If you are not a reader – listen to this blog post here: Santa Maria
There are hundreds of Monuments of Christopher Columbus sprinkled around the globe. Of course, depending on the location, on some he appears as Colon, on others as Kolumb, etc. but it is still the same person. The man who is celebrated all over the world for the discoveries he made.
Well, discoveries are relative matters. During his first two, out of four journeys through the Atlantic, Columbus and his crew spotted islands of Dominique, Marie-Galante, Guadelupe, Antigua and Puertorico. Later also Jamaica, while sailing along the south coast of Cuba. (These 7 pics come from internet)
All these islands were already inhabited as such Columbus’ discovery was made only on behalf of the Europeans. The people and their lands did not need to be discovered. Imagine they arrived to the Old Continent back then and claimed they discovered new lands. Neither would be a lie in fact. But only seen as such from the perspective of the arrivals.
For some reason, to this day, children are not thaught the true story of the Vikings led by Leif Erikson and then Amerigo Vespucci who visited the lands of American continents way prior to Columbus. I mean, it is after the latter that the continents got their names in the end, however the general global statement and the first answer to the question of the alleged discovery of Americas is Columbus. How a brain of humanity can be washed!
In the USA Columbus Day is celebrated as a national legal federal holiday, every year, on a second Monday of October to commemorate the arrival of the great Admiral of the Ocean Sea in the Americas which was on the 12th October 1492. In fairness, every Bank Holiday means a long weekend so why not….
Some Americans celebrate this anniversary with church services, some with parades and large events. Many celebrations happen in the Italian-American community with the biggest pump in New York and San Francisco apparently. In Hawaii Columbus Day is celebrated as Discoverers’ Day, but it is not a state holiday. Many states now celebrate Native Americans’ Day/Indigenous People’s Day instead of Columbus Day in the belief that:
It was the extensive Italian-American population, that began to celebrate Columbus Day first in 1869 in San Francisco. The first state-wide celebration was held in Colorado in 1907 (that’s when my Grand-grampa John was born). In 1937 (remember Disney and Snow White from my other blog Krasnoludki?), Columbus Day became a holiday across the United States. Since 1971, it has been celebrated on the second Monday in October. The date on which Columbus arrived in the Americas is also celebrated as the Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) in Latin America and some Latino communities in the USA.
Columbus Day celebrations are controversial and for a reason. As you can see even the Dwarfs have a dilemma. It was not after Leif or Amerigo but after Columbus, who of course had the power of the Spanish monarchy backing him, that the conquistadors went on for the insane raids of the lands inhabited by the Incas, Aztecs and Mayas. Mordering the people, robbing their riches, burning their belongings, to finally take over their freedom, lands and lives. All that out of pure greed and belief that we come from the better world because we have the militarian power. And that lasted for hundreds of years continued by the French, British, Portuguese and Dutch – who has not heard about the Dutch ladies playing soccer with the heads of the Indians?
Columbus, in his 4 voyages, reached the actual mainland of Central America:
The settlement of Europeans in the Americas meant tragedy to the indigenous inhabitants, but at the same time, a win for us, Europeans. Theory of relativity again! The argument is out there and it is alive, questioning whether the damage caused by the arrival of the European settlers which led to the demise of a large proportion of the history and culture of the indigenous peoples of the Americas was a direct result of Columbus’ appearance. Yes!
As such, there are people out there who praise Columbus and name him the Admiral of the Ocean Sea still but at the same time you have those that hate everythig that relates to the above facts and those decide to manifest their ideology and feelings via destruction.
In 2020, on my name day, and this is why I remember this event, which according to the Polish calendar, is celebrated only on the date of 26th July, the statue of the navigator Cristóvão Colombo, by Henrique Moreira, made in 1940 and placed in Santa Catarina park, in Funchal in 1968, was knocked down from its location and vandalised. According to the local council, there were: “multiple cracks, dents, and some wear on the surface of the piece as a result of crash to the ground”. The monument was fixed and reinstalled on the 17 December 2020.
It happens over and over around the Earth as we, humans, are restless when it comes to proving our points, some take it too far. And we build them monuments after which we end up destorying them. Where I am from, people used to put down Lenin for example. Whether we can or should compare these two, and many others, I leave to your judgement.
As I already mentioned it in my other post, Columbus passed through Madeira on three occasions during his voyages to the Americas, having docked there in 1475, 1480 and 1492.
He was born in Genoa, Italy in 1451 and began his career as a merchant who mediated in the sugar trade. For commercial purposes, he sailed to England, Guinea and Madeira. In 1479, Columbus married Felipa Perestrello de Moniz, daughter of the former governor of Porto Santo. He spent several years on the island, and today his house, Casa Museu Cristóvão Colombo can be visited there as well as well you may want to celebrate the Festival in September in his name.
In 1492, Columbus set out to find a new way to Asia. Three ships took part in the expedition: the karaka “Santa María” (280 tons) and two caravels – “Pinta” (240 tons) and “Niña” (100 tons), whith a total of about 90 crew.
The Dutchman Robert Wijntje, along with seven craftsmen, began to build the replica of Santa Maria in Câmara de Lobos – yea, the same that Churchil used to love paiting – in July 1997. Construction lasted a year and was completed in July 1998. In the same year, Santa Maria de Colombo took part in the Expo 98 exhibition in Lisbon, where almost 100k people visited it within just 25 days.
And here we come..
Once more, we headed to the port of Funchal to board a boat. Columbus’ karaka awaited us impatiently – Not! Was very calm in fact. Although busy with the crowds rushing to get on board. Almost felt like boarding Ryanair flight, only that with a lower capacity and via wooden ramp instead of an airbridge.
So have we. After reaching the top, a lovely ara, a talkative red parrot, welcomed us to advertise herself as a picture perfect model, but we kindly refused and went further to find some spot which would offer us nice views.
I happen to have a great luck for elderly men, and this time, my entertainer was a German tourist who started off with the story behind his scar across the chest – heart surgery and through some other, equaly amuzing stories we moved on and out onto the open seas.
Our very hairy captain put his entire self into searching for the dolphins right away. This time we were not looking for America.
The boy seaman was not staying behind his bosman and used every opportunity to scan the sea himself.
We were on the journey to discover these…
Suddenly the boy seaman spotted something and ran down the mast to ring a big noisy bell. Yes! They could be seen in the distance!
First shy, one, then two… only to pop out of nowhere and dance in front of us in the crystal clear waters of Madeira coast, was a group of wonderful happy dolphins posing in front of everybody’s cameras.
Sadly, not everyone seemed so amused. This poor girl spent the entire journey looking just about the same:
A Poem by luckycharm
Dolphins swim together!
Outside, twenty four seven
No street from work
or bills to pay
Just living life their way.
Who wanted, went for a splash and later we were treated to the famous Madeira wine and cake.
Santa Maria the Colombo is a piece of art. There are no words that can describe this boat. It simply must be seen. Of course, it is not an exact copy of the Columbus’ boat as it has a toilet, engine and surely plenty of other emergency divices which are hidden from the tourists’ eyes, but overall, it is the most beautiful thing I have seen. I have to admit that once I got myself under the deck, I could not stop photographing every item. It all is fit to perfection.
In the end, just a quickie pee and we were back again the port of Funchal.
And in the port we were welcomed by this lovely lady who treated tourists with the bread rolls… Modern dog slavery? Hmmm… not sure but she was drooling so crazy onto these rolls that we skipped that pleasure…
Pleasently tired, we dragged ourselves back to the car and then the nearby hotel only to sleep until the next adventure call woke us up. Of course we stayed on the B&B deal: eat well, pack more for later 🙂
To summarise I can tell that these things I personally am sure of…. Christoper Columbus did not discover Americas but that does not mean he himself was not an outstanding sailor and navigator. His boat, Santa Maria was Graceful and purely wonderful. Here now listen to that – the name Anna, which is my very own, comes from Latin and means Grace. And Columbus was very lucky having her for his means of transportation. Holy Mary, Full of Grace is how they prayed on every journey and it is thanks to her that they went further than they dreamed of. And finally Madeira was made by volcanoes.
In the spirit of confusion, let’s roll into Christmas 🙂
OMG how I’d love to be in Madeira on New Year’s Eve! BTW.
Anna, Full of Grace 🙂
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