Catedral Primada de America

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 13 September 2016

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

We stayed briefly in the zona coloniale, the old quarter of Santo Domingo, which is the oldest continuously occupied city in the Americas.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The central area is quite safe, with a heavy police presence but especially coming from Cuba,  it didn’t always feel as safe outside that.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

We went to visit the Cathedral, but what we thought was the entrance was not actually the way to get in.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

So we had to walk around the block to get to the other side of the building.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This looks like a forgotten side entrance but is actually the way in.  The statue by the door is of Archbishop Merino, 1833-1906.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The cathedral is known by locals as Catedral Primada de America, though its proper name is Basilica Catedral Santa Maria de la Encarnacion.  It is the oldest cathedral in the Americas, begun in 1514 and completed in the 1540s.

 

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Evidently the grave of an archbishop, dated 1569.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Santo Domingo is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the Americas.  It was founded by Bartholomew Columbus, brother of Christopher Columbus, in 1498.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Looking up at the ceiling.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This is an altar at one end of the cathedral.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

And here it is at the top of this image, with the other end of the cathedral at the bottom..

It takes a lot of heavy machinery operating outside the cathedral to compress it in this way, and you have to hope the stonework does not fall down on you.

A safer and less expensive approach, which is less likely to incur the ire of the authorities, is to stitch together multiple images, six images taken with a fisheye lens for example.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

And this is the far end.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

At the far end, looking up.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The inscription on the left says something about returning the picture of the Blessed Virgin of La Antigua to the Dominicans and is dated 1862, so it probably refers to the painting on the right.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This somehow looks almost modernist in an El Greco sense.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This is below the archbishop’s grave we saw earlier.  It’s a bit hard to translate the Latin because the words run together but I suspect it marks the graves of Don Rodrigo and perhaps his wife Senora Rodriguez, and is dated 1553.

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No idea what this says.  there doesn’t appear to be a date.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Outside of the cathedral.  I think this is the way out.

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Out in the streets again, and we’re heading to Fortaleza Ozama (next post).

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

I’m pretty sure this and the next two images are from the Museo Casa de Tostado.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This is the house of Francisco de Tostado who came to the island with Governor Nicolas de Ovando in 1502, and it was built in the early sixteenth century.  His son Francisco de Tostado de la Pena, who also lived here, became a university professor and was killed by the cannon fire of Francis Drake in 1586.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Old doors on the street.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Woman feeding pigeons, I think near the cathedral.

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From Havana to Santo Domingo

Havana, Cuba to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 12 September 2016

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I’ve just come back from a weekend covering the Thredbo Blues Festival and now have 3,000 images to process, so these posts may slow down a bit for a while.

On Monday around 12:30pm we were driving back from Thredbo. Normally I would have been playing table tennis and have had my car parked outside the centre. Had that been the case, the car would have been pulverised by hail, golf-ball sized or even larger. The windows would have been broken, all the panels dented and the car may have been written off.

Such are the incidents of the unfolding Climate Crisis. Especially with the current political corruption and paralysis, particularly in the US and Australia, it is merely a foretaste of what is to come, and not just in Australia.

Today there was also a fire burning on the edge of Canberra, just a few kilometres from where I live (though blowing in the opposite direction). Homes and an industrial area were threatened. A recycling centre is burning, creating hazardous smoke and Canberra Airport was closed for much of the day. Today was a high wind day. That fire is relatively under control but further high winds are forecast, including for a large area of south eastern New South Wales where there are several large fires burning out of control. Conversely, conditions may also be easing from tomorrow and the Indian Ocean Dipole (a major trigger) has now moved to neutral.

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OK, back to the Cuba/ Caribbean trip. This post shows images taken from the plane between Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

We have taken off from Havana and are now flying east over Cuba.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

The farm land looks productive.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

Perhaps you have read of the insect apocalypse.  80% decline in insect numbers over the last forty years, perhaps worldwide, at least Europe and the US.  Global warming is a factor but probably a greater cause is use of insecticides and other agricultural poisons.  Perhaps Cuba is fortunate here, because US sanctions may mean they have no access to modern toxic chemicals from companies such as Monsanto.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

We’re still over Cuba, but now the coast and islands at the eastern end.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

I’m pretty sure this is the western tip of Haiti.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

For those with limited knowledge of geography, the island to the east of Cuba is Hispaniola, which is divided into Haiti to the west and the Dominican Republic to the east.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

I have read that you can see the boundary between Haiti and the Dominican Republic from space.  Haiti is quite deforested and the Dominican Republic not at all.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

This goes back to the days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic (1930-1961).  Dictators are usually bad news but he preserved the forests and sent the army in to ruthlessly suppress illegal logging.  Haiti on the other hand is one of the poorest countries in the world with little effective government and the whole countryside was stripped bare.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

It was too cloudy for me to see the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  We are by now over the Dominican Republic (and probably for one or two of the previous images).

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A large dam with a city near by.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

Agricultural land

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

Probably the coast near Santo Domingo.

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Cuba and the Caribbean

14 August to 7 October 2016

Another trip beckons, this time to Cuba and the Caribbean and some other places as well.

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Antigua, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Flinders Ranges, Flores, Guatemala, Havana, Jamaica, Los Angeles, Mexico, Montserrat, Salton City, Santo Domingo, St Martin, USA

First, I am attending a photographic workshop in the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, organised by Keith Seidel, who I met in the Southwest Canyonlands trip in 2014.

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Antigua, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Flinders Ranges, Flores, Guatemala, Havana, Jamaica, Los Angeles, Mexico, Montserrat, Salton City, Santo Domingo, St Martin, USA

After returning to Canberra, I head off with my partner Jools to Mexico City, Flores in Guatemala, Cancun overnight, Cuba including a 7-day photographic tour, Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Saint Martin/ Sint Maarten, Antigua, Montserrat, Jamaica and finally Southern California staying with Jeni Bate of Skyscapes for the Soul in Salton City by the Salton Sea.

Click on the maps for a larger size if you need to see more detail.  A few of the pins are spurious, just to create straight lines (so the route doesn’t follow roads).

I made temporary posts as I travelled or just after I returned and am now replacing them with permanent posts.

Flinders Ranges, South Australia (14 to 21 August)

Mexico City, Mexico (22 to 25 August)

Flores, Guatemala (25 to 31 August)

Cancun, Mexico (31 August to 1 September)

Cuba (1 to 12 September)

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (12 to 15 September)

St Martin/ Sint Maarten (15 to 18 September)

Antigua (18 to 22 September)

Montserrat (22 to 25 September)

(Antigua overnight 25 to 26 September)

Jamaica (26 to 30 September)

California, USA (30 September to 5 October)

Canberra, Australia (7 October)