Log of Calypso

08 February 2023
08 February 2023
04 February 2023
06 August 2022
01 August 2022 | Stonehaven, Scotland
28 July 2022
25 July 2022
22 July 2022 | Edinburgh, Scotland
21 July 2022 | Glasgow
19 July 2022 | Edinburgh Scotland
19 July 2022
25 June 2020
03 June 2019
03 May 2019 | Charleston, SC
01 May 2019 | Brunswick, Ga
27 March 2019 | Palm Coast, Fl

12 February- In Bethlehem, Palestine

13 February 2023
Jeff & Wendy Gower
This morning starts like all mornings in the past week, early. At 0730, we leave the Paradise Premium Hotel not by bus, but on foot.

We visit a religious article shop next door owned by Palestinian Christians. This religious group makes up only slightly more than 2% of the population, surprising in this land were Christianity was established. Purchasing a few souvenirs such as olive-wood carvings helps support this community.

Bethlehem may not be the cleanest city in the world, but the focus of everyone we have meet is one thing, Peace. All you need to do is pass through a “Checkpoint” into the occupied territory, by Israel, or see the demolition of homes in Jerusalem by Israeli solders, to see there is a long way to go for that.

Brother Dave’s traveling rule #1; learn a few words in the local language, here being Arabic, as it will take you a long way. We found this very true while attending a Lutheran Church service and later with our guide George Saadi, who helped us navigate the busy streets of the Bethlehem Market for lunch.

We visited Shepard’s Fields Church, built on top of the caves where “Shepard’s Quaked” when an angel appeared to tell them of the birth of Jesus.

Several murals decorate the interior of the church but it is the acoustics that cause pilgrims, such as us, to break out into spontaneous Christmas Carols.

Next stop, the Shepard’s Caves.

Were it only seemed fitting to hear a reading about this event.

Finial, off to the Church of the Nativity. Here a 2+ hour line lead us to the remains of a small stone cave currently under the watchful eye of the Greek Orthodox Church.

I had wanted to get a picture of the “Silver Star” said to mark the location of Jesus’ Birthplace.

At the exact moment I took the photo, I was bumped, reveling what is most likely the true location.

Sea of Galilee

08 February 2023
Jeff & Wendy Gower
After 24 hours of air & bus travel we were greeted by a spectacular sunrise over the Sea of Galilee.

Sea of Galilee

08 February 2023
Jeff & Wendy Gower
After 24 hours of air & bus travel we were greeted by a spectacular sunrise over the Sea of Galilee.

The Next Adventure Awaits

04 February 2023
Jeff & Wendy Gower
We’re on the threshold of adventure with bags packed headed for the Holy Land.

The Cutting Room Floor

06 August 2022
Jeff & Wendy Gower
After nearly 12 hours in the air and countless more in airport terminals, check-in lines, and three security check points, we arrived home to our "Beach Cottage".

After unpacking, sorting through mail, and catching up on some needed sleep, we discovered several photos and some video footage that didn't make it into our blog, the first time.

So, we put together, as a YouTube. We hope you enjoy this short look back at Scotland from what we picked up off, "The Cutting Room Floor".

Jeff and Wendy

Tail of Two Bus Rides

01 August 2022 | Stonehaven, Scotland
Jeff & Wendy Gower
Several months ago when we started the planning of this trip we soon discovered that many of the places we wanted to go to were not linked by rail. Not a problem, we thought, we'll take a bus.

We soon discovered an eBook Guide called, "How to Travel Aberdeenshire by Bus", by Marisa Vogiatzi.

A non-driving student at Aberdeen University she wrote it as a survival guide to other non-drivers in Scotland. Since then she has graduated and publishes other guides and a blog on Solo Traveling, a younger, and prettier, Rick Steves!

After Balmoral's success we were off to explore Stonehaven. This picturesque yet somewhat quirky seaside village, 40 minutes from Aberdeen, was enchanting.

It offered us a walk on the pebble strewn beach.

Down a well designed boardwalk with protective, art decorated, Rip-Rap on one side....

... and manicured gardens on the other.

Being, lunch-o'clock, we spotted Seafood Bothy. The word Bothy comes from the Gaelic word for a little hut, or in today's thinking, more like a Tiny House.

As we waited for lunch, several boats returned with thier catch, lunch would certainly be fresh!

Before lunch we talked about hiking taking the cliff trail to the ruins of Dunnottar Castle.

But, less than 5 minutes later we were feasting on the fresh North Sea seafood. We split, two crab tacos and a lobster and prawn burrito.

As you can guess with full stomachs all we wanted is a nap, not a hike. So, we loaded on the bus back to Aberdeen with thoughts of when we could return.

Two days later we loaded back aboard the bus to Stonehaven. After a hearty breakfast of porridge, we were ready for the castle.

Over 440 Million years ago the rock on which the Castle stands called conglomerate known as "pudding stone" was forced to the surface of the earth. Since 5000 BC, Picts, Saints, Kings, and Conquerors have lived, worshiped, and fought at this site.

The 1.82 mile one way trek along the coastal path took us from sea level to 160' in a matter of steps. Once inside the ruins of this one elaborate strong hold the history of it, came alive. Stories of William Wallace (aka Bravehart), Mary Queen of Scots, and the daring deception to save the Scottish Crown Jewels while Oliver Cromwell laid siege to the castle for nearly a year.

Walking back towards Stonehaven, we were glad that we did the most of the uphill version of this hike first. However, we stopped so many times it is impossible to count. This time not to just catch our breath, but to look back a a major component in Scottish history.

Sla'inte Mhath (Good Health),
Jeff and Wendy
Vessel Name: Ex-Calypso
Hailing Port: Morehead City, NC
Ex-Calypso's Photos - Main
Repair to Calypso's foredeck, mast step, rudder, & Seacock replacement
7 Photos
Created 3 November 2016