3 Jan 2016, 11:00

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Broward County in Florida


It is to Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, (the name is not modest I agree and the parents had a lot of humor!) Then governor of the State of Florida, that the county of Broward owes its name. The counties of Palm Beach and Dade were split up to create this new county in 1915.

It took less than a century to make a land unsuitable for humans as a paradise for millions of people.

The task was not easy, however. Roads, ports and a railway were needed for the inhabitants to survive. There was only the sea, the sand, the sun, and the Everglades. It was almost impossible to do culture there.

Yet anthropologists have discovered human remains at Vero Beach on the east coast and at Charlotte Harbor on the west coast. These bones of Indians, hunters of big game would date more than 10 000 years. As food is lacking, there is an evolution of the type of their society. The Indians of this period, whom archaeologists call the « Archaic » eat almost everything they find, and studies have even shown that their teeth were worn out by the sand they would have had in their diet. They are the first residents of Broward County. They are nomads in search of food: crustaceans, fish, deer and bears, seaweeds and pears. They do not stay long in the same place since they are always looking for food.

This tribe which the Spaniards baptized of Tequesta was not the most hospitable. They did not like foreigners and in 1521 Ponce de Leon was killed in Charlotte Harbor and the Spanish mission established at the mouth of the Miami River was abandoned in less than two years. The Tequesta are less and less numerous in this region, they appear no more than 80 in southeastern Florida in 1763. The few remaining Indians fled to Havana when the Spaniards ceded Florida To Great Britain at the end of the war between France and the Indians.

The British again ceded the territories to the Spaniards by the Treaty of Paris after the American Revolution. Finally, Americans were offered Florida by Spain in 1821.

The Seminole Indians, forced to migrate further south, refuse this time to give up their pastures and fertile lands in northern Florida, which they have long cultivated for settlers who try to take ownership of them and do their best for them eliminate. It’s the war.

In 1838, many volunteers and the army commanded by Major William Lauderdale, established a fort at the mouth of the New River. This fort and the one that was later built on the beach bears the name. Yet the fear of the Seminoles persisted more than fifty years after the end of the wars in 1842.

Some farmers still decided to settle in the area and in 1891 there was enough to justify the establishment of a post office. The mail was distributed by a mailman who was barefoot on the beach between Hypoluxo at the end of Lake Worth and Miami.

On February 22, 1896, thanks to Mr. Flagler, who extended the railway line to New River, the first train entered the station. The railroad was there. They were missing the home buyers. With great publicity, Flagler is promoting South Florida. It was the northeastern Swedes who responded to the call and settled in Hallandale and Danes from the Midwest founded Dania. Farmers from the south are looking for better land and are also settling in Pompano and Deerfield.

Everglades drainage and canal dredging north and south of the New River have contributed greatly to the county’s prosperity, both through farming and residential development.

Although between 1920 and 1925 there was an average annual increase of 9,107, between 1950 and 1970 it was much larger, ie 26,808. The population increased from 83,933 to 620,100 inhabitants . If the first arrivals were farmers, the new ones were largely retired. This markedly changed the economy of the region.

The recession of 1974 hit Florida so strongly that there were up to 50,000 condominium apartments not sold at that time. Fortunately, all this is of the past.

The most formidable now are the real estate developers who could disfigure forever this environment that attracted those who were in search of sun and sweetness of life!

10 Août 2012, 4:39

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I visited Cinqueterre, in Italy, after the flood


Last spring 2012, I visited 3 villages of the Cinqueterre in Italy. Obviously, the rain and the flood made their way there.  Suprinsingly, these villages are recovering very well and needless to say that everybody living there  is pleased to welcome the tourists.

I walked by a very rainy day on the Via dell’Amore , or the walkway of love from Manarola to Riomaggiore. A footpath carved into the rocks above the sea. , of 1 half mile long. It  was a way for the lovers to reach each other from one village to another. I took the tunnel  next to the train tracks which takes me to a fascinating tangle of colorful homes. Riomaggiore’s beach, a cove,  two-minute walk next to town.

Do not hesitate to visit Vernazza  as rugged as the people who’ve worked the terraced vineyards that blanket the region. Overseen by a ruined castle, next to a natural harbor.

The best way to admire the villages is by boat. You will understand the land, the difficulty to live there and admire the creativity the people had to have to survive in this remote region.




18 Fév 2010, 5:07

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Europe Best Sea Kayaking Destinations

Ocean kayaking

Ocean kayaking

Europe is the ultimate name on account of its diverse coastlines,when it comes to sea kayaking. Many coasts of mainland Europe are unique as kayaking destinations. To begin with, Shetland with its amazingly mild climate, is characterized by sea cliffs interspersed with small beaches and caves. These sea caves are fascinating for their large and complex configuration, lighted by occasional sun beams. Anglesey and Brittany are known for their abundance of yummy seafoods. Brittany can be reached even by personal cars and therefore it is really a cool place to relax and enjoy a family vacation.

The Isle of Man in the northern Irish Sea with an area of 221 square miles lies closest to the British Isles. It is a topmost kayaking location within an archipelago. The Isles of Scilly is yet another warm archipelago, whose favorable weather makes it navigable in all types of weather conditions.

Close to Palau and La Maddalena, Sardinia is yet another lovely archipelago with sea-worn granite topography. For days-long expeditions for crossing the straits of Bonifaccio to Corsical is a very suitable idea in the months of April or May.

Scotland does not lag behind as a kayaking spot because it is gifted with isles like Jura and Islay. This apart, the romantic remote beaches with white sands makes Scotland a paradise for those who look ahead for lunch stops.

Moving away from the nearest vicinity of the British Isles, Norway is unique for its Lofoten Islands. Its mountainous topography and fjords make it doubly interesting in the sense that adventurers can both climb and kayak.

The steep and rugged shores of Croatia and its thinly populated islands offer a perfect fun time to those who look ahead spending some quality time in solitude. The appeal lies in its limestone cliffs, pine forests and the magnificent view of the ancient city of Dubrovnik.

Greece has a mountainous terrain protruding into the sea at southern Balkans. A range of over 2000 islands including Crete, Euboea, Lesbos and Chios coupled by the Ionian Sea islands make it a very much sought after kayaking spot.