Archive for the 'Miltary' Category

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On September 15th TotalAdventure flew Jeju Air from Sapporo to Seoul. Japan has a higher standard of living than the USA and South Korea is close. Both have recovered from total destruction and destitution over the 70 to 80 years. What is shocking about Korea is that a man made line splits one country between one of the wealthiest and progressive societies in the world, across from the poorest and most repressive. Above, we look across that line.

TotalAdventure stayed at the beautful Hotel Entra Gangnam, in the famous neighbirhood of the same name, Seoul has a population of just under 10 million. The View. Gangam is the trendy shopping and dining neighborhood know for ” Gangam Style.”

Gyeongbokgung Palace dates from 1395. The complex once had 7000 rooms ,but was mostly destroyed in the Japanese Occupation. The grounds are slowly being restored.

A Pagoda view not unfamiliar throughout East Asia.

On Saturdays people like to dress up in traditional attire. Costumes can be rented.

An Effigy of A Court Official.

Clerks & Bureaucrats.

Worship of Lord Buddha. The ceremony is Confucian and can be observed when you WATCH THE INTRODUCTORY VIDEO AT TOP OF PAGE.

The Korea War Museum is massive .The war is central to both Koreas and both sides profess to reunite some day, hopefully not if the war reignites. The monument signifies the split and atop, two brothers, from each side, meet in battle and briefly hug before returning to killing each other.

North Korean MIG and prop plane.

This Soviet Limo was a gift to Kim Il Sung – the Great Leader. It was captured by US troops and given as a gift to the the widow of a US Army Colonel killed in battle. Now in the War Museum.

The war is embedded into society.

Food is a major reason to visit South Korea. Above is octopus in ink and seaweed.

Haejangguk – A hot and filling soup for breakfast, accompanied by dumplings.

Beef Bulgogi grilled tabletop , along with many dishes including spicy kimchi.

K Pop stars at the top pf Lotte Tower – at 1855 feet, 583 m the 5th tallest building in the world. WATCH THE VIDEO AT TOP OF PAGE.

The main ficus of TotalAdventure’s visit to Korea was to visit the Demilitarized Zone – The DMZ the line where the two Koreas, still at war ( USA included) observe a tense truce. The main mission was to visit Panmunjom where North Korean,South Korean and US soldiers face only inches away from each other. However, that was closed due tot the foolish deserter Travis King, running over the line.Repatriated by the North – he is now in a Texas military prison awaiting charges in desertion punishable up to death by firing squad), as well as child porn.

Through a telescope, the city of Kaesong North Korea. From Mt.Dora we were about 5 miles 8 km away.

Also pictured at the top of the page, the sign praises Great and Dear Leaders.

DMZ Rice paddies.

The South Korea Won is currently 1354 to the US Dollar. This translates to moderate prices ,slightly cheaper than the USA.

Feb 25th
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TImkat Epiphany In Holy Gondar. Click Video Above.

Priests Enact The Carrying of Boxes Which Carried The Ark Of The Covenant From Jerusalem To Axum, Ethiopia.

TotalAdventure, a Catholic, went to Ethiopia to explore the origins of Christianity. Dismayed by the ever increasing commercialization of Christmas throughput the world, to the point where religion is barely mentioned ,we decided to go where Christmas is not commercial at all, but a joyous occasion celebrating the arrival of Christ on Earth. Like much of the Christian Orthodox world, Christmas is on January 7th and Epiphany 12 days later on January 19th. Because this year,2020 is a Leap Year Timkat was on January 20th. In the West Epiphany is celebrated as the arrival of the 3 Kings, one from Ethiopia. In Ethiopia Timkat celebrates the Baptism of Jesus Christ. In Gondar’s Emperor Fasilides Baths. After many hours of prayer and singing, male participants will dive in , re enacting the Baptism.

Christianity arrived in Ethiopia by the 4th Century. Traditions and mystical celebrations changed little by the time Ethiopia was effectively cut off from Europe and the Holy Land by the 12th Century. The ceremonies we see here, especially in the video above, are the closest to Original Christianity.

As darkness falls on Timkat Eve, the momentum builds, with prayer, chanting and singing.

Another palace of Gondar.

The Three Kings.

TotalAdventure returned to the Fasilides compound by 5 AM. The Faithful were fervently at prayer.

Monks Sing Around The Baths as they have all night.

Dawn Approaches.

Sahle-Work Zewde, the President of Ethiopia, Came From Addis Ababa To Take Part In The Ceremonies.

Blaine Zuver, Director of TotalAdventure, Is Interviewed For the Ethiopia Herald. Story Here.

Part of The President’s Security Unit. Many soldiers were on patrol as well.

At last , after sunrise, the clarions blow and joyful adherents of The Lord re enact The Baptism.

Timkat 2012 ! (2020) The Ethiopian Calendar is 8 Years Behind The Western Calendar.

A Very Unfortunate Incident Occurred At Timkat. Bamboo bleachers are constructed each year so the crowds can get a view above the walls surrounding the Holy Pool. They are built to accommodate perhaps 200 or 300 people.

Just before sunrise the overloaded structure collapsed. Ten people were killed. More than 200 went to the hospital, some paralyzed for life. The ceremony was disrupted for about an hour, then went on.

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Final edit of Go-Pro footage of ArcticTropic’s exploratory voyage across Russia in early Summer 2014. Five days in Moscow , then to Irkutsk,Lake Baikal and Ulan Ude , before crossing into Mongolia.


For Adventures in Russia, CLICK HERE

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The Central Museum of the Armed Forces is a fascinating portrayal of Soviet, and now Russian,military history.

Kalishnikov – world’s most popular automatic rifles.

Comrade V.I. Lenin gazes wisely upon his subjects.


For adventures in Russia, CLICK HERE

Mar 5th
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The Military Museum is a tribute to Maoist Might. MIGs, missiles
,tanks,artillery and destroyed US spy planes are all on display.

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Chairman Mao gazes eternally upon the masses entering the Forbidden City.


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A fresh snow covers the the courtyards of Old Cathay.


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Chinese People’s Liberation Army recruits off to tidy up Tianamen Square
in Beijing yesterday morning.
Apr 3rd
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Albania, only 40 miles from Italy, is a world unto itself. From 1946 to 1991 it was completely cut off from the outside world , by the Evil Dictator Enver Hoxha. I had an an opportunity to visit back in 1995 and recently scanned some pre-digital photos. Above is a young lady sporting an AK-47.

A horseman in the countryside outside of Vlorë.

A pillbox on the beach near Durazzo ( Durrës) Hoxha built one pillbox for every four people in the country . Pillboxes are everywhere ! Fences have iron spikes to puncture parachuters.Hoxha was convinced of imminent invasion from Yugoslavia or Italy. Albania at one point had no diplomatic relations with any country .

Albania is quite open to visitors now – GO HERE to see ArcticTropic’s link to Albanian Adventure.



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This morning we hired a car to take us out to Teotihuacan – seat of the Aztec Empire. Above is the Templo del Sol. The weather was brisk – 60 at best, with some cold showers – but great viewing.

If you’re out of shape – this climb is not for you!

Teotihuacan Panorama

A Nest of Ferocious Fireants !

In the footsteps of Montezuma and Cortez !

A young Conquistador at the Templo de La Luna.

A steep climb. 45 degree angle.

An Ancient Cat.

New Excavation.

Late in the afternoon we went to the Zocalo to watch the Army lower the giant flag before sunset . It was not to be – Communist agitators had gathered at the front of the Palacio Nacional to block the troops – hoping for a confrontation. Riot police were at the ready. There was no trouble, however – rain dispersed the crowd .

Posing with Indian marchers.

In Mexico’s Geographic Center.

For over 35 Mexico Adventure destinations click HERE.