COVID-19 dashes my travel plans

London Borough of Finsbury, Neighborhood of Islington, November 2019
November 21, 2019

Ziggy Stardust Bungalows

Hello everyone! I know that it has been some time since I last posted but I was talking with my granddaughter Sydney recently and when I was lamenting finding things to do in the COVID-19 lockdown she suggested that I do a post on my travel blog. So here I am. I had planned to depart on April 28 for three weeks in Paris followed by two weeks in Oxford, England but as you all know, those plans have been dashed by this horrible virus.

I never thought that I would see the day that almost the entire world was locked. No travel, no sports, hardly any news except the virus and it’s effects. I had planned to stay at my old haunt in Paris, 32 rue Bichat and frequent some of my favorites in the 10th arrondissement in Paris and explore the many places that I have missed in spite of probably 25 or 30 trips there since my first visit in 1980. How the world has changed since then. And then Oxford. My wife Sheila and I visited Oxford briefly as part of our very first trip to England in June 1980 but I remember nothing of that visit except that we made grand plans using British Rail for visits to Oxford and then Bath and Wells, England on that same trip. I do have some old photos of those early trips but they are old 35 mm prints that I have not digitized to the modern version of photos.

I decided instead to share with you some photos and memories of a trip that I made to the Island of Koh Samui, Thailand in 1994. Koh is “island” in the Thai language. Unlike now where there are fancy five-star hotels and ecoresorts, in 1994 Koh Samui was a quiet island steeped in the Thai tradition. I stayed at a bungalow complex called Ziggy Stardust named after, you guessed it, the 1972 David Bowie hit song! Koh Samui is located about 700 Km south of Bangkok in the Gulf of Thailand a gorgeous, blue, seemingly endless sea right outside of my bungalow. I spent two weeks there exploring the island that was populated by small towns and villages and a road leading around the perimeter of the island. Transportation, well, you will see was rather primitive with a small pickup truck making the trip around the island on a non-scheduled route. Monkeys, elephants, beautiful birds and jungle in the interior are my memories of Koh Samui. Of course, the main attraction of Koh Samui, as well as all of Thailand, was the wonderful, friendly, welcoming people. It is hard for me to believe that it was 25 years ago and I have, unfortunately not returned since then but I suspect that the Thai welcome mat is still out. I hope that you enjoy the attached photos. I may add some more in a few days.

I hope that all of you and your families are safe and healthy. It is a small price to pay to restrict our lives and put our travel plans on hold. I suspect that even with these precautions the toll on our civilization will be heavy. The cultures of past years dealt with plagues as bad or much worse than COVID-19 so if they could withstand it, so can and must we. Best wishes to you all.

Dr. Ron
Dr. Ron
I am a 77 year old neurosurgeon who has had the "travel bug" for the past 36 years and who has been interested in photography as long as I can remember. My site is intended to convey the excitement that I feel when I travel, to my viewers in words and pictures. I also hope to provide my viewers with my recommendations for places to visit, places to stay, where to eat and generally my recommendations "if you go!"

1 Comment

  1. Jose Rodriguez says:

    Hello Ron,
    I am happy to see your are still out there giving us some of your travel and adventure stories. Please keep it up
    Angela and I always enjoy hearing some news from your pen.

    Your friends always
    Jose and Angela

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