A Canadian Vision of Planet China: Part II

Written by Harold McNeill on April 12th, 2014. Posted in Travelogue


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Harold and Lynn in August 2013 waiting to board the Bullet Train for  Shijiazhuang, China. Join us for the continuation of our adventure with nephew Lorin Yochim.

April 12, 2014,  This post is currently under construction. Photos to be added by Sunday, April 13.

Link Here to Part 1 of the China Story

Link Here to Full Photo Story leading to and in Shijiazhuang, China

Introduction to Part II

As a partnership between a senior ‘wannabe’ and one who is well established, Lynn and I are pretty adept at handling ‘free-style’ travelling. China, however, presented a few challenges, not the least of which was the language barrier.

While foreign tourism in China is growing at an exponential rate, most tourism is still domestic; therefore, the need for local English and other language service remains very low.  Even at the main airports and train stations, it can be difficult to find an English-speaking attendant so, for a visit shorter than five years, learning the language is not an option.

Because we had such close contact with Lorin, his family and friends, our trip was turned from one in which we would have been stuck in the usual ‘tourist’ pack to one filled with continuous adventure.  Join us for Part II as we head out from Beijing on a train that will soon touch a third the speed of sound and take us through a countryside filled with the old and new.  In our travels to date, China provides the best example of a country where modernity is extinguishing the past at the breakneck speed of a Bullet Train.

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A Canadian Version of Planet China

Written by Harold McNeill on March 16th, 2014. Posted in Travelogue


Lorin, Jean and Cousins

It would not be many days into our visit before we understood food would become a key part of our China experience.
Here we were hosted to a sumptuous home cooked meal by the cousins (centre) of Lorin and Jin.

Full Photo Series Link Here

Link Here for Part II of this Story

Hello China, Here we Come Part 1  (see footnote 1)

This past August Lynn and I had an opportunity to take a whirlwind tour of China. As it worked out, our amazing nephew Lorin (2), his wife Jean and son Laur were living in Beijing, so it was an easy decision.  We often wondered about that mysterious country and felt a visit was a perfect way to sort fact from fiction.

Is the country completely polluted and is the traffic any worse than Vancouver? Are the people pushy or polite? Are the Chinese soNezha Conquers the Dragon King clever and determined they will one day dominate the world?  Could anyone or anything stand in the way of a technologically advanced country with a population of 1.5 billion and so much money they have no idea how to spend it?  Are they on their way owning the United States as well as all the oil in Canada? How about a simple question – can a stray dog or cat survive in China?

Insert (Web): Top 10 in China:  Nezha Conquers the Dragon King. The flower, bottom centre, was often observed floating in water filled ponds in many temples.

Fiction, fact and myths about China are so thoroughly intertwined, that no one seems to know for sure and everyone has an opinion.  While we cannot explore every facet of life in China, we will sort out what we can.

So with Passports, Visa’s and maps in hand, we donned our ‘rose coloured glasses’ and caught an Air China flight out of Tokyo.  Just to make certain we could see things clearly, we each grabbed a pair of polarizer clip-ons. Thank you for joining us in Part I of this three-part series.  PS We have taken plenty of pictures to back up our observations.

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Rhodes, Greece: Notes

Written by Harold McNeill on November 24th, 2013. Posted in Travelogue


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Photo: View of the acropolis from the town square in Lindros, Greece

While the historical sites on Rhodes certainly provide an amazing experience, the old town section of the city (just a 100 yards from our cruise ship gangway) provides an endless array historic street scenes. Again, as time permits, within the next few days I will write up the notes from from Rhodes. Link in to the blog at McNeill Life Stories for the full story. I will provide the link when it is complete.

Link Here for Photographs
(
All photographs Posted to this Point are on McNeill Life Stories
Open Facebook Page (link above)

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Patmos, Greece: Notes

Written by Harold McNeill on November 22nd, 2013. Posted in Travelogue


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Photo: The people of Patmos certainly set a happy tone for Gartb, Estber, Lynn and Harold

Patmos, Greece:  Link to Photographs

The story of this amazing little Island (only 3,000 residents) will be written on the next sea break as  we are currently beginning several long days in Israel.

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Ephesus, Turkey: Notes

Written by Harold McNeill on November 22nd, 2013. Posted in Travelogue


Ephesus Amphitheatre

Photo: This very amphitheatre had a capacity of 24,000.  When sitting in the upper part, you could hear
a penny drop on the stage below. This entire site remained undiscovered for 1500 years until a young man from
France made the discovery in the 1800s.  Even following the discovery, excavation did not begin until the early 1900s.

Part 5: A Visit to the Ancient City of Ephesus

Link Here for Pictures

The amazing history of the  Ancient City of Ephesus will be written in due course as at this time  we are into a series of 12-14 hour days, so there is not much time to even review the notes of our visits.

Cheers,

Harold

 

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.580672315338489.1073741866.347263575346032&type=3

 

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Naples Notes

Written by Harold McNeill on November 21st, 2013. Posted in Travelogue



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Photo of Mount Vesuvius as the MS Nautica leaves Naples harbour just as the sun
is setting. Can you imagine the destruction if the mountain erupted today?

Part 4: Mount Vesuvius Link Here for Photos 

As the weather was clear and the mountain top clearly visible we opted to ascend Vesuvius, the infamous (in 79 AD at least) and now a tourist destination that, along with now extinct towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, now attracts million of visitors every year.

The type of pressure buildup and eventual explosion that removed the top of Vesuvius seems very like that which happened at Mount St. Helens in Washington State.  Today, Vesuvius is reported as being the most dangerous active volcano in the world. It has erupted hundreds of times over the past two thousand years, but the eruption on August 24, remains by far the most powerful.

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Rome Notes

Written by Harold McNeill on November 20th, 2013. Posted in Travelogue


Peoples Square in Rome

Plaza Del Popolo: The entrance, just two blocks from the Tibre River and four from the Vatican, was
starting point of our visit to Rome.

 Link Here to Part 3 Photos

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”  Well, I don’t know exactly what the Romans do that is terribly different from what we do, but whatever it was is, we certainly had fun. The sky was clear, the temperature around 20 and the crowds very light.

Our tour guide on the one-hour (plus) trip from Cittivencia to downtown Rome, set the tone with his humorous cynicism about Rome, Italian people, the Vatican and the foibles of Italian politicians and any others who came into his sights.

For instance, when passing the Vatican: “Did you know that Vatican Radio is the most powerful radio station in the world?  If you put a finger up your nose and your other hand over your ear, you can hear Vatican Radio.”

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Oceania Nautica: Cruise Notes

Written by Harold McNeill on November 20th, 2013. Posted in Travelogue


 

McNeill's and Dunn's

Lynn, Garth, Esther and Harold share a drink while attending a
production in the Nautica Theatre.

Barcelona to Dubai: Post 2

NOTE:  December 9, 2013.  We are back home safe and sound in Victoria, British Columbia after an awesome 30 days of cruise and land travel.  This post will be updated with about 30-40 new photos of our cruise experience, so be patient as I work to catch up. Also, the stories for other destinations will be written in due course.  It was so great meeting all of you while on the cruise and even while in Dubai (after we left the ship) we ran into a number of others who were in transit.  Happy Travels…..   Harold, Lynn, Garth and Esther….

Claim to Fame

The Nautica’s claim to fame, besides being a very comfortable, passenger oriented cruise ship, was being one of the few cruise ships to be attacked by Somali pirates.  The attacked occurred in late November, 2008 as the ship was transiting the Gulf of Aiden.

As pirates in two skiffs attempted to run down the the ship while firing shots, Captain Jurica Brajcic and his officers immediately began evasive maneuvers and took all other prescribed precautions. After bringing the ship to flank speed, Captain Brajcic began the evasive measures which created a large wake that forced the pirates to slow.  The attack occurred shortly after leaving the Port of Salalah, Oman, the same port from which Captain Philips departed on the ill fated trip of the Maersk Alabama.

We have been advised the Nautica will be taking on armed guards at some point immediately before or after leaving the Suez Canal and that we will be constantly monitored as we continue south and east along designated lanes in our transit to our final destination in Dubai.  I will leave this as the top post for the time being as I am behind in the stories. Open below to link to the most recent photo albums. Additional stories will be written as time permits. (continue to photo links)

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Comments

  • Harold McNeill

    January 13, 2019 |

    Well, my dear, it’s that time again. How the years fly by and the little ones grow but try as you may you will have a hard time catching up to your Daddy. Lots of love young lady and may your day be special
    Love, Dad

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Guess what? My response went to the Spam folder. Hmm, do you suppose the system is trying to tell me something?

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Thanks, Terrance. Your comment came through but went to the Spam folder. Have pulled it out and approved. Can you send another on this post to see if you name is now removed from Spam? I’m not sure why it does that. Cheers, Harold

  • Terrance

    January 5, 2019 |

    A VERY COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS. ALL POLITICIANS SHOULD READ THIS.

  • Harold McNeill

    December 23, 2018 |

    Thanks Sis. I will be uploading as Hi-Def so the photos can be viewed full screen. Brother

  • Louise

    December 21, 2018 |

    Amazing collection of photos of the weekend ❤️❤️

  • Harold McNeill

    December 21, 2018 |

    Hi Dave,

    Not sure if you are the same Armit as was at Oak Bay PD or not. Interesting to see your comment on Danny Cain and your birthdays and family friendships. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 19, 2018 |

    Thanks, Lynn. It appears there was a problem with the comment system. Cheers, Harold

  • lynnmcneill

    November 19, 2018 |

    Hi Harold – looks great!

  • Maurice Smook

    August 13, 2016 |

    Hi Jillian,

    I don’t know if you are still checking this site but I had to respond again. February of 2017 it will be 72 years since this battle occurred.

    What caught my attention about this incident was on the Go Deep Documentary that aired on the History Channel. First of all I never known that this battle having ever occurred.

    According to my grade 3 teacher WW2 had never occurred. That grade 3 teacher stated that the WW2 and the holocaust was all propaganda. All of my classmates they believed her. I hate to say this but all I knew was that soldiers shooting at each other.

    I almost was expelled from school. My

    Mom my Dad my brother and my Uncle would have been arrested for propaganda. I paid the price. It was ironic a grade 5 teacher told me that Smooks are all commies. Dad was Conservative.

    All the Smooks that I known are all Conservative. If I had the money I would have loved to sue those two teachers.

    As I said I never heard of this Battle. If it were not for that program I would have never had known.

    I started to do more researching to find out more about the history of this battle. The narrator of Go Deep mentioned the names of the pilots who died that battle.

    I missed 20 minutes of that program but the camera crew had the camera’s pointed towards the sign with the names of the deceits. That is how I known.

    According to the narrator There are three who are still missing. W.J. Jackson, Harry Smook and A. Duckworth. A couple of months ago the staff of Go Deep have located Harry and A. Duckworths aircraft. This is on you tube. Harry and A. Duckworth craft is approx 650 feet deep in the Fjord. The individual who is heading this expansionary mission made it known he will not rest until all three of the missing pilots
    will be retrieved. I am sure that A. Duckworth’s kin are hoping for the same.

    What really puzzles me is that I have sent emails to the Smooks. Not one ever replying. I presume its the same with you. Sad. Dad rarely spoke about his family. It appears there is a big secret of the Smooks. I too assume Harry is a kin to my Dad. Harry maybe a 4th 5th cousin to my Dad. I too would like to know. Harry and A. Duckworth served and died for our country. The other is W.j. Jackson – who is also still missing – having died for our Country.

    In conclusion I still ask myself why is this a huge secret.

    If you are still checking this site please contact me. Maybe we may be kin.

    Take care.