November 23, 2012


Egypt was a total surprise.  We were there on October 3 & 4.  We knew we would be in northern Africa, but most consider Egypt more a part of the middle East and some even thought is was East Asia. We boarded our bus in Alexandria to go on the three hour ride to Cairo, where we would visit the pyramids and the sphinx at Giza.  The first surprise was the chaotic traffic.  Neither of the two metropoli had any traffic lights we could see.  We saw no stop-signs, yield signs, or even stripes on the roadEven if there were stripes for traffic lanes, they were considered decorative.

As we traveled the desert road we saw many bridges to nowhere, partially completed. Upon arrival at the pyramids we had another surprise:  the souvenir vendors were very aggressive, not to say that we were accosted by them.  There was no way to even look at any souvenir without being pressured.  The picture where I am wearing the keffiyeh the vendor standing next to me wanted $20,00 for the picture which he "allowed" Corrie to take.  I had not asked for this pose or exposure.  Then 'he would take $5.00' he said. I gave him a dollar for his effort and walked off.  (The picture did turn out cute, though.)  The city of Cairo comes very close to the site of the pyramids which was disturbing to our tour-guide.  

After we visited the sphinx and the nearby necropolis we went for lunch on the Nile: "the Nile in Style" it was called.  Lunch was a traditional Egyptian meal.  The next surprise was the belly dancer during our lunch.  By the way, the sodas tasted just like back home.

The trip back to Alexandria was essentially uneventful and we had a nice late dinner on board ship. 

The next day we docked in Port Said at the entrance to the Suez canal.  We noticed the base of the statue of Ferdinand De-Lesseps,  but his statue is gone.  (I believe it succumbed during the six-day war.) We spend the day exploring this quiet city and relaxed from the hectic day we had before.


November 12, 2012


Veterans Day, Veteran’s Day...
I was thanked by many of our acquaintances for “my” service.  24 years of active Army duty.  Including a year (only one) in the combat zone known as Viet Nam.  I think about our veterans today, who have had multiple combat tours, but it seems are treated with more apathy than I was all those years ago.  Granted, the attention we got was often very negative; but at least there was awareness.  

Today’s war on terror seems to be taken for granted to those who do not serve.  After all, “they” volunteered for the service (!)   More of our soldiers survive the horrors of war only to be plagued by flashbacks, inability to reconcile the inconsistencies, and failing to reintegrate in a   society, which has mostly forgotten their sacrifice which provides for our security...

President Reagan said in his Veteran’s Day address in 1985:

“It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives -- the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember... ...And (we) the living have a responsibility to remember the conditions that led to the wars in which our heroes died. Perhaps we can start by remembering this: that all of those who died for us and our country were, in one way or another, victims of a peace process that failed; victims of a decision to forget certain things; to forget, for instance, that the surest way to keep a peace going is to stay strong... ...We're surrounded today by the dead of our wars. We owe them a debt we can never repay. All we can do is remember them and what they did and why they had to be brave for us. All we can do is try to see that other young men never have to join them. Today, as never before, we must pledge to remember the things that will continue the peace. Today, as never before, we must pray for God's help in broadening and deepening the peace we enjoy. Let us pray for freedom and justice and a more stable world. ”  

He shared many other words of wisdom and encouragement for us as people of the greatest nation on earth.  We would do well to remember our source of peace.

November 1, 2012


Two weeks after getting back form our fabulous Middle East cruise we are back in Colorado Springs working at Glen Eyrie.  We arrived at our daughter’s house last Friday afternoon and spend the weekend continuing to recover from our visit through the memorable sights of the middle east and para mediterranean harbors of call.  As we visit here, we saw the devastating results of the Waldo Canyon fire.  Yet, on the Glen it seems like nothing has changed.  The evergreen trees are still green, the deciduous trees are losing their leaves as in any other autumn.  Yet there is a restlessness, worries about flooding in the spring because of “hydrophobic” soil after the fire.  Continued discussion about the indiscriminate nature of this fire also are often points of discussion.  

The indeterminate closure of one of the favorite hikes on the property, the hike to Dorothy Falls and the Punch Bowls adds to this sense of change.  I would refer you to some of my earlier blogs about Glen Eyrie to see some of the pictures of this gorgeous hike.  Fortunately the other hikes are open to be enjoyed by any visitor to the Glen.

While recuperating I did a lot of picture work; shuffling, deleting, enhancing and the like. In my previous blog I promised a picture of the pyramids, so here it is!  

Our trip started in Athens, Greece and we had a two day sail to Alexandria, Egypt.  This allowed us to get adjusted to the time change.  The bus trip in Athens to the harbor from our downtown hotel took a detour to visit the Acropolis and see many sight in between.  A picturesque stop at the (modern) Olympic stadium; an inspiring stop at the tomb of the unknown soldier, where guards parade ritualistically in traditional old Greek uniforms. Driving by Hadrian’s Arch and the temple of Zeus, which were able to see magnificently from the top of the Acropolis. Many other historic places could be seen as well from the top of the mountain where the ruins of the temple of Athena stand.  There are just too many memories to share in just a short blog.  I’ll do another blog or two, to share some of our experiences in Egypt and Israel and report some of our exiting events in Turkey, Greece, Croatia, and Italy.

   I’ll do another blog or two, to share some of our experiences in Egypt and Israel and report some of our exiting events in Turkey, Greece, Croatia, and Italy.