Gallery

Memorable photos and movie clips

On September 15, 2001, I left Atlanta (only 4 days after the 9/11 attacks) to travel to Istanbul. Delta had a hard time finding a flight team that would fly to New York so my flight was delayed 3 hours. By the time I reached JFK in New York, I had missed my flight and had to stay overnight to catch a flight the next day. On September 17, after a trip that was a little too interesting (Delta also lost my checked suitcase), I arrived in Athens, Greece to meet my friend, Charlie Xintaras. The next day we flew to Istanbul to stay a week with Charlie's friends, Tozan and Bahar in their apartment on the Asian (East) side of Istanbul. As you will see from the pictures, Istanbul is a beautiful city with lots to see and do.

I decided to finally make that trip to Scotland and Ireland that I had been thinking about for many years. Vanessa had expressed an interest in going as well so I decided it would be a good Father-Daughter vacation. I started making plans in January 2003 so that we could be in Edinburgh in August during the Edinburgh Festival with the primary objective of seeing the Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle. The trip over was challenging. We had to make a connection in London but it turned out that we landed at Gatwick and had to catch the plane to Edinburgh at Heathrow which is about 45 miles away. We missed our flight to Edinburgh and had to go on standby for a later plane. Four hours later, we were finally on a plane to Edinburgh. We were happy to get there.

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo - The Massed Pipes and Drums

(VIDEO)

I was able to get great seats at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and got some really good video clips of some of the highlights. The movie clip to the left is of the very beginning of the show - the Massed Pipes and Drums making their traditional grand entrance through the front gate onto the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. Special guests at the ceremony were the pipes and drums of the Royal Black Watch Regiment who were serving in the Iraq War at the time.

After a few days in Edinburgh, we took a train from Waverly Station to Oban with a connection in Glasgow. I had heard that Oban was a great place to visit - a small harbor town in the west highlands with a famous Scotch distillery and ferries out to the Isle of Mull and Iona. Compared to the crowds and craziness of Edinburgh during its annual festival, Oban was a quiet, relaxing, and beautiful little town with interesting things to see. 

After a few days in Oban, we took a train from Oban back to Glasgow and then a plane to Dublin, Ireland. I had spent a day in Dublin on a layover from my trip back from Istanbul and wanted to go back and stay a few days so that I would have time to see some of the sights - there is a lot to see in Dublin. One of the most fascinating things I saw in Dublin was the ancient Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the Gospels which was written about 1200 years ago. The Book of Kells is on display at the Trinity College Library. I'll have to go back to see more of the countryside in Ireland sometime - I hear it's beautiful.

I attended a workshop in Gainesville, Georgia put on by the Ulster Historical Foundation when they were touring the U.S. in 2012. I learned that they conducted yearly family history conferences for tracing Irish Ancestors in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The interesting part of the conference was that it provided access to the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) and assistance in using the resources there. The conference also provided opportunities to visit sites around Ireland and Northern Ireland when not doing research in the archive. I researched the Armagh branch of the family as much as I could online and then attended the family history conference in Belfast in September 2017.

The Apprentice Boys of Derry Parade around the Derry Wall - September 9, 2019 (VIDEO)

I was in Derry, Northern Ireland as part of day trip while researching my ancestors in Belfast. While walking on the wall which surrounds the old town of Derry (Londonderry), I noticed a parade approaching with fifes and drums playing so I started recording from where I stood in front of the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall. As it turned out, this was the end of the parade that started at this same spot a little earlier and went around the entire circuit of the wall, which is about 1 mile around. I learned later that the Apprentice Boys of Derry is a fraternal organization which still commemorates the Siege of Derry in 1689 with these parades.

Copyright ©  Mike Perry, 2011