Bahir Dar and the Blue Nile

Posted by Pat on January 20, 2018 in Travel |

17 January 2018

Distances in Ethiopia are deceiving. This is a land of spectacular but rugged landscape, much of which looks like the Grand Canyon on steroids. The reports say there are over 20k miles of roads. However, that doesn’t mean they are all paved, lit, dual lane, wide enough for trucks and buses to pass, nor that drivers or animals follow any rules. Cows and goats have the right of way and they just don’t care that I may be in a hurry. One travel site warned about the presence of land mines on some of the more isolated roads. Ethiopia’s roads have never been easy, something the Italians found out when they thought they could easily conquer these noble people using roads better suited for donkeys than tanks, when it took days to go a few score of miles. Read more…

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Lucy in Addis Ababa

Posted by Pat on January 18, 2018 in Travel |

16 January 2018

Addis brags of its top museums highlighting Ethiopian history and culture, both ancient and modern. Today, I visit two of these museums and look forward to meeting Lucy and her friends. Read more…

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Emperor Haile Selassie I

Posted by Pat on January 16, 2018 in Travel |

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

15 January 2018

Traveling Ethiopia, I read and listen for opinions concerning this historical icon and controversial man. I know how I feel about Emperor Selassie. But how do the Ethiopian’s view him? Read more…

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Arriving in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Posted by Pat on January 14, 2018 in Travel |

14 January 2018

Lion MonumentEthiopia uses a 13-month calendar, with twelve 30-day months and a 13th leap month of five or six days. And instead of using standard international time, which would put it in the same time zone as Moscow, it works on a 12-hour clock determined by sunrise and sunset.

After about 36 hours travel time, my personal clock is ticking on Holy Cow time. It is not easy getting to Africa. I have attempted easing my pain with a few strategies learned from 45 years of flying. I ignore other’s advice and drink alcohol. I take my body’s advice and fly Business Class. Logic advises me to get a day room for my 10-hour layover. I have read to take care with Ethiopian time because what I would call 7 a.m. is simply called “1 o’clock” in Ethiopian time. Well, I try to tell myself it is “1 o’clock”  but my body knows I’m lying. Read more…

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Douro River and the Wonderful World of Port

Posted by Pat on November 10, 2017 in Travel |

28 October 2017

One does not need to cruise the Douro River Valley for Port because most all wine houses can be found along the Cais de Gaia. However, river cruises up the Douro, though what is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, is a pleasant and tasty way to pass a few days. So much wine – so little time! Read more…

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Oporto, My Porto

Posted by Pat on October 29, 2017 in Travel |

26 October 2017

Architecture, cathedrals and towers, food and Fado, wine and Port, polpo and jamon, bookstores and Harry Potter, the Ribeira and cafes. Porto, let me sing thy praises.

An explanation on the naming of the city. Portuguese call it Porto, the English Oporto, evidently because of linguistic misinterpretation. Way back when, the English erroneously heard Portuguese say “o Porto” meaning “the port.” They thought the name of the city included the article “o.” Locals hate that the error stuck. Read more…

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Lisboa Portugal

Posted by Pat on October 27, 2017 in Travel |

24 October 2017

Iconic ‘waves’ of Lisboa’s cobblestone streets.

I return to Lisboa after 45 years. Will I recognize its changes? Will it have changed? How have I changed? I certainly am a different traveler from the novice who visited Lisbon on a budget. In June of 1972, I wrote: Read more…

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