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Archive for venezuela

Spanning the Narrows in Venezuela

By Linda Tancs

Punctuated by the Angostura Bridge connecting it with the rest of Venezuela, Ciudad Bolívar is a historical city featuring houses, buildings and a cathedral dating to the colonial period.  Formerly named Angostura because of its location on the narrowest part of the Orinoco River, it enjoys the distinction of being the site where the first Venezuelan newspaper, El Correo del Orinoco, was printed.  That newspaper building, housing the original printing press, is now Bolivar Museum.  The night views of the cathedral and Paseo Orinoco are spectacular.  For another spectacular view, be sure to visit nearby Angel Falls.  Named for an aviator who flew over the falls, its immense height (15 times higher than Niagara Falls) is enough justification for the heavenly moniker.

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The Road to the Right

By Linda Tancs

Just past the entrance to Laguna La Restringa on Margarita Island, Venezuela you will come to a split in the road.  Take the road to the right to see the bird life of this western remote area of the island known as the Peninsula de Macanao.  Small green parrots and fire engine red cardinals dominate; an easy thing to do in a habitat devoid of tourism owing to lack of water and essential services.  Enjoy it while it lasts.

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Nature Conserved in Venezuela

By Linda Tancs

Larger than the U.S. state of Maryland or the country of Belgium, Canaima National Park in Venezuela guards some of the area’s richest natural resources. So it should come as no surprise that it holds the title of World Heritage Centre. Comprising rolling savannas, forests, dense river woodlands, and sheer cliffs, the expansive park (30,000 km squared) in southeastern Venezuela along the border between Guyana and Brazil is covered by flat-topped mountain (tepui) formations of great geological interest. The sheer cliffs and waterfalls, including the world’s highest (1,000 m), form a spectacular landscape. Of course, all this natural beauty attracts tourists in throngs; the ongoing onslaught is not managed entirely correctly, according to some sources, and mining of its treasures is a constant threat. Let’s hope that the incalculable richness of the area can be balanced against the economics of tourism.

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A Little German Tradition in Venezuela

By Linda Tancs

Mountainous glory, half-timbered dwellings and quaint, narrow streets.  This description could apply to any of the towns and villages of Germany’s Black Forest region.  Or try Colonia Tovar, a cozy German settlement in the hills about 40 km or so from Caracas.   Settled in 1843 by about 300 Germans, the hamlet retains many of its cultural charms and traditions notwithstanding indoctrination of Spanish language and customs.  In fact, the first Venezuelan beer was brewed in this settlement.  This European enclave may be one of Latin America’s best kept secrets.  Quiet on weekdays, things perk up a bit on weekends when the caraqueños (denizens of Caracas) show up for a little R&R.  Then the narrow, winding streets are thick with jeeps offering tours.  Ah, the price of commercialism.

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