Cebu City

Jomtien Beach
June 22, 2023
Sunny, Breezy and Warm
I am disappointed.  I decided to shorten my trip to the Philippines last month.  After a day or two, I was not myself.  I felt lethargic and demotivated.  Was it physical or mental or a combination?   After several days on Cebu, I returned to Bangkok.
I did manage to visit lovely places:  Plaza Sugbu, Magellan's Cross, and the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño.  Later, the Heritage of Cebu Monument and the Cebu Taoist Temple up on a hill with a view the city. 
I never miss a local market so I also visited the Carbon Market.  I'll post photos from the market in a few days.
By the way, my 'funk' had nothing whatever to do with the Philippines.  My Philippines Airlines flights were excellent.  The Manila Airport staff was kind and considerate as they wheeled me from counter to counter. 

Bob and Roz Visit Cuba - and Howie too!



April 2, 2023

Earlier this year my friends Rosalind and Robert Alperstein visited Cuba. They each wote about their trip.  They provided photos and a video of the highlights.

My friend Howie Sorkin also visited Cuba and sent me photos.   Howie made a special effort to visit the Jewish community.

I have also attched a link to an essay by John Kiriakou



"The Border" Part 3. The Caucasus.

Jomtien Beach


March 16, 2023

In The Border: A Journey Around Russia, Erika Fatland outlines the history and current disputes in Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia.

In addition to the capital cities Baku, Yerevan and Tbilisi, Erika visits the disputed areas of Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia.  The disputes seem intractable while local populations try to survive.

During more stable times my own visit to the Caucasus was filled with beautiful scenery, and generous people.

"The Border" Part Two - Asia



March 10, 2023


Even an experienced traveler like author Erika Fatland becomes exasperated with the inflexible restrictions in North Korea.

In Kazakhstan she was totally blocked from visiting the Russian-controlled Cosmodrome.

Erika loses her patience with the traffic in Ulaan Baatar. She is much happier in the wide-open spaces of the Gobi and the mountain regions of central Mongolia.

As a native Norwegian, the frigid temperatures of ice- bound Harbin, China must have been no problem at all.

Ms. Fatland reminds us of sage travel advice: “When visiting Asia you need two personal characteristics: “Patience and a Sense of Humor.”


"The Border" Part One. The Ocean

Jomtien Beach

Chon Buri Province


March 6, 2023


The current selection of our Travel Book Club is The Border by Erika Fatland:

A Journey around all the countries that border Russia: North Korea, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Norway and The Northeast Passage.

The Book is divided into four sections: The Ocean, Asia, The Caucasus and Europe.

For The Ocean, please click on the image above for my photographs of Kirkenis and the Northern Cape of Norway, and the Svalbard archipelago at the western edge of the Northeast Passage.