Caracas, Venezuela
Our most recent journey was to Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, and then up into the mountains to visit the
small German-settled town of Colonia Tovar.

We left Puerto La Cruz on a 3-night/4-day tour organized by Jaime of Venezuelan Travel.  Jaime is a
well-educated, Caracas-born, blue-eyed  Venezuelan who is well-versed in the history of his country and has a
very good sense of humor.  The bus was well-stocked with beer, soft drinks and snacks, so the 5 hour road trip
west to Caracas was relaxing and fun.  We were traveling with 5 other cruisers, representing 3 other boats, '
', 'Swan Song' and 'Ishi'.

We stopped at the Cristo of Jose chapel, which was erected by a grateful,  wealthy Venezuelan who called upon
God to save him as his small plane went down.  A beautiful, open structure with a bronze dome and stained glass
windows, it is also surrounded by several large concrete crosses upon which other grateful people have placed
their own small placards stating "but for the grace of God", and "thanks a bunch" in their words of course.  This
chapel is just a few miles from the huge refineries of the north coast.  These refineries make the ones in Houston
look small by comparison.
Shots from the Heroes Monument, note the size of the traffic cones in
the shot above right - these monuments were HUGE.
Shots from Christo de Jose
Federal Courthouse complex
The next day we toured around the historic section of Caracas to visit the Cathedral, the Federal Courthouse,
the home of Simon Bolivar and lots more.  Very interesting history.
Our group, minus Nancy, with Jaime in the middle
After making our way to Caracas, our first stop was the beautiful area called Paseo los Proceres, built in the
1950's to honor of the leaders of independence of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, such as
Bolivar, Miranda, Sucre and Urganeta.   These impressive marble monuments and statuary, plus the fountains
and lush greenery make this stop very stimulating and beautiful.
Caracas Plaza - Bolivar
The Cathedral de Caracas is located at Caracas Bolivar Plaza and dates from 1665.  The wealthiest
families had their own private wing with it's own alter.
Bolivar family wing
Old Supreme Court building
Other family wings
'Dreamtime' and 'Y Not'
Sambil Mall - 5 stories and shaped
like a starfish - incredible!