Wednesday, January 20, 2010

MICHAEL'S STORIES 2008 & EARLIER



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November 2008


MALI - Mysterious Timbuktu and Djenné with their Mud Mosques are synonymous with the ends of the earth. Mali is the largest country in West Africa and the Niger River is its most reliable traffic artery and life source. It is Africa’s second longest and is as important to the people of Mali as the Nile is for Egypt.

Also visiting ZAMBIA, SOUTH AFRICA, MADAGASCAR, ZANZIBAR, NGOROGORO CRATER, ETHIOPIA & LIBYA



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April 2008

Visiting: LIMA, CUZCO, MACHU PICCHU

 



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May 2008

Visiting: HAVANA with Victor

 


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April 2008

2 Cities – 2 Cultures – a tale that encompasses cosmopolitan Mexico City – the old Tenochtitlán and the pre-Hispanic holy city of Teotihuacán with its Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon

 


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April 2008

My first three nights in the Guatemalan Highlands are spent at Casa Palopó, a pumpkin, blue and white coloured small villa on a hillside overlooking three magnificent volcanoes across misty waters of Lake Atitlán - alone. . . . I finally get to a Market Day in the little village of Chichicastenango – once purportedly the most colourful market in the world. . . . We leave the highlands and drive to the old colonial city of La Antigua Guatemala.



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INDIA

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MARCH 1987

Michael visits with Mother Teresa in her convent in Calcutta before moving to live in London.

 



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BHUTAN

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March 1987

I am travelling with an Amex colleague Tony Singh to meet with relatives of the Bhutanese extended Royal Family whom Tony has met socially in Delhi. This is not a Royal Tour but a business trip to discuss their suitability to represent American Express and provide services for travelling cardmembers who may find themselves in trouble a long way from nowhere in the isolated Kingdom of Bhutan - lying in the heart of the Himalayas landlocked between Tibet in China, the state of West Bengal in India and the Indian annexed states of Sikkim and Assam.

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NOVEMBER 2004

Travelling with Alan Guignon and visiting: DELHI, AGRA, RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK AND JAIPUR


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SEPTEMBER 2007

Visiting: DELHI, AGRA, JAIPUR AND UDAIPUR



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DECEMBER 2007

Travelling with Pam and Ken Turner and Visiting: AMMAN, PETRA, ALEPPO AND DAMASCUS




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JANUARY 2008

The Blue Nile, Ancient Kingdoms & Scenes from the Bible
- Travelling with the Turners



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MAY 2007

Travelling with Pam and Ken Turner and visiting: TRIPOLI, SABRATHA, LEPTIS MAGNA AND GHADAMES

 

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APRIL 2001

" . . . . back in the hotel before midnight - dead to the world in a comfortable bed at last, I was roused by a knocking, and a quiet voice on the other side of the door. “We need you to get dressed and come to the lobby. There‟s an emergency.” Drowsily, but with haste, I dress, and thinking that there is a fire, open the door and ask, “Why?” Composed, the hotel clerk softly answers “There are men in the hotel with guns.”

 

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Our only port of call in Greece is Santorini, which rises out of the Aegean Sea and guards the mythical lost City of Atlantis.

Travelling with Lee, the other ports of call are: CATANIA IN SICILY, ROME, NAPLES, DUBROVNIK, VENICE

 

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January 2007

A year ago, my old travelling companion Alan Guignon emailed me an itinerary (as he is wont to do) for an escorted tour (yes, an escorted tour) that included a week floating down the Mekong River in the comfort of a newly built boat - it was leaving from an unknown port in China meandering through the jigsaw of countries around the Golden Triangle and down through no-man’s-land to Luang Prabang. And a visit to Siem Reap in Cambodia to cap it all off!


Travelling with old friends Pam and Ken Turner and Alan Guignon, visiting: ZHONGDIAN, LIJIANG, DALI, JINGHONG, LUANG PRABANG, AND ANGKOR WAT


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MARRAKECH
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September 2006

On arriving at the Villa des Orangers, an authentic 1938 townhouse just outside the souk, I enter through a nondescript door and into an Arabian nights dark reception area before being ushered into the courtyard. As I sit, I hear only the falling of the fountain. A faint sense of incense wafts through the air. Are the oranges tied on up so high in the trees or are they growing in pots that beautifully? The walls with Arabic design are not sparkling with new paint but there‟s an air of authenticity here. I sense that this is going to be good.




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September 2006

Visiting: BEIJING, SWITZERLAND,  MILAN AND MARRAKECH

Beijing has been catapulted well and truly into the 21st Century since I last visited here on business trips from Hong Kong twenty years ago. I arrive in Zurich amazingly fresh after twelve hours of flying in daylight on Lufthansa from Beijing via Frankfurt to stay with the Aumuellers. Juergen meets me and takes me home to see Birgit and my God-daughter Joya-Lara, now seven. Next for a busy four days visiting the de Pietra’s in Lugano. After all the hospitality and activity in Switzerland, I’m happy to do very little in Milan over the weekend while I wait for my flight to Marrakech on Monday.


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Three Countries and a Wedding
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June 2004

Word of the pending marriage of Alexandra, the daughter of old Amex friends, Hector and Dolores in Madrid became the Genesis for my travel plans for 2004. So Europe was to be my destination one more time. I had no inkling that this visit to Madrid would also take me to Salamanca, Ávila and Segovia with amazing connections to my Catholic schooling of more than fifty years ago.

Visiting: SHANGHAI, CORNWALL, SPAIN


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The Kimberleys - Cruising on the Orion
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May 2006

I have been bobbing along in shark infested sparkling waters on the expedition cruise ship Orion – a 100 metre ocean going mega-yacht for nearly a week now. I’m sailing with Andrew and ninety fellow adventurers along the remote, rugged Kimberley coast of Western Australia for eleven days. We go ashore in zodiacs to view wildlife and explore some of the most pristine parts of the planet. At times we get wet. But what the hell? It’s part of the fun!


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March 2007




The latest in a series of Short Stories by would-be Travel Writer Michael Musgrave, on board the “Orion” Gourmet Food & Wine Expedition Cruise from Hobart to Sydney in March 2007,



TASMANIA - "My Sister and Me" - with Anne and Trevor Schramm -


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APRIL 2007

I'm staying in what many would think was a wonderful Small Luxury Hotel but for me it is irritating. The Eugenia is a small hotel of twelve rooms is in the Sukhimvit area in a quiet residential street in Bangkok. It is a wonderful example of an old house being lovingly restored to century-old condition.






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BOROBUDUR AND AMANJIWO IN CENTRAL JAVA
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I am staying at Amanjiwo, one of the “cutting-edge” Aman Resorts in Indonesia.  The architects designed the complex magnificently to be located within sight of the eighth-century Borobudur Temple here in Central Java. Walk in the front door, and there the temple stands in all majesty before you on the horizon.

Borobudur Temple

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

MICHAEL'S STORIES and BLOGS

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MICHAEL'S STORIES & BLOGS - 2009

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August 2009

I travelled with Father Steve  to Timor-Leste in the first week of August with the intention to immerse ourselves for three days in the activities of the Railaco Jesuit community in the mountains outside Dili. This blog outlines those 'spiritually' gratifying experiences.



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June 2009

Read about our holiday on the Greek Island of Spetses in this blog.


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June 2009

When you open the link above, please click on 'June' in the Table of Contents for stories of our visit to Ljubljana, Piran and Lake Bled in Slovenia.



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June 2009

When you open the link above, please click on 'June' in the Table of Contents for stories of the ports of call on the 'Crystal Serenity' Cruise including: Lisbon, Cadiz, Barcelona, Sorrento, Taormina, Kotor in Montenegro, and Trieste in Italy where we disembarked and spent a couple of days before going to Slovenia and Greece. 


This blog is rather extensive. At the end of the first page, click on Older Posts to read the rest



 


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May/June 2009
 
When you open the link above, please click on 'June' in the Table of Contents for stories of our visits to places like Alcobaça, Batalha, Évora and Guimarães.
 
Little prepared was I for stories . . . of battles . . . of Portuguese Kings . . . of the Discoveries . . . of so many UNESCO World Heritage sites . . . of apparitions of the Blessed Virgin in Fatima and earlier in Reguengo de Fetal . . . let alone for visiting these fascinating places of historic interest with a walking encyclopaedia, Greg, an expatriate living in Lisbon.



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MICHAEL'S STORIES & BLOGS - 2010


SEMANA SANTA in SEVILLE . . . and MOROCCO
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March/April 2010



The link will open the complete series of blog posts Please wait for the photos next to each blog summary on this cover page to appear - before selecting a blog post to read. 
Come with us to 21st century Seville and Morocco and experience what was once one of the most important kingdoms in Europe, Al Andalus, with architecture out of the Arabian Nights.  At its height, Al Andalus included most of southern Spain and Portugal with all present-day Morocco spilling into neighbouring countries. 








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January 2010

Edmundo’s Experiences with Michael and Boris, ‘Our Man in Havana’, when Edmundo returns to Cuba in 2010 after living in eXile for 50 years in the USA



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