Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Round The World 2004

Déjà vu   n. An impression of having seen or experienced something before

Yes, I had spent Friday 26 March 2004 flying, arrived at my hotel and slept what was left of the night, and now I was ready for ... Friday 26 March 2004. I rose rather late, at about 0915 - but I think that was understandable given the hour of my arrival and the strange trick that the International Date Line had played on me. I had breakfast in a local McDonalds, the nutritional value of my Sausage & Egg Biscuit being considerably enhanced, I suspect, by the inclusion of a tray of fresh pineapple chunks in the 'meal deal'

I thought I would begin by going for a walk, to get some exercise after the previous day's inactivity. I made the mistake of setting out without bothering to get myself correctly orientated. I thought I couldn't possibly go wrong - just find the shore and take it from there. Had I bothered to consult a map, I would have found that this particular Holiday Inn is arguably not all that well situated. It's barely in Waikiki at all, but is handy enough for the Ala Moana Shopping Center, is that's your thing. Anyhow it does explain, in retrospect, why I failed to recognise my surroundings. It wasn't the most pleasant of morning strolls, the weather being especially muggy and humid.

I called back at the hotel briefly to freshen up a bit after my rather sweaty stroll (too much information, I know) and then set out on what I had planned as my major objective for today : a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. I had worked out, through simple observation, that the 42 bus stopped right outside my hotel and took me all the way there. A big disappointment was waiting for me. On arrival at the site, I found lots of notices about new security arrangements. No bags or packs of any kind whatsoever were permitted. If it allowed "the possibility of concealment" (it didn't specify of what), it wasn't allowed. Furthermore, another notice advised that the provided baggage store was best thought of as being for empty bags. Nothing of any value should be left there. I decided that I couldn't continue under these conditions and aborted the visit. I mean, wearing shorts and a tee-shirt, it was going to be awkward enough just accommodating my money and passport, never mind everything else I was carrying. It occurred to me that, if only I'd had a rental car, I could have left my things locked in it. It also occurred to me that, if these arrangements were in any way typical of the new, security-conscious USA, it might prove to be a difficult visit.

Because of very stringent security measures, this was as close as I got to the Memorial, which I had last visited in 1991.


I took a bus back to the Downtown area and my spirits picked up when I was able to explore the streets around the Iolani Palace and State Capitol building, both of which - in a stunning contrast with Pearl Harbor - had no visible signs of police or security at all   I spent some time exploring the area and taking photographs, then decided to return to the hotel. It proved to be a good decision for, no sooner had I got back, than a full-scale thunderstorm broke. In view of the conditions, I decided to have dinner at a nearby Red Lobster diner that I had spotted earlier.

Friday 26 Mar (2)

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