Roger Sutherland

Whirl Traveller

Roger Sutherland

My name is Roger and I am originally from the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia but now live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. My wife Jeanette and I have traveled to all the continents with the exception of Antarctica but nevertheless still have many other countries and areas that we wish to experience in the future.

I did my first blog when we visited Europe for the second time in 2012, entitled Europe Potpourri. Had I known that I would have enjoyed blogging as much as I do, I would have started doing it earlier. In the future I will be adding video where it is appropriate, as I have come to also love than medium since it portrays great and vivid images of any vacation.

Jeanette and I love to travel and usually before one vacation is well underway, we are busy making broad plans for the next, God willing. Being born on one of THE most beautiful islands in the world (Oprah's No. 1 place to visit before you die), does not preclude us from enjoying and appreciating an incredible world out there. And we do. Scroll back to view my blog on St. Lucia called "Sex appeal...that is what the Helen of the West has." (Click on page 50 below)

The great joy of travel can be intoxicating. We both thoroughly enjoy the varying cultures, cuisines and people, many of whom were simply amazing. We engage any and everyone during our trips and are often blown away by the warmth and helpfulness of the people we have met over the years.

I admit to a deep attraction for the continent of Europe in particular and as of July 2017, Jeanette and I have made six amazing visits there.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

Rather than the other way around, the more I travel, the longer my bucket list seems to get!

By the way, I welcome comments.

Anyone wishing to speak to me is most welcome to reach me through my cell phone at (403) 680-2095

Central America Caribbean » Saint Lucia September 8th 2018

I highly appreciate all the positive comments, telephones calls and encouragement that I regularly receive from several persons and I am using this platform to launch my first modest step into Vlogging. Please use the following links and enjoy a highly personal contribution. I hope that through the medium of video (I have kept these to about 7 minutes in length), you will get a more intimate impression of some of life in the incredible island paradise of Saint Lucia. I have said it before and I repeat it, that no visitors will ever, ever know this island, unless they fully participate in local life here. Being closeted within the shroud of the all inclusive hotel environment insulates most from an experience which is beyond words to convey. Naturally, not all my activity is captured here ... read more
Path to the beach from our holiday home.
One of our immediate neighbours.

Europe July 21st 2018

Here I am in wonderful Idaho, where we are relaxing with eight members of our family, playing golf and enjoying all that the area offers and it occurred to me to publish this blog on a subject that many have requested of me, so here goes. I have compiled these ideas which I hope may be a helpful guide for those in particular who have seldom traveled or have never ventured much beyond their own environment. Having said that, anyone can probably pick up a useful tip or two anyway. These suggestions are not intended for the seasoned traveler, necessarily. Advanced planning is recommended, especially if it will be your first trip as many issues can be identified at the early stages and thus avoid unexpected and unpleasant su... read more
The road ahead, somewhere in Europe.
Tasty lunch, somewhere in Europe.
The traveling couple, somewhere far away..

Middle East » Israel March 2nd 2018

In this my final blog of my recent trip to Israel, I find myself deeply conflicted and immersed in a dilemma, which is the reason for my delay in publishing. How do I write a summation of this unique exposure which adequately captures what I experienced and saw, yet expressing it in such a manner recognizing that, first and foremost, this is a travel blog, which should exude with enticement for my readers to visit the Holy Land? How do I accomplish that goal yet ignore the stark realities on the ground? The short answer is that I can't. Some of my photographs (in Hebron and Bethlehem in particular) will be disturbing to many but I will not compromise my integrity by avoiding truth and honesty, as I see it. I feel that I have no ... read more
Fransican monks on the Way of the Cross, the Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem
Citizens walk past soldiers
Celebrations in the old city.

North America » United States » Alaska December 10th 2017

This was a highly personal endeavour - celebrating the 50th wedding anniversary of my brother Norm and his wife Jenny, on board a Holland America cruise line, Zandaam - and what a backdrop to have for the occasion - Alaska! This blog was written mostly while in Jerusalem but completed on my return to Calgary because Israel was totally absorbing. After this Alaska cruise we had only three days before boarding the plane for Israel. Pretty calm waters, excellent on-board service and a great family sojourn was the setting which climaxed with the spectacular Glacier Bay. Enjoy the photographs as they speak for themselves. Here is the link to my youtube video: (copy and paste, if necessary)... read more
Champion at pool - Roslyn.
An interlude with our friend Rosemary in Vancouver, just before boarding.
Learning the art of mixing special drinks on board with Richard, our host.

Middle East » Jordan November 11th 2017

We left Jerusalem very early on a Friday morning and headed north to the Jordanian border, there to meet up with others for our coach tour to famed Petra, now a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Before Petra, we would drive to the city of Jerash, an important city of the then Roman Empire, on to Amman, the capital, then further south to spend our first night at a Bedouin camp in the desert before proceeding to Petra the following morning. After the second night in the camp we would drive across the desert to Wadi Rum, the location for many movies including the recent “Martian”. The forty percent of excavated Jerash was a sprawling city of Roman architecture, complete with hippodrome to seat twenty-five thousand, promenades ... read more
Roman ruins in Jerash, Jordan.
Roman promenade in Jerash, Jordan.
Everyone loves shopping.

Middle East » Israel October 12th 2017

Towards the end of only our second week in Jerusalem, it is beginning to feel that I have been here for many years, as we have settled into life here unbelievably well. I will share below how a mistake led to an incredible and unexpected blessing. But first, our trip south to the Dead Sea. The area is dry and arid and reminded me in part, of areas in Morocco driving towards Casablanca. We passed the towns of Hizma (population about 15,000) and Anata (about 30,000), both Palestinian. Later, we made two stops to drop off some young passengers and when the driver announced "Kibbutz" each time, I knew we were then in Israeli areas. We noticed some irrigated agriculture and palm tree plantations on the way. The palm trees were all lined up in attractive ... read more
Lining up for tickets to the Dead Sea, at the Central Bus Station.
The ever present military.
Scrub land.

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem October 7th 2017

It was different from the very beginning - extra boarding security, and justifiably so, at the El Al Airline counter in Toronto as we waited to board for an almost eleven-hour flight to Tel Aviv, Israel. We must have been two of very few non-Jewish passengers on board and our flight was excellent, with attentive service from the flight attendants. We got our first surprise just as we began our descent into Israeli airspace when the young male flight attendant asked "Do you know that you will arrive at a very special time for Israel and that everything will be closed?" In ignorance, we both showed surprise and inquired as to why. We had no idea when we selected our date of arrival that we would land at the time of Yom Kippur, the Day of ... read more
Walking through the Arab section
On the way to the synagogue on Yom Kippur.
Respectfully wearing the Kippah at the synagogue.

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Tarragona July 6th 2017

As we took off from Lisboa to fly to Spain for our second leg in that country on this trip, we left behind a land which in many ways surprised us all. Their wine was particularly wonderful and great value.The next time we shop for red wine in Calgary we will be able buy Portugese with confidence. We already know their port quite well. Our Skoda five-seater rental car from Barcelona Airport was excellent and out performed the Renault we had in Portugal. Avis was so busy we had to wait for at least an hour before getting underway to Estival Resort in La Pineda, located in the outskirts of Tarragona, a city we had briefly visited a few years ago. Our apartment was excellent with one side facing the east and the other, overlooking one ... read more
Gee's goat cheese salad.
My baby squid
Norm - happy with his mussels at Lunatic Restaurant.

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona July 5th 2017

Visiting Gaudie's inspired masterpiece will have an impact on anyone regardless of religion, race or nationality. It is for everyone that La Sagrada Familia has been created. I was struck by Gaudie's words when he said that anything meaningful takes a long time to build. So true are his words, for this magnificent Basilica, started one hundred and thirty years ago, "could be completed in the first third of the 21st century" (quote from official website). It is in his respect and love of God, that he brought the Holy Scripture to life through his visionary artistry. Every aspect has deep meaning and I felt a sense of awe in trying to grasp what he was seeking to accomplish. Many may enter merely to gaze upon its artistic magnificence and intricate detail (which is fine too) ... read more
Jeanette and me outside the front entrance.
Crowds mill around.

Europe » Portugal June 26th 2017

While in Tomar, Portugal, we visited the ancient Knights Templar castle and Convento de Christo. I have been to many an impressive castle throughout Europe particularly, but this one clearly deserves a blog dedicated to it exclusively. To name but a few which come to mind, I include Josephine Baker's elegant and music-filled home (her own beautiful voice) in France and the 13th century Castlenaud on the Dordogne River which took part in the 100 years war between England and France. A few years ago, we stayed downstream across the river and just below its then French controlled rival castle in Beynac. Around 1190, this imposing structure in Tomar, built on the border of Christian and Muslim territory in Iberia, was encircled by the armies of Abu Yusuf al-Mansur, conquering Muslim caliph in the south and ... read more
This seemingly impregnable structure was imposing from the outside.
Notice the slanted area to your right.
The dominant circular church.

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