In August 1994 I visited Argentina, Brazil and Chile
Statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro with Sugar Loaf Mountain in the distance.
India and Thailand 1995
The Taj Mahal, Agra, India.
This beautiful mausoleum is built of marble and is justifiably known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Built by Emperor Shajehan in 1632 as a loving memorial to his beloved wife, Mumtaj Mahal. It took 20,000 skilled workers 22 years to build with no expense spared. Imagine the cost today! I also visited New Delhi and Jaipur. Transferring later to Bangkok and the delightful beach resort of Hua Hin in Thailand.
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
The Dome of the Rock, which ranks in sanctity after that of the Kaaba in Mecca and the tomb of the Prophet in Medina, is one of the most beautiful mosques of the Islamic world. Beneath the Dome of this magnificent building lies the rock of Mount Moriah. See below for more details of my visit to The Holy Land.
As you can tell my favourite pursuit is overseas travel; countries visited include Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Canada and S.E.Alaska, China inc. Hong Kong, Egypt, India, Israel, Thailand, Turkey, USA and several European countries.
Uluru (Ayers Rock) Northern Territory, Australia 2001
I travelled to Australia in September 2001 and visited Melbourne, Sydney, Ayers Rock, Alice Springs and Cairns. In sub-tropical North Queensland I sailed aboard an Ocean Spirit Cruises catamaran to the Great Barrier Reef for a taste of scuba diving. On another occasion I took a scenic railway journey through the beautiful World Heritage rainforest and returned via the famous Skyrail Cableway to Cairns. www.skyrail.com.au On another excursion I visited the Rainforestation Nature Park at Kuranda, Cairns, where I met this cute little koala.
Canadian Rockies and Alaskan Cruise
In May 2008 I toured the Canadian Rockies by coach and this was followed by a cruise up the Inside Passage to south east Alaska. Throughout this entire holiday I witnessed what can only be described as the most beautiful natural scenery I have ever come across including the magnificent glaciers. I also managed to see dolphins, whales and even a wild bear.
Dinnertime! A large female black bear (estimated between 300 to 400 pounds) along the Steep Creek drainage at the Mendenhall Glacier catches a fresh sockeye salmon. This wonderful picture is courtesy of Mark Kelley, an eminent photographer based in Juneau, Alaska.
The Holy Land
My most memorable overseas holiday was my spiritual pilgrimage to The Holy Land (Israel and Palestine) in October & November 1996 when the Bible became my tour guide! It was a very thought-provoking and inspirational experience to visit the Holy manger in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. To walk the fourteen stations of the cross along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and site of Jesus's crucifixion at Calvary in Jerusalem. To attend the Basilica of Annunciation in Nazareth where the Archangel Gabriel told Mary she would bear the Son of God. To swim in the Dead Sea and to sail in a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee just like Simon & Andrew. To visit the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached his sermon on the mount and also at Tabgha, Tiberias, where the first feeding of the multitude took place, was truly awesome and inspirational to say the very least.
At Caperneum, where Jesus performed miracles, I visited the authenticated home of St. Peter where Jesus was a frequent visitor. It really felt as if I was walking in the original footsteps of my Lord and Saviour. Places I was taught about as a child but only ever dreamed that one day I may be able to walk in the same footsteps as His twelve Apostles. Also of those many disciples and believers of Christ, knowingly accepting him as God's only begotten Son.
No pilgrimage to The Holy Land today is complete without paying homage to the heroes, martyrs and victims of the Holocaust by visiting Yad Vashem, Israel's National Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem;
I can truthfully say that I have never been moved to such emotional awareness more so than at Yad Vashem. In the words of His Holiness the late Pope John Paul II during his visit there in the year 2000;
"Never again may evil prevail"
Witness however, the atrocities committed in more recent times in Srebreniza-Slovenia, Darfur-Western Sudan, Cambodia and Rwanda, etc
It hurts deep in my heart to see the almost daily death and destruction on both sides of the conflagration in the Middle East. I pray every day for a just and lasting settlement with peace and reconciliation. May the Lord God Almighty restore good order and tranquility in these troubled times for the benefit of all people in the Holy Land irrespective of race or religion. Most especially I pray for deeper understanding between Christians, Jews and Muslims. Also between all religions of the world. We must strive to live together in peace and harmony with mutual respect for each and every member of the global family of mankind without fear or prejudice.
On September 12th 2011 I was fortunate enough to fly over to Turkey to embark on the Thomson cruise ship Celebration at Marmaris for a cruise to Egypt, The Holy Land & Cyprus.