Topic: South America

A turtle in Galapagos.Photo: Finch-Bay Hotel.

Galápagos: Rare Fauna and a Leading Green Hotel

7.01.2016

They may not appear overly enthusiastic when it comes to appreciating what’s going on around them on their native Galápagos islands, whose name-givers they are: the weighty Giant Tortoises – eye-lids on half-mast – remain in the know by sheer age. With some of them having been around for nearly one-and-a-half centuries, they have posed as reliable long-term witnesses of the wondrous proceedings happening on the remote archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. 1,000 kilometres west off the South American coast and under the sovereignty of Ecuador, the islands are teeming with rare fauna ranging from cute to ugly to downright strange: the pre-historic looking Iguana’s serrated crest lends him a ferocious dragon-like air; the male Frigatebird makes a mighty fuss during the mating season, when he stages his macho parade in front of adored females and fortifies his efforts by inflating his Ferrari-red gular sac until it stresses at the seams; the Blue-footed Booby wraps its courtship into a wobbly dance performance. By awkwardly swaying from foot to foot Chaplin-style, he offers amused onlookers an endearing sight and has become the star of many a nature video.

Preserving the archipelagos of Galápagos is a primary goal locally. One of the precursors in achieving it, is the Finch Bay Eco Hotel on the isle of Santa Cruz.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Blazing colours against the light: The Hot Air Ballon World Championship 2014 in Brazil.

Brazil. From Soccer to Ballooning

14.08.2014

An entire state was thoroughly infested by the futbol bug inexorably crawling into every nook and cranny of the exotic South American nation between June 10th and July 13th, 2014 – albeit accompanied by the countrywide controversy as to more reasonable ways for the government to spend its financial resources. In the end, 16,7 million passengers had arrived at 21 airports to reach twelve seething arenas, in order to witness countless matches of varying excitement fought by eager international teams. Even Lord Jesus in his capacity as a much-revered monument in stone rising high into the Rio de Janeiro skies, was humorously kicked to life by digital camera tricks, enabling him to playfully propel an occasional footie during the World Soccer Championship in Brazil this summer. Televised globally, the games verifiably turned into a huge success.

Another sports event later in July – on a more moderate scale but by no means less impressive – was the colourful 21. FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship 2014, carried out in the Federal State of Sao Paulo – and for the first time on South American soil. Yudai Fujita from Japan became the celebrated aerial victor.

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Dancing Tango in the street

Buenos Aires: An ageless Latin Seductress

27.03.2014

The most enchanting characteristics of Argentina’s capital may not be entirely genetic in terms of having grown from an indigenous seed – as accounts perhaps for other metropolises. Buenos Aires’ obvious charm is much rather the result of the Old World wanting to settle in the new one without abandoning their familiar ways and traditions. Immigrants arriving to the country during the nineteenth century created a fascinating mix of distinct ‘European’ style neighbourhoods by lending their foreign identities to acquired territory: Madrid is now in Avenida de Mayo, Paris in Recoleta and Alvear Avenue or Naples in La Boca. Downtown Buenos Aires exudes the atmosphere of grand colonial times to this date. Spanish, Italian and French cultures made sure to also leave their legacy in sectors such as education, art, architecture and gastronomy.

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Reading time: about 6 minutes