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


P1040957

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

    April 14, 2020 |

    Hi Rick,
    Great to hear from you and trust all is going well. Our family members are all doing well but it must be pretty tough for a lot of people. I had once heard you were going to do some writing but never heard anything further. I would be most interested, but do you think the OB News have archives back to that time. Any link or information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Did you keep copies? Regards, Harold

  • Rick Gonder

    April 14, 2020 |

    Hi Harold
    About 22 years ago I spent several weeks going through the OBPD archives. I wrote several stories that were published in the OB News. Feel free to use if they are of value to what you are doing.
    Keep this up, I’m enjoying it and it brings back memories.

  • Harold McNeill

    April 12, 2020 |

    Hi Susan,

    Glad you had a chance to read. I decided to update these stories by proofreading as there were several grammatical errors in many. Hopefully, many of those glaring errors have been removed.

    Many of the stories carry a considerable amount of social comment regarding the way the criminal justice system is selectively applied. Next up involves a young woman from near Cold Lake, Alberta, who was abducted by an older male from Edmonton. Her story is the story of hundreds of young men and woman who have found themselves alone and without help when being prayed upon unscrupulous predators.

    Cheers, Harold

  • Susan

    April 8, 2020 |

    Great read, Harold!…and really not surprising, sad as that may sound.
    Keep the stories coming, it is fascinating to hear them.
    Love from us out here in the “sticks”, and stay safe from this unknown predator called Covid.

  • Harold McNeill

    February 17, 2020 |

    Update:  Times Colonist, February 16, 2020, articles by Louise Dickson, She got her gun back, then she killed herself,” and,  Mounties decision to return gun to PTSD victim haunts her brother. 

    Summary: I don’t know how many read the above articles, but they contained the tragic details about young woman, Krista Carle’, who took her own life after suffering for years with PTSD. While tragedies such as this play out across Canada every week, the reason this story resonates so profoundly is that the final, tragic, conclusion took place here in Victoria. Continued in the article.

  • McNeill Life Stories Index to Police Notebook - McNeill Life Stories

    February 16, 2020 |

    […] Part I, Police solidarity and the push for amalgamation. Part II, Comparing police cultures and implementing change Part III, The past as a guide to the future Part IV The integration of police services […]

  • Harold McNeill

    February 15, 2020 |

    Testing the comments section after changes made. Updated: February 10, 2020

    Further to the update below (February 1, 2020), I note that since the government announced a “No-Fault” insurance plan for BC, Robert Mulligan is taking a slightly different tack, suggesting that no-fault will only increase the problems by taking away the right of an injured party to sue.

    I’ve copied just one sentence from Mulligan’s longer discussion, “And I think people don’t like the idea that somebody who’s, for example, was drunk and ran into you and you become a quadriplegic is going to be treated exactly the same way you would in terms of getting benefits (go to minute 00:15:26 to see his full comment)

    Statements like this appear to be simple fear-mongering. As was the case in the past, people who commit criminal offences, as well as other forms of negligence while driving, may well lose their insurance coverage and in all likelihood would be sued by ICBC to recover costs of the claim. (Link here to Mulligan’s full conversation on CFAX radio)

  • McNeill Life Stories Index to Police Notebook - McNeill Life Stories

    January 5, 2020 |

    […] 28. The past as a guide to the future (Part III): Over the past 60 years, many activities the police once performed as a natural part of their daily duty, eventually became incompatible with achieving their basic goals. What happened? (August 2019) […]

  • McNeill Life Stories Why I stand with science? - McNeill Life Stories

    November 11, 2019 |

    […] During the Ice Age, the Earth’s average temperature was about 12 degrees Fahrenheit colder than it is today. That was enough to keep snow from melting during the summers in northern regions. As snow fell on the snow, glaciers formed. (NASA Earth Observatory) […]

  • McNeill Life Stories How to Game an Election - McNeill Life Stories

    September 18, 2019 |

    […] The Federal Conservatives and Seymour Riding Association complied but one day later those memes will be shared by every third party social media site and by thousands of supporters where the message will be taken as a statements of the fact.  Five years from now those memes will still be circulating. (Link here to background on the SNC Lavalin matter) […]