Preparing for the 2019 HAL World Cruise

Saturday, January 12, 2019

 

Here we go again!

Please join us as we set off on another adventure!

The MS Amsterdam departs from Ft. Lauderdale on January 22nd.  The itinerary takes us to South America; across French Polynesia; to New Zealand and Australia.  We will visit Indonesia; Singapore; India; the Mid-East.  After transiting the Suez Canal and entering the Mediterranean Sea, we will stop in Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium and The Netherlands.  We will continue to Scandinavia with ports-of-call in Denmark and Norway.  Before returning to Ft. Lauderdale we will have the joy of seeing Scotland and Ireland.  What a wonderful adventure this will be.

Come along!  Should be fun!

2019 HAL World Cruise Itinerary
2019 HAL World Cruise Itinerary

The next post will publish after Santa Marta, Colombia at the end of the month.

In the meantime, check out some relevant prior posts:  “Preparing for the Next Cruise” 12/19/17; and “Packing for a 113-Day Cruise” 12/30/17.

Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, Denver, Colorado

Friday, December 21, 2018

Lowry AFB is notable for many reasons:

In the 1920s, Lowry Field was an airstrip in Denver used by the Colorado National Guard for flight training in the Curtis JN-4 “Jenny.”

By 1938, Lowry AFB was established with a focus on technical training, aerial photography, and, by the 1950s, air and space technology for missile specialists on the Titan I ICBM.

In 1955, the U. S. Air Force Academy was established at Lowry and remained there until 1958 when the facility in Colorado Springs was completed.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower used the base as his “summer White House.”  His wife, Mamie, had grown up in the area and her family still lived in Colorado.  They would visit often.

When Lowry AFB closed in 1994, the Lowry Redevelopment Authority was established to preserve and foster the re-purposing of the facility.

Today, Lowry is a popular neighborhood with many up-scale homes, shops and restaurants.

And, in the center of town, you will find the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum!

This non-profit, volunteer driven facility currently houses the Fredric Arnold sculpture, “Lest We Forget:  The Mission.”

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This is an amazing sculpture.  The love and compassion of the artist is evident.  I doubt anyone can view this without wiping away a tear or two!

Let me quote from the Artist Statement: “Of the fourteen original members of my original group of Class 42-J P-38 fighter pilots, only two survived six months of combat:  Jim Hagenback and me.  Much of our survival was due to luck.  Years later, we vowed to each other that whoever was left standing would do something to honor the twelve.  “Lest We Forget:  The Mission” stemmed from our deep gratitude to the twelve original members of our group that didn’t survive to live their lives in peace.”  Maj. Fredric Arnold (Ret.)

This is a 20’ x 20’ tableau depicting 12 fighter pilots during an early morning mission briefing.  The lighter colored pilots looking over the shoulders of their brethren symbolize those men already killed in action.  All are destined to die.

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This is something you really should see.  The exhibit will be in Denver until April 2019 when it’s scheduled to move to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

Sadly, Fredric Arnold passed away, at the age of 96, on Memorial Day 2018.

 

This is an awesome exhibit but there is, of course, more to see in both the museum and Lowry itself.

Wings Over The Rockies Air & Space Museum
Wings Over The Rockies Air & Space Museum
The F-4 Phantom
The F-4 Phantom
Plenty of static displays.
Plenty of static displays.
This is a very large museum.
This is a very large museum.
The B-52B overlooks the "new" town of Lowry.
The B-52B overlooks the “new” town of Lowry.
The Lowry Beer Garden is right next door to the museum.  Convenient!
The Lowry Beer Garden is right next door to the museum. Convenient!
The old Lowry  AFB Headquarters building is now an apartment complex!
The old Lowry AFB Headquarters building is now an apartment complex!

 

This was a great place to visit!

 

Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum McMinnville, Oregon

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Not long ago, we had the pleasure of visiting two aviation museums.  The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville Oregon and Wings Over the Rockies at the former Lowry AFB near Denver Colorado.

Both present something truly unique in the aviation field along with the standard static displays of military, commercial, and civilian aircraft.  In this post, let’s start with Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum where you can see the aeronautical designs of Orville & Wilbur Wright alongside Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose!

First envisioned by Capt. Michael King Smith (an F-15 fighter pilot with the Oregon National Guard, son of Evergreen International Aviation founder Delford Smith, and president of Evergreen Ventures, Inc.), the museum began with a small collection of vintage aircraft in a hangar at the company headquarters in 1991.  With the purchase of the Spruce Goose in 1992, the museum expanded, from necessity, to accommodate the sheer size of that massive aircraft.

Today, the museum occupies 2 sleek, modern glass and metal hangars located in a vineyard across the road from the McMinnville Municipal Airport.

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Evergreen International Aviation, Inc., founded in 1960 by Delford M. Smith, was known for commercial helicopter operations in agricultural and forestry applications. The airline division operated all-cargo Boeing 747 freighters.
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Delford Smith’s son, Michael who died in an auto accident in 1995, is memorialized in many ways around the museum. Here, we can see the F-15 he flew in the Oregon Air National Guard.
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When visiting the Spruce Goose, volunteers will provide history and commentary about Howard Hughes and his amazing airplane.
Here we are, at the controls of the Spruce Goose!
Here we are, at the controls of the Spruce Goose!
View from the cockpit of the Spruce Goose.
View from the cockpit of the Spruce Goose.
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The Spruce Goose, officially known as the H-4 Hercules, flew only once and for less than 1 minute, less than a mile, and only 70 feet above the water on November 2, 1947. Howard Hughes was at the controls.
The F-100 Super Sabre.
The F-100 Super Sabre.
The F-4 Phantom II.
The F-4 Phantom II.
The A-10 Thunderbolt II.
The A-10 Thunderbolt II.
The SR-71.
The SR-71.
A  MIG-23 Flogger.
A MIG-23 Flogger.
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“On June 3, 1965, astronaut Ed White pushed open the hatch on Gemini IV and took America’s first “step” into space.”
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The Spruce Goose overshadowing all other aircraft. This hangar was built specifically for the huge airplane!
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Michael King Smith’s goal was to create a significant aviation museum. He died before the dream was fully realized. If he could see it now, he’d be proud! This is a facility well worth a visit!
What an awesome experience!
What an awesome experience!

 

The next post will show you the Wings Over the Rockies Museum near Denver, Colorado.  Fredrick Arnold ‘s moving and emotional sculpture, Lest We Forget:  The Mission, is on display there until April 2019 when it will move to the World War II Museum in New Orleans.

Patmos, Greece An Article in Milieu Magazine

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Recently, I picked up the Fall 2018 issue of Milieu Magazine.  This is the 5-year anniversary issue and is simply chock-full of interesting articles!  One, in particular, captured my attention.  It was in the travel section.  Written by Charlotte Di Careaci with photography by Miguel Flores-Vianna, it transported me to the fall of 2015 and our very first visit to the amazing Greek island of Patmos!

Milieu Magazine, Fall 2018, 5th anniversary issue.
Milieu Magazine, Fall 2018, 5th anniversary issue.

Located in the Aegean Sea, Patmos is famous because John of Patmos, who wrote the Bible’s Book of Revelation, did so, here, sometime around 70AD.  The cave where John received the Revelation is located between the capital city of Chora and the port city of Skala.  The Cave of the Apocalypse is open to the public and has made Patmos a destination of pilgrimage.  In 1999, Chora, the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, and the Cave of the Apocalypse were all named UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The port city of Skala as seen from the Aegean Sea.
The port city of Skala as seen from the Aegean Sea.
The road from Skala to Chora.  The Cave of the Apocalypse is along this route.
The road from Skala to Chora. The Cave of the Apocalypse is along this route.
The Monastery of Patmos built c. 100AD uphill from the Cave of the Apocalypse.
The Monastery of Patmos built c. 100AD uphill from the Cave of the Apocalypse.

Today, Patmos is a destination paradise for travelers seeking solitude, beautiful beaches, awesome mountain cliffs, amazing monasteries & convents & churches.  Oh yes, the architecture is enchanting!  We have visited the port city of Skala.  Our short visit consisted of strolling the narrow streets, sipping coffee in welcoming outdoor cafes, shopping charming independent boutiques, savoring the seafood, and gazing, in admiration, upon the sites!

Walking the streets of Skala.
Walking the streets of Skala.
Windmills on a hillside above the town.
Windmills on a hillside above the town.
Seafood is the specialty!
Seafood is the specialty!
Wonderful cafes are everywher!
Wonderful cafes are everywhere!
Boutique shopping in Skala.
Boutique shopping in Skala.
One of the more than 300 churches on the island!
One of the more than 300 churches on the island!
The charming port city of Skala.
The charming port city of Skala.

Reading this Milieu article took me back to that most pleasant port -of-call.  We look forward to returning, someday!  Meanwhile, I thank talented people like Ms. Careaci and Mr. Flores-Vianna for awakening the memories that bring the sights, smells, and emotions of travel back to the forefront!

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

2018 HAL Voyage of the Vikings

Thursday, August 23, 2018

 

At 8:00am this morning, we smoothly glided into port and docked at Pier 21.  This is where all the waterfront attractions start.  The Garrison Brewery, Farmers Market and the Pier 21 Museum are next to the ship’s dock.  The Garrison Brewery (across the street from pier 20) is not the historic brewery in town, but they did start Nova Scotia’s “craft beer” movement with their “Irish Red Ale” in 1997.  The Farmers Market located in the building south of pier 20 is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm.  The Immigration Museum is located between piers 20 and 22 on 1055 Marginal Rd.  They’re open from 9:30am to 5:30pm and admission is 7.60CAD/pp/senior.

The Alexander Keith Brewery at 1496 Lower Water Street is the historic brewery of Halifax.  Begun in 1820, it remains in operation and produces India Pale Ale, the most popular beer in Nova Scotia.  One-hour tours ($23.95CAD/pp/sr) are available from 12:00pm to 7:00pm, running every ½ hour.  A beer tasting culminates the tour.  Keith Hall, the historic residence, is behind the brewery on Hollis St. and connected by an underground tunnel.  It’s been restored for commercial use.  Further up Lower Water Street at #1675, is the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic with its extensive displays from the Days of the Sail to Age of Steam; artifacts from the Titanic; and exhibits of the devastating Halifax Explosion.  (open 9:30am-5:30pm; admission 8.50CAD/pp/sr.)

All of this is within easy walking distance of the ship.  We know because we have done all this in the past.  But today, we are booked on the ship’s tour, “Iconic Towns of Nova Scotia” and will visit Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg, and Mahone Bay.

Here are the photos:

Sailing into Halifax past George's Island.
Sailing into Halifax past George’s Island.
Docking at pier 21.
Docking at pier 21.
Museum of Immigration is right there!
Museum of Immigration is right there!
So is the Farmers' Market.
So is the Farmers’ Market.
Departing pier 21 on the "Iconic towns of Nova Scotia" tour.
Departing pier 21 on the “Iconic towns of Nova Scotia” tour.
Leaving Halifax, we pass the Old Burial Grounds in use from 1749 to 1843.
Leaving Halifax, we pass the Old Burial Grounds in use from 1749 to 1843.
On our way to Peggy's Cove we pass thru some lovely countryside.
On our way to Peggy’s Cove we pass thru some lovely countryside.
Arriving in Peggy's Cove.
Arriving in Peggy’s Cove.
The de Garthe Gallery
The de Garthe Gallery
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This sculpture by William de Garthe is a 100-foot long granite outcropping situated behind his home in Peggy’s Cove. It is his “lasting monument to Nova Scotia fishermen” and depicts 32 fishermen, their wives and children.
Beautiful Peggy's Cove
Beautiful Peggy’s Cove
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Everywhere you look there is something lovely to photograph!
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The iconic Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse is the most photographed lighthouse in Canada!
Leaving Peggy's Cove and headed to Lunenburg.
Leaving Peggy’s Cove and headed to Lunenburg.
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Unfortunately, the bus broke down! Another bus came to offer assistance. Couldn’t help. Left us.
The police came to re-direct traffic.  That was needed!!!!
The police came to re-direct traffic. That was needed!!!!
So we exited the bus and waited for another to come pick us up!
So we exited the bus and waited for another to come pick us up!
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These folks weren’t home so they never knew we had hung out in their front yard for a while.
We finally arrive in Lunenburg.
We finally arrive in Lunenburg.
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This is a charming and historic town that commemorates Nova Scotia’s sailing and fishing tradition. Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The famous Bluenose II going out for a sail.
The famous Bluenose II going out for a sail.
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The carriage ride is a pleasant way to see the town. This is the rest stop for the horses.
Leaving Lunenburg and heading to Mahone Bay we pass many beautiful homes.
Leaving Lunenburg and heading to Mahone Bay we pass many beautiful homes.
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An example of the Lunenburg bump in architecture. The 3-window projecction over the door is distinctive.
Arriving in Mahone Bay
Arriving in Mahone Bay
The old railroad station is now a smallshopping complex.
The old railroad station is now a small shopping complex.
Mahone Bay looks like a charming community.
Mahone Bay looks like a charming community.
Obviously, sailing is a way of life here.
Obviously, sailing is a way of life here.
As we leave Mahone Bay, anoher excellent example of the Lunenburg bump.
As we leave Mahone Bay, anoher excellent example of the Lunenburg bump.
Heading back to the ship in Halifax.
Heading back to the ship in Halifax.
Back to Pier 21.
Back to Pier 21.
Unfortunately it's after 5:00pm and the Farmers' Market is closed.
Unfortunately it’s after 5:00pm and the Farmers’ Market is closed.
Nothing to see or buy.
Nothing to see or buy.
Nothing to eat.
Nothing to eat.
No one around.
No one around.
Time to head for the ship.
Time to head for the ship.

Our voyage comes to an end.  We are now on our way back to Boston and look forward, as always, to going home!  Thank you for joining us on this adventure.  We’ll look forward to sharing our next journey with you!!!!