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.
Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
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.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
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.
Ice cream, Moriones Festival, Marinduque, Philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
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.
Entrance to Dunhuang Sand City, China
Dunhuang, China

An Oasis in the China of the Sands

Thousands of kilometers west of Beijing, the Great Wall has its western end and the China and other. An unexpected splash of vegetable green breaks up the arid expanse all around. Announces Dunhuang, formerly crucial outpost on the Silk Road, today an intriguing city at the base of Asia's largest sand dunes.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
capillary helmet
Viti levu, Fiji

Cannibalism and Hair, Fiji Islands' Old Pastimes

For 2500 years, anthropophagy has been part of everyday life in Fiji. In more recent centuries, the practice has been adorned by a fascinating hair cult. Luckily, only vestiges of the latest fashion remain.
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.
very coarse salt
Salta and Jujuy, Argentina

Through the Highlands of Deep Argentina

A tour through the provinces of Salta and Jujuy takes us to discover a country with no sign of the pampas. Vanished in the Andean vastness, these ends of the Northwest of Argentina have also been lost in time.
deep valley, terraced rice, batad, philippines
Batad, Philippines

The Terraces that Sustain the Philippines

Over 2000 years ago, inspired by their rice god, the Ifugao people tore apart the slopes of Luzon. The cereal that the indigenous people grow there still nourishes a significant part of the country.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

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.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Tongatapu, Tonga

The Last Polynesian Monarchy

From New Zealand to Easter Island and Hawaii, no other monarchy has resisted the arrival of European discoverers and modernity. For Tonga, for several decades, the challenge was to resist the monarchy.
Maksim, Sami people, Inari, Finland-2
Winter White
Inari, Finland

The Guardians of Boreal Europe

Long discriminated against by Scandinavian, Finnish and Russian settlers, the Sami people regain their autonomy and pride themselves on their nationality.
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.
Elephant statues by the Li River, Elephant Trunk Hill, Guilin, China
Guilin, China

The Gateway to the Chinese Stone Kingdom

The immensity of jagged limestone hills around it is so majestic that the authorities of Beijing they print it on the back of the 20-yuan notes. Those who explore it almost always pass through Guilin. And even if this city in the province of Guangxi clashes with the exuberant nature around it, we also found its charms.
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.
View of La Graciosa de Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Natural Parks
La Graciosa, Canary Islands

The Most Graceful of the Canary Islands

Until 2018, the smallest of the inhabited Canaries did not count for the archipelago. Arriving in La Graciosa, we discover the insular charm of the now eighth island.
Guardian, Stalin Museum, Gori, Georgia
UNESCO World Heritage
Upplistsikhe e Gori, Georgia

From the Cradle of Georgia to Stalin's Childhood

In the discovery of the Caucasus, we explore Uplistsikhe, a troglodyte city that preceded Georgia. And just 10km away, in Gori, we find the place of the troubled childhood of Joseb Jughashvili, who would become the most famous and tyrant of Soviet leaders.
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.
Plane landing, Maho beach, Sint Maarten
Maho Beach, Sint Maarten

The Jet-powered Caribbean Beach

At first glance, Princess Juliana International Airport appears to be just another one in the vast Caribbean. Successive landings skimming Maho beach that precedes its runway, jet take-offs that distort the faces of bathers and project them into the sea, make it a special case.
China's occupation of Tibet, Roof of the World, The occupying forces
Lhasa, Tibet

The Sino-Demolition of the Roof of the World

Any debate about sovereignty is incidental and a waste of time. Anyone who wants to be dazzled by the purity, affability and exoticism of Tibetan culture should visit the territory as soon as possible. The Han civilizational greed that moves China will soon bury millenary Tibet.
Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
On Rails
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
Tombola, street bingo-Campeche, Mexico
Campeche, Mexico

200 Years of Playing with Luck

At the end of the XNUMXth century, the peasants surrendered to a game introduced to cool the fever of cash cards. Today, played almost only for Abuelites, lottery little more than a fun place.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
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.