Great Pyramids of the Antilles

Perched above a lush coastline, the twin peaks Pitons are the hallmark of Saint Lucia. They have become so iconic that they have a place in the highest notes of East Caribbean Dollars. Right next door, residents of the former capital Soufrière know how precious their sight is.
Crocodiles, Queensland Tropical Australia Wild
UNESCO World Heritage
Cairns to Cape Tribulation, Australia

Tropical Queensland: An Australia Too Wild

Cyclones and floods are just the meteorological expression of Queensland's tropical harshness. When it's not the weather, it's the deadly fauna of the region that keeps its inhabitants on their toes.
now from above ladder, sorcerer of new zealand, Christchurch, new zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

Despite his notoriety in the antipodes, Ian Channell, the New Zealand sorcerer, failed to predict or prevent several earthquakes that struck Christchurch. At the age of 88, after 23 years of contract with the city, he made very controversial statements and ended up fired.
Bay Watch cabin, Miami beach, beach, Florida, United States,
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coasts concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the extreme southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessible via six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is meager for the number of souls who desire it.
Pilgrims at the top, Mount Sinai, Egypt
Mount Sinai, Egypt

Strength in the Legs, Faith in God

Moses received the Ten Commandments on the summit of Mount Sinai and revealed them to the people of Israel. Today, hundreds of pilgrims climb, every night, the 4000 steps of that painful but mystical ascent.
Chepe Express, Chihuahua Al Pacifico Railway
On Rails
Creel to Los Mochis, Mexico

The Barrancas del Cobre & the CHEPE Iron Horse

The Sierra Madre Occidental's relief turned the dream into a construction nightmare that lasted six decades. In 1961, at last, the prodigious Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad was opened. Its 643km cross some of the most dramatic scenery in Mexico.
Pachinko Salon, Video Addiction, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Pachinko: The Video Addiction That Depresses Japan

It started as a toy, but the Japanese appetite for profit quickly turned pachinko into a national obsession. Today, there are 30 million Japanese surrendered to these alienating gaming machines.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Sheep and hikers in Mykines, Faroe Islands
Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

Mykines establishes the western threshold of the Faroe archipelago. It housed 179 people but the harshness of the retreat got the better of it. Today, only nine souls survive there. When we visit it, we find the island given over to its thousand sheep and the restless colonies of puffins.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.