Think before voting

This blog is aimed mainly at Australian readers, so I apologise to my other readers.

I am tired of the multi-coloured banner across the top of my blog, even though I’ve tried to have it removed, and investigated how to remove it myself, but I don’t have the computer knowledge.

It is obviously a banner in support of same sex couples marrying, but as they have had the same legal status since 2008 as de facto heterosexual couples I fail to see the attraction of the word ‘marriage’. But that as may be. Forcing my bog to carry their banner is not going to endear them to me.

According to the last census in Australia 3.6% of the population claim to be homosexual, which as I’ve said before, doesn’t bother me in the least. I do not condemn them, because I am not sinless.

My concern is that 96% of the population will be affected by the proposed changes to the current definition of marriage.

Via a postal vote we will be asked to tick for or against the change to the marriage act, which states that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. The question is simple, but the consequences of the changes that could take place will affect all of us for generations to come.

The law was changed to allow homosexuals to marry in the UK, and we in Australia have a tendency to follow certain changes in the UK, NZ & the USA. According to a British report (Feb 2017) 2.5 % of the British population are homosexual, which means 97.5% have had their lives altered because the government have added additional laws to change society over and above the basic law to allow homosexuals to marry.

My concern is that the change in the UK has not just been to allow homosexuals to marry, but also to change the direction of the society as a whole.

Just a few examples of the UK changes that might ‘emigrate’ to Australia.

The UK Government has a new Parliamentary Minister – for Proposals to streamline and de-medicalise the process for changing gender will be part of a broad consultation of the legal system that underpins gender transition, the Gender Recognition Act.
Gender recognition?

To announce this new ministry we had the corruption of the badge of State that dates back to 1603.

LionDieu et mon droit = God and my right, which is the oath of the monarch.

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Not particularly respectful for the Queen. Her Government issued a news item.

To jump to another change, yet linked to the one above –

London Underground workers have been told to stop greeting people by saying ‘ladies and gentlemen’.
Instead, Transport for London (TfL) workers will use phrases such as ‘good afternoon everyone’ as the city takes steps to become more gender-neutral.

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I find this a little odd considering The Gender Recognition Act was announced by the Minister for Women and Equalities, how very un-pc, surely it should be handled by the Minister for Persons and Equalities.

If you attend Hull University as a student, and you do not use ‘gender neutral pronouns’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ then you will lose marks during your examinations. It is a good job that the Minister for Women and Equalities doesn’t attend Hull University as a mature student.

Don’t think that you can move to another university because Sussex University staff have been advised to use gender neutral pronouns . . . several other universities have issued guidelines to their staff – are we looking forward to such advice from our Australian ‘seats of learning?’

If you have a bank account with HSBC you have to make a decision as to how the bank should address you – MX, Ind, Misc, Mre, or Myr – I think I’d pick MYR, because that being the international code for the currency of Malaysia, and perhaps HSBC might make a mistake and send me a few ringgits instead of sending them to Malaysia.
So don’t expect to receive a letter addressed to you if you are a Mr, Mrs, or Miss. I can still remember my first Christmas envelope addressed to Master . . . .  .
Misc doesn’t have the same ring. . . .

There is an organisation in the UK called Stonewall, which is a homosexual organisation to promote radicalism in society, and it seem to be working in many areas – the slogan of this organisation is Acceptance without Exception’, which creates in my mind a strange feeling of deja vu, which is not a pleasant feeling. George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm springs to mind.

To calm people before the vote to legalise homosexual marriage in the UK that nothing will change, the UK Parliament promised to protect the freedom of religion. This was supposed to ensure that people could remain true to their convictions.
Within a very short time the political ‘protectors’ started to devalue ‘their heartfelt promises’. The Minister in charge of Education stated that the Church of England should reflect modern attitudes.

From 2013 homosexuals in the UK have been able to have a civil wedding, but the law will not allow them to be married in an Anglican church.
The Education Secretary suggested it was now time that the Church of England allowed its vicars to bless homosexual unions.

The Education Minister said, ‘I wouldn’t prescribe to them how they should deal with that, but I do think we are living in a country where people broadly recognises that attitudes are in a different place now to where were many , many years ago. We have allowed same sex marriage, that is a massive step forward for the better, and for me, I think people do want to see our major faiths keep with modern attitudes in our country.’

The Speaker in the House of Parliament must be politically impartial. Therefore, on election the new Speaker must resign from their political party and remain separate from political issues, even in retirement.

The Speaker of any House of Parliament, but particularly the British House of Parliament, which dates back to 1258, must remain neutral. He / she isn’t allowed to have a political opinion, not even after he / she retires. Unfortunately the current Speaker of the House, has an opinion on homosexuals marrying – he calls for churches to embrace homosexual marriages, and said not so long ago –
I still feel we’ll only have proper equal marriage when you can bloody well get married in a church if you want to do so, without having to fight the church for the equality that should be your right.” another member of the Government who hasn’t read the Bible.

Would anybody be interested in what this person had to say if he wasn’t the Speaker of the House who should be neutral – or is he neutral when he said – “I’ve always thought proper credit should be given to the Blair government, which was a hugely reforming government, and Tony Blair personally, who was a terrific force for good on these issues. Credit where it is due, the Cameron government did something very remarkable on equal marriage. I’ve always thought same-sex marriage legislation was David Cameron’s greatest achievement in Parliament.”
Not bad for a man who is ‘neutral’.

Moving on as to how the 2.5% have changed British society – the UK High Court has suggested that traditional Christian beliefs on sexuality are not conducive to Christians being appointed to foster children. A couple’s Christian views according to a judge ‘”there may well be a conflict with the local authority’s duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of looked-after children.” . . . I’ll leave you to read it again. Dr Barnardo’s childrens charity – the oldest and I think the largest in the UK was started by a Christian, with Christian beliefs and is still in business.

I’d like to know how the British Government is going to work out how to make the Church of England vicars officiate at homosexual marriage in a C of E church. The Government will then have to follow up by making the Catholic church comply (does Roman know?) and then the Muslims, the Jews, Hindus, Buddhists etc.

The other small detail is that Her Majesty the Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and all Acts of Parliament to change or compel the C of E will be  enacted in the Queen’s name. Parliament will be asking her to break her coronation oath!

British society is changing beyond recognition, and I fear that Australian society will follow.

Is your job secure ? A housing manager in Manchester UK, Adrian Smith commented, in his own time on his own Facebook page, that allowing homosexuals to marry in church was ‘equality gone too far’ – he was disciplined at work and reduced in position from a £35,000 job to a £21,000 job. He’d worked for the council for eighteen years.
Acceptance without Exception comes to mind. Adrian Smith the manager in question, took his employer to court and won, but he shouldn’t have had to go to court.

How about a magistrate being dismissed, by the Lord Chief Justice, from his position because he opposed an application by a same sex couple to adopt a child. As a magistrate he said that he thought the child should be raised by a mother and father. The court clerk and two other magistrates in the court complained. The Lord Chief Justice said that he was influenced by his Christian beliefs against the same sex couple, rather than the evidence.
The magistrate was also Finance Director of the NHS Trust Development Authority (National Health Service), and after after being interviewed on TV about his dismissal,  and because his views were out of step with the Trust, he was removed from his Directorship.

The real ENEMIES OF THE STATE had to be put away safely; the asocial and the professional criminals who could not be locked up under the prevailing laws had to lose their freedom in order to protect the people from their destructive behaviour.
A quote from the autobiography of Rudolf Hoss – look him up.

How about the National Trust with 4.2 million members, of which 62,000 were volunteers to help run the various sites. An instruction went out that all volunteers would wear a same-sex rainbow badge while on duty, and those who refused had to be ‘moved out of sight’ until they were ready to prove their inclusive tolerance.

Once again George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ comes to mind – some volunteers are more equal than others.

This link makes interesting reading about the National Trust and how they handled a couple who didn’t wish to wear the rainbow badge and lanyard.

Forty years a member and Max Hasting resigns from the National Trust – read that Dame Helen Ghosh, who was the head of the Trust, changed the name of the Easter Egg Hunt to Cadbury Egg Hunt across all Trust properties. She wanted to appease those who didn’t like Easter because it was a Christian festival, which might upset other religions. It obviously didn’t click with her that Easter is a Christian festival and that it is part of the British culture.

As for child education we already have gender fluidity in Australia.

Vishnitz Jewish Girls School, which is a London based private school, has been praised for achieving high marks from school inspectors for the standards reached by the pupils and the way the staff teach.
Four years later, although the school still ranked highly in the ‘pure’ educational departments, it failed the educators test because it didn’t teach the girls about homosexuality and sexual orientation.
According to the inspector this failure ‘restricted the pupils spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development and does not promote equality of opportunity in ways that take account of ways of differing lifestyles.’ It appears that the inspector couldn’t fault the girls academic ability, which I am sure pleased the girl’s parents.

Read the news item linked to the girls school name, and you will see that Stonewall have links to the Educational Minister. Read about seven year olds being encouraged not to use the words ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ because this might offend transgender children.
I can remember when I was seven, and I knew the difference between a boy & girl, because boys wore shorts and girls wore dresses – it was quite simple really, but that was when we went to scholl to learn to reed, rite & do sums. Sex in any form never entered our heads.

Consider what happend in the UK before the vote to allow homosexuals to marry each other – protection for all, unless you wish to use gender defined pronouns, or wish ladies and gentleman a safe train ride, or allow seven year olds to use boy & girl when describing the sex of someone.

All effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”

Consider the above quote in the context of what we are hearing in Australia before we vote. Ask a Pom if the same thing happened in the UK before their vote went through the Parliament.

We all want equality, whether it is equal pay for woman doing the same job as a man, night clubs not refusing entry due to skin colour, homosexuals having the same legal rights as de facto couples, but some changes can change society so much that it will cause us all huge problems that could take generations to fix – are we leaving a can of worms for our grandchildren and great grandchildren?

 

BTW the above quote in red is from Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’, chapter six, makes you think doesn’t it?

 

 

 

Cruising unties the knots

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We sail from Sydney at 4.00 pm on Sunday (5th Feb) for a thirteen night cruise to New Zealand – land of the long white cloud.

We will visit,

Bay of Islands
Auckland
Tauranga
Napier
Wellington
Akaroa
Dunedin
We will then sail around the southern tip of New Zealand to cruise the Fiordland National Park on the south west coastal area, after which we sail back to Sydney.

Tonnage 77,441
Passengers – 1998
Crew – 924

 

The last time I sailed around the New Zealand coast was as 3rd Mate in the Bankura about 1966. We were on the Calcutta, Australian eastern ports, NZ coast run. Each voyage Calcutta to Calcutta would take around three months.

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Tonnage – 6,793 gt
Passengers – zero
Crew – perhaps sixty, if that  . . . . .I can’t remember.

The cruise in the Dawn Princess will add three new ports for me – Bay of Islands, Tauranga and Akaroa.
Bankura used to call at Lyttelton, which would allow us time to visit Christchurch, but since the earthquakes cruise ships no longer call at Lyttelton, but Akaroa, which is further away from Christchurch, but even so, we’ll visit Christchurch by road.
The only port that I will not see again is Timaru, which is between Akaroa and Dunedin.

These three new ports will take my city count to 486, fourteen short of my target.

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Do pictures lie?

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Shakespeare in Paris – I loved browsing in this shop, they have a large selection of books in English.
My wife and I and another couple decided to do a self-catering holiday in Europe staying in Paris, Barcelona, Madrid & Lisbon. We wanted to travel between each place by train, but between Madrid and Lisbon we had to fly – we didn’t want the night train and flying was more economical.
In Paris I was looking for a two-bedroom mid-priced apartment, not too far from a metro station, and within walking distance of some of the main attractions.
I found what looked like the right place, and after we’ve all seen the web site photographs and read the accompanying blurb I booked this apartment for four nights.

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The above photographs are from the web site of the agency renting this property.

The above two pictures are of the living / dining room. The problem was that on the left-hand side of the mirrored cupboard was a very large damp patch that we could smell before seeing the area. Below the damp area was an electrical plug, which was lose. I found this out when trying to plug in a recharger for my camera. The plug came out of the wall and was damp. Fortunately I did not receive an electric shock.

entryway-1500The hallway was close to the actual hallway. Again taken from the web site.

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This was our bedroom with the en-suite to the left of the wardrobe. The wardrobe door was a struggle to open, and I was always concerned that if I pulled too hard the whole thing would fall on me.
The toilet in the en-suite was an ‘electric’ toilet, which I’d never heard of, and my wife & I were always concerned that it wouldn’t flush properly after making some very strange noises as it built up power so as to actually flush.

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 The next bedroom was used by our friends.

When researching for the right accommodation I wanted to make sure that we had access to a washing machine, but the web site never mentioned that the washing machine was in the cupboard of our friend’s bedroom. It can just be seen in what I thought was their wardrobe.

All the remaining photographs are mine.

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 This one is of the entrance to the apartment, through the green doors.

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We could have done with a miner’s helmet each, as we fumbled our way through the alleyway, after entering through the green door.

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Climbing the stairs to the apartment’s front door was OK, to a point, but try carrying heavy suitcases up the narrow stair way.
Let’s just say our Paris accommodation was a great disappointment.

I did like the dinky toy parked outside of our entrance.

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And it seems that you can park dinky toys where every you like in Paris . .

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Regardless of our accommodation we did enjoy our time in Paris and shopping for our own food.

 

A look around Pacific Jewel for peace & quiet . . .

The Atrium, shown below, which was located at the centre of the ship over three decks.

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dsc07336rWe often sat on the top floor of the atrium, because it had a small bar called Mixes, and we were as far as possible away from any loud music.
Around 5.00 pm on the bottom deck of the atrium a piano player and a young lady playing the flute could be heard as the music gently floated upwards – all very civilized. The background music would allow us to chat with our neighbours, without shouting.

There were several other bars, but for one main reason we would always return to The Mixes Bar, the reason being the lack of noise, not just the wine.

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The atrium was popular for afternoon trivia, which was often quite funny.

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We did try The Orient Bar, shown above, but this bar had loud music that killed even the thought of conversation, which managed to drive us away – we never returned, which was a shame, because they had Fat Yak beer on tap, but I valued my ears more than a pint.

Next door was the Connexions Bar, and I did enjoy their music, and the musicians were entertaining, but once again after a short time the loudness drove us away.

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On one of the higher decks we visited The Dome. dome_aria

I don’t think the Dome was a popular place – the above picture of the Dome is from P & O web site.
After visiting it for the first time I overheard someone refer to it as the ‘geriatric ward’ of the ship, because it was miserable.
Later in the cruise Maureen and I returned to the Dome to watch our granddaughters dance on the small dance floor. The members of the children’s club had been taught a routine by the club guides.
While I waited for them to start I picked up the wine menu and asked for a pino gris – We’ve run out Sir, – so I chose another wine, which was sauvignon blanc –
Sorry we don’t have that either – I then picked a chardonnay, –
Sorry we don’t have that one . .
What do you have? I asked, feeling exasperated.
We have this one, which was a chardonnay, and my least favourite out of a full page of white wines. . . . . now I knew why the place was miserable.

All the children were very good and they were a credit to the staff who ran the children’s club.  We didn’t return to this bar after the dances had finished.

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This place was called ‘The Café’, and it was on the pool deck, just inside the air-conditioned accommodation. It was quiet, and gave good service. The Cafe concentrated on chocolate and coffee drinks, with cakes etc, but they also had a range of wines & bottled beers. It was a very good place to sit while the grandchildren, supervised by their parents, wore themselves out in the pool. The Café had very faint background music, which could be heard in the bar area. The music was just loud enough to be recognizable, yet did not intrude on ones conversation. Very convenient for the pool and a pleasant place to sit and read.

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Pool bar outside was always popular from 10.00 am onwards.

From the pool bar or the surrounding area, you could watch a film with the soundtrack booming out over the screams of the children in the pool. I wasn’t interested in watching the films. I knew that the ship was 25 years old, but I was surprised to see that one of the films was older than the ship – and me!

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Most daylight films were animated children’s films, except for the one above, which I can not remember the name.

If I hadn’t already cruised with Princess Line and Azamara Line I think this recent cruise with P & O Australia would have put me off cruising in the future.

Sail Away

dsc07088rSail Away

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It gave me a very nice feeling to sail under the Red Duster once more, even if I was only a passenger. I took the picture of the ensign when we were in Noumea.

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The P & O ship ‘Pacific Jewel’ is registered in London. She was launched in 1989 for Princess Line and in 2006 passed to P & O. She recently underwent a major restoration.

Having experienced cruise checking in at Venice, Sydney (Circular Quay) and Singapore I was disappointed with the check-in at White Bay. People wondered in to the terminal and then realised that they didn’t have the required government document to complete before they could check-in for the cruise. They then exited the building in the hope of finding someone who had the required forms.

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While in the building we couldn’t understand the loud speakers, and only picked up the occasional word and had to work out whether the announcement was meant for us or not.
Eventually we found our way to the processing line and joined the queue to check-in. On reaching the front we were checked in and issued with a piece of paper stating that we were in group 12 to board, after emigration and customs.

As in the other cruise boarding terminals, we waited for our boarding number to be called, but there wasn’t any indication as to the number currently being processed. In Venice they had an electronic board showing the boarding number so you could plan your movements. The Venice system was similar to a railways station indicator board – all very efficient.
Eventually we managed to find out that the ‘system’ was processing group number 10. A guard at the gate had a small card with ‘10’ written on the card, so we waited and watched a few people passing through to customs. The number was quite small and we could see the short line in front of the emigration desk, so we just wondered passed the guard, who didn’t ask for our number, and passed through the system . . .

At security (the walk through scanner) I mentioned my pacemaker and flashed my notification card. I was taken aside for a physical security check. The person who did the checking (a male) made several comments that I had to give him permission to touch me – he was very insistent that I was aware each time he was going to touch me.
It appears that we have become a society that we cannot just accept that we have to be touched for a security search, without the person doing the search to be frightened of the repercussions of touching someone.

Once onboard we dropped our hand baggage and went for lunch. After lunch we returned to our cabin to find out suitcases parked outside our cabin door. We’d released control of our suitcases before entered the terminal.
We had plenty of storage facilities so we were able to unpack completely and stow our suitcases out of sight.

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Our cabin was an inside cabin – one of the cheapest – but large enough for our needs. The bathroom was small, but not too small considering that I am over six feet tall. The shower was larger than I expected with very good water pressure.

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Our friendly steward (from Vanuatu) entertained us with towel ‘sculptures’.

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By 4.00 pm we were on the top deck to enjoy our departure – mobile bars helped with the party feel. Click on the link at the top of this page for Enya singing.

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 View of the harbour bridge, under which we will sail.

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The green park area is the new Barrangarro park, which used to be an industrial area.

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A last look at the city. . . .and part of the new park.

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We approach the bridge . . construction was started in 1924, and it took 1400 men eight years to complete. Sixteen lives were lost during its construction. It has six million hand driven rivets, and 53,000 tons of steels was used in its construction. It now carries eight road lanes and two rail tracks, one in each direction.

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   dsc07107rTrain passing overhead.

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We cleared it with ease; the larger cruise ships cannot pass under the bridge and have to dock at Circular Quay, which is on the seaward side of the bridge.

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All clear

dsc07114rWalkers on top of the bridge waving like mad as we pass under them . . .$288 plus / person for a daylight climb, $353 to $383 for a twilight climb to watch the sunset, $248 to $273 for a night time climb, and $373 to $383 for a dawn climb. I moved to Sydney in 1985 from Melbourne and as yet I have not ‘done’ the climb. There are a few hundred reasons why I haven’t, all of them include the $ sign.

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Passing the Opera House – from this angle it reminds me a helmet of a round head soldier during the English civil war.

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The four in yellow are some of the ship’s crew teaching passengers a particular dance to some very loud and fast music. One couldn’t help but join in the foot tapping.

dsc07124rApproaching the harbour entrance and leaving the city behind.

dsc07127r It wasn’t long before both granddaughters were in the pool.

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While grandson prepares for his first flying fox experience of this holiday.

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He’s off!

dsc07257rAs he zooms passed.

We stopped at the mouth of the harbor, and I thought this was so as to drop off the pilot. We drifted for some time and the ship was kept on station using her thrusters.

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South Head point of the harbour as we waited and waited. Eventfully the Captain made an announcement that there was a medical emergency onboard. A short while later we saw a police boat come alongside, it looked like a medical craft (red and white squares) as if it belongs to the Red Cross.
I was told later that a handcuffed man was seen to be helped in to the ‘medical’ police craft and taken away. This of course generated a number of different reasons for the handcuffs and whether he was a passenger or crew member or even a stowaway.

Once this small boat was clear of us it was full steam ahead for our holiday.

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Hoi An Historic Hotel

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When we visited Hoi An this hotel was just called the Hoi An Hotel, I am not sure when it became ‘historic’, although we did enjoy staying there at the time.

Hoi An had the feeling that the town was just beginning to attract foreign tourists. The main attraction at the time seemed to be the ability to buy tailor made suits / dresses much cheaper than back home in Australia.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe driveway to the front of the hotel.

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The pool was clean and very pleasant for swimming. The rooms were dark wood furniture, with wooden floors for coolness. Fully air-conditioned, plus a ceiling fan.

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We found the staff keen to please, very polite and friendly. I had a small problem when I asked for couple of small (20 ml) containers of milk for tea in our room, because we had used the original two the previous evening. I was given the milk and asked to sign for them, because they would be charged to my room.

Later, as the person who had made the booking on behalf of our group, I was asked to fill in a guest form, obviously because we were foreigners. I was happy to so, and commented that charging for 20 ml containers of milk will turn people away, because tourist object to rip-offs.

I posted the comment card in the box provided and we all went off for a day of sightseeing.

On our return I was asked by the Manager to join him in his office because he had read my comments and wanted clarification.

We had a very friendly chat and he accepted my ‘comment’ about the charge for the milk – the charges were immediately cancelled, and he also put out an instruction to the front desk that they would no longer charge for small items.

I was flattered that the Manager was so interested in what I had to say. He asked me many questions about the different hotels that we’d stayed in during the previous couple of years. He told me that his problem was only having local hotels to judge if he was offering the right level of service to international travelers, so he was very keen to learn.

It was a pleasure to help him out, but I only wish certain other hotels (no name, no pack drill), would ask for their guests’ opinion while the guest was still at the hotel, rather than making excuses on Trip Advisor, after a guest has made a public negative comment. In my opinion the standard in any hotel is set by the manager – poor service to a paying guest, shows poor management.

If (hopefully when) we return to Hoi An I wouldn’t hesitate in staying at the Hoi An Hotel again, historic or not. . . . .

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We had a decent size room (36 sq mt) on the third floor – the above picture is from the hotel web site – I can’t find my photographs of our room.

Hotels with style . .

 

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I’d always wanted to return to Sri Lanka (still Ceylon in my mind) to show Maureen something different, but this time I wanted to stay at the Mount Lavinia Hotel, not just visit for lunch as I had when I was at sea.

We flew in from Malaysia and after immigration & customs we entered a colourful mad house of people shouting and gesturing in the arrival halls. The air conditioning system was losing the battle against the humidity of the outside world. I was back in Ceylon after nearly thirty years, it had the same smells, the same heat, the same friendly faces – I loved being back, and only hoped that I hadn’t over sold the holiday to my wife.The Mount Lavinia hotel is about a ninety minute drive south of the airport, which is only about 43 kms in distance (about 25 miles), but this depends on the traffic of course. imgp0657r

We had to drive through the centre of Colombo, which was an experience in itself.

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I’d picked the hotel because as a cadet, during my time at sea, I’d visited the Mount Lavinia Hotel for a genuine Sunday curry lunch, and I wanted to experience the location, and the local food once again, but this time with Maureen.

The hotel used to be the Governor’s home governors-palace in 1805 and remained so for many years. Click on the link and read of the romance between the 2nd Governor, Sir Thomas Maitland and a dancer and how the hotel was named.

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Entrance to Mount Lavinia Hotel.

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dsc03223rA touch of the old days with pith helmets. . .

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 The hotel is located on a small promontory jutting out in to the sea, and overlooking a magnificent beach, which is lapped by the Indian Ocean. The feel and design of the hotel is old colonial, but it had all of the 21st century requirements. The hotel owns this part of the beach.

dsc03211rThe cooling effect of an ‘indoor’ water fall as you checked in to the hotel.

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Picture taken from the hotel web site – all other photographs are my own.

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View from our room – one of the cheaper rooms.

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Small bar area near reception, most of the time we would sit out near the pool and admire the ocean view. When I visited as a cadet the pool area was a large lawn that sloped down to the cliff’s edge. We would have a beer and then the curry and find a shaded area to have a doze before returning to the ship. The roads were not as crowded then, so the taxi ride to the hotel used to be quite pleasant. Today the ride from the city is about thirty minutes or more, and the airport is further north of the city, which is why it takes so long to drive from the airport to this hotel – but we considered it worth the effort..

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Pool

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Sometimes we would have our evening meal in this area – enjoying a cool evening breeze – and we were covered in case of rain.

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We would sit at the far end near the ocean and watch the sunset – never tired of watching the sun go down. We did see a wedding party with spot lights and professional movie style cameras
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What more could I want  . . . ?

How about eating on the beach in the evening  . . the restaurant is the thatched area on the right.

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dsc03221rThe restaurant can be seen on the left – the tide never came in far enough to upset our meal.

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As you see the floor is sand packed tight. Reservations required even if you are a hotel guest. The restaurant is owned by the hotel so you sign and put it on your room account.

dsc03240rI think it had just started to rain, but we were dry under the thatched roof.

dsc03279rThe fish is displayed in ice and the price marked is per 100 grams, which includes rice or chips (French fries), and salad or vegetables. Tell the cook how big a piece you want and it is cut fresh from the whole fish, and they are seldom wrong when estimating the weight before cutting – they weigh the piece in front of you and ask how you want it cooked. For me it is always grilled and I like swordfish, tuna, and any steak style fish slightly pink in the middle – it was grilled perfectly. In the photograph you can see 300 LKR (Sri Lankan rupees), which is about AUD $2.50 for 100 grams of Grupa (Grouper) fish.

dsc03283rIf you can not find your fish in the ice display just pick from the blackboard.

All the fish on display was that day’s catch, and still whole at the start of the evening. Some of the fish were very large and it was fascinating to watch as the exact weight that I required, was cut from a large swordfish – none of the portions that I saw, even from the smallest fish, had bones attached to that portion.

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Breakfast could be inside, in air conditioned comfort – or outside in the pool area.

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 Hot food just outside the air-conditioned dining room.

 A lovely hotel with old world charm and friendly staff, a relaxing time for both of us.