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The South of Italy

The best way to visit the beautiful areas of Amalfi and Sorrento and Capri and Portafino is using Naples as your base.

You can use the Circumvesuviana train system from the Central station which stops in Pompeii and Sorrento from Naples and it only costs 2-3 USD each way.The only problem is they have no AC so be prepared by bringing water with you.

From Sorrento you can catch a group of Buses that will take you to a variety of cities.They are new and have AC that really works.These Buses are cheap about 3 USD but they can be crowded.I took a Bus to Amalfi and Portafino.

You can also go to Capri with a Ferry and either come back to Naples or go on to another city like Portafino.

You can find prices online for the different options available. I would rather not give a specific Company since it would appear I was getting paid for the recommendation.

The Hotels in any of the cities along the coast tend to be much higher then Naples so if you want to keep your costs low having Naples as your base will help your money go a much longer way.

Portafino ……
bellissimo !!!!!!
Before Portafino


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Which road is America taking ?

The initial theme of my Blog was to talk about travel and to have beautiful pictures so that people can enjoy the experience of traveling to parts of the world that perhaps they have never seen.

I decided to change the name of my Blog to Milky Way Traveler because we all are Travelers we all are on this Planet and we’re hurdling through the Milky Way galaxy and we’re basically going to parts unknown and we’re sharing it all together.

Watching the current news regarding Trump and the Immigration policy of the United States makes me want to acknowledge to everyone that we are at an important point now in our History.

This siren song of hate has happened very often not only in American history but across the Planet.There are now populist movements either it be in the Philippines under Duerte or in Hungary under Orban or in Brazil or in so many parts of the world where the Immigrant is looked at as the other as the enemy as creatures that are not human that should be looked down upon and hated.

Is this any different then previous eras like for example the 1930s which led to the de-humanization of Jewish people ? The Germans called them Communists the Russians called them Counter-Revolutionaries they were called parasites they were called dangerous they were called criminals and how did that work out ?

Now if you’re poor and you’re desperate and you’re escaping the horrors of Guatemala or El Salvador or Honduras or any other area in Central America or South America where people are dreaming of a better life,you are not looked at as creatures that deserve the empathy of Trump and his supporters. Now Trump and his enablers look at these people as not human but as simply creatures that are bringing disease that are bringing the worst that the world offers to the shores of the United States. While the Statue of Liberty cries in New York Harbor……… Trump is capable of doing anything to try to satisfy his political base.

Now is the time that we can’t simply be silent what will people ask in the future ? What will your children or your grandchildren say ? What did you do during this period ? How did you conduct your life when the de-humanization of human beings was being done by the President of the United States and those who enable him ?  We as decent human beings regardless of our political parties regardless of our religious beliefs cannot tolerate this type of behavior from the President of the United States and the present Administration, we now must do something.

That involves being politically active  being involved in Organizations that don’t accept this type of behavior that means we can not afford to do nothing.

History has proven that those who just sit back and watch end up being a party to those who helped create the environment of not only hatred but eventually people being killed.

Our country is also guilty for the Holocaust we didn’t allow people into our country because of fears and because Politicians and ordinary people said the Jews were Spies the Jews were dangerous that they should not be let into the United States.

And what was the result of that ? Even Ships that came with people who were desperate to leave the ancient hatreds of Europe were not allowed into the United States because of the same type of ugliness and hatred and prejudice that we are singing right now. The one difference is that FDR did not voice the same amount of ugliness and vitriol and hate as Donald Trump.But the results were that so many people could have been saved if the voices of fear had not dominated American discourse.That stain of blood is on America’s hands.

The question we have to ask ourselves is this ? How many people are now not being allowed into the United States who may be killed in their home Countries. Maybe their fears are justified ? Is it proper to treat these people with such a lack of sensitivity ?

History is looking at us now not only as a Country but as a people as to who we really are what are our morals ? What are our ethics ? Are we simply going to turn away while people are begging for help and assistance ? Are we going to allow the haters and the ugliness of Trump and those who support him to dictate our moral and ethical standards ?

We need to act now even before the 2020 Presidential election because there’s going to be a lot of pain and a lot of ugliness before November 2020 regardless of how the election concludes. I suggest that if you believe what Trump is doing now is totally counter to American values then you must act now because the legacy of America is now in your hands.

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Santorini

Have been staying at the Atlantis Hotel in Santorini……… and Wow what a view.The view from my balcony is so beautiful it is difficult to have a desire to leave the room.

But this Island is a pleasure to explore and you can do it for very low cost.The central bus station on Fira has a group of buses that go all over the Island and they are new and have Air Conditioning.The rides are around 2USD to almost any part of the Island.

You also can take many long walks that can give you great views as well.

The Atlantis Hotel does not have an elevator so you have to reserve long in advance if you want a room on the first floor.

This property is a good value and since it is in Fira facing the Aegean it has fantastic views.

The rooms are basic but have a Fridge and Air Conditioning that actually works.

It costs about 20USD to take a Taxi from the Airport to the Hotel.


What a view !!!!!
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The Lake District of Chile

After leaving Ushuaia our ship headed up the Coast of Chile to an area that is wild and unspoiled and often beautiful although it is often hidden by clouds and rain and high wind.

It is an area that gives you the feeling you have been transported to another Planet it carries a feeling of mystery of something alien.

The trip took 2-3 days before we reached Puerto Arenas we did not stay long since high winds did not allow for safe passage to the port so we continued to

Puerto Montt a very beautiful and unique area that is also very young geologically.It has had the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history some as high as 9.6 which occured in 1960 known as the Great Chilean earthquake.

Like New Zealand which also has a very active land area these areas have enormous beauty while they can be potentially dangerous.So that Ying and Yang adds to their appeal.These Pics will give you a feel for the place.

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Ushuaia

Coming back from Antarctica my ship stopped in the most southern city on the planet Ushuaia.

It is close to Tierra del Fuego National Park so it is a popular stop if you are in the area.You can take a local bus or a taxi.I would advise you simply take a Tour and save the hassle.A bus would cost about 21 USD and the entrance to the Park about 15USD

Here it is often windy and cold and you can often sprinkle some rain as well.

The area is one of the highest concentrations of Cataracts in the World because of the depletion of the Ozone Layer.It has improved recently but suggest you use a good Suntan lotion and of course Sunglasses as well.

As usual Photos are a great way to get a feel for the area.

Tierra del Fuego National Park
View from the Bus near Tierra del Fuego National Park
A rare Red Fox
From the top Deck of the Ship
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Staying healthy when you Travel

The most important factor when you Travel is to stay healthy there is nothing worse then having an ailment or catching a bad cold when you are on a trip.


It is amazing but the trays at security at airports is a haven for viruses and bacteria, so after leaving security you should wash your hands or use a wipe.

When you get on the plane the same deal,wipe your seat and the tray table.When you go to the bathroom never never drink the water.

I have found speaking to Airline crew that flying in the long term can be hazardous to your Health I cited the BBC story regarding the air quality in all Boeing planes prior to the 787 in previous posts.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-32786537

The radiation exposure over time has caused a variety of health conditions in airline crew and Astronauts as well since Ionized radiation causes long term damage to the immune system.A majority of Astronauts who have worked in space have been victims of this exposure since they are not protected by the Earths atmosphere.

On an aircraft for every 5 hours of flying you are receiving about the same level of Rems as a chest x-ray.

As a result I take antioxidents like Resveratrol and Pomegranate extracts since they have been found to have anti-radiation effects.

I combine that with a higher then normal level of fruits and vegetables including Cauliflower and Broccoli.These vegetables have been found to not only have anti cancer effects but also boast the immune system.That is why berries should be on your menu the more the better.

You need to maintain your normal hours of sleep regardless of the time change and you need to buy fresh fruit and vegetables to have in your Hotel room.I have had problems with clean food in many parts of the world so if I can find a local market I will buy fresh and wash it in my room.That is the only way to protect yourself from fruit and vegetables that have not been cleaned properly.

I even bring a small amount of fruit and vegetables with me that lasts from 1-2 days.I also bring small cans of Salmon from Alaska so I have protein as well.

I never traveled this way but have found that sometimes because of bad weather or delays on my trip I never get a chance to eat something healthy.Well either for your destination or on the plane bring your own food.I recently flew Business class on Iberia to Madrid from Miami and ended up eating my food that I picked up rather then what they served.

OK thats my wise tidbits for today.

Thanks for your kind words.

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Falkland Islands

If you really want to visit the UK head to the Falkland Islands an area of the world that is more English then England.If you want to get close and personal with Penguins well this is the place as well.After taking a short boat ride from my ship was taken in a 4 wheel drive car that gave a ride that was as much fun as the destination.The trip involved a great deal of driving on rough unpaved roads to the beach area the Tuxedo guys have their community.

And what a group it is watching all the action is really mesmerizing the only problem is the area does not smell like a Perfume factory.

Its cold and rainy just like jolly old England but you really could not care less.


Climate change and denial.

If our Civilization exists in 200 years from now what would Historians conclude about our time ?

What would be their conclusions regarding Climate change ?

The current Summer in Europe hit new records the hottest Temperature ever recorded occurred in South Asia.Cyclones or Typhoons or Hurricanes become ever more powerful.Rains and Drought become more severe.

But the Deniers do not give up Why ?

My guess is Historians will conclude that important countries like

America were led by a Neanderthal named Donald Trump who gave

Neanderthals a bad name.He was a creature of the past who aligned himself with other Autocrats who refused to accept reality.

But it was something more, many Human Beings refuse to accept a possible negative outcome.Either it be a poor diet or lack of exercise or too much drinking…….. we are often incapable of stopping bad behavior.

In a period that required bold action America offered the World a Leader that could only scheme to fatten his own Bank Account.

As Glaciers melt at an accelerating pace and our Oceans slowly rise our Planet has failed to unite to save our species from great potential disasters.

I fear that in a World where the United States does not lead but tries to hide behind walls the Trump Electoral College victory in 2016 is a much bigger loss for America and the Planet then any of us can imagine.

Flying over Alaska

It is strange but so often I notice that even when people are sitting next to a window on a flight they never look out the window.

Some of the best views you will have on any trip is from your seat on a flight no matter where in the World you are flying.

So here are a few great Photos from a recent flight from Anchorage to Honolulu that I then took to Lihue.

Juneau

Stopped for about 7 hours at Juneau and made a visit to the Mendenhall glacier and went Whale watching.

The Glacier like everything in Alaska is melting at a rapid rate, it is much smaller then my last visit to this beautiful area.

After taking a walk near the Glacier left the area to meet a boat that would take us to parts of the sea that are popular with Whales.

It took about 45 minutes before we all were given a great show of water being splashed through a Blowhole……. it is an amazing experience to be up close and personal to the largest creatures on the Planet.

At this point Scientists know very little about the language or behavior of any of the Whale species.The Humpback which are common in the Juneau area are really a mystery to modern science but we do know that they are in danger due to climate change.

Our guide has names for the Whales in the area she even named the one who enjoyed our company…….she was a real performer jumping out of the water and using her Blowhole a few times.

Mendenhall Glacier

If you ever get to Alaska do not miss the chance to get up close to these amazing creatures.

A Zen moment

Had a stop at DFW airport and decided to use a Priority Pass benefit at Minute Suites.

You get 1 hour in a small room with a desk and a sofa that can be opened to a bed.

When you had a 6 AM flight as I had earlier it is wonderful to have a quiet place to relax or even to actually get some sleep.

This establishment charges 40 USD an hour and 28 USD if you have Priorty Pass.

They were full when I arrived so after about 40 minutes was taken to my room.

While I did not have a quick sleep since I laughed to myself that if I did sleep it surely would be for a few hours which would make it a very expensive quick snooze….. I did have a Zen moment.

As I sat on the sofa and counted down the minutes left on my free stay I thought about the beauty of this haven in a busy Airport.

The gift of our very existence the need to savor every minute of our life.How grateful we should be to have the people we love and the simple enjoyment of having a few moments of solitute.

Every minute passing checking my watch as I adjusted my pillow gave me a deeper sense of time and our own mortality.

Travel helps us defy Space and Time those moments we visit new places and experience cultures and people so different then our own cities and towns helps make our trips a different use of our valuable time.

As the minutes of my stay came closer to my 60 minutes I not only

appreciated each moment more but realized that I and all of us have been given a certain amount of time and it is our job to use it in the most productive way.

Kauai,Hawaii

After taking a Flight from Anchorage to Honolulu took another short Flight to Lihue which is the main City on the island.

Among the islands I have visited this may be the most beautiful and the most interesting.

The area has several different climates the amount of rain depends on elevation and the temperture can change by 20 degrees especially in the Waimea region.

At night the temperture can be 20 degrees cooler at the

Canyon which has a elevation of about 3600 Feet which is over 1000 Meters

The beauty of this island is really amazing and with a population of about 65000 people very civilized.

If you ever get to Hawaii you should not hesitate to visit

Kauai.

Waimea
Waimea Canyon

Glacier Bay

Was on a Cruise with Holland America that left Vancouver after about 7 days we arrived at a beautiful area filled with not only many Glaciers but also many Whales and a variety of other local creatures.We traveled around this area for most of the day.

Did not plan on going on this Cruise but after checking the low prices only 3 weeks before departure could not resist to book.

It is a game of cat and mouse with the Cruise lines the earlier you book the more you pay but if you have the ability to Travel a short time before

departure you often can get a good deal even in high season.Of course the Summer in North America is very busy but many Cruise Lines move Ships to Alaska during this period and often they have extra Cabins.

When you do a booking at this time it can be a problem getting a good price on Airfare.That is why you need to start to accumulate Awards from not only Airlines but Hotels as well.I discuss this concept in earlier Posts it is in many ways like having an Investment Portfolio which allows you to have flexibility when you need to Travel on short notice.

I used Frequent Flyer miles to save money on Airfare but the cash price was really not that bad so it was difficult to decide if using miles was worthwhile.

This is a great area in Glacier Bay.
From my cabin a Glacier on each side.

Prague

The name is enough to begin to imagine the old city the romance the beauty of Europe without conflicts or religious wars.That time of course never existed but the culture and art still emanates from so many cities in Europe and never so beautifully as Prague.

I think planning is not necessary just pick a spot in any part of the city and just start walking, you will be rewarded at every turn.

You can start in the Old Town Square and just explore and you will discover a magical

Europe.

Saint Petersburg,Russia

The most beautiful city in Russia is Saint Petersburg which is easy to reach if you are in Scandanavia or any of the Baltic countries.

I had purchased a package that included transportation from Helsinki and a Visa for my

2 days in Saint Petersburg.

The city was created by Europeans so it naturally has a European quality.

I concentrated on the Hermatage Museum and the Peterhof which is a day trip by bus and if you wish by boat.

The Hermitage was not in good condition after the Soviet Union had left history so money was raised abroad to bring a great museum back to its former glory.

It is on the same level as the Louvre or the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

It is a good idea to come early since it gets very crowded.

Peterhof

The next day had a wonderful trip to the Peterhof,went by bus and came back on a fast boat.

Gardens at Peterhof

Had rare good weather it was around 72F or 22C

Winter Palace and Hermitage museum

This is not a city that you should ever skip if you are in the area.The big hassle is getting a Visa,the best way to lower the high cost is getting a package by Rail or Ship from Helsinki,Finland.

Marienplatz

While I was in Munich took the U-Bahn from my Hotel to Marienplatz which was a short distance from the Holiday Inn Munich Leuchtenbergring.

The Hotel is very good value and when I stayed in late April the rooms were about 72 USD a day.

After taking a walk around the beautiful Marienplatz I took a short ride on the U-Bahn to the Deutsches Museum.The Museum has a strange name since it is a Science and Technology centered exhibition. It includes every aspect of Science and Tech that you can think of and is worth your time.

The Marienplatz area of Munich is a geographic and cultural center of Munich and is a good starting point to any visit to the area.

New York

In New York for a few days the weather was beautiful used Reward Points to stay at Grand Hyatt which is next to Grand Central Station and then stayed at the Intercontinental near Broadway.

By using Rewards points from Hyatt and IHG I paid for one night so the total for 4 nights cost me less then 500 USD

New York City is expensive so you need to learn about the various Rewards programs if you wish to visit without hurting your wallet.

I booked the Grand Hyatt so I could just walk out of the Hotel and grab a train on the Metro North to the Hudson Valley.I went to Beacon to visit the various Art Galleries in the area.

It is not a expensive trip for a journey of about 100 minutes it varies in price based on what time of day you travel.The price is between 23 to 45 USD

The trip alone is worthwhile since almost the entire journey is along the Hudson.

After I arrived back in New York I visited the High line and then Hudson Yards.

The High line is about 1 1/2 miles long and more then 30 feet above the sidewalk and is a fun experience.You can either visit downtown or visit Hudson Yards.

Flying near George Washington Bridge

Metro North near Beacon
The Track is very close to the Hudson
Metro North near Beacon
A beautiful train ride from Grand Central Station
Metro North to Beacon
From the High Line a view of Hudson Yards
Hudson Yards
A view from my room at Intercontinental Hotel
Flying over New York
Nice View from the Plane