1997, February – Paphos in Cyprus and a cruise to Egypt
Package holiday, with a hotel on the coast at Paphos. Photo of grounds. Too early for many restaurants to open. Visited the traditional places where Saint Paul preached and performed miracles – Acts 13:6-12. Hired a car and drove into the mountains and up to the closed border with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Included was a three-day cruise from Paphos to Alexandria in Egypt – one day’s sail each way and one day excursion to visit Cairo, including its main museum, then on to a sphinx and pyramid, temples and an amphitheatre.
1997, May – bus tour to Prague
Our first bus tour was with Sheerings in April 1992, but this time we chose their great rivals, Wallace Arnold. Again, a feeder bus to the Channel port, where passenger swapped to their dedicated coaches. Ample time to explore Prague. Photos of Joyce and Ian in Prague.
1997, August – China to visit Sandy
Sandy and Christina were on a two-year assignment with the Norwegian Missionary Society to teach at a school in Longyan, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China. We flew into the new Hong Kong airport and had two nights in a hotel. A Hong Kong doctor, whom we had entertained while he was a student in Edinburgh, came for coffee and gave us a case of medicines for our welfare ‘out in the sticks’. Fortunately none of it was required and we left it with Sandy.
Sailed overnight on a coastal steamer, the Scandinavian-built Jimei, to Xiamen, where Sandy and Christina met us. First stop, an air-conditioned McDonalds. Two nights in a hotel there, to explore Xiamen, especially the influence of Christian missionaries, as it used to be the ‘gateway to China’. Overnight sleeper-bus
to Longyan, and stayed in their flat (photo). Tips – eat only what you have seen being cooked and for fresh milk ask a vendor to fill your canister as you watch. (photo)
Visited a touring exhibition of the Terracotta Army, sculptures depicting the armies of the first Emperor of China. Then, because of its spectacular scenery, we flew back to Hong Kong via Yunnan – despite the hair-raising nature of domestic China air travel – staying for a few days and visiting the Stone Forest in Kunming. Sandy had booked the Norwegian Missionary Society Furlough House on the spectacular island of Cheung Chau, an hour by boat from Hong Kong. Photo of us pulling our luggage up the very steep and extremely hot path to it, on the top of the island. However, lovely restaurants at beach level. We woke on the Sunday morning to news that Princess Diana had been involved in a traffic accident – information that it was fatal came through as we had breakfast.
We had a few more days in Hong Kong. The doctor friend took us in his Lexus – which persuaded us to buy a Lexus for our next car – to find the grave of Joyce’s relative, Walter Pryde, who had died in 1944 while interred by the Japanese during WW2 – see ‘The Family Tree of Joyce’s Father’ on this website, first entry.
Joyce has, among her mementos of her parents, a letter sent to her father in January 1945 by the sister-in-law of (the recently deceased) Walter Pryde, which reads:
61 Ladysmith Road, Edinburgh 9.
We were very distressed to receive a letter this morning from the Colonial Office. Please let your father know. Do hope that you are all well.
Kind regards, Yours sincerely, Marion G Kennedy.
‘I am directed to inform you that a telegram has been received from the Japanese Authorities in Tokyo, through the International Red Cross Committee at Geneva, giving a list of civilian internees who have died in a civilian internment camp in Hong Kong, and to express deep regret that included in the list is the entry “Walter Pryde. Cause of death high blood pressure.” The date of death is stated to have been the 13th of September 1944.
The Secretary of State desirous me to express his very deep sympathy with you in your bereavement.’