VOLUME 1, ISSUE 9             July 25, 2003

Ed's Email





Ed Prifogle 

Previous Newsletters

Original Newsletter
Space A Outing
Battlefield Tours
Cheap Airfares/ European Art Museums
European Trains/Discount Airlines
 The Euro and Crete and Greece
Wonders of the World

 SITE UPDATE from the editor:

For reasons beyond my control I had to change the site domain name.

Thousands of people have already left the capital - Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla had authorised rescue teams to use reasonable force to remove those refusing to leave their homes. Freak weather has caused havoc across Europe - from Romania to Russia. More than 70 people are known to have died.

Prague's treasures - Water has engulfed Prague's Kampa island close to the Old Town, flooding historic palaces and villas. The city is now bracing itself for a second flood tide, threatening to overwhelm the historic Charles Bridge, one of this country's biggest tourist symbols.

Dresden Story

The BBC reports that the historic center of Dresden, Germany has been abandoned in the face of record flood waters. Such buildings as the Semper Opera house and the Zwinger Palace are being inundated as thousands are forced to evacuate.

Read the article at: Flooding threatens Dresden treasures (via PS Inform)

iJET Travel Intelligence reports the following: Flooding in Athens, Greece Aug. 18 causes transportation delays and service disruptions. More rain is forecast. Locations affected by this alert: Greece, Athens

Torrential rains caused significant flooding in Athens, Greece Aug. 18, severely disrupting transportation throughout the city and damaging numerous buildings. More rain is forecast through at least Aug. 19. Electricity was cut off in the center of Athens and may take several hours to restore. Moschato, near the Kifissos River, and Phalere were two of the hardest hit areas.

At least 500 firemen have been mobilized to assist in emergency procedures.

Monitor media reports for local impact and follow the guidance of local authorities. If traveling on business, verify that businesses are open and that meetings are on schedule. Be alert and prepared to alter routes to avoid flooded or damaged areas. Expect road closures and detours and allow additional time to reach destinations. Expect significant disruptions in services, shortage in general supplies and a shortage in accommodation availability.

If driving, do not try to cross where water is over the road; the road could be washed away. As little as 30 cm (12 inches) of running water can wash away most vehicles. Do not attempt to move a stalled vehicle; abandon it and immediately move to higher ground. Carry plenty of food, bottled water and a radio.
WorldcuePro service for travel agents

The Guardian reports that tourists in Greece are seeing inflated prices, presumably due to the slump in arrival numbers. The alleged profiteering has been worst in the islands and has affected prices in bars, restaurants, gas stations and convenience stores.

Read the article at: Prices for tourists soar in Greece (via PS Inform) http://travel.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,7445,773654,00.html

This isuue contains the following stories and articles:


    Original Newsletter
    Space A Outing
    Battlefield Tours
    Cheap Airfares/ European Art Museums
    European Trains/Discount Airlines
    The Euro and Travelling to Crete
    First of all, I would like to thank EVERYONE for their contributions of information on this board. The info was invaluable and made our adventure so much better because we had an idea of where to look for the answer. The other item everyone will notice is that we spent very little on lodging or rental vehicles. I should be ashamed of myself but we mooched on my brother in law, my daughter and several very good Spanish friends that I worked with and are also now retired. I was fortunate enough to have worked as a liason and interpeter between the Spanish Guardia Civil and the U.S. Navy. I maintained those contacts for over 25 years and in fact, a few of them have come over here and stayed at our house in Texas. Anyway , a few might say that this report does not really give them a great deal of information they can use; however, the purpose is to let everyone know that thanks to space a, this report is possible. If anyone wants specific details about a place we visited e mail me and I'll be glad to offer them. To save space and time I did not get very specific in this report. The most positive thing I can say is that we got on all the flights we wanted the first time. Service was very good and the price was great. LEAVING KELLY AFB TO RAMSTEIN AFB GERMANY
    The wife and I departed Kelly on July 1 on the C-5 run to Ramstein. My sign up date was on it's 57th day, about 30 showed for the flight and all got on. At Dover, the flight filled up. Rule # 1. Don't let the other half get ahead of you and pick the seats, you have one chance on a full flight and you've got to deal with what you have. I dropped a bag before boarding and let the wife get ahead to get a seat, She picked the seats directly across from the head. By the time I was aboard and realized this it was too late. This particular flight, the head was a bit more aromatic than usual and everytime one of the many, many children that were aboard this flight constantly went back there opened the door--we'll, the perfume would instantly take us back to memories of ripe pampers and overzealous children who ate too much. Hot lunches of meatloaf were served by the crew and appreciated. We arrived at Ramstein at about 1700 local to very cool and breezy weather. We made sure our sign-ups were in order and waited for my wife's sister to pick us up.
    Over the next few days we spent time meeting their neighbors and friends in the village of Steinbach, ate snitzel(sp) at the local pub and met some fine people. It was my first trip to Germany and we found everyone to be very friendly. The in-laws have been there for a few years so they were pretty much family in that town and were treated as such and so were we. I got my first taste of several homemade local liquors at the local pub owned by a fine gentleman named Klauss. They have some excellent home breweries there. On July 5th we hooked up with my nephew and his wife who are stationed at an army facility about 2 hours away, I can't pronounce it so I won't.
    They were driving to Toulouse, FR to vacation with her family so we tagged along. The best advise I can give if you plan on driving in France is to get a good roadmap. Lucky for us, my nephew's wife is French, from Toulouse. He speaks German and both my wife and I speak spanish so between a concerted effort we made it to Toulouse on the 7th after numerous stops at this shop or that relative(his wife) or that little store or curio place.
    At Toulouse we split from the family and jumped on bus(an Indiana Jones never saw anything like this) and arrived at border crossing near San Sebastian, Spain where we were picked up by of those good friends now retired from the Guardia Civil who live in a small farm outside San Sebastian right by the Bay of Biscay. I was advised that a goat had kindly consented to be the meal of the day in our honor so naturally, I couldn't refuse. We had planned on numerous places to visit but I had forgotten that a Spaniard at a Spanish barbeque makes the best Sangria around. 2 days later we got around to visiting the the countryside, hiking and in general just having a good old time taking pictures and making new friends Our friend, Jorge mentioned that the running of the bulls was in progress in Pampalona and he had a brother who lived there whom he had not seen for a few months. Telephone calls were placed and we were off to the Festival of San Fermin.
    Mark asked how we found out about bus lines. Barry must have been watching because we caught the Euro Coach in Toulouse and it took us direct to the Plaza De Pio in San Sebastion. As Barry says Euro Coach/Goby is about the only way to go on bus in Europe. To continue
    Jorge, his wife Theresa, myself and my wife left the San Sebastion area on the 11th of July driving an old Mercedes that had to have been 80 years old but we made it. The festival at Pampalona (San Fermin) runs until the 14th of so and it was in high gear. We had a heck of a time driving in, not so much for the vehicle traffic but because of pedestrian's who had no idea of which way was up or down or sideways for that matter. Jorge's brother lived about 1/2 mile from the center of town. He is a doctor and was extremely busy during that festival week. You can imagine why. In truth, the festival has evolved to running and drinking, running and drinking or getting gored and drinking to kill the pain. Sometimes, running and not knowing why you are running.
    Not being as fast as I was in my younger days I resisted the urge to exhibit some American machismo by challenging anything with 4 legs. I had been to the festival in the mid 70's. I laughed at danger then. I couldn't help but to laugh now cause I knew I wasn't going to do anything crazy like try to measure the width of a horn with a micromiter at foot speed of 20 MPH. I guess you can compare the festival to the wild, wild west with alot of bars. People from everywhere, Young, old Americans with too much money and less sense, Australians with too much testosterone conducting an adaptation of the australian crawl on land and even a few french who for once didn't surrender at the sound of the bugle. Lots of people from everywhere and most of them, completely drunk most of the time. Naturally, we were civilized and conducted ourselves in a proper manner. We didn't spill anything drinkable, we ate everything and we made lots of friends and took lots of video. We spent 2 days there at Dr. Enrique's home(Jorge's brother) and by conicidence, met up with 2 members of the Guardia --now retired--from the barracks at Barcelona 1 of them who has visited me in Texas. This was a complete and wonderful surprise.
    Jorge was tired, he really does not get along with his brother and he was getting worried about his goats so he and his wife went back to San Sebastian. I do not expect he will ever leave that hilly farm of his but he put in his time with a much misunderstood agency. I had met him in 1970 in Cartegena, SP. Several of our sailors had gotten arrested for trying to scale the Guardia Civil headquarters which was basically a small fortress. Naturally they were drunk thinking the walls held senoritas who needed rescue. I accompanied the CO since I was the only person on-board who spoke Spanish, negotiated the release of the sailors-trade-in-kind with ships ball caps and a most lavish dinner on the O' mess on the destroyer we were on. The Alcalde, several prominent city officials and field grade Guardia Civil attended. They were impressed since we were the first American ship to visit in over 20 years. We became friends and maintained that friendship. He recommended I remain behind to liason and interpet since more Navy ships were anticipated, the GC didn't want any problems and the CO agreed. Command decision, you don't see much of it these days. Fellow shipmates, it was my duty to stay behind and do my duty--that is all I will say about that since my wife might read this. Jorge is a good man and I was sad to see him leave for San Sebastion. Jorge's favorite picture is one he has of him getting decorated by General Franco, that should tell you something; however, it was a different time, a different era. Very honest person. Right is right and wrong is wrong.
    In my heart I was happy to get going. I gained 5 lbs since arriving in Spain and my wife was beginning to wonder if I had told her the truth about all of those port visits. Being Navy she had always heard that we sailors had a girl in every port but as I told her, she had nothing to worry about. That rumor simple wasn't true. I hadn't been to "all" the ports. One of the retired Guardia, Francisco, had driven up from Valencia. He had brought his grandson along and we agreed to acompany him to Granada since we really wanted to visit the "Alhambara". Most people would have driven straight down through the mountains. Little did we know he had driven several hundred KM's from Barcelona but prior to that all the way up the coast from Valencia and had only taken him 4 days but what the heck, in for a penny. It's a good thing we drove most of the way or else we'd still be trying to get to Rota.
    Part 3. We arrive in Granada, "Tales of the Alhambara."

    There are generally speaking, three wonders of the world categories:

    • Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
    • Wonders of the Modern World
    • Natural Wonders of the World

    Can you name the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? Don't panic if you can't. With modern monuments, the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages, and the world's Seven Natural Wonders in the mix, very few people can sort out these astounding ancient architectural feats. What makes it even harder is that only one still exists.

    Inspired by mythology, religion and art, ancient civilizations undertook these seven imposing projects from about 2700 B.C. to about 270 B.C. Only one, the Egyptian Pyramids at Giza, has survived. Fires, earthquakes, conquests and the ravages of time have led to the others' demise.

    The ancient Greeks and Romans are said to have initiated the original "Seven Wonders" list, perhaps as an early travel guide of sorts. Over time, the inventory was added to and culled, then finally "completed" during the Middle Ages. Classical writers later disagreed on the final list, but the following seven works of art and architecture were among those most commonly included.

    NEW- Recently divers have discovered remains of the lighline at Pharos, and the ruins of the residence of Cleopatra. Review the following article Alexandria Lighthouse Ruins discovered

    Unfortunately, relatively few drawings or sketches exist of the wonders that vanished, so archaeologists have relied on ancient tales and literary works to get an idea of their appearance and history.

    Six out of seven Ancient Wonders did not survive to this present day. Human imagination urged poets, writers, and historians to seek "replacements" for the fallen monuments. Some proposed a new list for the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Others argued that Ancient civilizations which the Greeks did not know of, erected monuments that should have been included in the original list. Wonders such as the Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal in Agra, and the Temple of Angkor in Cambodia are a few examples.

    Like the ancient list, the new ones include fascinating monuments and structures that changed the existing landscape. However, no single list won unanimous approval among historians, artists, and architects. Here is an alphabetical listing of some Forgotten, Modern, and Natural Wonders. NEW The UNESCO World Heritage list World Heritage List has 729 sites throughout the world that should be preserved.


    There are 17 modern projects that are considered wonders by the Amercian Society of Civil Engineers The following is a list of these projects and their locations,

    • The Channel Tunnel
    • The Clock Tower (Big Ben) in London, England
    • The CN Tower in Toronto, Canada
    • Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
    • The Empire State Building in New York City, USA
    • The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, USA
    • The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA
    • The High Dam in Aswan, Egypt
    • Hoover Dam in Arizona/Nevada, USA
    • Itaipœ Dam in Brazil/Paraguay
    • Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, USA
    • The Panama Canal
    • The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    • The Statue of Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    • The Statue of Liberty in New York City, USA
    • The Suez Canal in Egypt
    • The Sydney Opera House in Australia
    Wonders of the Modern World

    I doubt if many people are aware that the largest dam project in the world is located in Brazil. It generates 10 times more power than Hoover Dam. The Itaipu Dam generates enough electrical power to light up the whole State of California.



    Most of the natural wonders are well known, withe the exception of the one's thar exist in South America. Iguassu Falls located between Brazil and Argentina is even larger than Victoria falls in Africa, and Niagra Falls.

    The Iguassu Falls are located in the Iguassu; National Park, at the border of Brazil and Argentina. In a horseshoe form, 2,700 meters wide between the two countries, the Iguassu; Falls fill the visitors's view with the spray of 72 meter-high falls - the number of them varies between 150 and 300, depending on the flow of the Iguassu; River. The panorama overwhelms the onlooker with a sensation of fright, fascination and respect for the perfection of nature. A visit to the Falls and the contact with wildlife and the spectacle of the waters awake an emotion that many hope to experience once in a lifetime. The following list contains 12 of the most famous natuals wonders.

    • Angel Falls in Venezuela
    • The Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada
    • The Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA
    • The Great Barrier Reef in Australia
    • Igu Falls in Brazil/Argentina
    • Krakatoa Island in Indonesia
    • Mount Everest in Nepal
    • Mount Fuji in Japan
    • Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
    • Niagara Falls in Ontario (Canada) and New York State (USA)
    • Paricutin Volcano in Mexico
    • Victoria Falls in Zambia/Zimbabw