Sao Tome (city), São Tomé and Principe

The Capital of the Santomean Tropics

Fort of São Sebastião
Strong colors in contrast to the basalt blackness that surrounds it.
Seaside Roller
Friends spend time at the newly opened Rolotte Beira-Mar.
talk to the sun
Two schoolmates converse in a complete absence of shadow.
Motorcyclists lined up on a lane next to the São Tomé market.
The cathedral
Students pass in front of the Cathedral of São Tomé.
strandings on the coast
Old semi-sunken barges off São Tomé
Area with colonial architecture of the capital of São Tomé and Príncipe.
Conversation in the Shadow of History
Friends talk in the shadow of the statue of one of the discoverers of the São Tomé archipelago.
early balance
Stunts on basalt near the Fort of São Sebastião.
The Defenses of Then
Historic corner of the old Fort of São Sebastião.
Portuguese Weapons
Weapons of the Portuguese Crown are kept in the museum of the Fort of São Sebastião.
Ideal fashion
Inhabitants of the city of São Tomé, well placed for "Ideal Fashion"
Obelisk and Discoverers
Historical installation around the obelisk "offered" to President Amílcar Cabral and the Beira-Mar mobile home.
Obelisk and Discoverers II
The obelisk "by Amilcar Cabral" and the discoverers of São Tomé and Príncipe.
Mixed-race seller, next to a fruit stand in the city of São Tomé.
The Work of Pontoon
Shoppers wait for more fish on a pier along the Municipal Market.
yellow alley
Employee lends scale to the yellowish architecture of Fort São Sebastião.
Avenue of Vans
Confusion of the Municipal Market, aggravated by the square of vans that serves it and the city.
Photo-averse fishmongers
Fishmongers growl with the presence of meddlesome photographers in their market.
Xico's Bar
The action of Xico's Bar as seen from the top floor of the establishment.
Founded by the Portuguese, in 1485, São Tomé prospered for centuries, like the city because of the goods in and out of the homonymous island. The archipelago's independence confirmed it as the busy capital that we trod, always sweating.

The first time we targeted Fort São Sebastião, we found it inaccessible.

Closing time was 4:30 in the afternoon, too early for what we were going to say.

Barred from the interior of the National Museum of São Tomé and Príncipe, we found ourselves intrigued by the strange, yet familiar surroundings of the monument.

The fortress occupies a sandy section of the tip that encloses the Bay of Ana Chaves, to the south.

It is preceded by the long Av. Marginal 12 de Julho, baptized as a road commemoration of the 1975 independence of the colony archipelago.

In the case of São Tomé and Príncipe, the ties that unite the nation of the equator to the former metropolis are numerous, and are everywhere.

The Fortified Colonial Museum of Fort São Sebastião

The avenue stretches between colonial houses, shaded by African trees, and the Atlantic Ocean. On a curve that orients it to the west, it leaves us next to a historical installation.

There, in the middle of an uneven lawn, there is an obelisk, erected to commemorate the 1970 visit of the Portuguese President of the Republic to São Tomé.

On the occasion, Américo Tomás disembarked from the ship “Príncipe Perfeito”. the island of prince, had already visited her six years before.

Directly ahead, three white statues contemplate the fort.

They represent the navigators and settlers João de Santarém, Pêro Escobar and João de Paiva.

Until independence, these and other statues of Portuguese figures and personalities occupied prominent places in squares and gardens of the Sao Tome island.

In 1975, the São Toméan authorities gathered several of them in the museum. As we witnessed, the obelisk and the statues are on the loose.

They have the company of Rolotte – Beira Mar, a design expression of the Sagres brand that looks more like a box of paper napkins, with coconut trees as antennas.

Whenever the lack of customers was confirmed, the guy at the counter left the bar's gloomy and claustrophobic interior.

When a friend visits him, they chatter in the shadow of Pêro Escobar.

With a square plan, the fort is surrounded either by sand or large basaltic stones, some of which are polished and rounded by the comings and goings of the tides and waves.

At that time, low tide is in effect.

A group of students, certified by their uniforms, wander to and fro from a tree that the barrenness and salinity of the soil had tortured and defoliated.

We went around the fort, without haste, attentive to the successive expressions of Santomean history and life.

Returning to the starting point of the obelisk, we bend to the beginning of Ana Chaves Bay, where we come across small platoons of more students leaving the school.

From Beira Atlântico to the Frenetic Municipal Market of São Tomé

We walked for a walk, along the cove.

Arriving at the piers on the extension of Praça da Independência, with the pink customs house and imperial palm trees in the background, we find ourselves with an unexpected task.

At the top of the pier, armed with large buckets and bowls, several women were waiting and seemed to be fighting for the freshly caught fish, still aboard elementary speedboats.

The fishery did not seem to satisfy the demand, nor did it solve the fishmongers' growing impatience.

We cut to the heart of the city, along Travessa do Pelourinho. A short time later, we are faced with the real genesis of the problem.

The Municipal Market was packed with buyers interested in fresh products. The varinas knew the money that search could bring them. They felt frustrated to match.

The São Tomé market demonstrates an African and frenetic world of color and shapes, especially outdoors, where natural light remains intact.

It brings out the hues of tropical fruit and vegetables, the exuberant patterns in the clothes of the vendors and those of some sunshades that give you a refuge from the afternoon brazier.

The Municipal Market of São Tomé is a matriarchal domain.

It is composed of authoritarian ladies and girls who dislike the photographic incursions of visitors.

We did not expect that, even favored by the common Portuguese language, and by the experience we have dealing with such cases, we would find ourselves facing such resistance.

As we did not expect to find a nearby supermarket, called Pingo Doxi and with a brand image to emulate that of the original company.

A Walk to the Rhythm of São Tomé

With a few exceptions, the closest male workers occupy a vast area of ​​Av. Conceição, next door.

They are the drivers of a yellow fleet of taxis, small buses and Hiace-style vans that, like the many motorcycle taxis, roam the city and connect it to the nearest towns.

With so much to discover in the capital, we continued on foot.

We walk along Av. da Independência until we identify the river flanked by vegetation that gives the name to the adjoining avenue, Água Grande.

Through the latter, again towards the ocean, we cross the urban vent in front of the Cathedral of São Tomé and the pale pink In-person Palace, also known as the People's Palace but which, for reasons of protocol and security, the people keep away.

We glimpse the choreography of presidential guards, in troop-green uniforms and white helmets and boots, beneath the nation's fluttering flag.

Without much more to appreciate that its resumption of immobility, weakened from so much walking, we crossed the Água Grande again, pointing to the grid of colonial buildings in the streets with Portuguese-African and African names by Patrice Lumumba, Angola and Mozambique.

For a brief moment, the blue-pink and youthful charm of the “Moda Ideal” Beauty Salon holds us back.

Xico's Bar and a Fish Bowl that History left on the island of São Tomé

We feel the physicists already in tatters. It is with relief that we come across Xico's Café, the self-titled “flavor of Portugal in São Tomé”, managed by a Portuguese man who has moved from Sintra.

At that time, he had lived in São Tomé for a decade, as a kind of link between the former metropolis and the stunning tropical refuge.

We installed ourselves at a table at the top, entertained with the gastronomic and convivial action below and with tasting the half Portuguese, half African snacks that we ordered.

On the way out, street vendors hand us colorful fruit.

At least until the photographic persistence with which we respond to the challenge tires them and demoralizes them.

Another woman passes them. It has a face that looks Portuguese to us and skin that is very golden in the equatorial sun. Wear a warm patterned capulana under a pink top.

On his head he carries a bowl full of fish, brought from the jetty where we had already been.

A short conversation makes us realize that he was not comfortable with the attention we devoted to his difference from conventional São Toméan citizens.

We realized, however, that any whim of history would have separated it from the more than four thousand colonial residents who, during the 70s, left the archipelago for the metropolis.

Returnees from Angola and the “City of Tchiloli”

At the same time that many hundreds of São Toméans at the time were entering the equator islands, fugitives from the post-independence political-military instability of Angola.

We intuited that, as a result of one of these urgent flows, it had become semi-out of phase in São Tomé. And that, apart from curious visitors' lenses, it lived well with its reality.

Fruit ladies share gossip. Their mouths are good-natured, almost as well-meaning.

When we go through the lenses for your banana, mango, papaya, passion fruit and even some cocoa provided. for some garden, grab loose capulanas and cover themselves completely.

Nearby, we find the headquarters of the construction company Teixeira Duarte, in the threading of an old poster that announces the exhibition “The City of Tchiloli” stretched over the worn salmon facade of a derelict, derelict building.

The exhibition displayed images of the complex but rich blend of European and African cultures, visible, obvious, throughout the city we had passed and passed through again.

The next day, we returned to Fort of São Sebastião. Hours. Again among students released from their obligations.

We entered.

We examine the heritage that proves more than half a millennium inhabited, colonized, enslaved.

Finally, released and delivered to his fate of São Tomé and Principe.

At this time, São Tomé evolved what it evolved. It increased in a measured way, in a civilizational harmony that continued to dazzle us.

São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

Through the Tropical Top of São Tomé

With the homonymous capital behind us, we set out to discover the reality of the Agostinho Neto farm. From there, we take the island's coastal road. When the asphalt finally yields to the jungle, São Tomé had confirmed itself at the top of the most dazzling African islands.
São Tomé, São Tomé and Príncipe

Journey to where São Tomé points the Equator

We go along the road that connects the homonymous capital to the sharp end of the island. When we arrived in Roça Porto Alegre, with the islet of Rolas and Ecuador in front of us, we had lost ourselves time and time again in the historical and tropical drama of São Tomé.
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.
Rolas Islet, São Tomé and Principe

Rolas Islet: São Tomé and Principe at Latitude Zero

The southernmost point of São Tomé and Príncipe, Ilhéu das Rolas is lush and volcanic. The big news and point of interest of this island extension of the second smallest African nation is the coincidence of crossing the Equator.
Príncipe, São Tomé and Principe

Journey to the Noble Retreat of Príncipe Island

150 km of solitude north of the matriarch São Tomé, the island of Príncipe rises from the deep Atlantic against an abrupt and volcanic mountain-covered jungle setting. Long enclosed in its sweeping tropical nature and a contained but moving Luso-colonial past, this small African island still houses more stories to tell than visitors to listen to.
São Nicolau, Cape Verde

Photography of Nha Terra São Nicolau

The voice of the late Cesária Verde crystallized the feeling of Cape Verdeans who were forced to leave their island. who visits São Nicolau or, wherever it may be, admires images that illustrate it well, understands why its people proudly and forever call it their land.
Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Island Cape Verde

A "French" Clan at the Mercy of Fire

In 1870, a Count born in Grenoble on his way to Brazilian exile, made a stopover in Cape Verde where native beauties tied him to the island of Fogo. Two of his children settled in the middle of the volcano's crater and continued to raise offspring there. Not even the destruction caused by the recent eruptions deters the prolific Montrond from the “county” they founded in Chã das Caldeiras.    
island of salt, Cape Verde

The Salt of the Island of Sal

At the approach of the XNUMXth century, Sal remained lacking in drinking water and practically uninhabited. Until the extraction and export of the abundant salt there encouraged a progressive population. Today, salt and salt pans add another flavor to the most visited island in Cape Verde.
Cidade Velha, Cape Verde

Cidade Velha: the Ancient of the Tropico-Colonial Cities

It was the first settlement founded by Europeans below the Tropic of Cancer. In crucial times for Portuguese expansion to Africa and South America and for the slave trade that accompanied it, Cidade Velha became a poignant but unavoidable legacy of Cape Verdean origins.

Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde

Boa Vista Island: Atlantic waves, Dunas do Sara

Boa Vista is not only the Cape Verdean island closest to the African coast and its vast desert. After a few hours of discovery, it convinces us that it is a piece of the Sahara adrift in the North Atlantic.
Santa Maria, Sal Island, Cape Verde

Santa Maria and the Atlantic Blessing of Sal

Santa Maria was founded in the first half of the XNUMXth century, as a salt export warehouse. Today, thanks to the providence of Santa Maria, Sal Ilha is worth much more than the raw material.
Fogo Island, Cape Verde

Around the Fogo Island

Time and the laws of geomorphology dictated that the volcano-island of Fogo rounded off like no other in Cape Verde. Discovering this exuberant Macaronesian archipelago, we circled around it against the clock. We are dazzled in the same direction.
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.
Young people walk the main street in Chame, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
Sirocco, Arabia, Helsinki
Architecture & Design
Helsinki, Finland

The Design that Came from the Cold

With much of the territory above the Arctic Circle, Finns respond to the climate with efficient solutions and an obsession with art, aesthetics and modernism inspired by neighboring Scandinavia.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Newar celebration, Bhaktapur, Nepal
Ceremonies and Festivities
Bhaktapur, Nepal

The Nepalese Masks of Life

The Newar Indigenous People of the Kathmandu Valley attach great importance to the Hindu and Buddhist religiosity that unites them with each other and with the Earth. Accordingly, he blesses their rites of passage with newar dances of men masked as deities. Even if repeated long ago from birth to reincarnation, these ancestral dances do not elude modernity and begin to see an end.
Cathedral, Funchal, Madeira
Funchal, Madeira

Portal to a Nearly Tropical Portugal

Madeira is located less than 1000km north of the Tropic of Cancer. And the luxuriant exuberance that earned it the nickname of the garden island of the Atlantic can be seen in every corner of its steep capital.

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Parade and Pomp
Saint Petersburg, Russia

When the Russian Navy Stations in Saint Petersburg

Russia dedicates the last Sunday of July to its naval forces. On that day, a crowd visits large boats moored on the Neva River as alcohol-drenched sailors seize the city.
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.
Unusual bathing

south of Belize

The Strange Life in the Black Caribbean Sun

On the way to Guatemala, we see how the proscribed existence of the Garifuna people, descendants of African slaves and Arawak Indians, contrasts with that of several much more airy bathing areas.

ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Santa Marta, Tayrona, Simón Bolivar, Ecohabs of Tayrona National Park
Santa Marta and PN Tayrona, Colombia

The Paradise from which Simon Bolivar departed

At the gates of PN Tayrona, Santa Marta is the oldest continuously inhabited Hispanic city in Colombia. In it, Simón Bolívar began to become the only figure on the continent almost as revered as Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
Solovestsky Autumn
Solovetsky Islands, Russia

The Mother Island of the Gulag Archipelago

It hosted one of Russia's most powerful Orthodox religious domains, but Lenin and Stalin turned it into a gulag. With the fall of the USSR, Solovestky regains his peace and spirituality.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Winter White
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.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Mangrove between Ibo and Quirimba Island-Mozambique
Ibo Island a Quirimba IslandMozambique

Ibo to Quirimba with the Tide

For centuries, the natives have traveled in and out of the mangrove between the island of Ibo and Quirimba, in the time that the overwhelming return trip from the Indian Ocean grants them. Discovering the region, intrigued by the eccentricity of the route, we follow its amphibious steps.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Kukenam reward
Natural Parks
Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

At the top of Mount Roraima, there are extraterrestrial scenarios that have resisted millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never got to step on it.
On hold, Mauna Kea volcano in space, Big Island, Hawaii
UNESCO World Heritage
Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Mauna Kea: the Volcano with an Eye out in Space

The roof of Hawaii was off-limits to natives because it housed benevolent deities. But since 1968, several nations sacrificed the peace of the gods and built the greatest astronomical station on the face of the Earth.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Sesimbra, Vila, Portugal, View from the top
Sesimbra, Portugal

A Village Touched by Midas

It's not just Praia da California and Praia do Ouro that close it to the south. Sheltered from the furies of the West Atlantic, gifted with other immaculate coves and endowed with centuries-old fortifications, Sesimbra is today a precious fishing and bathing haven.
Pemba, Mozambique, Capital of Cabo Delgado, from Porto Amélia to Porto de Abrigo, Paquitequete
Pemba, Mozambique

From Porto Amélia to the Shelter Port of Mozambique

In July 2017, we visited Pemba. Two months later, the first attack took place on Mocímboa da Praia. Nor then do we dare to imagine that the tropical and sunny capital of Cabo Delgado would become the salvation of thousands of Mozambicans fleeing a terrifying jihadism.
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.
city ​​hall, capital, oslo, norway
Oslo, Norway

A Overcapitalized Capital

One of Norway's problems has been deciding how to invest the billions of euros from its record-breaking sovereign wealth fund. But even immoderate resources don't save Oslo from its social inconsistencies.
Saksun, Faroe Islands, Streymoy, warning
Daily life
Saksun, streymoyFaroe Islands

The Faroese Village That Doesn't Want to be Disneyland

Saksun is one of several stunning small villages in the Faroe Islands that more and more outsiders visit. It is distinguished by the aversion to tourists of its main rural owner, author of repeated antipathies and attacks against the invaders of his land.
Asian buffalo herd, Maguri Beel, Assam, India
Maguri Bill, India

A Wetland in the Far East of India

The Maguri Bill occupies an amphibious area in the Assamese vicinity of the river Brahmaputra. It is praised as an incredible habitat especially for birds. When we navigate it in gondola mode, we are faced with much (but much) more life than just the asada.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.