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

 

 

 

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Naples Notes

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



P1120468 

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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Barcelona: The Adventure Begins

Written by Harold McNeill on November 18th, 2013. Posted in Travelogue


Gruel Park Barcelona

Gruel Park Entrance:  The marble pillars above, give way to rock structures that support much of
hillside.  Photos in the attached album provide a better feel for the area.

Link Here for Full Set of Photos

With the population rapidly pushing toward 1.75 million, a history that traces back several hundred years, a football team that commands world attention and an architect whose works continues to define many aspects of the city, Barcelona has plenty to offer. Since gaining their freedom barely 35 years ago, Barcelona and Catalan Province have become top tourist destinations of the Eurozone.

Situated in the north-east part of Spain, the port of Barcelona hosts more cruise ships and cargo tonnage than any other single Mediterranean destination. When wandering around this carefree city it is hard to believe that it was only 1976 when the Catalonian people emerged from 40 years of brutal repression under the iron fist of the Franco regime.

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Brazil: World Cup 2014

Written by Harold McNeill on September 23rd, 2013. Posted in Travelogue


Brazil: World Cup 2014

Brazil Girls Collage

Photos: These photos were taken by Chris Vaughn, a friend from Nanaimo and former publisher of the World Football Pages (a BC based Magazine that ran for several years).  Chris always had a keen eye for capturing the essence of our International Football Matches and, as you can see in this series, Brazil brought out some very colourful Canadian girls to support the Canadian Team.  

The two game series was played in 2006 when the Brazilian U20 Men’s Team challenged Canada in a warm-up to the 2007 U-20 World Cup. The teams split series at one game each.  Below is a photo of the teams on the field at Royal Athletic Park. 

(The collage was created using a freeware system, so, of course they put their name in the middle)

Are You Thinking of Heading to Brazil in 2014?

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Japan, East Coast: A Journey of Recovery

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


Japan East Coast Soccer Teams

Photo: Just a few of the kids and adults we met during our trip along the East Coast. At this newly refurbished soccer pitch, Canadian flags, World Cup soccer balls, pinnies (including several used by the Japanese U20 mens team) along with other pieces of memorabilia from the 2007, U20 Mens World Cup, was very popular. Many of the older soccer players were aware that Victoria had hosted the Japanese team during the U20 World Cup as the games were broadcast and streamed live to Japan.

Link Here for Chapters 1 – 5

Link Here for the East Coast Slideshow on You Tube

あなたチューブの東海岸スライドショーのためここにリンク

Link Here for Individual Photos on Flicker

フリッカー上の個々の写真のためにここにリンク

Link Here for Photos on Facebook

Facebookで写真のためにここにリンク

Chapter 6  A Journey of Recovery

While an important part of our mission to Japan was flying the colours of Victoria in our sister city of Morioka, another, and equally important part, was assisting in modest way with the East Coast recovery efforts.

Morioka, for those who are not aware, is the Capital City of Iwate Prefecture, the Prefecture that encompasses much of the heavily damaged area.  For the citizens of Morioka and surrounding area, dealing with the immediate and long-term effects of the disaster was and is an immense challenge, challenges they accepted with equanimity.

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Japan: The Adventure Begins

Written by Harold McNeill on September 6th, 2013. Posted in Travelogue


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The City or Morioka is nestled in a broad plain below Mount Iwate-san (background right) in the central part of Iwate district. The 2000 meter mountain and surrounding hills feed two rivers, the Kitakami-gawa and the Nakatsu-gawa that, along with the lush green surroundings, lend the city an ambiance that is unsurpassable. The above photo (click to open), along with that of several wildflowers (linked photo album), were taken after Lynn and I climbed Poet’s Walk behind the home of our first host family, Rieko and Yoichi Sakashita.

Chapters and Photos

The photo albums attached to this story have been placed on an open Facebook Page and are available to everyone regardless of whether they have a Facebook account.  While the pictures will tell much of the story, the following notes provide a general outline of our travels P1040908of our two week visit.  As Wi-Fi access and preparation time was limited, the notes being presented below are compiled from earlier Facebook posts to family and friends.

Photo: Rita, Bill and Lynn push the carts with our ample supply of luggage.  It may have seemed like overkill for four people, however, four large suitcases contained gifts and other supplies, much of which was destined for school children and sports groups along the East Coast.

We are certainly grateful to our friends, Bill and Rita McCreadie, for inviting us on the journey and who led the way from Canada. They shepherded us through our arrival at Narita and onto the shuttle train that would connect us to the Bullet Train for that speedy ride Morioka. The transfers were managed with such ease that we could well have been out for dinner and movie in our home city of Victoria. As you might have guessed, the McCreadie’s have taken this trip many times before and we could not have ask for better travelling companions.

Chapters and Photos

1. A country of friendly people and lush green landscapes:     Photos for Chapters 1 -3 Link Here
2. Welcome to Morioka and an Introduction to the Sansa Festival: Photos for Chapters 1 -3 Link Here
3. Suma Wrestling: The National Sport:  Photos for Chapters 1 -3 Link Here
4. Go Grulla Go – To the J3: Photos for Chapters 4 & 5 Link Here
5. Aomori Nebuta Festival: Photos for Chapters 4 & 5 Link Here

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Comments

  • Harold McNeill

    March 19, 2019 |

    Hi Dave. Not that I am aware and I have a fairly comprehensive family tree for the McNeill side of the family. I will pull it up and scan. Cheers, Harold. Great chatting with you and I will give Ben a nudge.

  • Dave Cassels

    March 16, 2019 |

    Were you related to Guy McNeill who owned the Bruin Inn in St. Albert in the late 40’s or early 50’s? Guy was a close friend of my father-in-law who was the first President of the Royal Glenora Club. My phone number is 780 940 1175. Thank you.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 15, 2019 |

    So glad you found the story and enjoyed. Indeed, they were memorable times. I did a fair amount of searching but never managed to contact any of the Murffit kids. However, it was neat to make contact with the Colony and someone I knew from back in the day. I have enjoyed writing these stories from back in the 1940s and 50s and have made contact with a lot of friends from those early years. I will give you a call over the weekend. Cheers, Harold

  • Yvonne (Couture) Richardson

    March 7, 2019 |

    I enjoyed your story. I too, lived in Pibroch in 1951, as my parents owned the hotel there. I was a very close friend of Bonnie Murfitt at the time. I moved to Edmonton in 1952, however, and have not seen her since. I would like to be in touch with you to talk about your story. My email is listed above and my phone number is 780-475-3873.

  • Laureen Kosch/Patry

    March 5, 2019 |

    I grew up in Pibroch and would not trade those years for anything. “ Kids don’t know how to play anymore” Never was a truer statement made. During the summer we were out the door by 8am, home for lunch, and back when it got dark. For the most part our only toys were our bikes and maybe a baseball mitt. I will never forget the times when all the kids got together in “Finks field” for a game of scrub baseball. Everybody was welcome, kids from 8 to 18. I didn’t know it then but I guess I had a childhood most dream of. Drove thru town last summer. It all looked a lot smaller.

  • 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