Hello all from Waikiki Hawaii. Indeed, the my employer saw fit to fly me to Australia via Hawaii – so I found myself for 24hrs just off the beach in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. Of course many millions of other people discovered Hawaii long before I did which has resulted in an overbuilt city. Honolulu itself is actually quite disappointingly average – but of course as it is set in the considerable natural beauty the city obtains a much better impression. I do feel though, that if one were to pick up this city and plunk it down anywhere else in North America, it would be quite forgettable.
Instead of surfing, my colleague and I spent a very enjoyable mid afternoon at the Arizona Memorial (http://www.nps.gov/usar) at Pearl Harbour. For those of you who don’t know the memorial, it cantilevers over the remains of the USS Arizona, a battleship sunk at Pearl Harbour on 7 Dec 1941. The ship sits in about 30 feet of water, which means that at various tides upper levels of the superstructure are exposed. It is both a memorial and an active cemetery as it contains to this date the remains of the approximately 1200 sailors and marines who perished in the attack, and the remains of about 35 more survivors who are permitted to be interred next to their shipmates. It is quite an experience and very similar to that which I felt when traversing the grounds at Vimy Ridge.
On the night of the 7th we clambered back aboard our airplane for a 10hr flight to Sydney and then on to Brisbane. I did not look forward to that much time in the air – however I recognize that I have been very lucky to have even the opportunity to travel to Australia -so not too much complaining.