I got back to the ship for a bit of a rest and to let the new cough syrup do its work. By “sail-out’ the skies had cleared and I felt well enough to go out on deck to watch us pass under the three Forth bridges. The one closest to the ship was the newest, the Queen’s Ferry Bridge. It was opened by the … Continue reading Three Forth Bridges
Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland, September 4, 2017: What do you do in Kirkwell, Orkney Islands on a wet and windy day? Visit the Orkney Wireless Museum, of course! It is one of those delightfully cluttered and chaotic museums that invite exploration. There are all sorts of radios, and other somewhat related things, like jukeboxes, phonographs, and, WWII memorabilia. The World War II stuff is … Continue reading Orkney Wireless Museum
Two hundred and forty one years ago a resolution written by Thomas Jefferson and moved by John Adams passed the Continental Congress. It read, in part: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these … Continue reading After 241 Years…. Jefferson Still Lives!
The first time I entered the King Street Station in Seattle was when I stepped off the “Coast Daylight/Starlight in 1973.” A couple of days later Suzi and I got on the “Pacific International” to head to Vancouver. The impression the station left me was of a dark cave. The ceilings were too low, made of acoustic tile. It was a chintzy modern interior that … Continue reading King Street Station, Seattle
Here is tranche 2 of the pictures of today’s march in Sitka. Sitka is lookin’ good! Click here to look at tranche 1 of the photos. Continue reading Sitka in Solidarity, Tranche 2
I have not seen anything like it in Sitka. Estimates vary from a low of 500 to nearly 1,000 people marching respectfully. I saw people for all sorts of different causes from all walks of life, and many different persuasions. We gathered as people made signs, than we marched, well it was more like a stroll, from the Crescent Harbor Shelter, around the St. Michael’s … Continue reading Sitka In Solidarity
I have one final post from Jordan. The Church of St Lot and St Procopius is located about 3 miles from Mt. Nebo in the municipality of Khirbet Mukhayyat. The church was built in 557 and has almost intact mosaics of daily life. It also has some fantastic figures, like seahorses. It is near to the major tourist attractions of Mt. Nebo and St. George, … Continue reading The Church of St Lot and St Procopius
Mt. Nebo is the spot where, traditionally, Moses stood to look across the Jordan into the promised land, where he could not go. He died there and tradition has it that he is buried somewhere Mt. Nebo. On a clear day you can see Jerusalem from Mt. Nebo, which sits at 2,680 above sea level and 3,600 feet above the Dead Sea and lower Jordan … Continue reading Mt. Nebo’s New Church.
I am home in Sitka and will have the pleasure of looking out my window across Jamestown Bay and to the Gulf of Alaska or a little to the westward toward our volcano, Mt. Edgecumbe. We have had two consecutive glorious sunrises. The last two mornings the sunrise has reminded me exactly why I live here. But for the past two weeks the view from … Continue reading King Abdullah Mosque, Amman
I have just finished my work in Jordan. I have completed my interviews and typed up my notes. I will put off writing my report until after Christmas. So now I am sitting in a hotel waiting for a taxi pickup in less than 5 hours and my thoughts are turning to Christmas, seeing my children and grandchildren, and, of course “The Battery Exchange.” I … Continue reading Amman’s Other Christmas Souk
Christmas Markets came late to the UK. It’s not that the UK didn’t celebrate Christmas. Since Victoria’s Albert brought the Christmas tree to England the Brits have done it up in grand style. Before Christmas markets, in the European fashion, came to the UK there was always Covent Garden with its stalls and decorations and Regent Street moving out from Piccadilly Circus. (Below are some … Continue reading Brexit Or Not, London Gets European Christmas Markets
I was all set to post today about my trip to Madaba and Nt. Nebo to look at the wonderful mosaics and take in the view of the Holy Land from the mount where Moses stood. But after I got back to Amman and had a good swim I decided to go to the Christmas Market at “The Boulevard” an outdoor walking street in the … Continue reading A Christmas Souk in Amman
This is supposed to be one of those “milestone” birthdays. Even the Bible mentions it, ominously. “Three Score and Ten” is the measure of man’s life. But I’m not feeling like I’ve passed a milestone. Other birthdays were different. When I turned 7 I felt that I had finally made it, out of first grade, into second. I got a Roy Rogers sweat shirt for … Continue reading Reflections On Turning 70
My parents were stationed in Miami Beach before Pop was shipped to India during WW II. He was a lifeguard, PT instructor and made training films on the beach. My parents always had a thing about Miami and wanted to go back. And I went back to Miami with them twice as a kid. We stayed in North Miami Beach where the motels lined both … Continue reading Miami Beach Deco
This year we didn’t make it to any of the European Christmas Markets, but Sitka has a fine Artisans’ Market in Allen Hall on the Sitka Fine Arts Campus. Sponsored by the Greater Sitka Arts Council it is a great opportunity to buy gifts while supporting local artists. They sell wine but what the Sitka market really needs is Gluwein, the mulled wine sold at … Continue reading Sitka Christmas Artisans’ Market, 2015
Fifteen years ago today Serbian president Milosevic fell from power. It was a day of great joy and celebration. On October 5 Milosevic fell, on October 6 I tried to get a Serbian visa, the embassy was closed. On October 8 I wrote this letter, on October 9 I got my visa to return to Serbia, the man who had turned down my visa request … Continue reading October 5, 2000
The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair was designed to show us a future built on cheap hydropower. It was the world of the future from the Space Needle to the Monorail. Many old world’s fair sites look like the past’s idea of a future that turned out quite differently. The Seattle site has fared better than most. The Space Needle is iconic and while monorails never … Continue reading Paul Allen Meets Frank Gehry in Seattle.
The Beaux Arts Lackawanna railway station in Hoboken, New Jersey went up in 1907, built at the site of an old ferry landing. It was designed as an intermodal transportation hub serving trains, ferries, and street cars. Today there are no street cars but you can add light rail, the PATH Tube (a subway rapid transit system between New York and New Jersey) and busses. … Continue reading Home of Phoebe Snow
When I was in college I became familiar with St. Paul’s Union Depot. I took Great Northern’s Western Star for spring break skiing in Whitefish, Montana. The Star was Great Northern’s ‘ “second train.” I couldn’t afford the flagship Empire Builder. On shorter holidays, like Thanksgiving, Suzi’s family hosted several of her college friends who lived far away from Minnesota, including me, for Thanksgiving. We … Continue reading You Have Built It, But Will They Come? St. Paul Union Depot
Twice now I have lost watches at airport security. This is the strange Tale of Two Watches. I arrived in Tbilisi grumpy. I have always worn cheap watches, Timex. And I’ve always wanted a good watch. On the cruise I splurged on a solar powered Citizen with a stopwatch built in. I agonized over buying it and finally, when they cut the price at the … Continue reading A Tale of Two Watches
This trip I decided to spend two jet lag nights in Munich, or rather Freisling, a small town near the airport. This time I decided to take the train from Freisling to Fussen and the onward bus to Hohenschwangu and Mad King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein (New Swan Rock) Castle. I priced out second class rail and bus connections at €58 but the lady at the ticket … Continue reading A Train Trip through Bavaria.
This is the second part of a letter. For the first part see the post posted just after this one. The train pulled into Fussen and everyone ran for the 78 Bus to Hohenschwangu to visit Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Holenschwanagau. The guys from Cancun got on the first bus out to try to get on the ticket line for Neuschwanstein. Neuschwanstein is the castle … Continue reading Neuschwanstein
March 9, 2015 St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Not every Holland America officer likes serving on Prinsendam; at least that’s what our American Express representative tells me. It has an old fashioned bridge, different from the other ships. The newer ships have, what airline pilots call, a glass cockpit. You sit surrounded by monitors and can control everything on the ship with the flip of … Continue reading On the Bridge of MS Prinsendam
February 19, 2015, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil Carnival is over but in Salvador it ends later than in Rio, and Salvador claims it throws a bigger party than Rio, which bills its carnival as “The biggest party in the world.” In Salvador the carnival, according to the books I have read, revolves around blocos, or block parties, that have become movable feasts. Bands played on stages, … Continue reading Carnival Just Keeps on Coming, Salvador, Bahia