Where do you go for the world’s most spirited Christmas celebrations? I found Christmas in the form of soaring voices on the islands of Fiji.
Heidelberg Castle ©Russell Johnson
If you are over 18 you have probably spent some holiday season away from home. A few years ago I flew to Frankfurt, Germany the day before US Thanksgiving for a 1/2 hour business meeting. The meeting was a bust and alone, in a terrible mood on a bone-chilling afternoon, I boarded a train for Heidelberg, where the Student Prince was alive and quite drunk.
Joseph Sutter, rest in peace. The engineer who was regarded as the”Father of the 747″ was 95.
Airlines come and go, but one airplane, put in service in 1970 by Pan Am and designed and built by Boeing, is still flying, still being manufactured and, like Swiss Cheese or a Brooks Brothers suit, still looks the same. It is that ubiquitous, bulbous Cyrano of the skies, the Boeing 747.
Joe Sutter led a team of 4,500 (his number) engineers in designing what he called “the old ladies airplane” because not even granny is afraid to fly in it. We caught up with him in Hong Kong a few years back.
Old world Europe. Where do you find it outside of faded movies these days? Where do you find the heart wrenching chanteuses, the gypsy violins, the grand baroque cafes where you can pine about the meaning of life and nibble on cakes.
If you want that old feeling…go to Budapest.
WHAM! SMACK! WHACK! Smash! Thud! Shudder-creak-crash! I am nearly seasick in this coffin-size wooden box as it hammers relentlessly into ridges of ice atop frozen Barrow Strait. The coffin is sealed upon a komatik (Eskimo sled), the komatik is pulled by a snorting Skidoo, and I am buried under a caribou hide that would smell worse than bad drains were it not stiff with icicles.
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