Swakopmund is an old German town at the mouth of the Swakop River. It sits between the Atlantic and tall sand dunes that rise behind it from the Namib Desert. It was the main port for German Southwest Africa. It … Continue reading Germany in Africa
Herman sniffed a couple of times “I smell springbok.” A few minutes later we were on a small herd grazing in the sparse vegetation of the Namib Desert. Two jackals, Herman says a mating pair, were tracking them, not hunting, … Continue reading Life in the Desert
Sandwich Harbor was surveyed by the Royal Navy, which rejected it as a port. But fishermen and whalers used the harbor because it had a fresh water lagoon. It still has a lagoon but it is now brackish. The terrain … Continue reading Artifacts at Sandwich Harbor.
Namibia was our big splurge. There were things we wanted to see and limited time so I booked a 4WD with a driver, Herman, for all day. We shared it with Gail and Mark, a couple we met on the … Continue reading Our Big Splurge in Namibia – WOW!
It’s 6 AM. I got up to use the toilet a few minutes ago and my mind won’t shut down with thoughts and images of South Africa, the “Rainbow Nation.” It was an intense and engaging three days. There a … Continue reading Thoughts on Leaving Cape Town
Tuesday morning we got up early to watch us sail into Cape Town. We were supposed to be ashore at 8 AM. When we got within 8 miles of port the captain got a message that another ship was taking … Continue reading Cut Short at Both Ends
On our last day in Cape Town we set out to see some of what we had not seen on foot, well we took a cab to the starting point and another back to the V&A Waterfront but this was … Continue reading A Walk Through Cape Town
That’s right, Alfred not Albert. Alfred was one of Victoria’s sons who dedicated this port area in the 19th century. The V&A Waterfront, as it is called, has been repurposed, although not completely repurposed, as entertainment and shopping district. It … Continue reading Victoria and Alfred
In Stellenbosch I expected the austere Dutch Reformed Church I was used to seeing as a kid, emphasis on the pulpit and perhaps the organ, clear glass and little other ornamentation. From the outside the Stellenbosch Moedergemeente Reformed Church fit … Continue reading Reformed and re-Reformed.
Although I enjoy drinking wine, and Stellenbosch is the in the middle of one of South Africa’s finest wine regions, that’s not the reason we took the Stellenbosch wine tour. I went because we would have an hour and a … Continue reading Card-Bordeaux in Stellenbosch
Simons Town sits on the peninsula that ends in the Cape of Good Hope. It was home port for one of the British fleets that patrolled the critical waters where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans met, a sheltered port in … Continue reading Home Port
People who follow me on Facebook know that I love to take my daily walk in Sitka, take pictures, and post them. I try to walk on vacation as well. On Tuesday we took a cab to the Cape of … Continue reading Walking with African Penguins
Today Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a guest on the MS Amsterdam. He received Holland America Line’s first “Shared Humanity Award.” Along with the award $40,000 went to the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation. Robert Taylor, an associate of Tutu since … Continue reading Blessed by the Bishop
Many of our cruise mates missed Maputo altogether. A couple of hundred got on buses and went right to the South African border for their safaris in Krueger National Park. Others’ buses took them to the airport for their flight … Continue reading Fears that Hold Us Back
This is a picture post showing some Maputo street scenes from our walk through the city. The Botanical garden was filled with strolling bridal parties having their pictures taken. The entry portal is an example of Manueline revival architecture. You … Continue reading Maputo at Walk Level.
The White Cathedral (Nossa Senhora da Conceição) is just off of Independence Square. To me it looks Art Deco but we are told it has some touches of Manueline decorative style. Manueline is named for King Manuel I who died … Continue reading Manueline or Gustave Eiffel, Contrasts in Maputo.
It wasn’t hard to find the Maputo railway station. We docked, I looked out my window, and there it was, with its distinctive dome, designed in the Paris studios of Alexandre Gustave Eiffel and fabricated in South Africa. Eiffel never … Continue reading Maputo’s Classic Railway Station
Easter on Amsterdam I was not sure I would go to Easter Services on the Amsterdam. First of all it was at sunrise. My spiritual needs have largely met this trip by Rabbi Gan. I’m attending his daily lectures and … Continue reading Easter on MS Amsterdam
In Cape Town we lose probably the most popular passenger on the ship, Lily. Lily was 14 months old when we set sail from Ft. Lauderdale and very unsteady on her feet, especially on a moving deck. Now she runs … Continue reading Shipmates
I’m not talking about loan sharks but shark sharks. Reunion, a French overseas department, had a growing tourist industry; it was becoming a surfer’s Mecca, until the sharks came. For years there were no shark attacks on the island. Everything … Continue reading Sharks Can Hurt the Economy.
I don’t particularly like visiting cemeteries and I don’t like pirates at all. This is a post about a Pirate’s grave in a cemetery on the French Island of Reunion. Go figure. First, cemeteries — I would rather remember my … Continue reading A Pirate’s Grave — Reunion
It was because of the Seychelles that Public Broadcasting picked up some degree of protocol. In the beginning all called each other by our first names. NPR presidents were Frank or Doug, the CPB people were Clyde, Rick or Priscilla. … Continue reading World’s Smallest Capital City
Colombo makes a statement. When you sail in the first thing you see is a giant stupa raised on stilts telling any approaching mariner that this is a Buddhist country. But the skyline of Colombo has monuments to other religions. … Continue reading Colombo, Sri Lanka
One of the great joys of riding on a train is watching life along the tracks. Unlike roads there are no restaurants or gas stations. You look into people’s back yards or into their homes themselves. You pass dry rice … Continue reading Through My Train Window.