Posts Tagged ‘Matkailu Travels’

Pablo Neruda still looks toward the Sea

April 8, 2009

Pics and text Adrián Soto

Neruda and his wife Matilde ramains in the garden of Isla Negra. © A.Soto

Neruda and his wife Matilde ramains in the garden of Isla Negra. © A.Soto

Pablo Neruda was 34 years old in 1938, when he returned to Chile from the Spanish civil war. Previously he had been working in Asia as a diplomat. At that time his names was already well known in literary circles. In cost of Central Chile, he saw and immediately fell in love, with a place on which huge black rocks stands on the shore of seaside beaten by the tireless Pacific Ocean´s waves.
Because of the rocks, he named the place is Isla Negra, Black Island. With the help of local carpenters Neruda started to build his house. In that house he composed some of his major works like “The Heights of Machu Pichu” and “The Captain’s Verses”
Sometime later Neruda wrote: “For me the sea is cleaner than the land. For that reason I decided to live in my home country in the coast, on Isla Negra, next to the foam of the great waves”. The house was never built ready. With time, new rooms and wings where added, so it became a sort of wooden labyrinth, with huge windows facing the sea.

The house became a pilgrim destination for Latin American intellectuals. Many memorable literary parties took place there. Neruda was with his third wife, Matilde Urrutia in 1971,when the news came from Stockholm that the Swedish Academy had granted him the Nobel Prize for Literature. Later on the poet was serving as ambassador of Chile in Paris when he was diagnosed cancer. He died in Santiago on September 1973, only two weeks after a bloody military coup overthrew his friend Salvador Allende from the country´s Presidency.
The house was closed down during the long period of military dictatorship. When democracy came back to Chile in 1989, the Pablo Neruda foundation turned the house into a museum. The human remains of Neruda and his wife were brought to Isla Negra and buried in the garden looking out to the sea.
Neruda foundation: http://www.neruda.cl
In 2013, following allegations that Neruda death was caused by poison, his human remains were exhumed. The same year in November, a team of 15 international forensic team stated that not chemical substances were found a cause of Neruda´s death.
Isla Negra is located some 120 Kms from the Capital city, Santiago. The road is good and a few steps from the Home-Museum there is a lovely lodging place but a little costly: Hosteria Candela. Nearby there are a number of more economic B&Bs.

The ships bells always tolled when the poet arrived home.  © A.Soto

The ships bells always tolled when the poet arrived home. © A.Soto


The ex-libri fish is the symbol of Neruda.  © A.Soto

The ex-libri fish is the symbol of Nerudian universe. © A.Soto


Nerudo wrote some of its major work in Isla Negra.  © A.Soto

Neruda wrote some of his major works in Isla Negra. © A.Soto

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With Zorbas-Dimitri in the Aegean Sea

March 24, 2009
Dimitri sailing waters of heroes and goddesses

Dimitri sailing waters of heroes and goddesses

I met Dimitri at the harbour of Nafplio, once capital of Modern Greece in east Poloponnese. Dimitri walked with his legs separated like an arch. He is a tall, broad back man with a huge pair of hands. His face is cured, weather-beaten by the wind and sea. His deep blue-grey eyes have seen everything the good side of the human being as well as the evil that lives in every once of us. .
His resemblance to the character of Zorba the Greek, played in the movie (1964) by Anthony Quinn, is remarkable. According to the local witness, Dimitri dances the sirtakia exactly like Zorba in the film. His voice is deep and low. No wonder that many central and northern European tourists have been seduced by his charm.

The legend of Zorba is from the pen Nikos Kazatnzaki that publish his book “Life and Adventure of Alexis Zorbas” in a war devastated Europe in 1946. The narrator of the story, a young Greek writer meets Zorba while trying to get a break from his writing. He took Zorba as his foreman on his way to Crete.
The novel turned out to be a tribute to the spontaneous way of living. In the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche the character of the narrator (Apollo) represent order and rationality, while Zorba (Dionysus) represent a blind desire for living.
While talking with Dimitri about the book on the deck of his fishing boat, ready to sail to the Argolic Gulf, (water of heroes and goddesses), he said that he fully undersigned the words of Zorba, when he said: “How simple a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, roast chestnuts, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea”. Not a bad way of thinking, particularly in this time of financial turmoil.

Zorbas-Dimitrin kanssa Egeanmerellä

Tapasin Dimitrin Nafplion satamassa. Kaupunki sijaitsee Peloponnesoksen itäpuolella ja se on nyky-Kreikan entinen pääkaupunki. Dimitri kävelee jalat hyvin levällään. Hän on pitkä roteva mies, ja hänellä on isot kädet. Hänen kasvonsa kertovat merestä ja tuulesta, ja tummansiniset silmät ovat nähneet ihmisen hyvyyden ja pahuuden. Ne löytyvät meistä kaikista.
Dimitri on aivan saman näköinen kuin Zorbas elokuvassa Kerro minulle Zorbas (1964), jonka pääroolin näytteli Anthony Quinn. Nafplion asukkaiden mukaan Dimitri tanssii sirtakia samalla tavalla kuin elokuvan Zorbas. Hänen äänensä on syvä ja matala. Ei ihme, että monet keskieurooppalaiset ja pohjoismaalaiset naisturistit ovat ihastuneet tähän hahmoon.

Zorbas-myytti on peräisin Nikos Kazantzakisin kynästä. Hän julkaisi kirjansa vuonna 1946 juuri Toisen maailmansodan päättymisen jälkeen. Kirjan kertoja on nuori kreikkalainen kirjailija, joka haluaa ottaa etäisyyttä omaan työhönsä ja lähtee Kreetalle. Hän tapaa Zorbasin ja palkkaa tämän apulaisekseen.
Romaani ihannoi spontaania elämäntapaa. Friedrich Nietzchen filosofian mukaan kertojan hahmo (Apollo) edustaa järkeä ja rationaalisuutta. Zorbas (Dionisius) taas edustaa rajua elämänhalua.
Keskustelin Dimitrin kanssa Kazantzakisin kirjasta hänen kalastusveneensä kannella juuri ennen hänen lähtöään kohti Argolikoksenlahtea, sankareiden ja jumalien vesille. Hän sanoi allekirjoittavansa täydellisesti kohdan, jossa Zorbas sanoo ”Kuinka helppo asia on onnellisuus: lasillinen viiniä, grillattuja kastanjoita, vaatimaton hiilipannu ja meren kohina” Ei hassummin ajateltu, varsikaan näin finanssikapitalismin romahduksen aikoina.

Dimitri deep blue-grey eyes have seen everthing
Dimitri deep blue-grey eyes have seen everthing

© A.Soto

Fishing boats in Nafplio harbour
Fishing boats in Nafplio harbour

© A.Soto

Modern Helen waiting for her Troyan Prince © A.Soto

Modern Helen waiting for her Troyan Prince © A.Soto

Carnivals are one the last people´s festivals

March 6, 2009
Color and music in the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife ©A. Soto

Color and music in the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife ©A. Soto

Definitely the financial crisis has nothing to do with carnivals. At least with those real ones on which everybody takes part. Of course, carnival is a serious institution throughout Central and South Europe, after all these festivities have their roots in Ancient Greece and Rome, where people paid tribute to goddesses like Bacchus and Saturn. Now most of the carnivals are part to the establishment and have little to do with real popular cheer.

Some of these carnivals in South Spain and Canary Island keep the real essence of the celebration. It is first of all a people’s party where fun and knavery are the protagonists. In that sense the carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a unique one. Fun, music, dance and costumes take over the city for three weeks. What is more important, nobody is left on their own.
It is the most American of the European carnivals. And when I said American , I mean South American. The samba, the cumbia, the rumba, all the dances across the Atlantic are here. That is why the most important dance orchestras are are always at this festival. Don´t be surprised if in the near future you see the carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Unesco Cultural Heritage list. In the maintime it is worth to get lost, at least once in a real carnival.

Kun karnevaali on todella kansanjuhla

Ei pääse mihinkään! Finanssikriisillä ei ole mitään tekemistä karnevaalien kanssa. Ainakaan sellaisten, jotka ovat aitoja ja alkuperäisiä koko kansan juhlia. Totta kai karnevaali on tärkeä instituutio Keski- ja Etelä-Euroopassa. Sen juuret ulottuvat Bakkus- ja Saturnus-jumalan kunniaksi järjestettyihin juhliin antiikin Kreikassa ja Roomassa. Nyt monet karnevaaleista ovat osa establishmentia, ja niillä ei ole juurikaan tekemistä kansanhuvien kanssa.
Etelä-Espanjassa ja Kanariansaarilla karnevaalin alkuperäinen merkitys on säilynyt. Se on ennen kaikkea kansanjuhla, missä hulluttelu ja kujeilu ovat etulinjassa. Tässä merkityksessä Santa Cruz de Tenerifen karnevaali on ainutlaatuinen. Hauskanpito, musiikki ja tanssi jatkuu kolme viikkoa. Ja mikä tärkeintä, kukaan ei jää yksin.
Teneriffan karnevaali on Euroopan amerikkalaisin. Ja kun sanon amerikkalaisin, tarkoitan Etelä-Amerikkaa. Samba, cumbia, rumba ja muut kuumat tanssit ovat tulleet Atlantin toiselta puolelta. Joka vuosi Teneriffalla vierailee karnevaaliaikaan nimekkäitä eteläamerikkalaisia tanssiorkestereita. Santa Cruzin karvevaali saattaa ola pian Unescon maailman kulttuuriperintölistassa. Keskeltä pohjolan talvea kannattaa suunnata aitoon iloiseen karnevaalihumuun.

Paco Llata, Sari Mañá and Qun Chen at the begining of the night

Paco Llata, Sari Mañá and Qun Chen at the begining of the night

Queen Ana Maria Tavares rules in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.  ©A. Soto

Queen Ana Maria Tavares rules in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. ©A. Soto

The ladies from the neigborhoos are also in a party mood.  ©A. Soto

The ladies from the neigborhoos are also in a party mood. ©A. Soto

At the End we will always have Paris

February 16, 2009
A magic place in the heart of the French capital. © A.Soto

A magic place in the heart of the French capital. © A.Soto

The French capital belongs to all us. So does the French Revolution, which is also has a common heritage. Without it Europe and the world would be a very different place. A proper tribute to the city comes in Casablanca, a genuine film classic, when Humphrey Bogart tells Ingrid Bergman “We will always have Paris” referring to their passionate love affair in that city that nobody can ever take away from them.

Paris is the home of revolutions, it is home home to the arts, fashion and culture. It is elegant, has a unique sense of glamour and magic. That is why in times of difficulties, it is always recommended to rediscover Paris.
One of the magic places on Paris is Les Deux Magots, a café situated on Saint-Germain-de-Prés square. It has played an important role in French culture to the point that from 1933 a distinguish literary prize was established with its name. It was the favourite café of André Breton, Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir among many others.
In the rare picture above, in the terrace of Les Deux Magots you easily distinguish who is a tourist and who is not. The lady coming in from the right probably had been sitting on the same table with Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.

Loppujen lopuksi, onhan meillä aina Pariisi

Ranskan pääkaupunki kuuluu meille kaikille. Niin kuin myös Ranskan vallankumous, joka on osa maailmanperintöä. Ilman sitä Eurooppa ja maailma olisivat aivan erilainen paikka. Sopiva tunnustus Pariisille löytyy valkokankaan klassikosta, Casablanca-elokuvasta, jossa Humphrey Bogart sanoo Ingrid Bergmanille ”onhan meillä aina Pariisi”, viitaten intohimoiseen rakkaussuhteeseen, joka heillä oli ollut kaupungissa.

Pariisi on vallankumousten koti, taiteen, muodin ja kulttuurin pääkaupunki. Se on elegantti, glamourin ja taian verraton paikka. Ja juuri siksi on vaikeina aikoina aina hyvä löytää Pariisi uudestaan.
Yksi Pariisin maagisista paikoista on Les Deux Magots -kahvila, joka sijaitsee Saint-Germain-de-Présin aukiolla. Kahvila on hyvin tärkeä paikka myös ranskalaiselle kulttuurille, ja vuodesta 1933 lähtien merkittävä kirjallisuuspalkinto on kantanut sen nimeä. Kahvila on ollut André Bretonin, Picasson, Ernest Hemingwayn, Jean Paul Sartren, Simone de Beauvoirin ja monen muun kantapaikka.
Yllä olevassa kuvassa Les Deux Magotsin terrasilta lukija voi helposti erottaa turistit ja pariisilaiset. Vanha rouva, joka tulee kuvaan oikealta, on kenties istunut siellä Sartren ja de Beauvoirin kanssa.

Sunset from the Place du Trocadéro. © A.Soto

Sunset from the Place du Trocadéro. © A.Soto

The Enchanted Mountain

February 3, 2009

The header picture is from Osorno, a volcano in South Chile. This amazing natural giant erupted hundred years ago. For the native people it was the end of the world. They left the valley, but not before sacrificing the virgin daughter of the local ruler. The jungle took over the valley. In 1860, the Chilean government decided to recruit colonialists from war-devastated Central Europe to bring new life to the valley.Today the top of the valley by Osorno is a pleasant place of beauty, silence and wooden houses. Multiculturalism was established here long ago. The gastronomy is magnificent, a successful marriage between local and European cuisine, with rich seafood from the nearby cold waters of the Pacific Ocean.

If you are observant, the volcano will speak to you. In a sunny day, its mighty white dress changes tone from early morning to sunset. At its feet lies Llanquihue, a lake of unparalleled beauty. On winter nights when the winds blow down from the mountains, a frightening howl comes from the centre of the lake. According to local tradition, it is the crying soul of the Indian princess.

Lumoava vuori

Sivun yläpalkin kuva on Osornon tulivuorista Etelä-Chilessä. Tämä hämmästyttävä luonnon jättiläinen heräsi vihaisesti satoja vuosia sitten. Paikallisille ihmisille se oli maailmanloppu. He pakenivat laaksosta, mutta ennen sitä he uhrasivat jättiläiselle päällikkönsä neitsyttyttären. Viidakko otti laakson haltuunsa. Vuonna 1860 Chilen hallitus päätti värvätä siirtolaisia sodan tuhoamasta Keski-Euroopasta, jotta nämä voisivat tuoda laaksoon uutta elämää. Nyt Osornon vartioima laakso on kauneuden ja hiljaisuuden keidas. Monikulttuurisuus sai täällä alkunsa jo kauan sitten. Seudun gastronomia on upea, sitä rikastaa läheisen Tyynenvaltameren kalat ja meriäyriäiset. Eurooppalainen ja paikallinen keittiö ovat solmineet onnistuneen liiton.

Jos matkailija on tarkkana, hän voi kuulla tulivuoren puhuvan. Aurinkoisena päivänä sen mahtava valkoinen viitta vaihtaa sävyä aamusta iltaan. Tulivuoren juurella loistaa käsittämättömän sininen Llanquihue-järvi. Kylminä talviöinä, kun tuuli ulvoo vuoristossa, järveltä voi kuulla pelottavaa ääntä. Paikalliset asukkaat uskovat, että ääni kuuluu intiaaniprinsessan sielulle, jotka itkee.

The Llanquihue lake and the Osorno from the twon of Puerto Varas
The Llanquihue lake and the Osorno from the town of Puerto Varas

© A.Soto

The Osorno Volcano from the Southern slope
The Osorno Volcano from the Southern slope

© A.Soto