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"Gonna take a sentimental journey..."

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    "Gonna take a sentimental journey..."

    I've just booked a tour of Sri Lanka because my father served in India,Burma and Sri Lanka in the second world war and told me that it was one of the most beautiful places he'd ever seen, particularly Mt.Lavinia where I'll be staying in the hotel which used to be the british Governer's residence.
    I really wanted to take him back there but unfortunately he died before I had the money and when the civil war was still at it's height.
    So.I'm now finally going to follow the footsteps of my father with his "box brownie" camera.
    Have you followed a sentimental journey or is there one you would love to do?

    #2
    My Dad was in the British forces, in Hong Kong, for a few years before I was born. He remembered it as a mystical Chinese land. Interestingly he never tried Chinese food there, until I brought him home some from the local take-away, many decades later.

    I got to visit Honk Kong, but he never went back. He said it looked like New York and NOT at all like the place he remembered. I believe he said the highest building was four stories, when he was there.

    He's passed on now.
    See my cruise blog: HERE

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      #3
      Liauq that really made me go 'ahh'. What a lovely thing to do and I hope you have a wonderful time and you can relive some of the memories he shared with you...Carol

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        #4
        Originally posted by Guy, Ormskirk View Post
        Liauq that really made me go 'ahh'. What a lovely thing to do and I hope you have a wonderful time and you can relive some of the memories he shared with you...Carol
        many thanks; I just hope I don't come back with one of his souvenirs...malaria, he said that the mozzies bit your b*m when you went to the latrine and there was no treatment available then!

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          #5
          I think it's a wonderful journey to make and I am sure it will be very moving.

          Some years ago we discovered where my grandfather was buried who died in WW1. I had made 2 attempts to visit the grave and on both occasions I was forced to cancel, it seemed destined not to be. After we had just started cruising, I saw a cruise with a trip to Rouen; I booked the cruise as a 3rd and probably final attempt. I tried not to make a big thing about it, but it was to me. Grandad got killed in 1917 and no one had ever visited the grave and this was for my gran and my mom who never knew her father really and died fairly young herself. I can't tell you the frustration of travelling to far off places and yet not being able to get to a cemetery in France somehow ? I packed my British Legion poppy wreath and some small crosses that I had intended on placing on the graves of other British service men, many of whom, like grandfather, may never have been visited by wives, sons and daughters.
          We advised the tour guide we wouldn't be doing the walk and sought advice on how to get to the St Sever cemetery some miles out of Rouen, she was no help really. I thought it would be easy to hail a cab and get there. It was Sunday, we had a couple of hours and no taxi in site and not many people about. I kept asking passers by where I could find a taxi. "La Gare" people kept saying and I didn't know what it was. Eventually we discovered it meant the station and hubby and I headed there; precious time ticking away. I managed to explain to a taxi driver where we wanted to go and he took us to the gates of a very old cemetery in what seemed the middle of a housing estate; I managed to muster enough French to say wait please. I wasn't prepared for how big the place would be and it was a long walk through the old part to where the military graves were. I had convinced myself I would know exactly where the grave was, but it all looked different to the picture and the numbers didn't seem to be making any sense, I am not sure whether it was panic, but it was hopeless. Hubby and I split up and tried to search row by row, but time was running out. I said we need to go and the level of frustration and sadness now was beyond what I can explain. "2 minutes" I said to hubby, just 2 more minutes and somehow I found it! It's a moment I will always remember. Bless the taxi driver for waiting and getting us back to the coach in time and the Cunard Queen Victoria for taking me on a special cruise, she will probably always be my favourite ship. Sorry it's long winded, but I am sure your journey will be as worthwhile as mine was. All the best.

          Val

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            #6
            dear Val;
            many thanks for your reply.I suspect that it's very hard for people to really appreciate what those men went through but it had a profound effect on our family.I'm so glad you found what you were looking for.

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              #7
              Originally posted by liauq, w mids View Post
              dear Val;
              many thanks for your reply.I suspect that it's very hard for people to really appreciate what those men went through but it had a profound effect on our family.I'm so glad you found what you were looking for.
              Thank you Liauq, you are spot on. I do hope you will share your journey when you return.

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                #8
                My dad was in Burma during the war. I remember hime mentioning Rangoon and the jungle but he didnt really talk about it much. I would like to go there one day. We have been to hotel Mount Lavinia in Sri Lanka. The sunstes were spectacular, the best we have seen anywhere in the world. I am sure you will have a wonderful time.

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                  #9
                  A great place to go and stay. We reckon that not much, apart from the volume of traffic, has changed there for fifty years. If you get the time and go into Colombo do try to go to the Galle Face Hotel and have lunch there on the lawn, it is inexpensive and a great selection. Most importantly of all always drink Elephant Brand Tonic Water with your gin; it is the best tonic water in the world. ....Neil

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by liauq, w mids View Post
                    Have you followed a sentimental journey or is there one you would love to do?
                    I wouldn't call it a sentimental journey, but like Val, we went to honour and pay respects last year, to an uncle who died aged nineteen, on the Somme.

                    No-one from the family had managed to make the journey in nearly one hundred years so we felt very privileged we were the ones to do it.

                    The Battlefield's Tour was humbling and amazing. We made Ypres our base [the 8pm Menin Gate ceremony is spinetingly wonderful] and toured as many battlefields as we could with a fabulous historian as our guide.

                    We had researched the memorial where our relative's name was forever enshrined and managed to find it.

                    I can't tell you how wonderful that moment was.

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                      #11
                      War cemeteries are incredibly moving. There always seems to be a serenity and peacefulness when you are walking in them. I have been in tears on many occasions but the most moving one was in France and the parents had put something like 'Our dear lad, not coming back home' and he was only 19, it really made you think how young they were and such a waste...Carol

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Guy, Ormskirk View Post
                        War cemeteries are incredibly moving. There always seems to be a serenity and peacefulness when you are walking in them. I have been in tears on many occasions but the most moving one was in France and the parents had put something like 'Our dear lad, not coming back home' and he was only 19, it really made you think how young they were and such a waste...Carol
                        When we're in Singapore, we often go up to Kranji and you're right, it is eerily peaceful and tranquil.

                        The Commonwealth War Graves Commission does a fabulous job making sure the graves and memorials are looked after.

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                          #13
                          many thanks for your replies and sharing your memories.One thing my dad brought back from the far east was an occasional tipple of "whiskey and lime"; not my choice, but maybe I'll have one for him, watching the sunset over Mount Lavinia hotel.

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                            #14
                            On Trip Advisor we still get queries from people whose father served in Malta or who died in the Med. during the War. There also those who lived in Malta as a child with the families stationed here. They often mention a place, usually a bar, and ask if it still exists. And are amazed when we tell them that yes, it's still here.
                            I wish you all the luck in the world

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                              #15
                              what wonderful stories everyone. as far as I know no one in my family died in any of the wars. however I have visited several war graveyards, one being Ypres. they are so moving and humbling epically when you read the graves for the 'unknown soldier' or when you see the ages, some as young as 15........so sad and such a waste of these young lives but for them we would not be living in the country that we all know and love.
                              don't want to work, just want to cruise.

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