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Subject: SS Uganda November 1969 - South Hampton to the Med.


Author:
Martin (Norton Canes Comprehensive near Cannock, Staffs.)
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Date Posted: 19:47:09 01/12/17 Thu

This was a fantastic adventure for a class of 14 and 15-year-old boys and girls. It was a very cold and snowy November in 1969 when we sailed on the SS Uganda for the Mediterranean from South Hampton Docks. Storm force 10 with 11 gusts as we crossed the Bay of Biscay meant two days of being sick. My dormitory was Hillary. On board were a group of children from Malta who were heading home, having been on a similar trip visiting the UK. It was the first time they had seen snow. We arrived at a warm and sunny Rock of Gibraltar and took a taxi ride to the summit to meet the Barbary Apes, who stole my sunglasses. Then onwards to Malta and the port of Valletta. Next was the port was Alexandria in Egypt with a bus ride through the desert to Cairo and the Pyramids. I remember Egypt and Israel were still hostile and there were soldiers everywhere although they were very friendly and wanted to see the long thin bladed daggers we had bought as souvenirs with the new 50p decimal coins that had recently been introduced. We past dozens of massive artillery guns in the desert aimed at Israel. After the long hot bus journey we arrived at the Pyramids and I stood next to the Sphinx. It was Ramadan and we were amazed to see thousands of men and boys (no women) dressed in pyjamas. I took a ride on a flee-ridden camel and had to rescue a class mates camera from an Arab gentleman that offered to take our photo. We also visited the Cairo Museum and I remember the windows and glass display cases has protective tape stuck to them in the shape of a X. I also will never forget standing in front of TutanKahmans golden death mask and looking into its eyes, which seemed to follow you everywhere. A superb experience. Next pot was Piraeus in Greece and a trip to see the Parthenon atop the Acropolis. Hope I've got the right way round. Our last port of call was Venice. What a fantastic city. I remember disembarking (that's a nautical term) and walking over a bridge leading to St Marks Square and then looking to our right we saw the Bridge of Sighs, and then on to the Doges Palace. We departed Venice via water taxi to the airport and flew back. I wish I could it all again. With love to Sally Verden from Peel, Isle of Man. I hope you remember me.

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