Remembering the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris

It is so sad to see such an important cultural and historic site ravaged by a devastating fire. As of this writing (Apr 16, 2019), the day after the fire, officials are assessing the damage and while excessive it appears that through heroic efforts of fire fighters and others, important art and artifacts were saved.

The loss of this beautiful cathedral is a blow to the French people as well as all of us who cherish our culture and history.

While the damage is extreme, there is a commitment from the leaders of Paris and France to rebuild and it appears that significant donations are already pouring to support that effort.

After standing tall for over 800 years, through some of the most important historical periods, the Cathedral of Notre Dame may rise again, but I suspect it will be a very long process and the restoration may not finish in my lifetime.

Fortunately, I have had the chance on two occasions to visit Notre Dame Cathedral, once in the Fall of 2010 as part of a Viking River Cruise and again last year, ironically, one year ago to the day of the fire, April 15, 2018.

I want to share some of my pictures of Notre Dame Cathedral from my past visits.

From our October 2010 trip



From out April 15, 2018 visit


A Flight From Hell

I’m sure any traveler who reads this has their own horror story about an airline flight experience gone awry. Weather delays, overbooking, cancelled flights, missed connections, poor service, all contribute to a dreadful air travel experience.

Those of us who have been traveling for decades often long for the “good old days” of air travel. Back when customer service was top notch, there was plenty of legroom accompanied by many onboard amenities (free cocktails were nice!).

While my personal travel experiences have been generally OK, I don’t have any specific horror story that comes to mind, I’m the type who doesn’t mind air travel. I do dislike airports, waiting lines, security, but once I’m in my seat onboard, I’m pretty much happy.

I’ve always been interested in aviation, aircraft and all the related technologies.  If I could to do my life over again, I would definitely be a pilot. I also love aviation history, particularly the early days of air travel and military aviation history. A recent article from the Navy Times about the perilous journey of the PanAm “China Clipper” at the outbreak of the Pacific War in 1941 tells a story of amazing courage, ingenuity, determination and some sheer luck. I want to share this article, so follow the below link.

The article also mentions the fate of other Pan Am aircraft and crews during the outbreak of hostilities in the Pacific, including the “Philippine Clipper”. I recalled that I have a collection of old Pan Am Business Class menus from the 1980’s that had illustrations of famous Pan Am first flights. Below is a copy of the commemorative first flight illustration of the “Philippine Clipper”.

Enjoy the Navy Time article!

Navy Times Article… At this time in 1941, a Clipper plane was trying to get home the hard way — flying around the world!