Key West, USA

The Tropical Wild West of the USA

street scooter scene
Mural on a street near Ernest Hemingway's former home.
the southern limit
Key West visitor is photographed next to the Southermost Point of the Continental USA landmark
green city
Key West panoramic as seen from the top of Key West lighthouse.
little theater
Two extras from the Key West Shipwreck Treasures Museum dialogue during a host performance.
candles in sight
Pleasure boats full of foreign passengers ply the sea off Key West.
Cuba almost in sight
Decoration of a bar next to Mallory Square and the dock where successive cruise ships dock.
the sword swallower
Saltimbanco performs his act on the edge of Mallory Square and just before sunset.
Motorized Marine Life
Cyclist passes by a car from a diving company based in the city.
wooden relic
Top of an old traditional church, lost in the tropical vegetation of the city.
The Donald Fashion
Donald Trump t-shirts among many other trinkets and memorabilia are on sale in countless Key West stores.
a little show
Two friends with a musician who livens up the street with Caribbean music, next to the Customs House.
solar worship
Crowds love the sunset west of Mallory Square, alongside one of the cruises that drop tourists in Key West.
Notice to navigation
Key West Lighthouse Tower, a reconstruction of the original, destroyed by one of the cyclones that over time ravaged the Florida Keys.
View Sails II
Two large sailboats between the threshold of the Florida Keys and the Gulf of Mexico.
Last Walls of the South
Fort Zachary Taylor Wall, the southernmost fortification in the continental United States
Cuba style
Roosters loose on a street near Ernest Hemingway's house.
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.

A multicolored bullet-shaped landmark stands out along South Beach. Check the "Southernmost Point ContinentalUSA”. In high season, as soon as the sun rises from the Antilles Sea, there is a line of outsiders from numerous stops determined to photograph themselves there.

When we got there, the crowd is such and so many altercations are generated that we decided to photograph them at the expense of an unnecessary selfie.

Southermost Point of the Continental USA Landmark, Key West, Florida, United States

Key West visitor is photographed next to the Southermost Point of the Continental USA landmark

The Tropical Bottom and Something Beveled in the United States

In the image of Alaska, Key West gained a reputation for being deranged. As some residents proudly theorize “it's as if they had shaken the USA and all the crazy ones had fallen to the bottom”. some turned out to be true wackos, others not so much.

Tennessee Williams lived a sober life in Key West for about 30 years. Actress Kelly McGillis, the muse of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) in the 80s teen hit “Top Gun” (“Indomable Aces”) managed to run a bar there, but without major scandals.

Laureate writer Ernest Hemingway has proven by far the most notorious of the city's tenants. He owned several six-fingered cats, faithful to deep-sea fishing and successive nights of bohemian drinking, interrupted only by his journalistic forays into war or pre-war scenarios in the world at that time.

Key West, Florida, United States

Key West panoramic as seen from the top of Key West lighthouse.

The warm, humid climate and the feeling of freedom and escape conveyed by the endless sea, inspired and attracted, to Key West, alternative and relaxed ways of being and being. Existences quite different from those in the North where financial pragmatism and individualism had long prevailed.

From Existentialism to Forced Capitalism

And yet, victim of the growing influx of outsiders, Key West found itself crammed with shops, bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and museums, many opened by cruise lines to entertain passengers who disembarked there.

The city and the island thus gained a strange aura of a no-entry theme park, open to all eccentricities and proposals for fun and invoicing.

Key West Lighthouse, Florida Keys, United States

Key West Lighthouse Tower, a reconstruction of the original, destroyed by one of the cyclones that over time ravaged the Florida Keys.

In front of Hemingway's house, a lady at a small motorized stand sells coconuts, sugar cane juice and lemonade. Each coconut – which in other parts of the Caribbean is not worth a dollar – costs there, however tiny, no more or less than five dollars. A rooster with the gaudy, jaunty look of a rooster fighting warrior surrounds his store, looking out for the tidbits he manages to misplace.

Corns on a street in Hemingway in Key West, USA

Roosters loose on a street near Ernest Hemingway's house.

Despite the dominant tourist sophistication and wantonness,

Key West preserves these things. In the wake of newly restored Caribbean houses, too bright and pompous, we find others, worn and decaying. Nearby, some natives share shady porches and street benches.

Key West Wall, Florida Keys, United States

Mural on a street near Ernest Hemingway's former home.

At their feet, more roosters and chickens scour the ground, to and fro, like members of the rightful place and almost of the mixed-blood families that coexist with them.

at the gates of cuba

In cultural and ethnic terms, the Florida Keys – like much of Florida – are intensely Cuban. It was one of his traits that most enchanted Ernest Hemingway and led him to reside in Key West, before moving to Finca Vigia in 1942.

This was the name of the hacienda in the Havana suburbs of San Francisco de Paula that he would live in until 1960, playing an increasingly active role in the massive success of the Cuban Revolution.

Musician and small audience, Key West, United States

Two friends with a musician who livens up the street with Caribbean music, next to the Customs House

Florida, the Florida Keys and Key West, by the way, almost always walked arm in arm with Cuba. The origin of this Caribbean intimacy has the intense aroma of the best habanos.

In the late nineteenth century, American cigar companies began moving from Cuba to Florida to avoid government taxes. By that time, Cuban workers were moving freely between Havana, Tampa and Key West, between 50 and 100, every year. Many ended up settling north of the Strait.

Now, in 1953, when Fidel Castro led his revolutionary army, took Cuba and threw it into the ideological and social ditch of Communism, millions of Cubans, disillusioned by the limitation of their freedom and the degradation of living conditions, inaugurated a series of waves of emigration illegal raft.

Too many succumbed to the precarious conditions in which they undertook the crossing. Over the course of the XNUMXth century, hundreds of thousands of disaffected Cubans – many of them survivors of the same crossing – flooded the Florida Keys, Florida and other parts of the USA

Bar decor off Mallory Square, Key West, Florida Keys, United States

Decoration of a bar next to Mallory Square and the dock where successive cruise ships dock.

The Conch Republic Chimera

The frantic Key West, surrendered to the dollars we were trying to adapt, had its ideological and revolutionary moments. In 1982, the Navy of USA responded to a flow of Cuban emigration to Florida called the Mariel Boatlift, with a naval and road blockade. US Hwy 1 (Overseas Highway) was barred and all vehicles searched.

The blockade paralyzed the Florida Keys and unleashed the fury of Key West. In response, its solidary population declared the independence of a Conch Republic, a baptism inspired by the term that designates the pioneer natives and settlers of the Florida Keys and from the Bahamas. Even idealistic and chimerical, its spontaneous micronation would never be forgotten.

It lingers on flags, musical instruments like the Conchalele and a myriad of commemorative items of the genre, cases of the t-shirts we admire side by side with others that ridicule or praise Donald Trump and make us smile to match.

"we shall overcomb” is one of them, which displays the egg-strand hair of the now US president in order to draw a golden eagle with an open beak.

T-shirt with Donald Trump, Key West, Florida, United States

Donald Trump t-shirts among many other trinkets and memorabilia are on sale in countless Key West stores.

In yet another, Trump opens his formal suit and reveals an iconic Superman costume.

Every 23rd of April, Conch Republic is celebrated by a cultural and gastronomic festival to which dozens of establishments and organizations in the city contribute. And yet, the reasons why the state its advocates craved could never have gone beyond the dream are notorious.

After leaving Hemingway's old house, we visited one of them, an even more pompous and influential Key West home, symbolic of the immeasurable power of the USA and little patient with independence movements, no matter how chimerical: Harry Truman's Little White House.

Little White House, Key West, Florida Keys, United States

The entrance to Little White House, a US government property, frequented by several of its presidents.

A Small White House in the US Tropical Bottom

Between hyper-patriotic Americans and foreigners surprised by the elegant, but almost Playmobil-museum profile of the mansion, there we examine photos, furniture and striking objects from the times spent by Truman and successors in Key West.

Almost always for strategic reasons, different presidents, before and after Truman, took part there in family and political meetings, diplomatic meetings and even mini-summits. In fact, behind the preference for Little White House was almost always the desire to rest, escape or break the routine.

Dwight Eisenhower arranged a series of meetings with his staff at the property. But he also took refuge there to recover from a heart attack. John Kennedy attended it a second time, in 1962, in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs Invasion that took place at the door.

In 2005, President Bill and Senator Hillary Clinton shared an entire week in that smaller White House, simply resting.

And, as 2009 arrived, the authorities of the Winter White House (as it is also called) tried to influence the Obamas and Bo, their Portuguese water dog, to spend their holidays there. It never happened, for everything except lack of security.

The mansion enjoys the added protection of nearby Fort Zachary Taylor, the southernmost of the US military installations. United States and from the Air-Naval Station of Boca Chica, located a mere 6km away.

Fort Zachary Taylor Wall, the southernmost fortification in the continental United States

With the afternoon consolidating, we moved to the city's marina in the middle of the bustle of welcoming and boarding the crews and passengers on dozens of pleasure ships.

We offer programs for all tastes, from a simple stroll and conviviality washed down with champagne on sophisticated catamarans, to participatory navigations on schooners and sailboats, some historic, others not really.

Romantic Sunset Navigations & Make-Believe Pirate Battles

We climb aboard one of these floating relics. Jeff, the boat's thirty-year-old owner and helmsman of the small expedition inaugurates a bacoco-sentimental speech that almost takes some of the most sensitive ships to tears: “I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for choosing us.

Life has breathed me with this boat. Thanks to him – and to you, of course – I have the best work on the planet. I do this every evening as if for the first time.” Simultaneously, in American good manners, the crew hired by him highlight from the briefing, the place where passengers already sensitized must deposit their tips.

The wind intensifies. In a flash, we walked away. We share the ocean off Key West with a fleet of competing ships. Two of them hoist pirate flags and take their mission to recreate the region's past as seriously as possible.

Pleasure sailboats, Key West, Florida, United States

Pleasure boats full of foreign passengers ply the sea off Key West

Make-Believe Pirates and Real Conquerors

They are crossed once, twice, three times. Each of the razias is fired with dry powder cannon shots that, more than anything, reach the eardrums of the surprised passengers.

Since 1521 – when the same Spanish explorer and conqueror Juan Ponce de Leon who is said to have aspired to the Fountain of Youth inspired the colony of Cayo Hueso in these parts – many real battles and shipwrecks have taken place there.

From 1761, the region alternated between the Hispanic and British Crowns until, in 1821, all of Florida, including the Keys it was offered by the Spanish governor of Cuba to an officer in the Spanish Royal Navy.

Juan Pablo Salas was so eager to profit from it that he sold it for real bargains to two American buyers. Once the imbroglio was over, one of them assumed the real owner. Thereafter, Key West has preserved itself as an unquestioned possession of the USA

Sunset Worship at Mallory Square, Key West, Florida Keys, United States

Crowd loves the sunset west of Mallory Square, along with one of the cruises that drop tourists in Key West

Mallory Square's crowded sunset

We return to the Marina. We move to the ocean front of the equally or busier Mallory Square. Newly docked cruises flood the city's historic district with fresh outsiders.

A curious crowd there is distracted by the acrobats' performances: by their fuss, that of the tightrope walker Reidiculous and another one, of an anonymous sword swallower, who announces each feat in a voice like a marc.

Sword swallowing saltimbanco, Key West, Florida, United States

Saltimbanco performs his act on the threshold of Mallory Square and just before sunset

The big star's imminent dive dictates the end of the exhibitions. Hundreds of spectators leave the street stars to count their donations. Finally, the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico.

It arouses contagious photographic adoration and inaugurates a new night of alcoholic-tropical bohemian in the Caribbean confines of the USA.

Sailboats off Key West, Florida Keys, United States

Two large sailboats between the threshold of the Florida Keys and the Gulf of Mexico.

TAP has daily flights from Lisbon to Miami, departing at 10:35 am and arriving in Miami at 14:30 pm.

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 coastlines concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the far southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessed by six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is manifestly 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.
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.
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.
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.
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.
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.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 12th: Thorong Phedi to high camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
hacienda mucuyche, Yucatan, Mexico, canal
Architecture & Design
Yucatan, Mexico

Among Haciendas and Cenotes, through the History of Yucatan

Around the capital Merida, for every old hacienda henequenera there's at least one cenote. As happened with the semi-recovered Hacienda Mucuyché, together, they form some of the most sublime places in southeastern Mexico.

lagoons and fumaroles, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
drinks entre reis, cavalhadas de pirenopolis, crusades, brazil
Ceremonies and Festivities
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.
Sanahin Cable Car, Armenia
Alaverdi, Armenia

A Cable Car Called Ensejo

The top of the Debed River Gorge hides the Armenian monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat and terraced Soviet apartment blocks. Its bottom houses the copper mine and smelter that sustains the city. Connecting these two worlds is a providential suspended cabin in which the people of Alaverdi count on traveling in the company of God.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
Bolshoi Zayatski Orthodox Church, Solovetsky Islands, Russia.
Bolshoi Zayatsky, Russia

Mysterious Russian Babylons

A set of prehistoric spiral labyrinths made of stones decorate Bolshoi Zayatsky Island, part of the Solovetsky archipelago. Devoid of explanations as to when they were erected or what it meant, the inhabitants of these northern reaches of Europe call them vavilons.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
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.
kings canyon, red centre, heart, australia
Red Center, Australia

Australia's Broken Heart

The Red Center is home to some of Australia's must-see natural landmarks. We are impressed by the grandeur of the scenarios but also by the renewed incompatibility of its two civilizations.
Cobá, trip to the Mayan Ruins, Pac Chen, Mayans of now
Cobá to Pac Chen, Mexico

From the Ruins to the Mayan Homes

On the Yucatan Peninsula, the history of the second largest indigenous Mexican people is intertwined with their daily lives and merges with modernity. In Cobá, we went from the top of one of its ancient pyramids to the heart of a village of our times.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

Museum of Petroleum, Stavanger, Norway
Stavanger, Norway

The Motor City of Norway

The abundance of offshore oil and natural gas and the headquarters of the companies in charge of exploiting them have promoted Stavanger from the Norwegian energy capital preserve. Even so, this city didn't conform. With a prolific historical legacy, at the gates of a majestic fjord, cosmopolitan Stavanger has long propelled the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Torshavn, Faroe Islands, rowing
Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

Thor's Faroese Port

It has been the main settlement in the Faroe Islands since at least 850 AD, the year in which Viking settlers established a parliament there. Tórshavn remains one of the smallest capitals in Europe and the divine shelter of about a third of the Faroese population.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Winter White
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
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.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Natural Parks
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.
PN Timanfaya, Mountains of Fire, Lanzarote, Caldera del Corazoncillo
UNESCO World Heritage
PN Timanfaya, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

PN Timanfaya and the Fire Mountains of Lanzarote

Between 1730 and 1736, out of nowhere, dozens of volcanoes in Lanzarote erupted successively. The massive amount of lava they released buried several villages and forced almost half of the inhabitants to emigrate. The legacy of this cataclysm is the current Martian setting of the exuberant PN Timanfaya.
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

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Vietnamese queue

Nha Trang-Doc Let, Vietnam

The Salt of the Vietnamese Land

In search of attractive coastlines in old Indochina, we become disillusioned with the roughness of Nha Trang's bathing area. And it is in the feminine and exotic work of the Hon Khoi salt flats that we find a more pleasant Vietnam.

Burning prayers, Ohitaki Festival, fushimi temple, kyoto, japan
Kyoto, Japan

A Combustible Faith

During the Shinto celebration of Ohitaki, prayers inscribed on tablets by the Japanese faithful are gathered at the Fushimi temple. There, while being consumed by huge bonfires, her belief is renewed.
white pass yukon train, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA
On Rails
Skagway, Alaska

A Klondike's Gold Fever Variant

The last great American gold rush is long over. These days, hundreds of cruise ships each summer pour thousands of well-heeled visitors into the shop-lined streets of Skagway.
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.
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.
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica, public boat
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica

The Flooded Costa Rica of Tortuguero

The Caribbean Sea and the basins of several rivers bathe the northeast of the Tica nation, one of the wettest and richest areas in flora and fauna in Central America. Named after the green turtles nest in its black sands, Tortuguero stretches inland for 312 km.2 of stunning aquatic jungle.
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.