BORDERS AROUND THE WORLD (could be only imaginary lines)

In first place, I wanna say I’m sorry for the inactivity in the last month, with many things to do (final presentation in school, work, music..), it was impossible to me being here.

But now I came back, and some days ago, I saw an article with the most strange borders in the world, and I think it’s an interesting subject.

Since European Union was created, in 1992, and before with the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC, 1951) and European Economic Community (EEC, 1958), the member states have their borders opened to the other members, as if they were a unique country, and people can freely visit other member countries.

These require a stable democracy that respects human rights and the rule of law; a functioning market economy; and the acceptance of the obligations of membership, including EU law.

In my opinion, this union makes the countries and people more close of each other, and it’s good for the globalization and knowledge of the human being, as well for the economy of the members states.

Usually, borders show us a lot about the relation of the countries. In Europe, mainly in EU, the relation between border countries are good, and the borders can seems almost inexistent, like you can see in the next photos:

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Border between Portugal and Spain

As a proud portuguese, I have to write about and show you this magnificent ‘cross the border’.

The Guadina river makes a border between Portugal and Spain. In the left side, there’s a tower in Sanlúcar de Guadiana (Andaluzia, Spain), where you can cross the border through a Tyrolean, finishing in the other side of the river, in Alcoutim (Algarve, Portugal).

In Portugal, we say that spanish people are “nuestros hermanos” (our brothers in spanish). Despite the wars a long time ago, today there are a friendly relation, where the borders almost don’t exist.

The border between Portugal and Spain is one of the most older in the world.

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Borders between Holland and Belgium

In the past month, I had the opportunity to visit Holland and Belgium, as well as Luxembourg.

There you can see the marks on the floor on a simple street. Houses, pubs and restaurants divided in the middle. Beautiful countries, by the way.

Slovakia, Hungary and Austria, divided by a table
Slovakia, Hungary and Austria, divided by a table

This is a strange border, and funny. Another borders where the friendship reigns. People of these three countries could now sit on the same table and have a good meal.


In other countries, especially in other continents, the borders aren’t so free as in EU, but that don’t means that can’t have a good relation.

Border between USA and Mexico
Border between USA and Mexico

This is a party made by dwellers of Arizona (USA) and Naco (México). Despite the visible border, and the prohibition to cross the border, they live together, drink together and play together.

I think this is a strong and an awesome image.

Border between Haiti and Dominican Republic
Border between Haiti and Dominican Republic

This is a contrast between two countries with environmental protection laws completely diferent.

Border between North Chorea and South Chorea
Border between North Chorea and South Chorea

This is a sad image of militarized border between North and South Chorea.

Why can’t we all be friends?

Pakistani Rangers (in Black) and Indian Border Security Force personnel (in Brown) perform the 'flag off' ceremony at the Pakistan-India Wagah Border Post on January 15, 2013.  Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned Tuesday that there
Pakistani Rangers (in Black) and Indian Border Security Force personnel (in Brown) perform the ‘flag off’ ceremony at the Pakistan-India Wagah Border Post on January 15, 2013.

Every day, a crowd is drawn for the border between India and Pakistan, for the ‘flag off’ perform, where they close the gates of the unique passage between this two countries, in a ceremony that happens since 1959, in Wagah city.


Like these borders, there are many others.

If you have some images, thoughts or experiences that you would like to share, please leave your comment below. 🙂

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MONTE PIANA HIGHLINE MEETING, A PLACE FOR FREEDOM

Highline Meeting is a festival where people spend most of their time strung up on tightropes stretched across the Italian Alps, in Monte Piana.

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I think I have a little dizziness, so it’s like a terrifying festival, but at the same time, I really would like to experience it, for the freedom and relaxation that represents it.

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Is also considered an extreme sport, but it have the things of a normal festival, like a kitchen, a bar and musical jam sessions. It also have Yoga workshops and paragliding flights.

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For the success of the past years, many professional slackline athletes attend to it.

The organization aims of this festival are to involve the participants in a “rediscovery” of the Monte Piana, living in peace for over one week on top of its peak at a height of over 2200 meters.

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There’s the possibility to create new lines for those who have their own equipment.

“Each day will end with a moment dedicated to the contemplation of the sun in silence, in respect of those who previously lived and/or lost their lives at the top of the mountain”.

“To walk up there is a form of respect for every emotion one feels in relation to one’s own being, to one’s own point of view”.

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Here is a video that can show you how’s the Highline Meeting.


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Would you be willing to do it?

Any comments/thoughts/suggestions? I appreciate it 🙂

HUACACHINA, A PARADISE IN THE DESERT

Yes, this place exists and it’s absolutely fascinating, don’t you think?

It’s called Huacachina and is a small village with actually 96 inhabitants located in the Ica province, near the city of Ica, in Peru. It’s built around a natural lake in the desert and it’s surrounded by large stretches of sand dunes. People call it the “oasis of america”. It’s a beautiful panorama that serve as a resort for local families, and increasingly as an attraction for tourists.

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Panorama of the oasis

Huacachina is located in one of the most dry places of the world.

People said that the lake has good properties for health, so many Peruvians go there to bathe in the thermal waters.

So, if you are visiting Peru, don’t forget to visit this magnificent place.

Fantastic picture of the oasis
Fantastic picture of the oasis

It’s an awesome place for people who want to sandboarding and dune buggy rides.

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For some private landowners near the oasis have installed wells, occurred a drastically reducing of the level of water in the lake. So nowadays, the lagoon filled with water from other sources to prevent dryness.

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“Legend holds that the lagoon was created when a beautiful native princess was apprehended at her bath by a young hunter. She fled, leaving the pool of water she had been bathing in to become the lagoon. The folds of her mantle, streaming behind her as she ran, became the surrounding sand dunes. And the woman herself is rumored to still live in the oasis as a mermaid.”

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Huacachina at night
Huacachina at night

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Have you already been in Huacachina? Tell us how it was.

Any comments/thoughts/suggestions? I appreciate it 🙂

AREA 51, ULTRA SECRET

I’ve been searching for Area 51 for years, not for a special reason, only because I’m interested in this subject and in the mystery that involves it.

Despite many theories involving Area 51, hardly nothing was proved.

People talk mainly about the aliens stories, but how and why this stories appeared?

Furthermore, there are many histories about it, and we know that not everything in the Internet is right. So, what is right and wrong behind the hidden mysteries of Area 51?

To discover that, lets go back in history…


Intro

The old maps of Atomic Energy Commission were divided in areas. Area 51 was the area where they decided build it, near the Groom Lake (another designation for Area 51, as well as Dreamland), in the Nevada desert, and it has nearly 1550km². There’s a airstrip since 1990, measuring 3651 x 61m.

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Area 51

Area 51 makes division with the Nevada Test Site (NTS)

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Nevada Test Site (NTS)

In 1994, Area 51 was declared as official. Until then, it didn’t exist, despite we know that Area 51 was starting to be constructed in the 50’s.

Infrastructure 

Area 51 is one of the most advanced military bases in the world, with a giant subterranean complex and many research labs. One of the main entries is in an hangar, where they lay in helicopters and jeeps. There’s a door with a panel to digit a password, a normal thing in Area 51. There is a nuclear gate, also with a big panel, with 41 keys in a keyboard form, 5 colors (blue, yellow, green, red and white) and 10 numbers. After going through that door, there’s a hall with 18,30m² and an elevator that ends in a big room that gives access to practically all parts of the complex.

The Complex has 6 subterranean floors, with 64m of depth. This subterranean complex is constructed with super resistant material. There are many labs, virtual reality rooms, advanced training centers, weapon creation center, and its own manufacture.

The beginnings

It was one of the several areas of atomic tests in United States. In that time, belonged to the Atomic Energy Commission, today called Energy Department, for the need to testing it.

Kelly Johnson by Lokheed
Kelly Johnson by Lokheed

In 1955, there was negotiations of US government with the Soviet Empire. By that time, at the request of the Central Intelligence Agency, the engineer Clarence Kelly Johnson, created the first super-secret american spy airplane, called U-2. With the need of testing the airplane, Kelly Johnson found Tony LeVier, an air racer and test pilot for the Lockheed Corporation, the man that they said to be the father of Area 51. Both together, they searched for a week a place to test it. With the great conditions of Groom Lake, being a dry lake (a perfect condition to experimental flights), as well as a little movement place, they choose Area 51 to do it. Furthermore, they had CIA in a distance of 60 Km. Therefor, Area 51 became the most confidential military installation of the government.

U-2 was the american military weapon in the Cold War against the Soviet Union. It made many secret operations in the Russian territory. But in 1960, the operations went downhill due to an airplane that ended in a remote territory, and the pilot Francis Powers was captured by the Russian forces. He was sentenced by the Soviet court to 10 years in prison, but soon was liberated in return of a Soviet agent captured by the Americans.

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U-2 airplane

They say that the obtained information has avoided a World War III.

After that, there was many airplanes tested in Area 51, like A-12 or SR-71 Blackbird.

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A-12 Lockheed (left) and SR-71 Blackbird (right)

A new course 

According to some experts, a different kind of airplanes was being tested in Area 51, as they got some military Russian equipment, like radar defense systems, fighters, and much more.

The destruction and the serviceability of Russian equipment was an important thing in Area 51.

The 70’s were the Stealth project age, where Have Blue airplane was developed and tested. This project allowed discover that is possible handle radars. It was the first dynamic aircraft in a diamond form.

Have Blue Lockheed
Have Blue Lockheed

At the same time, surged a new airplane project called Tacit Blue, an horrible aircraft that has been made public. The target was understand how was the function of different formats on airplanes.

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Tacit Blue Lockheed

With this two projects, surged the most confidential technology for aircraft of all time.

After that, occurred the first rumors about spacecraft, that in reality, were a shell-work of Stealth Project, when in 1988 were constructed the B-2 Spirit Bomber and the F-117 fighter.

B-2 Spirit Bomber (left) and F-117 Fighter (right)
B-2 Spirit Bomber (left) and F-117 Fighter (right)

In 1991, the years of flights in the Nevada desert were put to test under the Persian gulf desert. The stealth project functioned in the Persian gulf war. The Iranian army was completely devastated by the B-2 and F-117, for they didn’t know that this weapons existed.

There are rumors about a supersonic airplane known as Aurora (the name given to the high speed airplanes, developed and tested in project programs). Although there’s no public photos of Aurora, there are many visual interpretations of it. Experts say that this airplane can fly 6 times the sound speed and attack with precision. Despite that, the government denies the existence of Aurora.

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An interpretation of Aurora

Conspiracy theories

The culture of mystery around Area 51, took in a climate that nothing is too much stranger to believe. All the area around Area 51 is involved in conspiracy, with many references to aliens and UFO’s.

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Extraterrestrial Highway, is the name of the Nevada State Route 375 and stretches 98 miles (158 Km), from the ghost town of Crystal Spring to the community of Warm Spring. Was claimed official by the Nevada State in 1996, due to many reports about UFO’s in the area.

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The history of Area 51 became known in 1988, when surged a man called Bob Lazar. He was an american physicist, and he claimed that worked in an alien ship, in a subterranean area called S-4, that according to him, served as a military hideout to studying the alien ships, a ship in each one of the nine hangars. He said that there was various documents proving the existence of aliens, and said he saw a flight of an alien ship. A fantastic and a bombastic story for the media.

Bob Lazar
Bob Lazar

But not everyone believed in Bob Lazar’s story. There are many right evidences of what Bob Lazar said, but not how he said. After that, many people of all world went to the Nevada desert to see UFO’s.

This story made the village of Rachel a touristic point of the aliens creeds, and some non creeds. There’s a restaurant where people can talk openly about aliens and UFO’s, and buy books and merchandising about it. The owners said that Bob Lazar is not the only worker of Area 51 talking about aliens stories.

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Despite being denied the existence of many airplanes, included Aurora, the CIA made, in 1997, a chocking declaration admitting that Air Force used the alien stories as a camouflage for its activities. According to the report, the UFO’s sightings were reconnaissance flights of airplanes. But there is people saying that this declaration was a disinformation, to cover the truth about aliens and UFO’s.

Get into Area 51

With all this stories, Area 51 is today a known place in all the world. But get into it is more difficult.

Incredibly Area 51 doesn’t have a fence, instead there are stacks, it’s surrounded by mountains and it’s very hostile.

There are many guards around Area 51 to control the place, and many cameras by remote control, as well as magnetic sensors. Furthermore, they can hear you. Even out of the area, in public territory,  they had sensors to detect the vehicles. They are able to distinguish, through the sensors, the smell of a human from an animal. They always know if somebody approaches.

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surveillance camera

They also had many warnings around the perimeter saying – “No trespassing beyond this point”, “Restricted area”, “military installation”, “Use of deadly force authorized”, and many others. The ones who try to pass this warnings are taken to an interrogatory, pay fines, could go to prison, and if resist, could die. Furthermore, you lose the rights of talking about what you saw. Even if you saw nothing.

Area 51 File Photos

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Area 51 superstar

Area 51 appeared in many TV series like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, X-Men Evolution, Transformers, and many others.

Also in films like Groom Lake, Monsters vs Aliens, Planet 51, Transformers, Independence Day and others.

GTA: San Andreas and Area 51 are the most known video games where Area 51 appears.

We can say that Area 51 is a superstar.


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So, could we conclude that aliens exist?

What is your opinion about this subject?

Any comments/thoughts/suggestions? I appreciate it 🙂

AFTER CARNIVAL

To close the Carnival theme, I have to share with you some photos and how was this 2015 Carnival.

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Every year, Carnaval de Torres has a theme, and this year the theme was ‘The Love’. At first I was a little reticent about this theme, I really don’t know why, but in the end I think it was great. It was great to see all city full of hearts, but at the same time, with that satire and irony of Carnival as always. The fact is that, in the large majority, people don’t follow the theme. But more important, is people having fun and enjoying the celebration.


Friday, 13th

In the morning occurred the Academic parade, with many students since primary school to high school. In this parade, there’s a reward for the best mask and the carnival costumes must be about the theme, in this case ‘The Love’.

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“peace”

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At 10 pm, occurred the arrival of Carnival Kings.

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Yes, the Queen is a man!

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From 11 pm, were opened three stages, in three different squares in the city with DJ’s.


Saturday, 14th

The second day of Carnival began at night. At 9 pm occurred the first night parade with a mask contest and near midnight started Tó’Candar (a big car with a band on top playing for people).

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At 11 pm, the three stages were opened again.

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Sunday, 15th

From 2 pm occurred the day parade, also with Tó’Candar musicians playing and many allegoric floats.

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The penultimate Carnival Party started again at 11 pm in the three stages.


Monday, 16th

This was the last night parade in the Carnival, and it’s called Corso Trapalhão (something like Bumbling Parade, where masked people walk around the streets on a parade).

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This was also the last night of Carnival Party with DJ’s.

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Tuesday, 17th

The last parade of the Carnival was during the day.

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Wednesday, 18th

This celebration ended with the Enterro do Entrudo (Burial Shrovetide (I don’t know if that’s a good translation for that)). It has begin with a cortege before the King’s death, with a wagon pulled by donkeys, where the king is taken. The image bellow show you that.

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The cortege took the King to courtroom doors, where he was judge. In that judgement occurred a speech that sentenced the King to death.

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After that, the king was taken to the gibbet. A giant doll assumed the King’s character and it was burst out with huge explosions.

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To terminate the celebrations there was a firework.

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This year, Carnaval de Torres counted with more than 350.000 people.


To close this post I’ll show you some photos of me in this Carnival.

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Webpage of Carnaval de Torres: http://www.carnavaldetorres.com/

Any comments/thoughts/suggestions? I appreciate it 🙂


Related Posts: 

https://virtualtravelersblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/carnaval-de-torres-a-unique-experience/

COME BACK ON WEDNESDAY, CLOSED FOR CARNIVAL

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Hey there. As I said in my latest post, Carnaval de Torres begins today, February 13. To celebrate this awesome tradition, I’ll be out of my computer, cellphone and many other technologies. It will be 6 days of constant partie, with a lot of cool vibration, many drinks, music and happiness. I’ll come back on Wednesday to present you a new post. Cheers!


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Related Posts: 

https://virtualtravelersblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/carnaval-de-torres-a-unique-experience/

CARNAVAL DE TORRES, A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE

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Hello everyone. As a big fan of Carnival, and living in a city with a great tradition on that, I’ll talk about the Carnival of my town – Torres Vedras, Portugal.

This year, Carnival begins on February 13, and it’s going to be 6 days of craziness, many drinks and masked people.

So, I’ll talk about how Carnival was born here and the changes through the years.

Carnival is one of the few festivals that remain loyal to traditions of Shrovetide in Portugal. The most important thing that keeps this festival alive is the massive participation of population of all country, being the most famous Carnival in Portugal.

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The celebration

There’s every year a monument that satirizes a feature of society.

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Monument 2015 of Carnaval de Torres

In the first days morning, happens a parade with groups of all schools around Torres Vedras, since primary school to high school. In the end, there’s a reward for the best mask.

For the rest of the days, there are two parades per day, one during the afternoon, and another at night. On these parades, there are allegoric floats (characterized for the flack they do to the biggest events of the year), Matrafonas (men wearing women’s clothes and makeup, a tradition of Carnaval de Torres), and Cabeçudos (giant puppets controlled by men) accompanied by Zés-Pereiras (many revelers playing Bass Drums).


Matrafonas
Matrafonas
Cabeçudos and Zés-Pereiras
Cabeçudos and Zés-Pereiras

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One of many allegoric floats in 2009, this one with the figure of Cristiano Ronaldo

On Monday night, there’s the Corso Trapalhão (something like Bumbling Parade, where masked people walk around the streets on a parade).

Shrovetide happens on Wednesday, the last day of Carnival. Begins with the arrest of the Carnival King and he’s transported to the tribunal entry, where he’s judge with a speech. It’s a staging that normally joint 3000 people. To close the Carnival, there’s a firework.

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King’s judge

History

The first reference to Carnaval de Torres (Torres Vedras Carnival) was in the time of D. Sebastião, by a 1574 document. The document was a complain of a Torres Vedras village dweller against some masked boys with spades, sticks and another objects.

New references to Carnaval de Torres appeared in 1885, with the first edition of the local newspaper. By that time, Carnival was limited to recitations and dances in collectivities and particular houses.

In the beginning of 20th Century, some appointments of political satire appeared, a characteristic that stayed until today, and also the animation on the streets has become more usual.

In the 20’s was created a commission to organize more seriously the street celebrations. That commission is known today as Confraria do Carnaval de Torres Vedras (Brotherhood of Carnival).


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Carnaval de Torres on 20’s


The Carnival Kings emerged  around 1925, and it’s believed that Matrafonas appeared in 1926. This two aspects marked forever the history of Carnaval de Torres.

In 1931 happened the first parade with allegoric floats, with more than 3000 people participating.

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Carnaval de Torres, 1934
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Since 1960, Carnaval de Torres assumed increasingly as a popular Carnival, marking the difference with another Carnival celebrations of the period. A proof for that was in 1971, when occurred the first famous Corso Trapalhão.

Since 1980, Carnaval de Torres grows year after year, rejecting external costumes and remaining until today as the “Carnaval mais português de Portugal” (The most portuguese Carnival of Portugal).


Now I’ll give you an excerpt of the speech of 1940, written by Jaime Umbelino, curiously my girlfriend’s uncle. It’s translated from portuguese to english, so maybe doesn’t sound as good as in portuguese, whereas the portuguese is an awesome and beautiful language to poems.

“There was beautiful Inês sitting quiet
(where no one knows nor it matters)
on the verge of Sizandro or Mondego
-where the plays theatre was-
When Adamastor, raged and blind,
Got up, sitting on the trestle,
and, calmly, he said in between the rocks:
There’s only one Carnival: -in Torres Vedras!”

Note: some words that you must not know, you can read the meaning here:

  1. Sizandro and Mondego: portuguese rivers;
  2. Adamastor: is a Greek-type mythological character famed by the Portuguese poet Luís de Camões in his epic poem Os Lusíadas (first printed in 1572), as a symbol of the forces of nature Portuguese navigators had to overcome during their discoveries;

I have many photos enjoying the Carnival, here is some of them.

Me and my girlfriend at the Carnival last year
Me and my girlfriend at the Carnival last year with a Cabeçudo behind

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Location

Webpage of Carnaval de Torres: http://www.carnavaldetorres.com/

Any comments/thoughts/suggestions? I appreciate it 🙂