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Canoa La Romana Hotel, Bayahibe
Canoa La Romana Hotel in Bayahibe, Dominican Republic is a 4 star beachfront Bayahibe hotel walking distance from the Eastern National Park, home to the biggest archaeological site from the island's first inhabitants, the Taino Indians. ...
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In one of the most beautiful areas of Protaras, few metres from the beach, The Paschalia Hotel is within walking distance from shops, restaurants, bars, water park and discos. ...
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Hampshire Hotel, London
Hampshire Hotel is on the corner of Leicester Square famous for its glamorous film premieres in the heart of theatre land, London England. A glorious 5 star London hotel a stroll away from Covent Gardens, Soho and the famous department stores of Oxford Street. ...
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Colorful, brilliant, beautiful, well-presented, Brazil, with thousands of different landscapes, a huge blend of colors, sounds, smells, and above all people. For a start, Brazil is very, very, big. It's practically a continent.

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Fireworks in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro,

The fifth largest country in the world in area, Brazil, is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

Do you have any idea how large 8,547,403 square kilometers is? It's almost inconceivable. It's so big that if you take line from end to end - from the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, to the capital of the state of Roraima, Boa Vista, in the extreme north, a commercial flight takes more than 9 hours! By way of comparison, it's worth remembering that a commercial flight from New York to Paris takes 8 hours, but with one small detail; you're flying between two continents. In Brazil you can fly for 9 hours and never leave the country.

Within this area, approximately 170 million Brazilians live, work, dream and create a dynamic society, in a constant state of transformation, progress and modernization.

The history, the customs and the culture allow for the harmonious coexistence of the highest industrial technology alongside the remotest indigenous traditions, the most innovative architecture alongside the secular art of local potters.

Unifying these 170 million Brazilians living in total ethnic, religious and expressive liberty, is a single language: Portuguese. With innumerous and creative regional differences, the Portuguese spoken in Brazil incorporates thousands of terms of indigenous origin (the Tupi-Guarani language group), and of African origin (Ioruba). The Portuguese language was fundamental in the construction of the nation, of the civilization. In the consolidation of the identity of Brazil.

Brazil started to speak Portuguese on April 22, 1500, a Wednesday. On that day, 9 warships (one was lost on the voyage) and 3 caravels, carrying 1350 men and commanded by the Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral, dropped anchor about 36 km from the coast of Brazil. They landed in Porto Seguro, on the south coast of Bahia, 45 exhausting days on the Atlantic Ocean after setting sail from Lisbon. This was the first group of Europeans to set foot in Brazil, hitherto inhabited solely by indigenous tribes.

Although some historians have put forward the hypothesis that other explorers had already landed in Brazil, the fact is that, officially, Pedro Alvares Cabral was its discoverer, and in the year 2000, exactly at the start of the new millenium, the country celebrated its 500th anniversary.

Among Cabral's men was Pero Vaz de Caminha, who despite not being the expedition's official diarist, wrote a long letter to the King of Portugal, Manoel I, relating details of the voyage, the discovery, the first contact with the native Brazilian indians and the numerous natural wonders. The letter is the first document about Brazil, and its final passage reveals the awe that Caminha felt in the face of the size and beauty of this new land:

"This land, Lord, it seems to me, from the southernmost point within my sight, to the northernmost point that can be seen from this port, is so vast that there must be 20 or 25 leagues of coast. Along the sea, in some parts there are great barriers, some red and others white, and the land above with plains covered in large trees. From one end to the other, it is all beaches....very level and most pleasant. From the sea, the remote and arid interior seems very large; as far as the eye can see there is tree-covered land - land which seems to us to be very extensive."

But Brazil wasn't born Brazil.

Its first name was Ilha de Vera Cruz, because Cabral thought that the land he had discovered was an island. A year later, certain that in fact it was not, the name was changed to Terra de Vera Cruz. Then followed Terra de Santa Cruz (by order of King Manoel I), Terra dos Papagaios - The Land of Parrots (the name chosen by the sailors, who were astonished by the number of these birds) and finally, Brazil.

Brazil - as in Brazil-wood (Redwood). The first sign of the close relationship with nature. This is because 'pau-brasil' is the name of a tree with a reddish trunk which exists in abundance in the Atlantic Rainforest, much in demand in Europe for its strong, red extract, used for dying, especially of cloth.

From one end to the other, it is all beaches....very level and most pleasant.

With the beginning of Portuguese domination and the arrival of slaves from Africa, there began a rare blending of races, bringing together native Indians, white Europeans and black Africans. Touched with other colors - French and Dutch - adding further depth to the picture of the Brazilian soul.

This is because expeditions from these two nations temporarily occupied part of the country, until being permanently expelled by the Portuguese. Despite their short stay, they left lasting impressions on Brazilian culture.

Historians, anthropologists and academics have long sought, in all the subtle nuances of the original racial mix, and in the influences of the foreign invaders, all subject to the natural intensity of the tropics, a reason for the uniqueness of Brazil.

Because all things considered, 500 years is not a long time when compared to other countries and civilizations. But certainly enough to reveal a different and special way of living, of thinking, of feeling and of acting. A remarkable, characteristic way. Unforgettable in fact.

A way that defies words, lengthy explanation or analysis. It is revealed as much in the shrewd look of the country-dweller who surveys the sky on a day of scorching sun and guarantees that it will rain, and it does, as in the cunning of the retired card player as he bluffs in a card game in a suburban, public square.

It is revealed in the camaraderie, the friendship made for life but born just 3 minutes earlier, in the complicity of those who look each other in the eye, point and say:

- I know you. I don't know where from, but I swear I know you.

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