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Morton's Newsletter 2010

AlmasHouse
Our House

We have lived in the same house in Plympton for almost 45 years. We moved here when we had only 2 boys, one 2 years and the other 6 months. Except for general painting etc. the front has stayed the same, but as our family increased to 5 boys, we did build on, although the last of the building projects was about 26 years ago.

Early in the year

January is always a busy month, as school holidays usually seem to have us in demand. Our eldest granddaughter is now 23 and our eldest grandson is 22 years old, Obviously they are well and truly out of the 'sleepover' age. However, with a total of 18 grandchildren, and there is an age range right down to twin boys who are 3 at the end of January, our home needs to be able to adapt to young children dashing about with ride on cars outside, and boxes of toys inside to tip out.

Robert was involved in the new Sunday School Room at our church, and it ended up a lot more work than initially anticipated. Council rules and regulations are not easy to work around, as sometimes one inspector decides on a slightly different interpretation to another. However, it was all finally signed off before we left on our big trip which I will tell you of in this newsletter.

4 Boys
Robert
Robert with Twins
Other Happenings during the year

In August our church had the weekend Family Camp, down at El Shaddai near the River Murray at Wellington, South Australia. Here Robert is lining up at the servery with others, and we had excellent meals, besides good friendship and teaching sessions.

In October our S & P Group (Salt & Pepper referring to our hair colour), headed off for a few days to the Flinders Ranges. We took our caravan, whereas others stayed in cabins. Our camp ground was Angorichina Tourist Village. The wildflowers were a picture, and we were blessed to see so many in full bloom, including Hops, Acacia, Salvation Jane and many Sturt Desert Peas. The rains this year had been the best for a long time and the creeks were running and the desert was blooming.

Flinders 1
Anzac Cove
Our overseas t3ip from April 28 - June 29
Turkey

Our first destination was Turkey. We flew from Adelaide to Singapore, a 6 hour wait, and then flew on via Dubai, and arrived in Istanbul on a fine sunny morning. We made the most of our free afternoon, (although we hadn't been to bed since leaving Adelaide). We did a lot of walking around the old city walls as well as through the old area within the walls. We had the most interesting 2 weeks on a tour, which took us to so many of the ancient Biblical sites, as well as historic places dating back to stone age.

We were taken to Turkish mosques, and to some fascinating places which put into perspective some of the school day stories, such as the horse at Troy and King Midas.

The day we visited Gallipoli was perfect weather, and we were privileged to have an Australian soldier in our group, and our tour guide was an ex-Turkish soldier. He was about 40 and had an incredible knowledge of history and geography relating to Turkey. There seemed no question too hard for him to find an answer to. As to the Biblical sites, many of the places referred to in the Bible took on a whole new meaning, having seen the type of country and the distances over such rough terrain, that the Apostle Paul would have travelled.

We spent a day around Cappadocia, and went inside some of the Cave Churches from the early Christian era. It is amazing how the paintings on the walls and ceilings are still there today. Ephesus, of course was wonderful to walk through for a whole morning. Another afternoon at Pammukale, on a plateau above the Lycus River valley, and the ruins of Hierapolis. I could go on and on, but must tell more.

Turkey
Limestone
The Black Sea to the North Sea

We flew on to Bucharest and joined another tour which was to take us along the Danube River, then the Main Canal and finally join up with the Rhine River all the way to Amsterdam. First we toured for a couple of days in Romania , which included a bus trip out to the main port of the Black Sea, Constanta. This tour took 25 days, and we experienced different cultures, cities, marvelous scenery, local people and their handcrafts, and much more than this short newsletter could ever have room for.

Europe
Europe 2
Europe 3

We had varied weather, but over the whole time there were only a couple of times that rain hindered us a little. We arrived at The Iron Gate Gorge fairly late in the day, due to a hold up at one of the border crossings, but it was amazing to see the height of the cliffs along the river. A couple of performances which were included - one an Hungarian Horse Show at a farm, and another, a ballet at the Liechtenstein Museum Music Hall in Vienna. Both were marvelous. The evening we sailed into Budapest was perfect and the city looked 'magic' as if out of some fairytale movie. The Wauchau Valley, Cesky Krumlov, Bamburg, Rothenburg, Wertheim, Passau, Linz and Ruedesheim, were just some of the places we enjoyed walking through. The enormous locks along the Main Canal are certainly needed to be seen to be believed. We enjoyed perfect weather as we sailed along the Rhine Gorge, with a lovely BBQ up on deck.


Ireland

Our last 2½ weeks we spent in Ireland. We hired a car and used B & B vouchers. The weather was wet for the first couple of days and then we had the most wonderful weather for the rest of our time. We covered about 4,500 kilometers in our little car and made the most of the daylight on almost every day. It was a thrill to be able to find the place where my great-grandfather was born and also the church where he was baptized. I took several hundred photos around Ireland, and the scenery was certainly beautiful as we had been promised.
Dolmen Stones


Xmas Greetings