Archive for the 'War Zone' Category
The Highway From Asmara To Massawa Drops Over 8000 ( 2500m) Feet In Just 100 Kilometers. We left early morning temperatures not far above freezing arriving to close to 90 ( 32C) on the coast.
At the entrance to the city is the Palace of Emperor Haile Selassie. Though he was murdered by the Communist Derge in 1975, his palace continued to be used by officials until it was bombed by the Ethiopian Air Force in 1991, when Eritrea began its’ War of Independence. To this day, it is still in ruins, like much of Massawa , in contrast to well preserved Asmara.
The visa to enter Eritrea is only good for Asmara itself. To travel anywhere else in the county , an interior Travel Permit is required. This took about 2 hours to acquire the day before. One must arrange transport as well. The driver’s name and the car’s license number are listed on the permit . TotalAdventure passport number deleted for security purposes.
One must carry the receipt as well, to prove that the 51 Nafka ( $3 ) fee was paid.
Along the highway there may be toll collectors.Baboons demand bananas in order to allow cars to pass without harassment.
Massawa architecture is more Ottoman than Italian.
Statuary Of The Lion King.
Barbed wire – possible live bombs inside of another palace.
The port on the Red Sea – almost all ships from China.
On Haile Sellasie’s Porch.
L – 1011 TO Nowhere.
Wartime damage un repaired after 30 years. But people live here.
Its’ been a long wait for the bus – about 45 years.
Bottled water plant , shuttered in the 60s.
Mothers and Children.
General of the Troop.
Returning to Asmara – high above the clouds.
The New Generation Of Eritrea !
Vietnam Voyage Is A 23 minute excursion from Saigon to DaNang by air, from DaNang to Hue by train and then from Hue to Hanoi by air. TotalAdventure explores the main sites of the 4 historic cities with culinary adventures ,such as cobra snake in Hanoi.
No words can describe this Hell on Earth, from only 40 years ago.
Senseless death in the name of pure communism.
Slammed against the tree.
In the middle of the night.
From Our Time – 1977. Beaten with bamboo staves, to save bullets.
TotalAdventure is getting all caught up today in Bangkok, before we leave for Qatar tonight. Here’s a few more from Hanoi in June. Above, the Ho Chi Minh Tomb. Unfortunately Uncle Ho was off to Moscow to ” have a little work done ” , so we could not see him.
In the brutal Hanoi Hilton.
An injured John McCain.
Siem Riep is not just the joyful city of Angkor. Like all of Cambodia , it was a vicitim of a 30 year war perpetrated by distant powers in addition tot he genocidal Khmer Rouge.
Mines to booby trap rice paddies and cattle grazing areas.
Mines from All over – Russia,China,USA.
The results of mines.
While Hue remains a warlike image in the minds of many Americans, due to the 1968 Tet offensive, it is a city at peace .
Sampans glide the river.
Evil spirits are kept at bay.
Street Food is incredible !
Making honey at the Pagoda.
Dinner by the Pearl River.
After two days in Da Nang, TotalAdventure moved on to Hue on the Reunification Express. Unlike other things in Vietnam, the train has not changed at all, except that the French built cars we rode in in 1993 are now 25 years older. “Express” is a hopeful term, as it too nearly 3 hours to cover 43 miles( 70 km).Beautiful views.
Hue is the exact center of Vietnam and incredibly beautiful.
We’ll move this later , but our travelers will surely enjoy this beautiful videoof a bridge in Da Nag.
Like everywhere else in Vietnam , Da Nang has changed immensely since TotalAdventure’s first trip in 1993. 50 story buildings, many of them luxury hotels, dot the skyline in a city known as a large US Army base in a major combat zone, especially in the late 60s.
We climbed to the top of the Marble Mountains ,where we took in the view of China Beach , an R&R spot for the US Troops, and the South China Sea.
While the Marble Mountains were surrounded by US Troops, the caves within them were major operating bases for the Viet Cong. This large cave was a hospital for the wounded. The Americans could not penetrate. Instead, they bombed the mountain from above, finally opening these holes after months of round the clock raids. By that time it had been vacated. The cave is now a Holy Shrine.
Da Nang restaurants have excellent seafood. This is apparently stonefish, which if stepped on means immediate death or loss of a leg.
TotalAdventure Returned to Vietnam for the first time since 1993, The younger member of our team was not born till 8 years later. Needless to say, Vietnam has transformed from a poor, war-torn agrarian country to a leading Asian Tiger.
Our First Meal – Bahn Mi and 333 Beer !
We started out our first full day, Saturday,June 9, visiting the Reunification palace, where NVA tanks smashed thought the gates on April 30,1975, ending the American puppet South Vietnamese regime.
Elaborate meeting lounges paid for and built by American taxpayers.
The more phones, the more important the official.
Benevolent Uncle Ho Oversees All.
In The Cao Dai Temple.
Amazing Skyline Of Corporate Towers,
TotalAdventure Team Took Off From Miami on the evening of June 6th. We flew out over the dark Atlantic, across France in the early morning, onwards through Eastern Europe and the Black Sea across to Turkey and then over Iraq. Due to diplomatic problems, Qatar Airways cannot fly over Saudi or Bahraini airspace , adding about 45 minutes to the 14 hour flight.
Over War Zones,Former And Curent.
The Skyline By Night. In Ramadan,Doha comes alive at night.
June 7th was a day in the Holy Month of Ramadan. We did not eat or even have a glass of water while walking around in the the 42 C ( 108 F) heat. But after sundown it was time for Iftar – the Breaking of the Fast. We enjoyed delicious Lamb Kofta along with Iranian bread.
The Holy Quaran.
Sheikh Al-Thani .