quinta-feira, dezembro 21, 2006

I wish you a merry christmas and a happy new year.

Now the year is ending we have to try remember what happened this year!

a lot of things happend in 2006 and the newspapers next week will remind us for shure of that.

my memorie is very bad but i will try to remember some things.

2006 started in Algarve, in albufeira for the fist time for me and problably will finish in Almada, first time also for me.

2006 is the year of Ojda, Venice, Amsterdam, Paris and Japan. I met great new people and had the opportunity to see old faces.

2006 was the year of the discovery of my country and had the opportunity to be in places where i had never been before.

2006 if everything goes right started the beggining of a new experience.

2006 is also the year of concerts ( gaiteiros de lisboa, pearl jam, deathtones, Tool, Alice in Chains, Placebo and primitive reason) and one i missed because of a friends wending(kings of convenience)

Now the year is ending so i wish you a merry christmas and a happy new year!

quinta-feira, novembro 02, 2006

Conflicts in the world

It’s the beginning of a new month so it’s time to see which situation got worse during October and which are better or in risk of war.
13 countries saw their situation getting much worse and four is in risk of war and in only two countries the scenario got better (North Ireland and Haiti).
Bangladesh, Fiji, DR Congo and Somalia are in risk of a major conflict

Bangladesh: the appointment of interim caretaker administration till the January elections has been in the center of the conflict. The rivalry between the two major parties continues. In October 20 supporters of awamy league were killed during a protest. Awami league is against the person nominated by the government to control the elections, saying that he is partial and a supporter of BNP. Democracy is very important since if they loose control there is the risk of the Muslim extremist and other religious groups take control. There has been a lot of progress in this country but there are still a lot of problems that need to be solved.

Fiji: Dispute between the government and the military forces. There is a risk of a military coup. The military want amnesty to the people involved in the military coup of 2000.

Somalia: situation continue to deteriorate between the Islamic courts and the transitional government
There is a risk of full regional conflict. There are already Eritrea and Ethiopian troops inside Somalia territory supporting each one of them a different side.

Democratic republic of Congo: there is risk of conflict because there were0 the presidential elections. There have occurred small cases of violence between rival supporters.

IN the next countries the situation got worse:

CAR: There were reported attacks of rebels near the Sudan border.
Chad: There have been attacks of rebels based in Sudan. Sudan blames Chad of supporting rebels in Darfur.
Iraq: Sectarian violence continues. Us reported a lost of 103 people. New regional law was approved growing the risk of destroying the Iraq unity.
Israel/occupied territories: Fattah and Hamas don’t understand each others. Israeli incursion to Palestine continues.
North Korea: There was the first nuclear test in the country that was not supported by any of the security council of the United Nations. There is a risk of humanitarian disaster if food stocks not bolstered before winter.
Philippines: Manila government blames the rebels for an attack that killed 7 people in 10 of October. The Supreme Court rejected the government petition for a parliamentary system.
Serbia: It was approved a new constitution by referendum but the opposition say that there were some irregularities. Serb radical party re-elected their leader Vojislav Seselj that is in Hague on war crimes. The Serbian president and prime minister say that they have the right to defend their borders and territory and that they will consider every country that recognizes Kosovo independence has enemy.
Sri Lanka: Violence between the government and the Tamil rebels

segunda-feira, outubro 30, 2006


One new week and in two days a new month. Yeasterday the president Lula da Silva of Brasil won again even he was supposed to had won in the first round he had to go for a second round.
In Bulgaria the president Guéorgui Parvanov won again.
In the Democrat Republic of Congo there were also elctions, everyone was afraid of riots but in a overall, the elections went threw with out any major problems, even so two people were killed by the police, in a riot because they said there were urns full of votes for the president Joseph Kabila. the results are still not avaiable.
well, i am bored so tomorow is another day.

quinta-feira, outubro 26, 2006


This is the city where i work and born but not where i live, Lisbon(Lisboa). i live in the other side of the river.
in the image the big green area in the left side of the image is the Monsanto park, near bye you can see the 25 of april bridge that cross the river Tagus(tejo) to Almada. The green area near a round about is the Marques pombal square and Parque Eduardo Sétimo. The expo 1998 took place in the area near the river in right top side of the image.
This image shows the palce where i work the IST faculty and the D.Afonso Herinques Avenue.

quarta-feira, outubro 25, 2006


Niau is a small atoll in the French polinesia and belongs to the Toamotu islands in the South Pacific. The atoll is very small with only 160 inhabitants registered in 1996. the land is very fertil and you can gorw fruits like oranges, lemons, bananas, coconuts.

the sorce of the picture is http://earth.esa.int

terça-feira, outubro 24, 2006


sorry i had to take out for personal reasons the last post but i promise to put it back later in January or February.

sexta-feira, outubro 20, 2006


I left Japan and just ten hours later i was in the other side of the world in a completly diferent society, i was in amsterdam.
i had 6 hours till my flight to Lisbon so i caught the train and went to the city center.
it was bit late and i was a bit tired after so much hours so i decided just have a walk around the city.
it was the first time for me in Amsterdam and everything seemed very strange for me, because everything was so diferent from the place where i was for 4 weeks.
it was like i was just in another world, lots of turists, white people, it was cold, the sky was with a different tone, the streets look dirtier, the letters were normal for me again and i had people asking for money, the cars moved in a different side. i was alone again after so much time in a different country and different society.
a bit hungry i hate the first meet i finded, for my suprise after leaving the restaurant i realised i was in the famous red light district what contributed for my strange dream. after a few minutes i was in a coffe shop and all the rest of my trip was a very strange trip.

quinta-feira, outubro 19, 2006

Last moments

The end was very near. i said goodbye to my irish friend in Kyoto and went back to Tokyo with my slovenian friend.
the 24th of August was the day of goodbye and of the 9 hours travel back to Tokyo. We arrived very late to Tokyo and almost all transports are over at 0:00. we went around the Tokyo main station and think that the dream was over and that in the next day we had to go back to Europe.
The first hours we wanted to use internet so we walked in the empty streets till we find some strange shop that said internet 24 hours. it was not a internet cafe but a pornoshop that had internet. each one of us stayed in a private room and used internet when normally the japanese men see strange movies.
After this strange experince we were back to the streets and went to our finnal onsen at 6.00 a.m in shybuia, where the big Tokyo towers are. At 11 o'clock we were in the airport and i said goodbye to my friend, Tokyo and to my friend.

quarta-feira, outubro 18, 2006


After visiting Kyoto monuments and a bit tired of temples and shrines our main objective was now to see the sea. I had seen the ocean so the choice was the Sea of Japan in the other side of the island.
we saw in the maps that there was a park in the coast line and also one of the most beautifull landscapes in Japan near by so we caught the train and went to Amanohashidate.
Amanohashidate meaning the road of heaven is a 3.6 kilometer long, pine tree covered sand bar.
we arrived to the train station that is in the south side and that has a temple near bye. finnaly we tested the water and went to the beach, but i have to say that the water was not very clean. We also met a strange american that took a picture of us.
after one hour we were back to Kyoto and drinked in a way to say goodbye to the last night we were the three of us togheter.

terça-feira, outubro 17, 2006

Kyoto-Day two

After recovering from the hard trip, we started the monument track.
We were not very lucky sincce it started all day long.
the first stop was Kinkakuji -the golden temple.
Kinkakuji is one of the major atractions of Kyoto and is included in the unesco list. Kinkakuji is a Zen temple. The construction started in 1397 has a new residence of a retired shogun, being after his death converted to a Zen temple. The main building is the golden temple but has also minor temples and a big garden and lake.The actual golden building like much in Japan is a reconstruction because the original was burned by a crasy monk in 1950. i really thought that Portugal has fire problems but for sure is not the only one.

The second stop- Ryoanji. Ryoanji is another Zen temple not very far from the first one. the main atraction here is the rock garden. the garden only has rocks inside. they say that is very philosofical, and everyone has it's own interpretation. I realised looking to this stones with my friends, that this is too strange for me and that i looked like and idiot looking to stones. i am empty and very ignorant for sure. There is also a big lake a normal garden and a main building besides this beautifull rock garden, one of the oldest one in the world. i they are looking for a gardener.

The final stop, after so much culture, gardens and rain, it was shrine but this time much far of the center. Inari is the god of rise and the shrine is full of foxes it's messanger.
The main atraction of this shrine is the hundreads of Torii gates that cover the hiking trails of Inarisan the moutain behind the main building. it has also a lot of mosquitos so be carefull.
in the night we drunk a beer and back to bed.

segunda-feira, outubro 16, 2006

Kyoto- day one

After leaving Kofu and making Tokyo a meeting point with my friends of Ireland and Slovenia e went on the direction of Kyoto.
After 9 hours of traveling in local trains in a surreal trip that loooked like we were in a total diferent country since we had to stand almost all trip and that if we had taken the fast but expensive shinkashen in 2 hours we had arrived in Kyoto.
Kyoto is one of the must go places in Japan and one of the most turistic spots known all around the world because of it's beauty and also because of the proctocol signed in this place because of the global warming.
Kyoto was the Japans capital and emperor home from 794 till 1868. The city is now the 7th biggest city and has about 1.4 milion people. the city has inumorous monuments in the unesco world heritage list and has undreads of temples and shrines.
I spent 3 nights in Kyoto but i did't see all the most important monuments. In the first day we were very tired so we just decided to see Kyoto Imperial Palace garden but unfortunely we only saw walls since all the complex only can be visited in guided tours and is sorounded with big walls. Then we went to an honsen just to take a deserved bath. While i was waitng for my companions i went to one of the many temples.
In the night we went to one of the main points of the modern arquitecute in Kyoto, the Kyoto train station. just near we could see the Kyoto Tower the tallest building in the city.
Even we were exausted we went to the river side to one of the most known streets but we didn't stay long. we saw to many tourist and we like to be the only white people around. Finnaly bed.

sexta-feira, outubro 13, 2006

The camp was over. Kofu

After 15 great days, the camp was over and here i was again on the road. i was suposed to go to Tokyo but i stayed one night in Kofu. The stay in Kofu was good because i was in good company. i ate shushi, saw fireworks, sing the karaoke, ate in a good restaurtant, saw more temples, heard Japanese drums, it was just great. Kofu is the capital of Yamanashy and has total of 193 795 inhabitants. The castle is like many in Japan a rescontruction of the old one and now has a very nice park inside. The city also has many temples and shrines. I miss that day, i only now give the appreciation that i didn't give that time. Writing this post after comming makes me sad but is good to look back. in that day i disapointed a friend in Tokyo for not going there and i regreat that i hurt her very much, has a punishement i got out of money in Japan and discovered that i didn't remember the code of my ATM card. After this day was a bit hard to live in Japan so i really have to say thanks to my friends there because they helped me very much.
The next day i went to Tokyo to meet my companions of Ireland and slovenia and went to Kyoto. I had to say the last goobye to a nice person unsure if i will see her again. Saying goodbye is very hard everytime but travellers have to be strong :-)
since we are citisens of the world.

quinta-feira, outubro 12, 2006

The camp

After leaving the east i stayed a night in Tokyo with a good friend of mine that is now mad with me. She was great and helped me to reach the work camp people.
For 2 weeks i was ina work camp in the Yamanashy region, just next to Tokyo. the main atraction of this region is mount Fuji, in the south limit of the region. The capital is Kofu and the camp was in a small village not very far away near Enzan.
The camp was located in themidle of the mountain and we could see Enzan down in the valley. the hills were covered with forest in which we had cut trees in order to build tables and a swing for young kids park.
In the camp we had people from Ireland, Greece, Portugal(me), South Korea, Greece , Slovenia and Japan. The camp was great, the people, the landscape and also for other reasons that i won't tell in the blog. In this two weeks i went to Mont Fuji even i couldn't go to the top because of the bad weather, treking, to onshen( tradicional japanese baths), to Shrines, etc. it would take a lot of time to describe erverything that ocurred in 15 days.

quarta-feira, outubro 11, 2006


My last day in the east started in a diferent way. My plan was to go to Kakunodate but i took the wrong shinkashen and ended in the midle of nowhere.
Because i was in the wrong train i got out in the first station after Morioka, unfurtenely i had to wait one hour and half. instead of staying in thte station i found a turism post that sent me to a great art museum.
the art museum had a very beautifull garden with a lot of sculptures.
Happy to find this museum i left the town, back to Morioka and then to Kakunodate.
Kakunodate is a small town well known for it's samurai district where you can find some old samurai mansions. Kakunodate has also one of the most famous cherry blossom paths but in the summer you can't enjoy it very much.
This small town is know has the small Kyoto of the East. You can visit 6 houses and some are for free. There is also temples and shrines you can visit. you can also go by the river and give the hand to your girlfriend( only this the rest is very rude, just give the hand nothing more ok). After Kanodate, a good friend of mine was waiting for me in Tokyo station.

terça-feira, outubro 10, 2006

Tono Valley

Iwate is one of the prefectures of Tohoku Region, in the biggest Japanese island, Honshu.Tohoku is the most eastern region in Honshu, on the way to Okaydo island.
Iwate capital is Morioka, the place where i stayed for 2 nights, that is located like many bigger towns, in a big valley where the shinkanshen train passes. one of the main atraction of Iwate is Tono Valley that has the main point in Tono town. The Tono Valley is the home of many Iwate legends, and very well known for the Kappa creatures(" A kappa is a creature about half a metre tall with a shell like that of a tortoise on its back. It also has a depressed dish on its head to collect water, and a red face with round eyes. It is said that, like monkeys, kappa have opposable thumbs on their hands and feet. Kappa are mischievous creatures and like to bother people by trying to sumo wrestle them, by stealing their livers and by dragging horses into rivers. )"
The best way to visit the valley is by car or bicicle but since i had none of this things i had to continue in the Tono town.
Tono main atraction is the legends museum and some old tradicional houses has well for it's shrines and temples.
After Tono i just go around by train to the coast. The Iwate coast line is full of small port towns with small beaches being isolated of everything.

segunda-feira, outubro 09, 2006

Morioka and Matsushima bay.

After departing from hiraizumi i moved to Morioka a larger town where i stayed for 2 nights and was my base of operations.
i didn't see much of Morioka but when i arrived at Morioka train station i could see some tradicional dance.
After finding a room to stay the night i caught the train again and went to Matshushima bay, one of the 3 greatest scenary in Japan and see the Pacific Ocean.

quarta-feira, outubro 04, 2006


After leaving Aizuwakamtsu i went to Hiraizumi, a small village that is very famous for their two temples, Chusonji and Motsuji.
Till the XII century, Hiraizumi was a very important city competing with Kyoto in importance, and the home of the Fujiwara clan. Unfurtunelly the city was all destroyed by a rival clan in 1189 and never recovered.

Motsuji was a long time ago a big temple complex but like many things in japan, it was burned and destroyed. nowadays is famous for their beautifull garden complex and still has a small temple and a youth hostel. It was in this youth hostel where is stayed for the night, where there was only vegetarian food and i had my first experince with japanse breakfast( im astill recovering) and had at 6.am free zen meditation. i was so tired that i just stayed sleeping.

Chusonji is nowadays the biggest temple complex in the area. it's located in the hill and has many small temples and is famous for the golden hall, a temple covered in gold.

terça-feira, outubro 03, 2006


My second day in Japan started in visiting the famous town of Aizuwakamatzu, the hometown of the samurai clan White Tigers. there is a legend that in the war between the samurais and the emperor at the the Meiji Era, that a group of young samurais commited suicide when they saw from the top of a hill, their castle on fire. this story is told almost has a joke about blind loyalty, because in reality it was not the castle on fire but the sorounding houses, and the castle resisted one week more.
in the old times the all village was sorounded by walls being the clan castle in the center, nowadays we can see the reconstructed castle ( the real one was burned during the meiji wars), old samurai houses, farms and a monument in the hill where the samurais commited suicide. Me, i just visited the castle and one of the oldest tea houses in the region, just behind the castle.
the city is sorounded by hills and is located all inside the valley, being all the hills covered by trees. Inside the castle walls we can find a small park with tennis courts and a camp where you can shoot arrows. there is also a small school for kids to learn martial arts and a small temple. then i pciked my things and catch the train going even more east of Japan in direction of Ichinozecki.