Cape Verde: Rich in Heritage and Beauty

Cape Verde, made up of 10 islands off the coast of West Africa, boasts the oldest European settlement in the tropics. I didn’t know that. All I knew before I did some searching is that one of my Peace Corps friends went to Cape Verde on vacation once and sent me a post card of its beautiful mountains.

Unfortunately, the reason for Cidade Velha was the slave trade. Back in 1462, the place was hopping. But, pirates ruined the affluence. My son, who at age five has a thing for Jack Sparrow, would love the idea of the pirates. They raided so much the Portuguese quit the town and moved elsewhere. If you head to Cape Verde, you can still see Cidade Velha’s ruins that indicate its history as a trade center.

Cape Verde’s islands also have beaches for lazing about if that’s your thing, or you can put on hiking boots and hit a trail. Because of its location, Cape Verde has both Brazilian and Senegalese cultural trimmings. The music here, in particular, is a fusion of both. Check out Cape Verde Travel. There is a map of the islands. Click on each island for information particular to that one. For several shots of Cape Verde’s landscape, villages and wildlife, ignazw’s photos on Flickr are a great place to start. Detailed descriptions are included.

GADLING’S TAKE FIVE: Week of August 27

Gadling LogoIt’s the beginning of a new month, but still the end of the week for us here and with that we bring you some of the week’s best:

5. Pilot Locks Self Out:

This is the kind of story one reads and rubs their eyes in disbelief. Sure it’s humorous, but somewhat scary too. A pilot locked out of the cockpit? How can that be? You’ll need to head over for more details.

4. Sex and Violence, Elk-style:

Iva Skoch wastes no time in making her presence known with this alarming headline. I won’t spill all the details here, but let’s just say its got a something to do with hiking and animal acts. Read further – I dare you.

3. Cape Verde:
I’m giving this plug on Cape Verde the number three spot because we don’t get around to Africa much and it seems like such an amazing place. (Understatement, yes – of course.) Cape Verde is beginning to attract interest according to this piece and you wouldn’t want to be the last to find out why would you? Go check it out!

2. Backpacking in California’s Sierras:

We love first-hand experiences here and Neil does a fantastic job on recounting his trip through California’s Sierras. Complete with photos and enough tips to help you plan your own visit out yonder.

1. Never Heard of:

Great post if you’re the traveling type that likes to wander into places no one has ever been or few people know little about. I know I’m one of them and this list from Budget Travel is worth clipping out and saving for later when an exciting destination where no-one will find you is much needed.

Cape Verde

Cape Verde is a tiny West African archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean that is beginning to attract a lot of interest. An all-new international airport opened on the island of Santiago and hotels are being bult like mad. So what’s all the fuss? Well, the country is divided into two groups of islands: Northern Windward “Barlavento” (Boa Vista, Santo Antao, S. Vicente, Sao Nicolau and Santa Luiza) and Southern Leeward “Sotavento” (Brava, Fogo, Maio and Santiago). It is a remarkably diverse place, being, as is was, a crossroads for traders for several centuries. It attracted so many different cultural groups that the resulting mix of culture there can be quite baffling.

The official language is Portuguese, but Creole is spoken too. So is English. The food is so diverse there is said the be a specific Cape Verde cuisine. Sites to see include the volcanic Mt. Fogo, UNESCO Heritage town of Cidade Velha and the picturesque Mindelo. If you want to learn more, then listen to journalist Martin Corben’s dispatch from 2004. Also, be sure to check out the Wikipedia entry on the country because the photos are just fabulous.