Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Brazilian Naval Museum

I've been going over my backlog of pictures that I've been meaning to post to the gallery. Most are of daytrips around Rio de Janeiro with the family ... which give me a chance to talk a little about Rio's history or natural wonders, as well as show off my kids to family and friends! Some day I plan to build a blog/picture index, and these can make up a "tourism" section.

But this has exposed a major structural flaw in my gallery: since I'm creating albums by month (usually), if I post older pictures, which are new posts, to their appropriate date album in the gallery, they will be lost in the "chatter". So, until I think up a better way to organize the gallery, I am opting to post them to the latest month, which will now represent the "post date", and not (necessarily) the date the pictures were taken ...

Of course it would have been a lot more practical just to post a quick blog entry with the pictures back when they were actually taken ... but, I'm a chronic procrastinator so this will have to do!

I'll start out with pictures from the Brazilian Naval Museum, on Sept. 11 of this year; then, every once in a while I'll post another backlog picture entry until I get through them all.


Sunday, Sept. 11, was another one of those "gotta get the kids out of the house!" days. (Actually I completely forgot that it was the anniversary of 9/11 ... probably the first time in four years that I've done that. Not that that would have had any relevance to our programming...)

After running down the list of possible family activities in Rio de Janeiro, we settled on one of our staples ... the Brazilian Naval museum, in downtown Rio (yes! Brazil has a Navy!). Actually, it's more of a group of museums-- a cultural center / musem complex. The highlights are a recently decomissioned submarine and a World War II Destroyer Escort that you can actually tour. You can also go on a tour around Guanabara bay in a refurbished WW I tugboat.

Needless to say, as illustrated by the photo below, the "kids" love running around the submarine and destroyer, and playing with the periscope and the destroyer's big 40 mm guns:

The destroyer is the Bauru; actually a cannon class Destroyer Escort built in New Jersey in 1943 and comissioned as DE 179 , USS McAnn. It was transferred to Brasil in 1944 before the end of the war, and operated (with a Brazilian crew) during the war in support of troop transport and patrol missions. A lot of Americans don't realize that Brazil was a an Ally in WW II, and actually sent combat troops to Europe (especially Italy). Somehow it gained a reputation for harboring Nazis ... probably because, like in Argentina and Paraguay, a lot of Germans --including Nazis-- moved here after the war (probably the most high-profile Nazi to take refuge under a false identity in Brazil was Josef Mengele, the "Angel of Death" of Auschwitz. He died in 1979, but his true identity wasn't revealed until 1985.) Brazil has (and had before the war) a large German population, so it was a natural destination for migrant Germans seeking to start a new life somewhere outside Europe. The culture, accent and even appearance (fair skin, blond hair, blue eyes) of Brazilians in the south of Brazil show the tremendous influence that German immigrants had on the Brazilian population.

Anyway, the Destroyer Escort Bauru served in the Brazilian Navy until 1982. It's now anchored at Pra├ža XV as a full-fledged floating museum, with informational exhibits, historical artifacts and WW II memorabilia. And some really cool guns too.

The submarine is the Riachuelo, an Oberon class sub built in England in 1973. It was deactivated in 1997 and transformed into a museum. It's anchored right beside the Bauru, in the water. You can go through it, from one end to the other; the periscope works and you can actually twist it around and scope out the harbor from underwater! The torpedo tubes and engine room are really cool, and you get a sense of what it must feel like to spend days or weeks in such cramped quarters deep beneath the sea.

The pictures can be seen here.


At November 03, 2005 12:22 PM, Sith Snoopy said...

1. Cool pictures!

2. Read the post including the cold and the audit. I hope your cold is better, and that the receipt hunt went well. Bleah... audit's suck. Hope the audit itself is also going well.

Also, hope the tennis curse lifts asap!

Yeah, when it's coming out green, it's an infection. I'm prone to sinus infections. My doctor has sometimes just asked me over the phone if I was running a temperature and if the stuff coming out was green... if both answers were yes, antibiotics were prescribed!

Yeah, when you are fighting off something upper respiratory, you generally don't want to do any heavy exertions, or anything that's going to make you huff and puff alot. :P Light walking is ok, depending upon how under the weather you are and the outside temperature, etc.

Ok, I'm preaching, so am shutting up. :)

3. Your family is adorable! My husband and I don't have kids yet... just 2 German Shepherds. We're ready, though.

We're "aunt" and "uncle" to friends' 4 year old daughter. She's got us both wrapped around her little finger. :)

At November 03, 2005 7:37 PM, Jim said...

Thanks for the comments, Sith Snoopy!

I've been taking the antibiotics for 7 days now, and I seem to be better.

I'll find out if the tennis curse is broken tonight ... I'm supposed to play at 10 pm. But right now, the weather is looking pretty ominous!


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