O2. THE MIDDLE EAST. Legendary Empires. An Eastern Mediterranean Odyssey.
The Eastern Mediterranean denotes countries that lie to the east of the Mediterranean Sea. This is a journey by land and sea to visit some of these countries.
Commencing in Egypt, we assemble in Cairo. We manage to spend some time out via the Pyramids. Way back in the 1970s, these stone pyramids seemed a long way from the capital’s boundaries. But alas today the sprawling town of Cairo has almost encroached right up to the three pyramids lying at Giza. We are fortunate to have a very knowledgeable guide, and Egyptologist.
In this travel documentary film entitled ‘The Middle East – Legendary Empires’ we will journey from Cairo north to Alexandria. From here we join our small 100 passenger ship and voyage up to Northern Cyprus. Here we visit Famagusta. The city flourished under the Venetians. Salamis is an ancient Greek city on the east coast of Cyprus. It was the capital as far back as 1100BC. We finally visit the small village of Bellapais, some 5 miles from the town of Kyrenia. The Bellapais Abbey is most impressive. We manage to get into Lebanon and Beirut. We use our time to take an excursion to Byblos, a Unesco World Heritage Site. From Lebanon, it is back to Egypt. Passing Port Said, we voyage through the Suez Canal. Using the port of Sham el Sheikh, we drive inland through the Sinai Peninsula to the Byzantine St Catherine’s Monastery. The next port is Aqaba in Jordan. From here we journey to visit the site of Petra. Sadly, nowadays there are just too many tourists visiting the site. On a previous visit in 1978, travellers and visitors were few in number, making for a much more enjoyable and memorable experience. Next up is the desert area of Wadi Rum. Here there is space and wide open vistas.
We finally voyage back across the Red Sea to Egypt to Safaga. Here we disembark from our ship and drive overland to Luxor on the banks of the Nile. Wandering around these magnificent sites requires the expertise of our Egyptologist once again. We meet up again with Mohammed. We also enjoy a magnificent early morning balloon ride over the West bank of the Nile. The route undertaken has taken us to places and sites steeped in history and interest. One visit is just not enough.
P2. WEST POLYNESIA: Fiji to Tahiti. A South Pacific Voyage (Fiji, Samoa, Cook and Society Islands)
The name ‘Polynesia’ comes from the words ‘Poly’ (many) and ‘Nesos’ (islands. The term was originally copied by Charles de Brosses in 1976 and apples to all of the Pacific Ocean islands. Polynesia may be described to include the islands within a triangle, bounded by its corners at Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island. The Pacific Islands excluding New Zealand and Easter Island lie within the rainy tropics where there are no abrupt seasonal changes. There are coral and volcanic islands. On the coral atolls the soil is thin and sandy. Vegetation is sparse and consists of shrubs, small trees, grasses and coconuts. The indigenous people who inhabit these islands are known as Polynesians. They have very similar traits including language, family customs and beliefs. With the exception of New Zealand, most independent Polynesian islands derive much of their income from foreign aid. Some families encourage their young to travel abroad to earn good money, much of which is then remitted to their stay-at-home relatives. Many Polynesian islands are able to supplement their income from tourism.
We have produced two films covering some of the Polynesian islands and divided the area covered into a ‘West’ and an ‘East’ partition.
In the first travel documentary film entitled ‘West Polynesia: Fiji to Tahiti: Islands of Dreams’ , we start in the Fuji Group of Islands, before voyaging via the French Overseas Collectivity of Wallis and Futuna, onwards to Samoa. After exploring parts of Samoa, the voyage continues to the Cook Island Group, visiting Suwarrow, Palmerston, Aitutaki and Aitu islands. The Society Islands of French Polynesia include many well-known and much visited places. We visit Bora Bora Island. The first part of the journey ends at Papeete port on Tahiti.
We hope that by watching this first video film on the South pacific Islands, you will feel that you too have really journeyed amongst these sunny islands and have gained a flavour of the customs, culture and history of the Polynesians. No matter which island we arrive at, we are offered a tremendous welcome, often involving an elaborate, well rehearsed musical dance performance. It all is really a memorable and unforgettable experience. If you have enjoyed this, then take a look at Part two, where we journey on from Tahiti to Easter Island.
Q2. EAST POLYNESIA: Tahiti to Easter Island. Mystery and Mutiny. A South Pacific Voyage (Tahiti, Marquesas, Tuamotu and Pitcairn Islands)
In this second film, we start in Tahiti in the Society Island Group. This is followed by a zodiac landing on Rangiroa, the largest atoll in the Tuamotus. Rangiroa translates as ‘Vast Sky’. The Marquesas Islands, with their jagged peaks and fertile green valleys, hold many archaeological sites. We visit three of the islands, Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa and Fatu Hiva before voyaging on to the eastern section of the Tuamotuas. Here we land on the sun-kissed islands of Puka Puka and Puka Rua. It is quite difficult to affect a landing on Pitcairn Island, due to the swell of the seas and the terrain of the island. However on this voyage we are successful. Many visitors meet some of the few descendants of the Bounty Mutineers and their Tahitian wives. From Henderson Island, we reach our final destination, the magnificent Easter Island, with its much theorized history of the building and purpose of the Moai statues. We hope that by watching this second video film, you will feel that you too have really journeyed amongst these sunny islands and have gained a flavour of the customs, culture and history of these Polynesian peoples. No matter which island we arrive at, we are offered a tremendous welcome, often involving an elaborate, well rehearsed musical dance performance. It all is really a memorable and unforgettable experience.
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