Travels of an Engineer

F. Greg Shinskey





Egypt: Memphis, Sakkarah, Giza, Cairo

South Africa: Johannesburg, Hluhluwe, Durban, Capetown



Japan: Yokosuka, Sasebo, Nagasaki, Hakodate, Tokyo

            Korea: Seoul, Inchon

China: Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Souzhou, Yanshan, The Summer Palace, Tianjin, Wuhan

            Taiwan: Taipei, Kaohsiung, Kenting

            Thailand: Bangkok, The Rain Forest, Valley of the Temples


            India: New Delhi, Calcutta

            Nepal: Khatmandu, Dulikiel

            Malaysia: Shah Alam, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Melaka


Australia: Sydney, Australian Alps, Melbourne, Kangaroo Island, Brisbane, Mt. Isa, Cairns, Alice Springs, Perth, Rottnest Island, Brisbane revisited, Tasmania.

            New Zealand: Auckland, Rotorua


England: London, Hampton Court, Chester, Oxford, Bath, Windsor, Sheffield, Canterbury, York, Stonehenge

            Scotland: Edinburgh, Inverness

            Wales: Llandudno, Conwy, Betws-y-Coed, Anglesey

Ireland: Blarney, Cork, Kinsale, Malahide, Ashford Castle, Kylemore Abbey, Rossnowlagh, Donegal, Cobh, Dublin, Blarney, Glendolough, Aghadoe, Dromoland Castle


            Alberta: Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper

            Nova Scotia: Halifax, Cape Breton

            Newfoundland: Argentia, Gander, Port-aux-Basques

            Quebec: Quebec City, Percé, St. Georges

Eastern Europe:

            Czechoslovakia: Bratislava, Litvinov, Prague

            Russia: Moscow


            Germany: Frankfurt, Duesseldorf, Heidelburg, Hamburg, Koln

            Switzerland: Zurich, Basel

            Austria: Salzburg, Vienna, Alpbach, Fulpmes, Innsbruck


            Portugal: Estoril, Lisbon, Porto, Evora

Spain: Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, Avila, Terrassa, Barcelona, Barajas

The Mediterranean:

            France: Paris, Cassis, Marseille, Dole, Nimes, Arles, Chamonix

            Italy: Rome, Milan, Cervinio

            Monaco: Monte Carlo

            Greece: Athens, Corinth, Mycenae, Hydra


            Mexico City, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta

Middle East:

            Saudi Arabia: Dhahran, Hofuf, Abqaiq, Dammam, Al-Khobar

            Israel: Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Massada

            Turkey: Istanbul

Nordic Nations:

            Norway: Oslo, Stavanger, Trondheim, Skien

            Denmark: Copenhagen, Lyngby

            Sweden: Malmo, Lund, Skeviks Gard, Stockholm

            Finland: Helsinki, Turku

            Iceland: Reykjavik, Countryside, Greenland


            Jamaica: Kingston, Runaway Bay, Ocho Rios

            Cuba: Guantanamo, Havana

            The Cape Verde Islands: Ilha do Sal

            Bermuda: Collector’s Hill, Hamilton, St. George’s

            Puerto Rico: San Juan

            Hawaii: Oahu, Maui

            Midway Island

            Tahiti: Papeete

            Fiji Islands: Nadi

The Low Countries (Pays Bas):

            Netherlands: Amsterdam, Soest, Delft

            Belgium: Antwerp, Liege, Brugge


South America:

            Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, São Paulo

            Argentina: Buenos Aires, Tigre

            Ecuador: Quito, Guayaquil

Chile: Santiago, Viña del Mar, Concepción, Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales, Torres del Paine

            Colombia: Bogota, Cali

            Venezuela: Maracaibo, Paraguaná, Caracas, Los Andes, Canaima, Isla Margarita

United States:

            California: Yosemite, Sequoia Nat. Park, Santa Catalina

Colorado: Rocky Mt. Nat. Park, Leadville, Colorado Nat. Mon., Telluride, Mesa Verde, Mt. Elbert, St. Elmo, Colorado Springs.

            Arizona: Grand Canyon

            Oregon: Mt. Hood

            New Mexico: Albuquerque, Acoma Pueblo

            New York: Lake Placid, Mt. Marcy

Alaska: Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Seward, Anchorage, Mt. McKinley, Fairbanks

            Maine: Mt. Katahdin

            New Hampshire: North Sandwich, Mt. Washington


            " shall be witnesses to Me....even to the very ends of the earth." (Acts, 1:8)

This is a book of adventures. Each story in it describes a personal adventure which not only transported me to a different place— and often effectively to a different time—but also offered insights to the history of the world that may be unique. If you enjoy adventures, you should enjoy these. But each of life's adventures has the capacity to teach: what was, what might have been, what should have been, what can be. In fact, an adventure without a message is pointless—mere entertainment. We have responsibilities in this life, but being merely entertained is not one of them. If these stories merely entertained, they would not have been written; look for the message in each, as you should look for the message in each adventure in your own life.

Though I have written many books, I am not a novelist or journalist, nor well known outside my technical field. By way of introduction, my specialty is Process Control. It is the technology applied to the automatic control of processes in power plants, chemical plants, petroleum refineries, paper mills, etc. I will not bore you with any of the technology; it simply happens to be the vehicle which brought me to the adventures described here. While I am not particularly well-known in my home town, my name is recognized in such faraway places as Australia, Singapore, Venezuela, Finland, and South Africa. In responding to invitations to lecture all over the United States, Canada, and over forty other nations, I lived these adventures.

You will find no mention here of trips to Buffalo or Chicago or Toronto or Miami, for they have been nothing out of the ordinary—no adventures there. In fact, the kind of places in the United States described here are Alaska, California, Colorado and New Hampshire, because I found them special. Mountains light a fire in me—I want to climb them all—and consequently many of these stories are about mountains (which is why I live where I can see three from my living-room window). But the common thread running through these stories is a trek into the unknown, to discover whatever lies there, on the other side of the hill or the ocean.

C.S.Lewis complained that while he found Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers entertaining, he could not classify it as adventure. He observed that their escapades did not seem to be affected by which side of the English Channel they took place. Lewis was looking for "atmosphere" peculiar to geography and culture, and did not find any there. Anyone who has visited both sides of the English Channel will recognize the profound cultural differences existing across that narrow boundary.

It is not only the language, although that can become a substantial barrier. The outlook, the history, the manners, the traditions are all different. To do the very ordinary things of daily life in these unfamiliar surroundings can become problematic. I remember going without breakfast in London's Victoria Station, also on the train from Basel to Duesseldorf, and again on the boat from Copenhagen to Malmo, simply because I didn't know how to order it—at the time, hunger was preferable to embarrassment. Yet sometimes hunger overcame embarrassment, leading to memorable lunches in Athens and in the hills above Zurich.

The contents of this book have been arranged by continent, then country, and then chronologically as each trip moved from place to place within each country; some places were revisited many times. You may start anywhere you like, and skip about, as there is no continuity between parts. While this makes the book appear like a travelogue, it is not, for I was rarely a tourist, and never a travel agent. The trips were all strictly business, but not only business. (One of my objections to working in Germany was adherence to business almost to the exclusion of anything else—in most other places, people were far more accommodating to off-hours activities.) Unfortunately, I stayed in no foreign country long enough to learn the language. While this was a bit frustrating, it was unavoidable in light of the realization that I could not learn them all. We simply must make the best of the opportunities we are given, and I was given these.

                                                                                    Greg Shinskey

                                                                                    North Sandwich, New Hampshire



1951:  Jamaica (Kingston), Cuba (Guantanamo Bay)

1952:   Japan (Yokosuska, Sasebo), Hawaii (Oahu)

1953:   Hawaii (Oahu), Midway, Japan (Sasebo, Nagasaki, Hakodate, Kobe), Hong Kong

1957:   Cuba (Havana)

1975:   England (London), Saudi Arabia (Dhahran, Hofuf), Greece (Athens, Corinth, Mycenae, Nauphlia), Italy (Rome, Assisi, Capri)

1977:   England (London), Germany (Frankfurt, Düsseldorf), The Netherlands (Amsterdam), Belgium (Antwerp)

1978:   Canada (Banff, Lake Louise); Jamaica (Runaway Bay, Kingston)

1979:   Venezuela (Maracaibo, Judibana, Caracas); Switzerland (Zürich), China (Beijing, Shanghai, Suzsho); Jamaica (Runaway Bay, Ocho Rios); Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, Salvador)

1980:   Argentina (Buenos Aires, Tigre), Mexico (Mexico City); Israel (Tel Aviv, Joppa, Jerusalem Masada), England (Sheffield)

1981:   Tahiti, New Zealand (Auckland, Rotorua), Australia (Sydney, Melbourne); Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo), Chile (Santiago, Viña del Mar), Colombia (Bogotá, Cali); Israel (Tel Aviv, Joppa, Jerusalem, Masada), Greece (Athens, Hydra), Spain (Madrid); Venezuela (Caracas, Los Teques)

1982:  Hawaii (Honolulu), Australia (Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane), Singapore

1983:   Germany (Düsseldorf), Portugal (Lisbon, Estoril, Porto, Evora); Japan (Tokyo), Korea (Seoul), Taiwan (Taipei, Khaosiung), Thailand (Bangkok); South Africa (Johannesburg, Durban); Australia (Sydney, Melbourne); California (Yosemite)

1984:   Germany (Düsseldorf, Munich), Austria (Linz, Salzburg, Vienna), Czechoslovakia (Bratislava, Litvinov, Prague); The Netherlands (Soest), Finland (Helsinki, Åbo, Porvoo), England (Gatwick, Grimsby)

1985:   France (Paris), Belgium (Brugge); Australia (Melbourne, Geelong, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Perth); England (Redhill), Norway (Oslo, Stavanger, Trondheim); France (Poligny); Norway (Oslo, Skien), Italy (Milan)

1986:   China (Shanghai, Beijing); Belgium (Antwerp, Brugge), France (Cassis, Marseilles, Nimes, Arles)

1987:   The Netherlands (Amsterdam), Belgium (Liege), Luxembourg, France (Strasbourg, Beaune, Dole), Switzerland (Basel), Germany (Düsseldorf), Russia (Moscow); Singapore, Thailand (Bangkok), Singapore; France (Dole, Chamonix), Italy (Cervinia), Monaco, France (Arles)

1988:   Venezuela (Caracas, Las Piedras, Merida); Denmark (Copenhagen, Lyngby), Sweden (Lund); India (New Delhi, Calcutta), Nepal (Kathmandu);Venezuela (Caracas, Margarita)

1989:   England (Windsor, Stonehenge); California (Mineral King); Australia (Sydney, Perth, Melbourne); Venezuela (Caracas, Canaima); The Netherlands (Delft); France (Paris, Arles)

1990:   England (Manchester, London, Hampton Court, Chester, Bath), Wales (Llandudno, Betws-y-coed), Norway (Oslo); Hawaii (Maui, Honolulu), Australia (Sydney, Mt. Beauty, Melbourne); Venezuela (Cardon, Caracas)


1991:   Singapore, New Zealand (Auckland); Colorado (Rocky Mtns., Leadville, Grand Junction, Telluride, Durango, Mesa Verde); Australia (Sydney, Coffs Harbour, Brisbane); Saudi Arabia (Dhahran)

1992:   Canada (Jasper, Edmonton, Calgary); Colorado (Leadville, Mt. Elbert); Canada (Fort McMurray); Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Mt. Isa, Cairns)

1993:   Fiji, New Zealand (Auckland, Rotorua), Australia (Sydney, Palm Cove, Great Barrier Reef); Australia (Sydney, Thredbo, Charlotte Pass, Melbourne); England (Horley)

1994:   China (Shanghai, Beijing, Summer Palace, Tienjin, Wuhan); Cape Verde Is. (Ilha do Sal), South Africa (Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town); Australia (Sydney, Melbourne); England (Horley, Oxford, Canterbury, Chester), Scotland (Falkirk, Inverness, Glasgow); Egypt (Cairo, Giza, Memphis)

1995:   Italy (Milan, Rome), Turkey (Istanbul); Australia (Sydney, Alice Springs, Perth); England Horley, Leeds, York), Ireland (Cork, Blarney, Kinsale, Dublin, Malahide); Puerto Rico (San Juan)

1996:   Arizona (Grand Canyon); Spain (Madrid); Australia (Sydney, Perth)

1997:   Spain (Madrid, El Escorial, Toledo); Austria (Alpbach, Fulpmes, Innsbruck); California (Santa Catalina)

1998:   Bermuda; Mexico (Mexico City); Sweden (Skeviks, Stockholm), Iceland (Reykjavik)

1999: Spain (Madrid, Segovia, Avila); Alaska (Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Seward, Anchorage, Mt. McKinley, Fairbanks)

2000:  Spain (Terrassa, Barcelona, Barajas); Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Melaka); South Dakota (Mt. Rushmore); Wyoming (Devil’s Tower, Yellowstone, Jackson Hole); Chile (Concepción, Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales, Torres del Paine); Quebec.

2001: Arizona (Grand Canyon, Lake Powell); Utah (Bryce Canyon, Zion)

2002: Australia (Brisbane, Tasmania, Melbourne); Quebec (Percé, St. Georges); Mexico (Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta).

2003: Ireland (Ashford Castle, Rossnowlagh, Donegal, Cobh, Dublin, Glendolough, Blarney, Aghadoe, Dromoland Castle); Japan (Tokyo); Taiwan (Taipei, Kenting, Keelung)