Mundaú, Brazil

When a man is exposed to different modes of life, his sense of understanding and sympathy is correspondingly activated.  Preconceptions and prejudices begin to recede into the mist, and steps are made, perhaps still hesitatingly, towards a feeling of human commonalities.  And things that may once have seemed to be so important in our own lives take on a much more diminished aspect.

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Cambuco, Brazil

The town of Cambuco is about 40 kilometers from Fortaleza, and I visited it today.  A bus came and picked me up around 8:00 am, and we drove for about two hours.  When you arrive at the destination, you immediately are made aware that it is a tourist destination.  Vendors are aggressive, and the destination is designed as a small resort oasis with pools, restaurants, and “kite surfing” classes.  Tourism is a major source of income for the local residents.  I was surprised not to see a single foreign tourist, though:  the visitors were all domestic Brazilian tourists, all coming from different states in the country.

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Fortaleza’s Fish Market And Ecological Park

Today I visited Fortaleza’s fish market and a few other sights.  Fish markets have always fascinated me; I remember making a point of seeing Tokyo’s the last time I was there in 2014.  In Fortaleza, the selection revolves around different types of local fishes, lobster, octopus, and a few other things.  The arrangement is very simple:  buyers purchase what they want, then sit at the tables near the market.  For a nominal fee, the food is cooked and served up to you on the spot.

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From Fortaleza To Morro Branco And Canoa Quebrada

I have been in the city of Fortaleza for two days, and wanted to explore some of the surrounding sights.  This is my first time in the northern part of Brazil, and I had heard for a long time how beautiful the beaches were here.  They did not disappoint.

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Louis De Freycinet’s Epic Circumnavigation Of The Globe

Those who perform great deeds are guided by inner lights whose intensity never wanes.  Perhaps the most significant French maritime expedition of the nineteenth century was that of naval commander Louis Claude de Saulces de Freycinet (1779—1841).  Its chief aim, according to novelist Jules Verne, was  “to survey the shape of the land in the southern hemisphere, and to make observations in terrestrial magnetism, without, at the same time, omitting to give attention to all natural phenomena, and to the manners, customs, and languages of indigenous races.”  In an epic voyage that lasted over three years, he and the crew of the corvette Uranie covered a vast portion of the earth’s surface; and he was the first explorer to chart the precise contours of the Australian continent.

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The Travels Of Dr. Thomas Shaw

He remains one of the most impressive of the forgotten European explorers of the Middle East.  He was born in Westmoreland in 1692, and entered Queen’s College at Oxford in 1711.  Graduating in 1716, he accepted a position with a British commercial post in Algiers; this gave him the opportunity for a meandering journey through Europe before commencing the assignment.

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A Humanist Visits The German Baths

The Renaissance humanist Poggio Bracciolini wrote a fascinating letter to his close friend Niccolo Niccoli in May of 1416 while on one of his book-hunting expeditions to remote monasteries Germany.  While in Germany he had an opportunity to visit the baths near Kaiserstuhl, and he has left us a detailed description of the experience.

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