Jerusalem, Israel

Closer to God

golden city
Jerusalem, placed beyond the old walls rebuilt by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I, from 1537 onwards.
power games
Palestinian Arab inhabitants play backgammon in an alley in the old town.
in the depths of religion
Believer investigates old scriptures in front of the Kotel, the famous Wailing Wall of Judaism.
arabic scarves
Palestinian women walk along a street in the Arab quarter, in the heart of Jerusalem's Old City.
prayers and regrets
Evenly dressed ultra-Orthodox believers pray in front of the Wailing Wall.
the houses of discord
The Damascus Gate at dusk, with the houses from the various neighborhoods of the Old City of Jerusalem completely filling the interior of the walls.
fragile balance
Arab young man holds a tray with teas and other drinks in an Arab cafe in the Old Town.
The Controversial Temple Mount
Muslim women climb the steps to the Temple Mount.
Zion view
Two Orthodox Jews enjoy the view from a balcony on the Mount of Olives.
David's soldier
IDF military walks a David flag around the Wailing Wall.
Mary Magdalene in gold
The golden domes of the monastery of Mary Magdalene.
The Monastery of Mary Magdalene
Monastery of Mary Magdalene among cypresses on the slope of Monte das Oliveiras
Jewish Neighborhood conviviality
Jews live in the shade in a courtyard in the Jewish Quarter
Al Aqsa Mosque
Muslim believers flock to Al Aqsa mosque.
Jews at the Wailing Wall
Jewish men in kippahs and traditional hats at the Wailing Wall.
Celebration of Zionism
Israel Defense Forces soldiers celebrate at the Wailing Wall.
Mount Zion
View of Mount Zion, another biblical area of ​​Jerusalem.
jewish woman
Jewish wife dressed modestly, as required by Jewish social precepts.
Secular Olive
One of the ancient olive trees on the slope of Mount of Olives.
Religious patriarchs converse with the Wailing Wall in the background.
Three thousand years of history as mystical as it is troubled come to life in Jerusalem. Worshiped by Christians, Jews and Muslims, this city radiates controversy but attracts believers from all over the world.

The slow dusk is about to close another Summer Friday, when the long and serious siren of the Sabbath echoes through Cidade Velha and marks the beginning of the obligatory rest.

Driven by their faith and religious identity, a Jewish crowd descends the labyrinthine and narrow streets of Jerusalem. The movement makes the tzizits (cord fringes) of the hips of the faithful Haredim (the one used to call ultra-Orthodox).

And the same happens to peot, the curly hair that hangs from their temples as if trying to escape the confinement of the kippah and the panoply of hats (borsalinos, fedoras, shtreimels, kolpiks, trilbys etc) that crown their typical clothing, depending on the geographical origin of each sect.

Jerusalem, God, Israel, Jews at the Wailing Wall

Jewish men in kippahs and traditional hats at the Wailing Wall.

The women accompany the short pilgrimage, step after step, in simple dresses but with all the ends long, as recommended by the conduct. tzniut which requires modesty of appearance and behavior.

We did not take long to confirm the importance of blacks for the ultra-Orthodox, their color of severity that denotes fear for the sky of those who wear them, respect for God and for life and the total rejection of frivolity.

As time passes, it becomes predominant in long outfits (bekish, kapotehs e rekels) that are grouped in the male section of the Wall of Lamentations (Boiler as the Jews prefer to be called).

It does not affect the wave of celebration and generalized commotion that confronts the millenary muteness of its gigantic stones and takes over the place.

military, Wailing Wall, IDF Flag Oath, Jerusalem, Israel

Orthodox and hadi (conventional) military and faithful share their faith and solidarity in front of the Wailing Wall.

The Wailing Wall in Feast

From each of the entrances, more and more Jews flow in sympathy to the adjoining square, ready to renew their religious beliefs or celebrate the triumph of Zionism.

Euphoric groups of young soldiers from the IDF – Israel Defense Forces – in olive green uniforms arrive.

Jerusalem, God, Israel, Israel Defense Forces military

An IDF military breaks spontaneous formation to look for something or someone

Students join them yeshiva, off from his studies of the log and the talmud.

According to the fourth commandment of the Hebrew scriptures, the Sabbath suggests the veneration of God's commitment to the people of Israel (Exodus 31:13-17), the celebration of the day he rested after completing Creation (Exodus 20:8-11) and the end of the seven weekly days of slavery to which the Israelites were subjected in Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:12-15) until the rescue led by Moses.

In a multifaceted and even contrasting way, these determinations are strictly adhered to. They impress us as any Gentile who sees himself following these events.

On a first front, some Haredim they swing by the wall, or cling to it and even kiss it in their unconditional effort to invoke the divine.

Jerusalem god, Israel, Prayers and lamentations at the Wailing Wall

Evenly dressed ultra-Orthodox believers pray in front of the Wailing Wall.

This line is followed by others in which, installed on chairs, also equipped with prayer books, the Haredim – and occasional tradition (conventional believers) repeat the divine prayers.

The sound they emit merges with that of many parallel conversations. It generates a buzz that serves as a background to the revelry carried out further back by soldiers and students.

Embraced, they form a circle in which they dance and sing in chorus or straying under the victorious wave of the Israeli flag.

group of recruits in circle, wall of mourning, oath flag IDF, Jerusalem, Israel

Group of recruits celebrates their entry into the Israel Defense Forces.

The Millennial and Complex Origin of the Wailing Wall

Some 2000 years ago, the builders of the Western Wall could never have foreseen or understood that their modest creation would be promoted to the most important religious sanctuary of the Jewish people.

Part of a project ordered by Herod some twenty years before the birth of Christ, to please Caesar, the wall contributed to the remodeling of the Second Temple – built by Cyrus II of Persia on the same site as the Temple of Solomon.

This remodeling was considered by many Jews a profanation as it disrespected the model revealed by God to David, the second king of the United Kingdom of Israel.

The desecration proved to be just one of the hardships the Jews had to endure under the Roman yoke. When Titus Flavius ​​crushed the first of his revolts against the empire in AD 70, the temple and the three walls that protected it were devastated.

As was much of Jerusalem.

A few years later, Hadrian (the successor of Titus Flavius) named the city Aelia Capitolina. He condemned the Jews once more to exile.

The destruction of the temple and the renewal of the diaspora – substantiated over the centuries by the invasion of successive peoples from what had been their homeland – condemned Jewish religious life to an era of chaos.

For many, this era only ended with the founding of the state of Israel.

In 617 AD, the Persians took the city from the Romans. Faced with an imminent Christian revolt, they allowed the Jews to return to rule for three years.

During this period, returnees avoided the Temple Mount area for fear of stepping on their sanctum sanctorum, accessible only to high priests.

According to the rabbinical texts compiled in the meantime, the sechina, (divine presence) would never have deserted the ruins of the outer wall.

Jerusalem god, Israel, In the depths of religion

Believer investigates old scriptures in front of the Kotel, the famous Wailing Wall of Judaism.

Accordingly, the faithful made them their sanctuary.

They started to pray there.

The Muslim Era that Uprooted the Jews. And the Controversial Dome of the Rock

Two decades later, the city surrendered to the armies of Caliph Omar. For four hundred and sixty-two years, the designs of the city were left to the Muslims. Between 688 and 691, Muslims erected the Dome of the Rock for the purpose of protecting a slab that was sacred to both Islam and Judaism.

According to the texts of the Koran, the Dome of the Rock would be in the place from which the prophet Mohammed would have departed towards heaven, to take his place beside Allah. Jerusalem is therefore the third holiest city, after Mecca and Medina.

According to Jewish scriptures, the Dome of the Rock was indeed the center of the world, the exact spot where Abraham prepared to sacrifice one of his sons.

The purposes of the work's mentor, Caliph Abd al-Malik, proved to be both pious and strategic. The sacralization of Jerusalem had long since become tripartite.

Jerusalem God, Israel, Power Games

Palestinian Arab inhabitants play backgammon in an alley in the old town.

It worried him, above all, that the growing influence of the Christians and of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, seduced the Arab minds.

The governor thus ordered that his rotunda be used as a model, but not the dreary interiors and austere stone facades.

Instead, he decorated the mosque with glittering mosaics and verses from the Koran, while the dome was covered in solid gold to shine like a beacon for Islam.

Jerusalem, God, Israel, f

Muslim believers flock to Al Aqsa mosque.

In visual terms, the goal was achieved. Centuries later, the golden structure still stands out from the stone houses of the Old Town.

Despite the political-military supremacy of the Jewish state, the Dome of the Rock is, today, one of the great symbols of Jerusalem and one of the most photographed buildings on the face of the Earth.

It stands out like no other building in the city in the panoramic view from Monte das Oliveiras.

Jerusalem, God, Israel, Dome of the Rock

The Dome of the Rock even more golden by the sunset light to the west of Jerusalem.

The Rise of Christianity and Successive Crusades

About a millennium after the birth of its messiah in Bethlehem, Christianity had expanded. It became a solid religion, headquartered in Rome, branching out into countless believing kingdoms and territories, from the Middle East to the far west of Europe.

At that time, Jerusalem had come to be seen as holy by Christians as well. Accordingly, multinational crusader armies traveled from the four corners of Europe, in multiple waves. They were encouraged by the sacred reconquest of the Muslims.

Its achievements never long withstood the overwhelming responses of Islam. fall of acre, in 1291, the Holy Land went back to “infidel” hands.

Jerusalem god, Israel, Arab scarves in the Christian Quarter

Palestinian women walk along a street in the Arab quarter, in the heart of Jerusalem's Old City.

This was followed by integration into the Ottoman Empire (1516) which lasted until the end of World War I.

During this long period, the wall – which coexisted on the Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock – became a place of pilgrimage that Jews visited to mourn their former loss.

Thus it became popularized as “the Lamentations”.

But the unfolding of the epic was far from stopping there. In the years to come, the peoples and religions that shared and disputed Jerusalem continued to intersect in history.

fragile balance

Arab young man holds a tray with teas and other drinks in an Arab cafe in the Old Town.

As we saw it happen, day after day, on your streets.

The Christian Mausoleum of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher

While the Dome of the Rock shines in the company of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall receives countless lamentations, Christianity's holiest site in the Old City, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, has spent centuries withdrawn in the poignant memory of Jesus' last hours.

From very early in the morning (opens to the public at 4.30 am), pilgrims from the four corners of the world enter its complex and dark structure, determined to praise the sacrifice of the messiah there.

We see them cross themselves and their most distinguished objects, leaning over the Stone of Unction, the slab on which the body of Christ was prepared for burial by Joseph of Arimathea, the Jewish senator who obtained permission from Pilate to remove him from the cross.

Then, go up a small staircase and access Mount Calvary. There they find Golgotha ​​(the supposed site of the crucifixion) and, in a small Greek chapel, the stone that supported the cross.

At the imposing roundabout of the basilica, they line up in a line under the deep gaze of Orthodox priests and wait for their turn to glimpse the Altar of the Crucifixion.

Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, Christian churches, the door of the aedicule

Orthodox priest at the entrance to the Aedicule.

The Historical Depth Complexity of Jerusalem

Like the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher – which is much larger than the façades suggest – Jerusalem also deceives us about its size and wealth.

Five or six days went by without the Cidade Velha being properly explored and before we realized the magnitude of what there is to discover around.

Most visitors access the interior of Suleiman's walls through the Jaffa Gate. It is the same door that General Edmund Allemby crossed when consummating the allied triumph over the Ottoman Empire in World War I.

Shortly before, among many sensible statements and some braggadocio, an arsonist proclaimed: "Today, the Crusades are over." For some reason it went down in history as the Bloody Bull. 

From Porta de Jaffa, it's always going down to anywhere in the four districts in the interior: the Jewish, the Armenian (smallest), the Muslim and the Christian. We found that each of these neighborhoods has its own life and dynamics.

Jerusalem God, Israel, The Houses of Discord

The Damascus Gate at dusk, with the houses from the various neighborhoods of the Old City of Jerusalem completely filling the interior of the walls.

And, with the exception of the confused intersection between the Christian and the Muslim, they seem to us to be easy to identify, especially the Jew who constitutes a real world apart.

From Theodor Herzl's Zionist Appeal to Israel's Declaration of Independence

At the turn of the 20.000th century, the Zionist movement inspired by the Austro-Hungarian Jewish journalist Theodor Herzl boosted the return of the Diaspora to Palestine as never before. The population installed there amounted to almost XNUMX people. The Jewish Quarter was never entirely Jewish.

On the contrary, a significant part of the homes and stores were rented by their occupants to waqfs, Muslim properties for religious and charitable purposes.

On May 14, 1948, the day before the end of the British Mandate of Palestine, Israel declared independence.

Jerusalem, God, Israel, Israeli Defense Forces Military

IDF military walks a David flag around the Wailing Wall.

It was immediately attacked by various Muslim nations in what became known as the Arab-Israeli War or War of Independence.

The nearly 2000 Jews who resisted the escalation of the conflict in the Jewish quarter were surrounded. They were forced to leave, expelled by Jordanian troops.

The Six-Day War that Returned Jerusalem to the Jews

At that time, Cidade Velha was on the other side of the demarcation line. The neighborhood remained under Jordanian jurisdiction until the 1967 Six Day War, when a determined and heavily armed Israeli army conquered the entire Old City and destroyed the Mughrabi (Moroccan) neighborhood adjacent to the Western Wall.

In the hangover, they would also be expropriated, and about 6.000 Muslim inhabitants evicted. In 1969, Zionist authorities established the Jewish Quarter Development Company, with the aim of rebuilding the former Jewish quarter.

Jerusalem, God, Israel, Jewish Woman

Jewish wife dressed modestly, as required by Jewish social precepts.

As a result, unlike its neighbors to the north, the Jewish Quarter is, in its own way, modern and, above all, residential, built in new stone, equipped with playgrounds for children, infrastructure for wheelchairs and a or another security technology well-disguised by the seemingly historic look.

Another difference that we detected in three periods is that it is lived and visited almost only by the Hebrew community and foreign visitors.

Jerusalem, God, Israel, Jewish neighborhood conviviality

Jews live in the shade in a courtyard in the Jewish Quarter

We explore it in order to absorb the most genuine Jewish mysticism in its streets and synagogues (especially the Hurva and the Ramban).

Also determined to devour the delicious snacks of the resident bars: the shoarmas pitas, humus and falafel, just to mention the most popular.

The New Mt Zion Sacred Miscellany

We left the Jewish Quarter. We cross the Armenian, cross the Zion Gate and arrive at Mount Zion. There lies a new confluence of the sacred which, not to vary, involves the three great Abrahamic religions.

Mount Zion concentrates an eclectic mix of monuments and stories: in a purely biblical field, it is the place of David's tomb, it hosted the Last Supper (there is the Upper Room) and the eternal sleep of the Virgin Mary.

Jerusalem, God, Israel, Mount Zion

View of Mount Zion, another biblical area of ​​Jerusalem.

Less old than the previous characters but eternally heroic for Jews and for the world, Oskar Schindler also rests there.

From the top of Zion, we make our way to the Kidron Valley (of which the Jehoshaphat Valley is part) is the oldest section of Jerusalem with archaeological remains dating back more than four millennia.

At the end of a lonely walk through the parched and deep outskirts of Jerusalem where the legendary City of David was founded, we come across the tombs attributed to Absalom (third son of David) and the prophet Zechariah.

Jerusalem, God, Israel, temples Valley of Kidron

Temple of Absalom on a slope in the Valley of

And the Mount of Olives. Biblical and Panoramic like No Other

At the base of its slope, the Church of All Nations and the Garden of Getsemane stand out. Right next door, in a grievous grotto, there is the tomb of the Virgin Mary, another place given over to Christian believers who renew their faith and emotion in it.

The Mount of Olives is also prolific in biblical places and monuments. At the base of its slope, the Church of All Nations and the Garden of Getsemane stand out. Right next to it, in a grievous grotto, there is the tomb of the Virgin Mary,

In the middle of the slope, we glimpse the glow of the three golden domes of the Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene, built in 1888 by Alexandre III, in memory of his mother.

Jerusalem, God, Israel, Mary Magdalene monastery

Monastery of Mary Magdalene among cypresses on the slope of Monte das Oliveiras

The Jewish cemetery occupies a good part of the Mount of Olives.

Augmented from biblical times by the Jews' desire to be in Jerusalem on Judgment Day, its endless lego of cut rock burials forms a self-contained mortuary landscape, comparable only – if far more striking – to the Muslim cemetery adjacent to Suleiman's east wall .

Night falls when we admire the yellowish and irregular houses of the Holy City from a viewpoint at the top of Monte das Oliveiras. With each passing minute, sunset turns Jerusalem more golden.

At the same time, a group of Jews Haredim, all dressed to the nines, proceeds with an encounter between the homogenized tombs of their ancestors. The vision serves us as a visual preamble to the city.

It gives it some additional mysticism that we enjoy with strong awe until night falls and Jerusalem is left to the God that all its residents and pilgrims worship.

Jerusalem God, Israel, Golden City

Jerusalem, placed beyond the old walls rebuilt by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I, from 1537 onwards.

The return to Jerusalem was and is, for many Jews, the best possible compensation for the diaspora.

Even so, a past with about three thousand years has proven and has proved again that, in the Holy City, history is always controversial.

It never finishes being written.

Jerusalem, Israel

Through the Belicious Streets of Via Dolorosa

In Jerusalem, while traveling the Via Dolorosa, the most sensitive believers realize how difficult the peace of the Lord is to achieve in the most disputed streets on the face of the earth.
Jerusalem, Israel

A Festive Wailing Wall

The holiest place in Judaism is not only attended by prayers and prayers. Its ancient stones have witnessed the oath of new IDF recruits for decades and echo the euphoric screams that follow.

The Cradle of the Official Christianity

Just 268 years after Jesus' death, a nation will have become the first to accept the Christian faith by royal decree. This nation still preserves its own Apostolic Church and some of the oldest Christian temples in the world. Traveling through the Caucasus, we visit them in the footsteps of Gregory the Illuminator, the patriarch who inspires Armenia's spiritual life.
Massada, Israel

Massada: The Ultimate Jewish Fortress

In AD 73, after months of siege, a Roman legion found that the resisters at the top of Masada had committed suicide. Once again Jewish, this fortress is now the supreme symbol of Zionist determination
Jaffa, Israel

Unorthodox protests

A building in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, threatened to desecrate what ultra-Orthodox Jews thought were remnants of their ancestors. And even the revelation that they were pagan tombs did not deter them from the contestation.
Marinduque, Philippines

When the Romans Invade the Philippines

Even the Eastern Empire didn't get that far. In Holy Week, thousands of centurions seize Marinduque. There, the last days of Longinus, a legionary converted to Christianity, are re-enacted.
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.
Helsinki, Finland

A Frigid-Scholarly Via Crucis

When Holy Week arrives, Helsinki shows its belief. Despite the freezing cold, little dressed actors star in a sophisticated re-enactment of Via Crucis through streets full of spectators.
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Ride of Faith

Introduced in 1819 by Portuguese priests, the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo de Pirenópolis it aggregates a complex web of religious and pagan celebrations. It lasts more than 20 days, spent mostly on the saddle.
Pirenópolis, Brazil

Brazilian Crusades

Christian armies expelled Muslim forces from the Iberian Peninsula in the XNUMXth century. XV but, in Pirenópolis, in the Brazilian state of Goiás, the South American subjects of Carlos Magno continue to triumph.
Guwahati, India

The City that Worships Kamakhya and the Fertility

Guwahati is the largest city in the state of Assam and in North East India. It is also one of the fastest growing in the world. For Hindus and devout believers in Tantra, it will be no coincidence that Kamakhya, the mother goddess of creation, is worshiped there.
Shillong, India

A Christmas Selfiestan at an India Christian Stronghold

December arrives. With a largely Christian population, the state of Meghalaya synchronizes its Nativity with that of the West and clashes with the overcrowded Hindu and Muslim subcontinent. Shillong, the capital, shines with faith, happiness, jingle bells and bright lighting. To dazzle Indian holidaymakers from other parts and creeds.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 13th - High camp a Thorong La to Muktinath, Nepal

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Architecture & Design
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
MassKara Festival, Bacolod City, Philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
Bacolod, Philippines

A Festival to Laugh at Tragedy

Around 1980, the value of sugar, an important source of wealth on the Philippine island of Negros, plummeted and the ferry “Don Juan” that served it sank and took the lives of more than 176 passengers, most of them from Negrès. The local community decided to react to the depression generated by these dramas. That's how MassKara arose, a party committed to recovering the smiles of the population.
Nova Sintra, Brava, Cape Verde, panoramic
Nova Sintra, Brava, Cape Verde

A Creole Sintra, instead of Saloia

When Portuguese settlers discovered the island of Brava, they noticed its climate, much wetter than most of Cape Verde. Determined to maintain connections with the distant metropolis, they called the main town Nova Sintra.
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
Garranos gallop across the plateau above Castro Laboreiro, PN Peneda-Gerês, Portugal
Castro Laboreiro, Portugal  

From Castro de Laboreiro to the Rim of the Peneda – Gerês Range

We arrived at (i) the eminence of Galicia, at an altitude of 1000m and even more. Castro Laboreiro and the surrounding villages stand out against the granite monumentality of the mountains and the Planalto da Peneda and Laboreiro. As do its resilient people who, sometimes handed over to Brandas and sometimes to Inverneiras, still call these stunning places home.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Princess Yasawa Cruise, Maldives

Cruise the Maldives, among Islands and Atolls

Brought from Fiji to sail in the Maldives, Princess Yasawa has adapted well to new seas. As a rule, a day or two of itinerary is enough for the genuineness and delight of life on board to surface.
Early morning on the lake

Nantou, Taiwan

In the Heart of the Other China

Nantou is Taiwan's only province isolated from the Pacific Ocean. Those who discover the mountainous heart of this region today tend to agree with the Portuguese navigators who named Taiwan Formosa.

sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

Most travel photos are taken in sunlight. Sunlight and weather form a capricious interaction. Learn how to predict, detect and use at its best.
Willemstad, Curacao, Punda, Handelskade
Willemstad, Curaçao

The Multicultural Heart of Curaçao

A Dutch colony in the Caribbean became a major slave hub. It welcomed Sephardic Jews who had taken refuge from the Iberia Inquisition in Amsterdam and Recife. And it assimilated influences from the Portuguese and Spanish villages with which it traded. At the heart of this secular cultural fusion has always been its old capital: Willemstad.
Shuri Castle in Naha, Okinawa the Empire of the Sun, Japan
Okinawa, Japan

The Little Empire of the Sun

Risen from the devastation caused by World War II, Okinawa has regained the heritage of its secular Ryukyu civilization. Today, this archipelago south of Kyushu is home to a Japan on the shore, anchored by a turquoise Pacific ocean and bathed in a peculiar Japanese tropicalism.
Oulu Finland, Passage of Time
Winter White
Oulu, Finland

Oulu: an Ode to Winter

Located high in the northeast of the Gulf of Bothnia, Oulu is one of Finland's oldest cities and its northern capital. A mere 220km from the Arctic Circle, even in the coldest months it offers a prodigious outdoor life.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Viewpoint Viewpoint, Alexander Selkirk, on Skin Robinson Crusoe, Chile
Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile

Alexander Selkirk: in the Skin of the True Robinson Crusoe

The main island of the Juan Fernández archipelago was home to pirates and treasures. His story was made up of adventures like that of Alexander Selkirk, the abandoned sailor who inspired Dafoe's novel
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.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Natural Parks
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Dominican Republic, Bahia de Las Águilas Beach, Pedernales. Jaragua National Park, Beach
UNESCO World Heritage
Lagoa Oviedo a Bahia de las Águilas, Dominican Republic

In Search of the Immaculate Dominican Beach

Against all odds, one of the most unspoiled Dominican coastlines is also one of the most remote. Discovering the province of Pedernales, we are dazzled by the semi-desert Jaragua National Park and the Caribbean purity of Bahia de las Águilas.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.

Amberris Caye, Belize

Belize's Playground

Madonna sang it as La Isla Bonita and reinforced the motto. Today, neither hurricanes nor political strife discourage VIP and wealthy vacationers from enjoying this tropical getaway.

Djerba Island of Tunisia, Amazigh and its camels
Djerba, Tunisia

The Tunisian Island of Conviviality

The largest island in North Africa has long welcomed people who could not resist it. Over time, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs called it home. Today, Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities continue an unusual sharing of Djerba with its native Berbers.
The Toy Train story
On Rails
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

Neither the steep slope of some stretches nor the modernity stop it. From Siliguri, in the tropical foothills of the great Asian mountain range, the Darjeeling, with its peaks in sight, the most famous of the Indian Toy Trains has ensured for 117 years, day after day, an arduous dream journey. Traveling through the area, we climb aboard and let ourselves be enchanted.
Creel, Chihuahua, Carlos Venzor, collector, museum
Chihuahua a Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico

On Creel's Way

With Chihuahua behind, we point to the southwest and to even higher lands in the north of Mexico. Next to Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, we visited a Mennonite elder. Around Creel, we lived for the first time with the Rarámuri indigenous community of the Serra de Tarahumara.
Daily life
Arduous Professions

the bread the devil kneaded

Work is essential to most lives. But, certain jobs impose a degree of effort, monotony or danger that only a few chosen ones can measure up to.
Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.