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EXPERTISE
Anthropology & Cultural Studies
Destinations & Ports
Earth Sciences, Geology & Geography
History - General
Travel & Destinations
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH:
BIOGRAPHY
ALAN WALKER is a HISTORIAN - TRAVEL WRITER and SPEAKER - REGIONAL ANALYST and former University Don.

He has lectured on worldwide voyages for many of the major cruise lines over the last 20 years, e.g. Oceania Cruises, Cunard, P & O, Fred. Olsen, etc.

Alan makes a point of "Walking the Talk before Talking the Talk" meaning that he has undertaken research, walked the streets and hills of world destinations and ports as a Cruise Ship Lecturer.

His lectures are illustrated by pictures taken from his own collection of field work photographs which have been shot on location in all 5 continents.

The vast majority of his lectures are given without using the lectern, speaking directly to the audience without notes. His audiences appreciate this direct approach.

He is more than willing to answer the questions of passengers at any time aboard ship and during port days ashore.
Alan offers a comprehensive and interesting range of lectures, which have been appreciated by past audiences, and has maintained a great enthusiasm for his topics and truly loves his subjects.
DESTINATION REGIONS OF EXPERTISE
Alan's general destination regions of experience include:

- Australia
- United States.
- Canada.
- Caribbean.
- Latin America.
- Mediterranean World including Egypt, Israel and Turkey.
- The Arab World, e.g. Dubai, Muscat, Aqaba, Petra, Wadi Rhum, Sharm el-Sheikh, etc.
- South Africa.
- West Africa, including Cape Verde Islands.
- Iceland.
- Britain in the 20th Century.
- American History from the arrival of the First Nations People to the present day.
- The Life and Times of President John F. Kennedy.

As well as destinations, Alan can present a series of talks on the following subjects:

THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES
1. " The First Americans - the story of the American Indians of the United States."

2. "Boston and the War of Independence."
This very interesting lecture traces the revolutionary period and introduces personalities such as Paul Revere, John Hancock and Samuel Adams and events like the Boston Tea Party and Boston Massacre and cries such as "No Taxation Without Representation."

3. "Gone West!" - the story of the American People in the first half of the 19th century including the life of the Mountain Men and Fur Traders such as Kit Carson and Davy Crockett. The Western Trails including the California Trails, the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, the Santa Fe Trail and the California Gold Rush.

4. "Slavery and Plantation Societies in the Old South."

5. "The Settling of a Continent - America 1850-1900."
Details include the Cowboy and Cattle Frontier, the advance of the railroads such as the Union Pacific, the Farming Frontier, the Mining Frontier and personalities such as Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Buffalo Bill Cody, General George Custer, etc.

6. "America in the 20th century."
For many people the 20th century was "America's Century" when it became the "Number One" superpower in the world. Events covered include World War I, The Great Depression, World War II and the Cold War. It was also the century when the "American Dream" became a reality for so many of its citizens"

7. "President Woodrow Wilson, the First World War and League of Nations."
In 1912, Franklin Delano Roosevelt backed the progressive views of Woodrow Wilson. Although the Democrats had lost the last 4 elections they were successful in 1912 and again in 1916 when they ran an intelligent campaign based on the promise of "peace through strength" and kept America out of the First World War. However, in March 1917, German submarines sank 5 American merchant vessels and on 20th March, 1917 Wilson declared war on Germany. The Americans were able to put an army of 2 millions into the war, backed by industrial might, at a time when the allied position was quite desperate. In many respects this was the decisive factor on the Western Front and on 11th November, 1918 an armistice was signed with Germany. President Wilson attended the 1919 Paris Peace Conference in person and was the driving force in the creation of the League of Nations. However, there was strong opposition to the League Charter from many Republicans who favoured the concept of "balance of power" over the League's idea of "collective security." In 1919 President Wilson suffered a stroke and as a result both his personal battles with health and politics were lost.

8. "America in the 1920s."
The American economy changed during the 1920s as dramatic increases in productivity, which were the result of new efficiencies allowed new consumer products to be purchased at much lower prices by the working classes. Mass production and consumption became the new watchwords of the 1920s in America. This was facilitated by hire purchase. In this way high spending and not saving was encouraged in the Jazz Age. Transportation was also revolutionised in the 1920s by the development of the automobile. In 1920, some 8 million cars were registered in America and this grew to 28 million by 1929. This speeded up the transportation of goods and encouraged suburban development, particularly in Florida and California. However, by mid 1929, production, employment and other gauges of economic activity were in decline. This was particularly evident in rural America where agricultural prices had dropped. However, the stock market continued to rise driven by excessive confidence and perennial greed. The reckoning came on 29th October, 1929 when stocks dropped by 13%. There was now a great scramble to sell stock and lower prices fed on themselves. In October 1929, the value of stocks on the New York Exchange fell by 37%. By March 1933, the value of stocks was less than 20% of their 1929 value. Between 1929 and 1932 the personal incomes of Americans fell by more than 50%. As always in depressions the party in power paid the price and President Herbert Hoover had little idea of how to solve America's problems. It was time for a change!

9. "Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1920-1939."
An unforeseen postwar boom eased America over the difficult economic transition from World War I to peace. The Republicans met in Chicago in June, 1920 and elected Senator Warren Harding to be their candidate who went on to defeat the Democrats by 16 million votes to 9 million votes. In August, 1921, Roosevelt was diagnosed with poliomyelitis and consequently it was thought that his political career was over. For 7 years, Rossevelt fought his way back to health and emerged again on the national political scene. In 1932, Roosevelt became the Democratic candidate for the presidency which he won by 22,815,539 votes to Hoover's 15,759,930, winning in 42 states. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Depression Years from 1929 to 1932 resulted in 15 million Americans becoming unemployed and created the platform for Roosevelt's victory. By a series of radical reforms and acts, Roosevelt was able to give hope again to many Americans. Roosevelt said that the American people had "nothing to fear, but fear itself." Roosevelt's opponents described him as a "Red", and worse. However, Roosevelt saw his main task was to revive the capitalist system and not to encourage revolution. Unemployment numbers were reduced from 1933 onwards but were still a problem on the outbreak of World War II in 1939.

10. "The Private Life and Policies of President John F. Kennedy."

11. "The Life and Times of President John F. Kennedy."

12. "President Kennedy and Cuba."

13. " New York: the Iconic Multi-Cultural capitalistic city."

14. "The Rise of the 'Sunbelt' states and decline of the 'Frostbelt' states, 1970-1990."
Particular importance is given to the factors leading to the migration to Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California and to the out-migration factors from industrial 'Rust-Belt' cities such as Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Buffalo.

THE UNITED STATES.
1. "Introduction to New England - A Region of Change and Revolution." New England has a rich history and a picture-postcard present-day image of white-steepled churches, village greens, covered bridges, scenic landscapes, fishing villages, old taverns, busy college towns, rolling green hills and rich red Fall colours. All these images are true and valid but Alan commences his review of New England with a detailed coverage of the arrival of the Amer-Indians and how they had to come to terms with a woodland environment. These Woodland Indians became masters of fishing and hunting in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The coastal Indians became masters of the bays and beaches and obtained sea catches, ocean mammals and shellfish. Alan describes the lives of these "early New Englanders" and the physical environment in which they had to live. Alan moves on to describe the arrival of the Europeans in New England including the Pilgrim Fathers of 1620 at Plymouth and the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Company at the Charles River. Alan describes how these New Englanders used the local raw materials such as timber, wool and hides to develop local industries before the Industrial Revolution. The important part New England played in the War of Independence is also covered. In the 19th century New England became an economic powerhouse with the introduction of cotton spinning machines. Alan describes the 19th century situation in mill towns such as Lowell and Lawrence and the further development of logging and farming. However, the 20th century saw the decline of some of these industries, particularly cotton textiles and leather. The Depression years of the 1930s are described when unemployment rates reached 40% in some areas. However, as the "Manufacturing Age" gave way to the "Information Age" in the 1960s and 1970s, New England was able to use its educational institutions, such as Harvard University, to develop new companies at the cutting edge of technology.

2. "New England Introduction 2: Boston, Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine." Boston's importance in America's history is without question and this has left the city with a unique legacy of old historic buildings. In this lecture Alan examines many of Boston's outstanding civic and religious buildings and places them in their historic context. The Old State House was built in 1713 and is the oldest public building in Boston. The oldest private house in Boston, once owned by the famous patriot Paul Revere, is located in the North End and is the last relic of the medieval town of the 1600s. Alan examines many historic buildings such as the Old North Church, Faneuil Hall, the Old South Meeting House, Park Street Church and the Granary Burying Ground which is the final resting place of many of the famous American patriots including John Hancock, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, James Otis and the victims of the Boston Massacre. Alan takes his analysis through to the 21st century and then continues his review with the city of Portland, Maine. Alan reviews the history of Portland including the Old Port which was once a decaying neighbourhood and has been restored and is now one of the city's liveliest areas filled with restaurants, bars and art galleries. One of the outstanding historic buildings of Portland is the home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) which is reviewed. A study of Bar Harbor, Maine, is next on Alan's agenda and a detailed review of Bar Harbor's history and present-day society and economic situation is given.

3. "Two New England Gems: Newport (Rhode Island) and Martha's Vineyard." Alan provides a comprehensive history of Newport including the Colonial Period, the American Revolutionary Era and the Gilded Age. In addition, the present-day tourist attractions are identified along with details of Newport's contemporary society. The island of Martha's Vineyard is some 24 miles long and 7 miles wide and has been popular with the rich and famous as a holiday destination for many years. The island was popular with the Kennedy family and Jackie Kennedy Onassis owned a house on the island from 1980. On 16th July, 1999, Jackie's son, John F. Kennedy Junior, died in a plane crash 4 miles off Martha's Vineyard and the wreckage was washed up on a beach within a mile of Jackie's "Red Gate Farm". Alan also covers the notorious incident of July, 1969, when Senator Edward Kennedy drove his Oldsmobile off a bridge at Chappaquiddick and his passenger, Mary-Jo Kopechne, was drowned. Other Presidents, including Barack Obama, have spent holidays in Martha's Vineyard. Oak Bluffs is a major tourist centre and is famous for its "Gingerbread Cottages".

4. "Bar Harbor, Maine." In this lecture Alan gives a detailed review of Bar Harbor's history and present-day society and economic situation. Bar Harbor was a summer haven in the 19th century for some of America's richest citizens, including the Astors and Vanderbilts. It has stunning scenery of mountains, cliffs, inlets and islands which attract tourists from all over the world. The town itself is pretty with its clapboard buildings, painted in different colours, and it has a lively waterfront area. Perhaps it may be slightly criticised for being somewhat over-commercialised. The unspoilt Acadia National Park can be visited from Bar Harbor and Alan takes you to these picturesque sites and sights.

5. "Newport, Rhode Island." In this lecture Alan provides a very detailed account of Newport's history from the Colonial Period with its many outstanding houses and on into the American Revolutionary Era and the Gilded Age of the late 19th century. Alan paints a vivid picture of each of these eras. In addition, the present-day tourist attractions are identified along with details of Newport's society in the 21st century. From its beginning in 1639 Newport was a haven for pirates and privateers, a sizeable port for the profitable trade in slaves, molasses, and the rum made from it. As a busy seaport it rivalled even Boston and New York in its early days. This tradition of links with the sea continued into the late 19th century when the U.S. Naval War College was established in Newport in 1884 and in the 20th century Newport became famous for hosting a number of America's Cup races. Granted its liquor license in 1673, the White Horse Tavern claims to be the nation's oldest continuously operating tavern. Attracted by a promise of complete religious freedom, houses of worship of many denominations sprang up in Newport. Outstanding among these are the Friends' Meeting House built in 1699, Trinity Church built in 1726, Touro Synagogue dedicated in 1763 and St. Mary's Catholic Church built in 1852 and where in 1953 the future President John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier. In the 1800s the largely unspoiled beauty and relative isolation of Newport became recognised by the wealthy social set who began building "Palaces" such as Mrs. Astor's "Beechwood", the Vanderbilt's "The Breakers", and "The Elms". They were called "Summer Cottages".

6. "The Sunshine State of Florida offers images of Sea, Palm Trees, Sand and Sun - but the reality is Far More Complex!" The Florida Peninsula, nearly 400 miles long, is everywhere low-lying, the maximum height being only a little more than 300 feet above sea-level. The basic rock is limestone and a string of low coral islands, known as the Florida Keys, extends southwards towards the Caribbean islands and the Gulf of Mexico. The Everglades, in the south, are a vast sheet river system that flows over a flat bed of peat-covered limestone and was the final retreat of the Seminole Indians. The Everglades National Park forms a distinct natural eco-system and is just one of the many tourist attractions in the state which Alan takes you to. The Orlando area is a "honey-pot" for tourists with its many theme parks, including the world famous Walt Disney World Resort. For most of its European history, Florida's main source of revenue has been agriculture, including vegetables, citrus fruits, sugar and cattle. The state has attracted millions of migrants in the post-World War II years. Alan identifies many of the attractions for the migrants including climate, low land prices, low taxes, many leisure facilities, air conditioning, improved transportation facilities by air and the inter-state highway system, and the creation of many new jobs. Many high-tech industries have been created and established in Florida. This was the result, in part, of a spin-off from the N.A.S.A. space programme which was centred on Cape Canaveral at the Kennedy Space Centre. This has boosted the prosperity of Florida and created many well-paid jobs. Service industries have also grown in the state but these have often paid low salaries and been taken up by migrants from the Caribbean, Central and Latin America. The state also suffers from a number of problems, which Alan identifies, including declining water resources, pollution, an endangered natural landscape including flora and fauna, high crime rates and drugs. Alan has spent many years studying and travelling in Florida and in this lecture he examines the many factors and issues which make Florida a far more complicated and diverse state than first appears from its tourist image.

7. "An Historic Journey across America." In this lecture, Alan takes you across America from the Eastern Seaboard cities of Boston and New York to the Western Cities of Dallas, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles. As a University Research Fellow and Don, Alan has been studying, analysing and travelling in the United States for over 45 years. In this lecture he gives you the benefits of his many experiences as he examines the physical landscape, social, economic and regional issues and problems of this vast country. Special attention is paid to the cities. The lecture is illustrated by many pictures taken by Alan since 1967 on location in America.

THE BRITISH ISLES
1. "Britain: 1929-1941."
In this lecture, Alan outlines the British experience in the late 1920s and 1930s which led to the Declaration of War in September, 1939. The "Path to War" outlined includes the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party in Germany; the consolidation of Mussolini and the Fascists in Italy; the Civil War in Spain; the isolation of the Soviet Union; the territorial expansion of Germany in the Rhineland, the Anschluss with Austria and the appeasement of Hitler on the Sudeten issue. Social and economic issues within Britain in the 1930s are explained. The early events of World War II are covered including the German invasion of Poland, the sinking of the "Graf Spee", the "Phoney War", the German invasion of Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, and France. The "escape" at Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, rationing and the problems of evacuees on the Home Front, and the "Blitz" are reviewed. In 1941, the German invasion of Crete and the Soviet Union are described along with the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbour, Thailand and Malaya. The British campaign in North Africa against Italian and German troops is examined in its regional context.

2. "Britain: February 1942-June 1944."
In this lecture, Alan reviews the Japanese campaign in Malaya and the Fall of Singapore, Thailand, Burma and Indonesia. Military losses are reviewed in some detail. The Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway are placed in their regional context and importance. The German attack on and defeat at Stalingrad is examined along with the North African campaign and British victory at El Alamein. A review of the British Home Front is given along with the importance of the Battle of the Atlantic. The Allied invasion of Sicily and Italy concludes this lecture.

3. "The North African campaign and the Battle of El Alamein."
A full review of the British Campaign against Italian and German troops in North Africa from December, 1940 is presented. The strategic importance of Egypt and the Suez Canal to the British is explained. The part played by the Australian 9th Division at Tobruk is reviewed. The build-up to the Battle of El Alamein and the battle itself is examined in great detail. Alan uses material gained from his visit to the El Alamein Military Museum in the desert to describe battle tactics. Rommel lost 50,000 men and most of his tanks while the 8th army lost 13,500 men but retained a viable tank force. Axis forces were soundly beaten and driven from Egypt. El Alamein restored British confidence and prestige. Churchill said "After El Alamein we never had a defeat."

4. "Britain: June 1944-May 1945."
The Allied landings in Normandy (June,1944) are examined along with the advances through Normandy to Paris and Brussels before the setback at Arnhem and the Battle of the Bulge. In the East, the Russians advanced across Poland but were unable or unwilling to help the Poles during the Warsaw Uprising. German V-2 rockets caused considerable damage and fear in British cities, particularly in London. The Yalta Conference ( February, 1945 ) of the Big 3 - Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill - helped to shape the future of Europe in the post-war world. In April, 1945 President Roosevelt died and hence did not live to see the final victory in Europe when the Russians entered Berlin in May, 1945.

5. "Britain: 1945-1948."
The Yalta Conference is examined in detail whereby the shape of the future of Europe was outlined. In the Far East, the Japanese advance was stopped at Imphal by the British. The Americans advanced towards Japan with a series of naval engagements and the capture of islands such as Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Coverage is made of the Potsdam Conference of July/August, 1945 when Truman, Stalin and Churchill/Attlee met. On 6th August, 1945 the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Alan counts the cost in lives of each major country engaged in World War II. Alan also examines the post-war situation in Europe including the establishment of the "Iron Curtain" and the start of the Cold War. Finally, the Labour Government's Welfare State and Nationalisation is covered.

6. "Britain: 1948-1953."
Alan examines the history of Palestine and the establishment of the State of Israel in May, 1948 which was recognised by Truman and Stalin. The 1948 Arab-Israeli War and its implications are reviewed. On the home front, the Nationalisation Programme, for example of the railways and electricity, is outlined. In June, 1948 the Russians stopped road and rail traffic to and from Berlin. The London Olympic Games were held in a period of austerity. Harry S Truman won the American election in November, 1948 and General Tojo was hanged for war crimes. Alan examines the development of the Cold War with particular relation to Czechoslovakia, the Marshall Plan of Aid to Western Europe, the signing of the NATO Treaty (4th April, 1949) and the lifting of the "Berlin Blockade" (12th May, 1949). A major event took place on 14th July, 1949 with the Soviet atomic bomb test. In October, 1949 Mao formed the Communist People's Republic of China and in June, 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea. Alan reviews the early events of the Korean War.

7. "Britain: 1950-1955."
In the opening section of this lecture, Alan reviews, in detail, the events of the Korean War (1950-1953). On the Home Front, the Festival of Britain was opened (28th May, 1951) and Winston Churchill became Prime Minister again (26th October, 1951). A detailed review of the domestic situation in Egypt is given which would lead to Revolution (1952) and the Suez Crisis (1956). On 6th February, 1952 King George VI died. On 4th November, 1952, General Eisenhower became President and on 5th March, 1953, Stalin died in Moscow and there were anti-Communist riots in East Berlin (June 1953). Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on 2nd June, 1953. On 7th May, 1954, the Communists captured Dien Bien Phu in French Indo-China. On 5th April, 1955, Eden replaced Churchill as British Prime Minister.

8. "Britain: 1955-1960."
In this lecture, Alan examines in great detail the 3 major political events of the period - namely, the Suez Crisis (31st October, 1956), the failed Hungarian Revolution (23rd October, 1956) and the new government of Fidel Castro (2nd January, 1959) in Cuba. Other notable political events covered include Harold Macmillan becoming British Prime Minister (9th January, 1957), John F. Kennedy being elected as U.S. President (9th November, 1960), the establishment of the European Economic Community (1st January, 1958), de Gaulle being elected President of France (21st December, 1958), Archbishop Makarios being elected as first President of Cyprus (14th December, 1959) and Harold Macmillan talking about (January, 1960) "the winds of change blowing through Africa" which would lead to the break-up of the British Empire in the 1960s.

THE CARIBBEAN
1. "An introduction to the Caribbean. Are all the islands of the Caribbean the same?"
This question is often asked by passengers journeying to the Caribbean. Alan presents all the geographical, cultural and historical factors.

2. "The History of Slavery in the Caribbean."
This lecture concentrates on the daily life experiences of slaves in Africa and on their transportation to the Caribbean."

3. "Slavery and Plantation Life in the Caribbean."
This lecture provides in-depth reviews of slave life in 3 case study plantations - the Sunbury Plantation in Barbados, Seville Plantation in Jamaica and St. Nicholas Abbey Plantation in Barbados."

4. "A history of Barbados from 2000 B.C. to the present day."
This includes a review of American Indian fishermen, hunters and collectors and their arrival in the Caribbean from the lowlands of South America in dug-out canoes between 1600 and 2000 B.C. Other Indian groups followed including the Arawaks or Tainos. The Spaniards arrived in 1511 and the British arrived at Holetown in1627. Between 1630 and 1644 British settlers arrived including convicts committed to forced labour on the plantations. Between 1640 and 1700 the sugar industry grew rapidly in importance and was underpinned by the African slave trade. In 1834 slavery was abolished. The many events of the 20th century are also reviewed in this lecture.

5. "History of Havana and its modern-day attractions" Alan guides the guest through the history of Havana going back to the arrival and culture of the Amer-Indians, the coming of the Spaniards, Slavery and the Plantation System, American-Spanish War and the difficult times of the 20th century including dictatorships, the Mafia, the "Liberation" of Cuba by Fidel Castro and life under the Castro Government. Alan ends with a review of Cuba after Fidel in the 21st century.

6. "The Pastel Paradise that is Bermuda."

7."An historical analysis of the origin, growth and development of Nassau, Bahamas."

8. "Barbados Today - the classic Caribbean island." In this lecture Alan examines modern-day Barbados and reviews the "Barbados Model" of Economic Diversification and asks whether this model can be taken up by other islands in the Caribbean.

9. "The History of Antigua." In 1680 the population of Antigua was about 4,500, made up of 50% white and 50% black. By the time of the slave emancipation in 1834 there were about 30,000 "Africans" working on the plantations of Antigua. Alan examines the sugar industry in Antigua and explains how the physical landscape and the vegetation was changed by the plantation system. Events of the 20th century are reviewed including the many aspects and factors which brought about the growth of tourism in Antigua. In the space of one generation, agriculture has become one of the least important sectors of the economy providing less than 4% of G.D.P. and giving employment to only 7% of Antigua's workforce.

10. "St. Lucia: Volcanoes, bays, sandy beaches and yachts but so much more as well......"

11. "Four more islands to consider on a future cruise - Aruba, Grenada, Dominica and the British Virgin Islands." Alan describes the attractions of these four islands in the Caribbean for passengers to consider on a future cruise.

12. "Caribbean Capitalism and Communism." Using first-hand experiences and research in Cuba and the Cayman Islands, Alan reviews this interesting question of very different political, social and economic lifestyles within the Caribbean.

13. "Caribbean Migration to the United States, Canada, and Britain, 1950 to the present."
This lecture gives a review of the reasons why so many citizens of the Caribbean islands have left the blue skies and sunshine of their native lands and moved to the United States, Canada and Britain. Social and economic factors have played a significant part in their decisions to move. Alan identifies and examines many "push factors" which have encouraged Caribbean citizens to leave, such as unemployment, under-employment, low wages, poor education and health facilities, difficult problems relating to infrastructure, personal and state violence, high crime rates, etc. The "pull factors" of the more technologically advanced western countries are also reviewed, such as higher wages and standards of living, more varied and interesting job opportunities, benefit systems, improved transportation networks, etc. which have attracted these migrants away from their homelands.

14. "Grenada." In this lecture Alan takes you on a tour of St. George's, the capital, including Fort George, the market, and waterfront before exploring the lush vegetation of the volcanic interior with its waterfalls and lakes such as Grand �tang. Aspects of the economy such as nutmeg production and tourism are considered in some detail.

15. "Virgin Islands and St. Maarten." In this lecture, Alan takes you on a tour of Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands and continues up into the volcanic mountains behind Road Town and proceeds northwards to the coast and small local centres such as Apple Bay. We continue westwards to Pusser's Landing to view the yachts and amenities. A visit is also made to Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas in the U.S.Virgin Islands before moving on to St. Maarten and a tour of Philipsburg. Alan explains the attractions of Philipsburg including an outstanding and extensive golden beach and some of the most attractive duty-free shopping experiences in the Caribbean. We end by moving northwards to "Saint Martin" - the French half of the island - and Marigot.

16. "Dominica." A review of the physical landscape of Dominica is given and emphasis is placed on its volcanic nature, for example Morne Trois Pitons National Park, its many waterfalls, for example Trafalgar Falls, and many crater lakes, for example Boiling Lake. Alan explains an interesting aspect of this island which is the "Carib Territory" in the eastern part of the island and here some traditional aspects of Indian culture has been maintained, for example distinctive basketry designs and headwear. Alan also examines aspects of rural life. Local agriculture, such as coconut production and banana plantations are reviewed. Roseau, the capital, is toured including the State House, Anglican Church, Fort Young and hotel, and the market. A visit is also made to the north of the island in order to tour Cabrits National Park, Fort Shirley and Indian River which folklore tells of Columbus ascending.

17. "Spanish and British Cultures in the Caribbean." In this lecture, Alan explores the Spanish cultural locations in the Caribbean including San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Havana in Cuba. Spanish cultural aspects examined include language, religion, dress, cuisine, fortifications and urban architecture. British cultural locations are explored including Shirley Heights Barracks, Fort Berkeley, English Harbour and Nelson's Dockyard in Antigua and Trafalgar Square, Bridgetown Cathedral, Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill and Sunbury Plantation in Barbados. In St.Kitts, Alan identifies the Brimstone Hill Fortress as a wonderful example of British fortifications when it was known as the "Gibraltar of the Caribbean" and the ecclesiastical architecture of Basseterre's Cathedral. Alan also considers many British cultural aspects in Nassau, Bahamas.

18. "Dutch, French and Amer-Indian Cultures in the Caribbean." In this lecture, Alan explores the Dutch cultural legacy in Willemstad (Curacao), Oranjestad (Aruba), and Philipsburg (Sint Maarten). Dutch cultural aspects examined include language, religion, cuisine, fortifications and urban architecture. French cultural locations are explored including Marigot (Saint Martin), Fort-de-France (Martinique), Pointe-a-Pitre (Guadeloupe). Aspects of culture reviewed include language, cuisine, dress and architecture. Alan concludes this lecture with a review of Amer-Indian cultural locations including artefacts from Indian Creek in Antigua and distinctive basketry designs and headwear in the Carib Territory of Dominica. Finally, Alan reviews the Garifunda culture of Roatan Island.

19. "A cruise in the southern Caribbean from Barbados-Trinidad-Curacao-Aruba."
On this cruise, Alan starts in Barbados with a review of some of its historic locations including Sunbury Plantation, St. Nicholas Abbey, the Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill and Gun Hill Station before a cruise is made to Port of Spain, Trinidad, which is then explored making a tour to Maracas Bay on the north coast of Trinidad. This cruise proceeds westwards to the Dutch island of Curacao where a tour of Willemstad, the capital, is made including historic sites and architecture and modern-day tourist locations. The final destination of this cruise is the Dutch island of Aruba where Alan describes its distinctive physical landscapes, architecture, historic sites and modern-day tourist facilities.

20. "St. Lucia: Port Talk." Let Alan be your guide to the green island of St. Lucia. The talk is illustrated by Alan's personal photographs. Many tourist highlights are presented including the majestic Pitons, Soufriere and Sulphur Springs, Castries (the capital), Marigot Bay and Rodney Bay with its famous marina, Gros Islet (the old fishing village) and Pigeon Island National Park in the north. Alan complements these tourist locations by presenting a range of social and economic data. In addition, the interesting history of St. Lucia is not forgotten.

21. "Antigua: Port Talk." Alan guides you around this former sugar island of Antigua by using a range of his personal photographs taken on location. Alan explains how the plantation system changed the physical landscape and vegetation of the island. The historic areas of Shirley Heights, Nelson's Dockyard and English Harbour are covered in some detail. A vast range of social and economic data is also presented in order to enhance your perceptions of Antigua. A full range of St. John's, the capital, tourist locations are also identified.

22. "St. Kitts: Port Talk." Alan presents a full history of St. Kitts and draws particular attention to the Brimstone Hill Fortress which became known as the "Gibraltar of the West Indies" and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alan guides you round Basseterre, the capital, and shows you the most photographed landmark in the town, namely, the clock tower of the Berkeley Memorial at the "Circus". The sugar industry on the island closed in 2005 and many of the old cane fields are being developed into modern residential areas, holiday apartments, hotels, golf courses and shopping facilities which Alan illustrates with his own photographs.

23. "Sint Maarten - Saint Martin: Port Talk." Sint Maarten - Saint Martin is a small but interesting island in the north of the Leeward Islands which is part of the Lesser Antilles. The island is shared between two sovereign governments - namely the Dutch and French. Some 41,000 live on the Dutch side and Alan guides you around Philipsburg, the capital. Alan also introduces you to Marigot, the capital of Saint Martin, with its cafés, bistros and art galleries. Duty-free shopping is a great attraction in Philipsburg as is the physical environment of the Great Bay. A comprehensive guide to social and economic conditions is also given. In summary, it is not two islands combined to form one nation, but rather two nations combined on one island. It seems to work!

THE MEDITERRANEAN WORLD:
GREECE.
1. "Classical Greece and Modern Greece." Modern Greece traces its roots to the Civilisation of Ancient Greece which is generally considered as the "Cradle of Western Civilisation." As such it is regarded as the birth-place of "Democracy", Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western drama, literature and history. Alan reviews these cultural aspects of Greek history and then turns his attention to modern Greece.

2. " The problems of Modern Greece." Alan reviews the economic, social and political situation in modern Greece. While agriculture and fishing remain important in many areas of Greece, it is the growth of tourism that Alan reviews alongside the more traditional sectors of the economy. The reasons behind the 21st century public and private debt crisis in Greece are examined. A review is also made of the austerity measures undertaken and their impact on Greek life, society and economy today.

ISRAEL
1."Israel Today - A review of the political, social and economic conditions."

2. "Jerusalem - an ancient city with modern-day issues."

THE ARAB WORLD
1. " An Introduction to the Arab World." The Arab World is filled with stark contrasts where squalid refugee camps sit close to opulent pent-houses and where green oases sit surrounded by hot dry deserts. Alan states that, in many respects, water is more important than oil in a region where temperatures average around 38 degrees C. in summer. In this lecture Alan looks at the many faces of the Arab World including the dry arid deserts of the Sinai Peninsula where camels are still important as a mode of transport; the new modern, air-conditioned shopping malls of Dubai; the run-down urban infrastructures of such cities as Alexandria and Cairo and the poor, less-developed rural areas. There are many different stereotypes of the Arabs from despotic rulers stamping their authority on the masses; cruel fanatics applying Shariah or Islamic religious laws; youths who are convinced that martyrdom will win them immediate entry into heaven; oil rich people spending fortunes on luxury goods; Moslem clerics shouting hatred against the Jews and Israel; and the theological disputes between Shiites and Sunnis. Alan states that behind the newspaper headlines is a complex, rapidly changing society with vast potential for either rapid progress or even greater upheavals. In many respects Israel is a blessing to the Arabs in that it brings the Arabs together as a powerful unifying force. However, because of Israel's military prowess, many Arabs state that they must divert money from badly needed development to buy weapons. Oil has made certain Arab nations fabulously rich but others, particularly those without oil, remain basically poor. Alan states that almost every Arab nation has great divisions between rich and poor. In addition, modern innovations threaten traditional life and standards and there is a powerful tide of Islamic fundamentalism that carries with it strong social, political and anti-Western currents. Alan concludes that there are very few areas of the globe where peoples' lives are changing as rapidly or as visibly as in the Arab World.

2. "Iconic Arab Locations, People and Cultural Images." In this lecture, Alan presents you with a range of Iconic Arab images which portray the very essence of the Region. He starts with the colour and vibrancy of the Souq which is the great market of the Arab World where people meet and barter. He then moves on to the iconic desert landscapes and their people. Particular attention is paid to the Bedouin who claim descent from the tribes of the Hejaz on the Arabian Peninsula and thus rate themselves amongst the purest Arabs. They have lived a nomadic lifestyle in harsh arid regions for centuries depending on sheep, goats and camels for a livelihood and sleeping in tents made of goat-skins. Alan describes their traditional way of life living in a vast area from Morocco to Saudi Arabia and how today many work as oil drillers, truck drivers, and farmers, but retain their tribal loyalties and code of honour of their brethren in the deserts. Camels are also iconic desert dwellers and Alan acknowledges this. In contrast, Alan next turns his attention to the modern world and how and why the Burj al Arab Hotel in Dubai has gained world-wide iconic status. A very different iconic image is presented by St. Catherine's Monastery which is located in the interior of Southern Sinai and is set in a beautiful, but harsh, red desert landscape at the foot of Mount Sinai where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments. In A.D. 337 Empress Helena ordered the construction of a chapel on the site where it was believed that Moses saw the "burning bush" and from which God instructed Moses to lead his people out of Egypt to the promised land of Canaan. This Greek Orthodox monastery is thought to be the oldest continuously inhabited Christian monastery in the world. Let Alan be your guide. Perhaps the most iconic Arab political leader of modern times was President Nasser of Egypt. Alan outlines his political life and philosophy and then moves on to the iconic Suez Canal which links the Mediterranean World with the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea.

3."An introduction to Egypt Today." Alan presents images of modern-day Egypt including the lifestyles of the wealthy and poor. A range of political, social and economic factors are considered and analysed.

4. " Where do Egyptians live and what do they do?" Egypt is the most populous country in the Middle East but 99% of its population exist on only about 5.5% of the land. The population centres of Alexandria, Port Said and Cairo are examined in detail. Rural to urban migration is analysed. It is estimated that 35% of Egypt's population earn less than $2 a day and there is mass unemployment and under-employment. There is a need for more housing, jobs, agricultural land, population control and more even distribution of wealth.

5. "Egypt: 1940 to the present day." In this lecture Alan examines and analyses the years of war, revolution, socialism and revolt.

6. "The Bedouin." In this lecture Alan reviews the lifestyle of the Bedouin and their attempts to come to terms with the modern world.

7. "The Suez Canal from Port Said southwards to Suez City." In this lecture Alan reviews the history of the creation of the Suez Canal and the part it now plays in modern-day Egypt.

8. "War in the Desert - the Battle of El Alamein." In this lecture Alan reviews in detail the build-up and importance of this famous battle in the desert. Churchill is often quoted as saying that before El Alamein the British never won a battle and after El Alamein it never lost one.

9. "An Introduction to Dubai" In this opening lecture on Dubai, Alan provides an overview of the city and the region. In 1822 Dubai had a population of only 1,200 and this had only increased to 20,000 by 1954. Alan explains how and why Dubai has increased its population to 2,200,000 in the last 50 years to become the leading centre for business and tourism in the Middle East. This has resulted in Dubai becoming a distinctive blend of modern city and timeless desert; east and west; old and new. It combines the comfort and convenience of the capitalist western world with the charm and hospitality of Arabia. This is seen in the shopping experience which combines ancient souks and luxurious modern air-conditioned shopping malls. Alan's analysis is backed-up and illustrated by his many pictures taken in Dubai.

10. "Old Dubai: the Historic Creek Area." In this lecture, Alan reviews the development of the historic Creek Area in the last 200 years. In 1833, following tribal feuding, the Al Maktoum dynasty took over Dubai. Two disasters in the 19th century were the 1841 smallpox epidemic which broke out in Bur Dubai and the 1894 fire which swept through Deira, burning down most homes. Dubai's geographical location attracted traders and merchants from around the region and hence by 1900 its population had reached 10,000. The pearl industry was important in the early years of the 20th century. Oil was discovered in Dubai in 1966 and concessions were granted by the Emirates to international oil companies. This resulted in a massive influx of foreign workers, mainly Indians and Pakistanis. Between 1960 and 1975, the city's population grew by over 400% and stood at 183,000 by 1975. Alan examines the specific development of the Creek area and how it became the main artery of trade with hundreds of dhows of different sizes, loading and unloading a variety of goods and linking Dubai with Pakistan and India, the countries of the Gulf, and even East Africa. This led to the establishment of famous Souqs (markets) such as the Spice Market and the Gold Souq.

11. "Modern Dubai." Modern Dubai has a population of 2,200,000 but only 17% of this total are made up of Arab U.A.E. nationals. Indeed, over 70% of the Emirate's total population are Asian. Of the expatriate population some 51% are Indian and 16% are from Pakistan. Significant other groups are from Bangladesh (9%) with 100,000 British expatriates and 30,000 Somalis. Males outnumber females by a ratio of over 3 to 1 . Over the last 30 to 40 years, the Dubai Government has followed a policy of moving away from a trade-based and oil-reliant economy to one that is service and tourism oriented. A by-product of this policy has been a local property boom in which residences, hotels and shopping malls have been built in large numbers. Indeed, Dubai has been called the "shopping capital of the Middle East" and has more than 70 shopping centres, including the world's largest shopping centre, the "Dubai Mall". Dubai is now the 7th most visited city in the world and visitor numbers increase by some 10% each year. There are over 16 million tourists visitors each year and Alan examines the attractions of Dubai in this lecture. Modern Dubai is a hub for service industries, such as information technology and finance, with industry-specific free zones throughout the city, for example, the Biotech Park and Dubai Media City. Modern Dubai also has some very famous buildings such as the Burj Khalifa Tower and the Burj Al Arab Hotel. It is Alan's pleasure to act as your guide to Modern Dubai.

12. " An Introduction to Muscat and Oman." Oman occupies the southeastern corner of the Arabian peninsula and straddles the Tropic of Cancer along the coast of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf. The city of Muscat lies along the Gulf of Oman and is in the proximity of the strategic Straits of Hormuz. Oman has a land area of just over 300,000 square km., making it slightly larger than Italy, with a population of about 2,800,000, of which almost 2 million are Omani citizens and the rest are expats. Muscat is the capital of Oman and it is also the seat of Government and largest city in the Governorate of Muscat and Oman. Muscat is the financial and economic centre of Oman. Muscat has a long history and was ruled by various indigenous tribes as well as foreign powers such as the Persians and Portuguese Empire. A bloodless palace coup on 23rd July, 1970 brought Qaboos Bin Said to power as the new Sultan. The years since 1970 have seen rapid infrastructural development and the growth of a vibrant economy dominated by trade. Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has been central to Oman's economy since 1962. The more traditional exports include fish, dates and mother of pearl. The Muscat Securities Market is the principal stock exchange of Oman and is located in the Central Business District of Muscat. The majority of Omanis work in engineering, clerical, scientific or technical fields with the defence sector being particularly important. Construction, wholesale and retail trade employ many expatriates. Tourism is increasingly important. Allow Alan to act as your guide in Muscat where he takes you to the Grand Mosque, the Natural History Museum, the Royal Opera House, The Sultan's Palace, the Bait al Zubair Museum and the fascinating and colourful Muttrah Souk where traditional Omani items such as bronze coffee pots and exotic spices may be purchased.

13. "Muscat and Northern Oman." Alan starts his review in Muscat which is the capital, seat of Government and largest city in Oman. It is also the financial and economic centre of the country. Alan then moves north-west to Sohar and the Batinah Coast. This area is an extensive plain and contains about 50% of Oman's cultivated land. It is one of the most densely populated regions of the Sultanate and is home to more than 500,000. A range of fruits are able to be grown here due to an extensive water-table fanning out from the mountains. Sohar, the Batinah capital, is home to a new port, factories and oil refineries and is second only to Muscat in terms of economic importance. The Jebel Akhdar is at the centre of the Hajar mountain range and is the very heart of Oman. Patches of cultivation are to be found right up to a height of 2,000 metres. Nizwa is the major town on the south side of the Jebel. The inhabitants of Nizwa have always had a different outlook to those in Muscat. Citizens of Nizwa have traditionally looked inwards to the interior mountains and the desert, rather than outwards to the sea like the inhabitants of Muscat.

14. "Gems of Jordan: Aqaba, Petra and Wadi Rhum." In this lecture, Alan takes you to some of the outstanding gems of Jordan. These include Petra - the rose-red city of the Nabataens and the wonderful desert scenery of Wadi Rhum. Wadi Rhum was made famous to a world audience by the film "Lawrence of Arabia" and it is one of the best-loved places in Jordan because of its natural beauty and because it is a symbol of national Jordanian independence. During World War I, Lawrence of Arabia used this location as a camp before making the decisive attack on the fort of Aqaba which forced the Turks out of the country. It is famous for the rock formations eroded by the wind into surreal shapes. It was here that Lawrence of Arabia conceived his memoirs, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom", in which he described the wild beauty of this refuge. The ruins of Petra are one of the most extraordinary archaeological complexes from antiquity, both for the buildings cut out of rock that make it so unusual and for the city's wonderful location between steep rock faces and deep gullies. Petra dates back to the Iron Age but its occupation by the Nabataens during the 4th century B.C. brought it to prominence as a trading centre. Petra was turned into a rock city which was motivated by reasons of safety and security, being hidden among mountains, but also being close to the Red Sea, allowing trade to take place. Let Alan be your guide to the rose-red city of Petra and to Aqaba - the "window" on the Red Sea. Aqaba, located on the Gulf of Aqaba, gives access to the Red Sea. It is located close to the border with Israel and the city of Eilat. Aqaba is Jordan's only port as well as being a thriving tourist resort.

15. "The Suez Canal from the city of Suez to Port Said." Let Alan be your guide as he takes you from the southern city of Suez northwards to Port Said. Alan examines the history of the Suez Canal and explains its strategic importance. Alan explains the changing landscapes along the canal and notes the constant improvements being made. Alan's first crossing of the Suez Canal was in 1978. The Canal remains as an important source of revenue for the Egyptian economy. It remains a vital artery for world trade.

CANARY ISLANDS & ATLANTIC ISLANDS.
1. "An introduction to the Canary Islands". The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean some 62 miles west of the African coast. They comprise 7 main islands which are, from largest to smallest: Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. The Canary Islands have a population of about 2,220,000 inhabitants, making it the 8th most populous of Spain's Autonomous communities, with a density of 283 inhabitants per square kilometre and a total area of 2,893 square miles. The most populous island is Tenerife with some 910,000 inhabitants and it is also the largest in size with Gran Canaria second in population (850,000) and size. The capital function of the Autonomous Region of the Canary Islands is shared by the cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. El Hierro is the smallest in size and population (11,000). 82.5% of the total population are Spanish born and 17.5% are foreign born. Of the foreign born about 40,000 are from Germany, 38,000 from Britain and 24,000 from Italy. Colombia has supplied 22,000, Venezuela 12,000 and Morocco some 17,000. The islands are volcanic and, in general, have a subtropical climate. Tourism is the main economic activity in most of the islands and they receive some 12 million visitors per year. The traditional primary industries, of agriculture and fishing, remain in the islands but are relatively less important today. Alan first visited the Canary Islands over 40 years ago.

2. "La Palma: "La Isla Verde" - "The Green Island". The inhabitants of La Palma refer to the island as "La Isla Verde" or "The Green Island" in large part thanks to the highest rainfall of any island in the Canary Islands. La Palma, the most north-westerly of the Canary Islands, benefits from the moisture bearing north-east trade winds which account for the lush greenery of the island and allows the growth of cash crops such as bananas, grapes, oranges, mangos, avocados and flowers. Alan begins his review of this mountainous volcanic island in Santa Cruz, the capital of La Palma, which has a population of about 20,000. He guides you along "Calle O' Daly", one of the main streets, which is lined with historic houses and residences. Alan explains how La Palma played a vital role in the political and economic life of Spain when it served as a trading post on the way to and from the New World. Alan pays particular attention to the distinctive wooden balconies of La Palma.

3. "Lanzarote: the "Dry Island" known as the "Isla del Fuego" or "Fire Island". In contrast to La Palma (the "Green Island"), Lanzarote is known by many as "Fire Island" because of its volcanic past. It has some 300 volcanic peaks and is covered in solidified lava. Alan takes you to the famous Timanfaya National Park where the volcanoes are still active just below your feet. This is demonstrated in various dramatic ways such as by thrusting dry pieces of vegetation into shallow rock hollows which immediately burst into fire and by pouring water into underground pipes which then turn to steam within seconds. This is a lunar landscape where camel rides are very popular. In contrast, Alan takes you to La Geria where there are a number of vineyards and bodegas where local wine can be sampled. Although agriculture and fishing have traditionally been the main economic interest, Alan explains how tourism is now all important and contributes about 80% of the island's revenue. Alan takes you to a number of tourist centres including Puerto del Carmen in the south and La Santa in the north. He also introduces you to César Manrique (1919-1992) and explains how his work as an artist, architect and environmentalist helped in the planning process of Lanzarote whereby the height, style and colour of buildings were controlled. Alan begins his lecture by guiding you on a personal journey through Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote.

4. "Fuerteventura: Sand Dunes, Rocky Mountains and Beaches but so much more as well." Fuerteventura is no more than 10 miles south of Lanzarote and just 62 miles off the west coast of Africa. Alan explains that Fuerteventura is 62 miles long and 19 miles wide making it the second biggest of the Canary Islands, after Tenerife, with the longest beaches in the archipelago. Alan acts as your guide to the island and takes you to the "Parque Natural de las Dunas" in the north-east where the sand-dunes are reminiscent of the Sahara Desert. He also guides you around the beach resort of Corralejo which is just to the north of the sand-dunes area as well as to the small volcanic island of Los Lobos. Fuerteventura is the oldest island in the Canary Islands and its volcanic rocks have been eroded by the forces of wind and weather. The interior of the island is also covered with visits to the aloe vera plantation at Tiscamanita and the historic town and former capital of Betancuria. Betancuria is located amongst the rugged peaks of extinct volcanoes in west-central Fuerteventura and was founded in 1405. Alan also guides you to Pájara, another historic settlement with an outstanding church, and the modern tourist resort and port of Gran Tarajal in the south-east of the island.

5. "Gran Canaria: The Holiday Island." Gran Canaria is located to the south-east of Tenerife and west of Fuerteventura. The island is of volcanic origin and extends some 30 miles from north to south and 28 miles from west to east. Pico de las Nieves is the highest point on the island standing at 6,394 feet. Alan says that the island may be divided by a mountain range into two climatic zones. The northern section is more humid and fertile with banana plantations running along the coast. The South coast is hot and dry culminating in the massive sand dunes of Maspalomas which along with the resort of Playa del Inglés (the "Englishman's Beach") became known as "Costa Canaria" and has over 500 hotels and apartment blocks. Gran Canaria receives about 2.4 million tourists per year and Alan explains the growth of tourism on Gran Canaria. Alan starts his review in Las Palmas, the capital city, which has a population of about 400,000. You are taken to the Vegueta district, the Old Town, with its cobbled streets and finely carved balconies. The Cathedral of Santa Ana dates from 1497 and the Casa de Colón ("Columbus House"), where tradition states that Columbus stayed in 1492, are both found in the Old Town and are well worth visiting.

6. "Tenerife: The Premier Island in size and Population." Tenerife is the largest and most populous island of the seven main Canary Islands. It has some 910,000 inhabitants which is about 43% of the total population of the Canary Islands. Alan states that one of the most interesting places on Tenerife is "Pico del Teide", standing at 12,198 feet, which is famous for its volcanic plugs, columns of lava and basalt rock formations. Teide's landscape is bare and desolate but very colourful and was first visited by Alan over 40 years ago. The climate varies greatly on Tenerife with the northern section receiving about 73% of all precipitation. Alan takes you to Puerto de la Cruz in the more lush and green north and then on to La Orotava Valley with its banana plantations. The town of La Oratava, population 41,000, is one of the oldest in Tenerife and dates back to the 16th century and is famous for its dark wooden balconies and Church of the "Immaculate Conception." Alan then takes you westwards along the north coast to the famous "Dragon Tree" at Icod and on to the 16th century port of Garachico. Tourism is a very important sector of the economy and is centred in the hotter and drier south where resorts such as Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos are particularly well developed. Alan has been visiting these resorts for over 40 years and gives his views on the development of tourism in the South. The capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, is not ignored and Alan takes you to the Plaza de Espana, Plaza de la Candelaria and the Auditorio de Tenerife which has become an icon of modern Tenerife.

7. "El Hierro: The Lesser Known Island." El Hierro, the westernmost island, covers 104 square miles, making it the smallest of the 7 major islands, and the least populous with about 11,000 inhabitants. The largest town Valverde, the capital, has a population of about 2,000 people and has a small selection of shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. Unlike other Canary Islands, tourism plays little part in the economy of the island because of its remoteness and lack of sandy beaches. Also, there is little or no industry but handicrafts thrive, particularly pottery, weaving and wood-carving. Agriculture remains particularly important and Alan found that the main crops were grapes, bananas, potatoes and tomatoes. Fishing remains as another key element of the local economy. There are about 500 volcanic peaks on the island which is listed as a U.N.E.S.C.O. biosphere world heritage site. Alan found the drive from the port, Puerto de la Estaca, to the capital, Valverde, exhilarating!!

8. "La Gomera: The Island Where Nature is Valued." La Gomera has an area of some 143 square miles and is the second least populous island in the Canaries with about 23,000 inhabitants. Alan states that the isolation of the island, its inaccessibility and the difficulties in cultivating the land all contributed to its historic poverty and often caused many of the Gomerans to leave for South America. A local custom is a unique whistle language as a means of communication up to a distance of 2 miles. Today agriculture remains important on the terraced hill-sides which grow bananas, tomatoes, grapes and potatoes. Alan says that tourism is becoming more important and that the island authorities are aware of the balance required between tourism and the preservation of an unspoiled landscape. Alan takes you around Valle Del Gran Rey on the west coast of the island which is quite an attractive town. Alan then takes you southwards, by sea, to Playa De Santiago and onto the east coast to the capital, San Sebastian. The high cliffs and wild volcanic scenery is attractive. It is thought that Christopher Columbus stopped here 3 times, in 1492, 1493, and 1498 and it is claimed that he stayed in what is now "Casa De Colón" in San Sebastian. Alan concludes that La Gomera is one of the least commercialised of the Canary Islands.

9. "The Azores: The Green Islands". The Azores are located in the North Atlantic, some 850 miles west of Portugal and 550 miles northwest of Madeira and some 1,196 miles southeast of Newfoundland. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is made up of 9 islands, all of which are volcanic in foundation. They extend for more that 370 miles from west to east. The Azores have a total population of about 250,000 with some 138,000 residents being located on the island of Sao Miguel where Ponta Delgada is the largest municipality and administrative capital of the Autonomous Region of the Azores. Alan examines the history of the Azores and describes how they have exploited their position in the Atlantic Ocean as a supply base for North Atlantic shipping. Alan states that the 19th century saw an increase in the wealth of the Azores, particularly of Ponta Delgada, which was based on trade and the development of local primary industries such as fish and agriculture (exporting oranges and corn). Today, the service industries, such as banks, shops, offices and tourism have become more important. The G.D.P. per capita of the Azores is about €16,000. The Azores have a mild oceanic climate with about 229 days of rain giving 39 inches per year and hence Sao Miguel is known as the "Green Island" and provides rich pastures.

10. " Madeira: The Island Of Early Springs." The archipelago of Madeira is located in the North Atlantic about 280 nautical miles to the west of the coast of Morocco and some 250 miles to the north of the Canary Islands. The island of Madeira is about 35 miles from west to east and some 14 miles from north to south. It is a volcanic island where the highest point, Pico Ruivo, is 6,109 feet above sea level. Its climate is often described as subtropical, with mild winters and long summers, but with relatively modest heat. Precipitation averages 24.6 inches coming from 87 days of rain. August is the sunniest month providing 260 hours of sunshine. Alan examines the history of Madeira and states that many observers regard Madeira as the first territorial discovery of Portugal's "Golden Age" under Prince Henry the Navigator. Sugar-cane was an important early cash crop and some African slaves were used as labour. After the 17th century, Portuguese sugar production was moved to Brazil. After sugar, Madeira's economy became centred on the production of grapes and wine which remain important to this day. However, today, tourism is a very important component of Madeira's economy and provides a solid base for other economic activities such as transport, construction and retail activities. Alan states that Madeira is a popular year-round resort and about 1 million tourists visit each year. Attractions include the mild climate, historical and cultural aspects, flora and fauna, Madeira wine and its annual New Year firework celebrations. It is estimated to be the second richest region of Portugal after Lisbon.

PORTUGAL
1. "An Introduction to Portugal - the history of Portugal from the Golden Age of Discovery to the 21st century."

2. "The Golden Age of Discovery, Trade and Colonisation, 1490-1600."

3. "Lisbon: A medieval city transformed into a modern metropolis."

4. "Lisbon in the 20th Century."

5. "Portugal in the 21st Century."

SPAIN
1. "The magic of Spain." In this lecture Alan reviews the many faces of modern-day Spain.

2. "Andalucia: Then and Now." In this lecture Alan analyses events in the history of Andalucia and provides an insight into modern-day social and economic conditions in the Region.

3. "Seville: Historic City with Modern Charm." In this lecture Alan examines the history of Seville and outlines the charm of the city for modern-day tourists.

4. "Gems of Andalucia." In this lecture Alan examines the coastal regions of Andalucia and important historic cities such as Granada, Cordoba, Malaga and Ronda.

5. "The Meseta of Castile-La-Mancha and Madrid." In this lecture Alan examines the high plateau of Spain and its distinct environment and way of life. The majesty of Madrid, the capital, is examined in detail.

6. "Valencia: A 21st century Spanish city." In this lecture Alan examines the attractions of modern-day Valencia. He reviews the charm of the city and its many surprises.

7. "Cadiz - the Historic City." Arguably Cadiz is Europe's most historic city. In Alan's opinion it is a beautiful city with outstanding forts and architecture but it is also a city with modern-day attractions.

8. "Images of Spain." In this lecture Alan reviews the many different landscapes and regions of Spain. Alan's photographs have been taken over a period of more than 40 years and these images portray not only tourist Spain but also the traditional ways of life of the interior. Alan also pays particular attention to cultural regions such as the Basque country, Catalunya and Andalucia.

9. "Barcelona: A great Mediterranean City." In this lecture Alan reviews the attractions of Barcelona for the modern-day tourist and also examines its economy and society.

10. "Vigo - City of hidden surprises." Many cruise ship passengers dismiss Vigo but in this lecture Alan argues that Vigo is a very interesting city with its history of left-wing politics which is based on the strength of the trade unions in this industrial centre. Vigo is also a custodian of Galician Culture as well as being an important fishing port.

11."A journey across Northern Spain from Barcelona to Bilbao." In this lecture Alan explores the countryside, towns and cities of this distinctive Northern Region of Spain.

12. "Cartagena - Port of Cultures and Historic Naval Base." Cartagena has experienced many cultures during its history including the Carthaginians going back to 227 B.C., the Romans, the Vandals, the Byzantines and the Arabs. The Christian forces of the "Reconquest" came to Cartagena in 1245. Alan pays particular attention to the evidence of Roman occupation of the town and presents many pictures and information regarding the Roman Theatre and Museum. Alan also finds the Town Hall to be an impressive building. The bars, restaurants and shopping areas are presented as an attractive alternative to the cultural experiences of Cartagena. Alan finds the port area to be safe and interesting. In particular, his pictures taken inside the Naval Museum on the waterfront give evidence to the fact that Cartagena has long been one of the main natural ports of the Mediterranean. It occupies a strategic position for naval vigilance between the Peninsula and North Africa which was recognised in the 17th century when Cartagena was chosen as the permanent harbour for the Spanish Galleys and again in the 18th century when it became the site of a great military base and Royal Arsenal when industrial complexes were built for the construction and maintenance of many different types of vessels. Later, it also played a prominent role in the development of the submarine. Alan recommends that you visit the Naval Museum of Cartagena.

THE BALEARIC ISLANDS, SPAIN
1. "The Balearic Islands." In this lecture Alan gives an introductory overview of the Balearic Islands of Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an Autonomous Community and a Province of Spain and occupies 1% of the land area of Spain and has a population of about 1,150,000. Alan outlines the geographical and strategic position of the islands which together with their mild climate have made them an attractive conquest for many different peoples including the Greeks, the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Vandals, the Byzantines and the Arabs. Alan examines, in some detail, the traditional place of farming and fishing as the back-bone of the local economy of the Balearic Islands and traces the growth of tourism which has become increasingly important in the economy and employment structure of the Islands. Alan states that "the changes in the economy and way of life of the people in the past 60 years has been radical and progressive."

2. "Mallorca (Majorca) - The Magic Island." Alan provides an interesting overview of the island of Majorca which has a population of some 900,000 with about 50% of this total living in the capital, Palma. He examines the attractive and diverse landscape of the island which includes fertile lowlands, high peaks, promontories and sandy bays. A number of coastal tourist resorts such as Magaluf, Palma Nova and Arenal are reviewed. Away from the coastal tourist resorts, Alan examines the more traditional inland villages where local crafts are still displayed in an environment of native species of flowers and shrubs and interesting fauna. Local cultural events are particularly important in the inland villages and are covered in this lecture. Alan examines the growth of tourism in Majorca which began to take off in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He examines the attractions of Mallorca for the 1960s and present-day tourists which include long hot summers, historic buildings, open-air restaurants, Spanish festivals, bays and beaches. Alan provides detailed information and pictures of the many attractions of Palma, the capital city, including the Bellver Castle, the Almudaina Palace, the Llotja or Stock-Exchange and the Cathedral.

3. "Mahon, Menorca." In this lecture Alan provides a very detailed review of Menorca's capital city, Mahon, as well as a more general perspective of Menorca. Alan begins with a detailed examination of Mahon's natural harbour, which is one of the best in the world. The attractions of this harbour for present-day economic activities are presented. Alan then explores the port area including shops and restaurants before ascending many steps which lead to the old town. Alan provides detailed information and pictures of the many attractions of Mahon including the imposing Baroque Carmelite Church, an outstanding fish market and general market, the Santa Maria Cathedral, the shopping centre, restaurants and bars and a very imposing town hall which was built in 1613 with its facade being remodelled in 1789 and features an ornamental clock. Alan reminds us that Menorca is the second largest of the Balearic Islands and has a population of only about 100,000 and during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) Menorca declared themselves for the Republic, while Majorca was an important base for the Fascists.

ITALY
1. "An introduction to Italy." In this lecture Alan provides a very comprehensive review of everything Italian -art, culture, political scandals, history, soccer, contrasting regional landscapes and so much more.

2. "Rome - the attractions of the Eternal City."

3. "Venice - the Gem of the Adriatic and unique in every sense."

4. "The great North-South Divide in Italy." In this lecture Alan examines the great contrast between Northern and Southern Italy and pays particular attention to their contrasting economies and society.

5."A History of Ancient Rome."

THE ADRIATIC
1. "Corfu: Historic Interest and Modern Charm."

2. "Dubrovnik: Gem of the Adriatic."

GIBRALTAR
1. "Gibraltar: Much more than a Rock." In this lecture Alan reviews the history of Gibraltar and the important part it played in 20th century events and also reviews its attractions for the modern-day tourist.

SOUTH OF FRANCE
1. "The charms of the South of France." In this lecture Alan reviews the attractive physical environment of the South of France and describes the cachet of Monte Carlo, Cannes and Nice.

2. "Toulon." In this lecture Alan examines the many "faces" of this historic naval port. He examines the importance of the French Navy in the history and development of Toulon and takes you to the Naval Museum in the town. Modern Toulon is not neglected and the cosmopolitan nature of the city is presented when Alan takes you to the street market. The port area is examined and the many services of the city, including bars, restaurants and shops, are presented. Toulon remains an interesting and vibrant city.

WESTERN EUROPE
IRELAND
1. " Ireland: A troubled past, a bright future?"

THE NETHERLANDS
1. "The Netherlands: A modern country with an interesting past."

ICELAND
1. "An introduction to Iceland - a land of Fire and Ice." In this lecture Alan examines the interesting physical environment of this Northern Island and examines its impact on its citizens.

2. "Modern Iceland." In this lecture Alan examines the Icelandic economy and society.

3. "Icelandic Migration: Then and Now." In this lecture Alan reviews why many Icelanders have left the island in order to obtain, what they perceive, to be a better life.

4. "What are the issues which confront Iceland in the 21st century?" In this lecture Alan identifies and examines the many political, social, economic and environmental issues that face Iceland in the 21st century. In addition, Alan examines whether Iceland is likely to have a positive or negative future.

CANADA
1. "An Introduction to Canada." In this opening lecture Alan takes the guests from the Atlantic Shores of Canada to the large cities of Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto and then westwards over the Laurentian Shield area to the undulating landscapes of the Prairie Provinces and then through the majestic Rocky Mountains and beyond to the Great Pacific and Vancouver. Alan examines the social, economic and environmental issues facing this stunning country.

2. "The Indian Tribes of Canada." In this lecture Alan examines the traditional ways of life of the Canadian Indians. Three main regional groups are analysed and these are the salmon fishing tribes and collectors of coastal British Columbia, the more nomadic tribes of the Prairies who moved to hunt the bison or buffalo and the Woodland Indians of the East who were hunters and collectors.

3. "The History of New France in Canada." Alan reviews the history of the settlement of Eastern Canada by the French. Their struggles with the difficult physical environment are considered along with their cultural pursuits.

4. "Quebec - City of Charm, Beauty, Romance and History." Alan examines in detail the history of the epicentre of French culture in Canada. In addition, he examines the attractions of modern-day Quebec City for the 21st century tourist.

5. "The magic of Montreal." Alan examines in some detail the history of the foundation of Montreal and examines evidence of this history in the present-day urban landscape of the city. More modern social and economic changes are reviewed.

6. "The history of Halifax, Nova Scotia 1749 to the present." Alan outlines the reasons for the foundation of Halifax and also outlines the present social and economic conditions in the city.

7. "Eastern Canada Today." Alan examines both the rural and urban environments of present-day Eastern Canada. The physical environment is examined in some detail along with social and economic conditions.

8. "Toronto: the Maple Leaf City." In this lecture Alan examines this major financial and industrial city of Canada. Furthermore, he examines the changing urban morphology and society of the city.

9. "Vancouver: Canada's Scenic Diamond set on the Shining Pacific." In this lecture Alan traces the early years of the foundation of Vancouver and its development in the late 19th century and 20th century. The changing industrial structure of the city is reviewed as well as changing social patterns. The distinctive West Coast lifestyle is analysed.

10. "A Railway Journey across Canada - the journey of a lifetime." Alan has journeyed across Canada many times by rail and in this lecture reviews the major regional changes in landscape, economy and society.

11. "Fortress Louisbourg: Canada's Hidden Historic Gem." In this lecture Alan explains and analyses why this French fortress was so important to the establishment and preservation of French Canada.

12. "The Prairie Provinces." In this lecture Alan reviews the history of the settlement of the Prairie Provinces and comments upon the modern-day economy and society of the Canadian Heartland.

13. "What makes the Canadian North a distinctive region?" Alan has spent many years undertaking research in the Canadian North and examines in some detail the economy, society and environment which is to be found there. Problems relating to the physical environment and climate are considered along with issues such as population mobility, isolation, health and education.

SOUTH AFRICA
1. "South Africa in the 21st century." In this opening lecture on South Africa, Alan reviews the physical landscapes and cities of this beautiful and varied land. Attention is paid to tourist attractions in South Africa including game parks, beautiful bays and beaches, interesting historic sites and the warm sunny climate. Alan examines the make-up of South Africa's population today as well as social and economic issues including health questions, crime, township living, education and the growing wealth gap between the well-off middle class, including a growing number of middle class blacks and the unemployed.

2. "Cape Town - the Mother City." In this lecture Alan examines the history of Cape Town and reviews modern-day social, political and economic issues.

3. "A Day to Remember and Treasure: Cape Town to Cape Point and Back." In this lecture, Alan guides you on one of his favourite day visits. This is an outstanding day in all respects and takes the guest southwards from Cape Town to Cape Point. It is a wonderful day of beaches, mountains, wild animals, fine wines and food, Cape colonial architecture, nature reserves and the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point itself.

4. "Durban and KwaZulu-Natal." In this lecture, Alan examines the significance of Durban as the largest city and centre of commerce and industry in KwaZulu-Natal. Today, KwaZulu-Natal is one of nine self-governing provinces and is a hub of manufacturing, agriculture and tourism. Alan looks at the tourist attractions of Durban, including the "Golden Mile" with its beautiful sands, hotels, rickshaws and nightlife. The traditional lands of the Zulu are within a short distance of Durban and Alan gives a review of the history of the Zulu including battles against the British at Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift in 1879. He goes on to review Zulu culture including Zulu traditional dress, ceremony, dance and fighting tactics.

5. "Durban Today." In this lecture, Alan examines and reviews urban regeneration in Durban in the 21st century with particular reference to developments at the Durban Point Waterfront. The Durban Point area had formerly been one of the most under-utilised assets in Durban where creeping urban blight had left it largely abandoned and vacant. The new Durban Point area is designed for both locals and visitors who can have fun and spend their time in a well maintained, clean, attractive and above all, secure environment. The Durban Point developments include Shaka Marine World and many new residential and leisure facilities. The Vision is for a wide range of activities to be accommodated in a mixed-use environment containing a host of urban functions and reflecting a true urban place with 24-hour activity. It has become a "Waterfront City within a city." Alan examines in detail the attractions of Durban Point including the positive aspects of having 320 days of sunshine a year which promotes a laid-back outdoor lifestyle which allows swimming and watersports all year round. The lecture is illustrated by photographs which Alan has taken over the years.

6. "KwaZulu-Natal Province Today: A story of Development in the Land of the Zulu in the 21st century." The lecture begins with a short review of the traditional historic culture of the Zulu. The story of development in KwaZulu-Natal Province in the 21st century is centred on Richards Bay just to the north of Durban, which was just a small fishing village until 1960. A deep water harbour has been built as the focal point for the development of the area. Most of South Africa's coal and steel exports are now routed through this port. Alan examines a range of "empowerment projects" which have been undertaken in order to reduce unemployment and poverty in the Zulu communities. Many photographs in the lecture illustrate the on-going development of industry and agriculture in an area just to the north of Durban. Alan gives a short review of the amenities of the area for the tourist and resident including health services, educational facilities, recreational and sporting facilities. An examination of tourist facilities in the region include Shakaland Traditional Village near Eshowe where the traditional Zulu culture can be experienced as well as Wetland Parks, Marine Reserves and National Parks.

7. "The attractions of Port Elizabeth." Again, Alan uses his first-hand experiences of Port Elizabeth and begins with a review of the history of the city from its foundation. He also reviews the modern-day tourist attractions of the city including Bayworld and historic locations such as Donkin Reserve. The city also has a number of outstanding beaches, including Humewood Beach and a range of other tourist attractions which are examined in some detail.

8. "Stellenbosch and the Winelands." The Stellenbosch settlement was established in 1679 by Simon Van Der Stel who was born in 1639. Alan examines the early history of the Stellenbosch area which was inhabited by the San or Bushmen who were hunter-gatherers and kept no cattle or sheep. Then came the Khoikhoi or Hottentots who kept cattle but planted no crops. Alan examines how plots of land were given to the colonists in the town and farms established in the rural neighbourhood. Particular attention is paid to 4 period houses in the town which illustrate the changing architecture, society and economy of Stellenbosch from the late 17th century to the 19th century (1690-1890). Many of the houses are beautiful and are characterised by the white-walled Cape-Dutch style. Attention is then turned to the Stellenbosch winelands which are well-known for their quality and Alan makes a personal case-study of the Blaauwklippen vineyard which was founded in 1682. About 55% of Stellenbosch wine is red and 45% is white.

MAURITIUS.
1. "Mauritius: Yesterday and Today." In this lecture, Alan starts by presenting the History of Mauritius including the Portuguese Era, the Dutch Era which included the importation of slaves from Madagascar and East Africa to work in the sugar cane plantations and the French Era (1715 onwards) which saw the French East India Company transferring its headquarters from Warwyck Bay (now Mahébourg) to North West Harbour (now Port Louis). Under Mahé de Labourdonnais port facilities, the sugar industry, roads, health facilities and trade were expanded and the strategic importance of Mauritius to the French Empire was established. The British Era commenced in 1810 and they set about rapid social and economic changes including importing large numbers of indentured labourers from India to work in sugar estates, factories, transport and construction sites. Mauritius obtained independence in March, 1968 and became an independent republic in 1992. Alan's lecture finishes with a review of social and economic matters in the post-independence period which includes recent developments in Port Louis.

2. "Port Louis and Mauritius in the 21st century." In this former home of the Dodo, Alan examines the state of Port Louis and Mauritius in the 21st century. Alan's findings may well surprise you!! Mauritius has developed from a low-income agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy. This has resulted in Mauritius having one of Africa's highest per capita incomes. New jobs have been created in technology and an up-market tourist industry has been established. Alan's lecture is illustrated by photographs he has taken in Port Louis including Marina Quay and the Caudan Waterfront Development.

RÉUNION.
1. "Réunion." The French colonial island of Réunion is set in the vast Indian Ocean to the east of the much larger island of Madagascar. This tropical island has an interesting range of physical environments which include volcanic craters such as the Piton de la Fournaise set at a height of over 7,000 feet, deep volcanic ravines, high plains and beautiful coastlines. The capital, St. Denis, is linked to other towns on the island by an impressive network of new roads paid for by European Union money. The Creole-style houses of the Rue de Paris are worth observing with their shady white verandas. A variety of races and cultures exist on the island and evidence of this may be found in St. Denis by observing the many Hindu temples and Christian churches. The Natural History Museum may be found in the State Gardens and the former palace of the General Consul. Typical Creole products such as spices, perfumes and handicrafts may be purchased in the many island markets.

NAMIBIA.
1. "Walvis Bay and Namibia." Walvis Bay and Namibia retain an atmosphere and elements of the "Frontier." The word "Namib" means "place of emptiness" and this terminology is a very appropriate description of the vast area of desert landscape (the Namib Desert) to be found just to the east of Walvis Bay. Walvis Bay is a fishing port and transport hub for a network of railways and roads extending inland. Walvis Bay is the market centre for a vast, dry interior. The town has an interesting lagoon which can be visited to observe flocks of flamingos, pelicans, and seals. To the north of Walvis Bay is the old German colonial town of Swakopmund which is situated at the mouth of the Swakop River and contains examples of German architecture and culture. A very interesting line of sand dunes may be observed adjacent to the cold currents of the Atlantic Ocean. "Dune 7" is perhaps the most visited and well-known.

WEST AFRICA
1. "An Introduction to the coastal areas of West Africa." In this lecture Alan explains, using first-hand experiences, the life of residents in the coastal areas of West Africa. Particular attention is paid to the fishing communities and the way of life of the people. The rural communities and the importance of agriculture are also reflected in Alan's lecture. Coastal urban centres such as Banjul and Dakar, are examined in some detail.

2. "An Introduction to The Gambia." The Gambia is a very small and narrow country whose borders mirror the meandering Gambia River. It lies between latitudes 13 degrees and 14 degrees North and longitudes 10 and 17 degrees West of Greenwich. It is the smallest country on mainland Africa. The climate is tropical with a hot and rainy season from June to November. Rainfall is about 51 inches per year. The population is about 2 millions, and Alan, using first-hand experiences, explains that 48% of the population live below the poverty rate and about 34% of the population live on $U.S.1.25 a day. The top 10% of the population consume or hold 37% of the wealth. Agriculture accounts for roughly 30% of gross domestic product and employs about 75% of the population. The Gambia has a liberal, market-based economy characterised by traditional subsistence agriculture, a historic reliance on peanuts for export earnings, a re-export trade built up around its ocean port of Banjul, low import duties, minimal administrative procedures, a fluctuating exchange rate with no exchange controls, and a significant tourist industry. Alan pays particular attention to the fishing and tourist industries.

3. "Urban Gambia." The urban population of The Gambia is about 58% of the total. Alan pays particular attention to his field-work in the city of Banjul which is the capital and is home to about 430,000. Alan examines the quality of the housing stock, the infrastructure and the services and notes that unemployment and underemployment rates remain high. The G.D.P. per capita is only $2,000. Alan also examines the colourful urban markets.

4. "Rural Gambia." In this lecture, using first-and experiences, Alan examines the many aspects of rural life. He notes that the agricultural sector has untapped potential as less than 50% of the arable land is cultivated. Improved drinking water is only provided to 85% of the rural population. The rural tourist industry and fishing villages are examined in some detail.

5. " Dakar, Senegal." The Republic of Senegal owes its name to the Senegal River that borders it to the east and north. It covers a land area of 197,000 square kilometres and has an estimated population of 13.5 millions with 42% living in rural areas. The landscape of Senegal consists mainly of rolling sandy plains of the western Sahel. The highest point is just under 2,000 feet. It has a hot tropical climate with well-defined seasons. The daily mean temperature is 22 degrees C. (72 degrees F.) in January to March. Dakar's annual rainfall is about 22 inches. Alan examines the history of Senegal with particular reference to its trading and military functions and its importance in the slave trade with the island of Gorée being the centre for the export of slaves. Alan notes that the urbanisation of Dakar during the colonial period, was marked by forms of racial and social segregation which continues in the structure of the city today. Life expectancy is only 60.5 years for the total population. Senegal relies heavily on donor assistance and direct foreign investment and aid. The unemployment rate is 48% and 54% of the population live below the poverty line. Agriculture provides 77% of the jobs in Senegal. Only 23% obtain employment in industry and services. However, services provide 62% of the G.D.P. and are particularly strong in Dakar. Alan notes that literacy (those at 15 years who can read and write) is only 62% for males and a very poor 39% for females. Islam is the predominant religion in Senegal and is practised by about 94% of the population. Alan takes you to the outstanding tourist areas of Dakar but notes that Senegal faces deep-seated urban problems of chronic high unemployment, socio-economic divides and disparities. Juvenile delinquency is high. These factors have encouraged people to flee Senegal in search of better jobs in Europe.

6. " An Introduction to the Cape Verde Islands." The Republic of Cape Verde is an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean located about 350 miles off the coast of West Africa. They are divided into a Windward Group of islands, located in the north, and a Leeward Group located in the south. The largest island, both in size and population, is Santiago, which hosts the nation's capital, Praia. In this detailed overview, Alan pays particular attention to Mindelo on Sao Vicente island, to Praia on Santiago Island and to Santo Antao Island. However, issues related to the rural environment are also covered. Although about 38% of the population live in rural areas, agriculture and fishing contribute only about 9% of G.D.P. About 90% of all food consumed in Cape Verde is imported. Industry and energy contribute 6.7% to G.D.P. and construction about 11%. Alan states that the economy of Cape Verde is mostly service-oriented with a growing focus on tourism and foreign investment. The literacy rate is around 85%, unemployment stands at 20% and 95% of the population are Christian. Alan's own pictures, taken on location, illustrate the lecture.

7. "Praia, Santiago Island, Cape Verde Islands." Alan examines, in some detail, the history of Praia and Santiago Island before moving on to examine the present-day situation. The island of Santiago has the highest population of all the Cape Verde Islands with a population of about 300,000. Praia is the capital of the Cape Verde Islands and is also the biggest city with a population of about 120,000. Some say that Praia is "urban Africa on Atlantic waters". It is the country's administrative centre and is also an important port which exports coffee, sugar cane and tropical fruits. Alan escorts you around Praia in this lecture and takes you to the main centres of importance.

8. "Mindelo, Sao Vicente, Cape Verde Islands." The cradle of Mindelo was Church Square from which the first streets were set out and the first houses built. Alan takes you to two outstanding buildings which are the Governor's Palace which is painted pink and the Town Hall. The colour and vibrancy of the Municipal Market is also captured by Alan. The Torre de Belem, on the waterfront, is an outstanding ornate little castle and is well worth observing. At one time it served as the seat of the Portuguese administrator, before being abandoned prior to independence in 1975. It is a replica of the Torre de Belem in Lisbon. Also worth noting is the Eagle Topped Monument which commemorates the first Lisbon to Rio crossing in 1922, by the aviator Coutinho. Mindelo, the capital, has a population of about 70,000 and is home to one of the great ports of Cape Verde - the waters of Porto Grande Bay. Alan also takes you to an outstanding Carnival hosted in Mindelo.

9."Santo Antao, Porto Novo, Cape Verde Islands." Santo Antao is the second largest island in the Cape Verde Islands and has a population of about 50,000. An extensive mountain range, with altitudes exceeding 4,900 feet divides the island into 2 sections. The south tends to be dry and hilly while the north has a rich vegetation of pine and cedar trees. Alan takes you to both these regions and also takes you on the mountain road that links Porto Novo with Ribeira Grande in the north. This is an outstanding piece of engineering. Approaching Riberia Grande there is a famous narrow piece of road which plunges abruptly on either side several hundred feet. Ribeira Grande, the first seat of the municipality of Santo Antao, dates from 1732. Around 60% of the island's population live in rural areas. The majority of the population are Creole and, as such, are of mixed black and white descent. Alan thinks the charm of the island lies in its mainly rural environment.

10. " The Slave Trade in West Africa." In this lecture Alan looks at the factors why the slave trade was established in West Africa. Using first hand research in West Africa, for example the "Slave Island" of Gorée in Dakar, Senegal, Alan examines the physical conditions in which the slaves existed. The slaves were "exported" to South America, the Caribbean and United States to carry out "heavy duty" work and Alan examines their lives on the Atlantic crossing.

AUSTRALIA
1. "An Introduction to Australia: The Continent of Contrasts." Alan has studied, undertaken research and "walked the talk" of Australia for 40 years and in this lecture gives the guests the benefits of his first-hand knowledge. Alan examines this continent of contrasts in great detail and pays particular attention to the physical environment, economic development, societies and environmental issues.

2. "Is Australia still the "Lucky Country" in the 21st century?" In this lecture Alan addresses the issue of Australia's identity in the 21st century. He asks whether Australia can still be regarded as the "Lucky Country" today. He draws his conclusions from his first-hand experiences of Australia's land and people from his time as a lecturer on the Australian environment while based in Sydney and as a Visiting Fellow at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.

3. "Was Australia the "Lucky Country" in past periods? Alan pursues this question in detail and examines the evidence of Australia's history from the establishment of the first European settlement at Sydney Cove on Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) on 26th January, 1788. Alan asks the question at various time periods in the 19th and 20th centuries. His conclusions may surprise you.

4. "The attractions of Sydney for the Resident and Tourist." Alan has studied, lived and worked in Sydney for many years and in this lecture gives the guests the benefits of his first-hand knowledge and experiences. The many attractions of the city for the resident and tourist are identified. The city remains one of Alan's favourite world cities and this lecture explains and explores its many attractions.

5. "Is Sydney the premier city in Australia?" Sydney is an outstanding city in all respects. In this lecture Alan gives the guests the benefit of his first-hand knowledge and experiences of living and working in this beautiful city. His conclusions to this question are direct and to the point.

6. "Is Melbourne the premier city in Australia?" Melbourne has long vied with Sydney for the right to be called Australia's premier city. In this lecture, Alan explores this interesting question based on his own experiences in the city over the last 35 years and the research he has undertaken there. Alan presents his evidence of Melbourne's case which is based on a range of cultural, social, economic and environmental factors.

7. "Adelaide: The serene and dignified city with cultural aspirations." Adelaide is often regarded as a serene and dignified city with cultural aspirations and in this lecture Alan reviews whether these descriptions are fair and accurate. These are interesting questions and Alan deals with them by referring to his first-hand experiences. He makes a range of observations and reviews the questions from the points of view of the tourist and prospective resident.

8. "Perth is often regarded as a brash and vibrant 21st century city." In this lecture Alan examines whether these descriptions of Perth are fair and accurate. He examines the physical environment of Perth along with a range of cultural, social, economic and environmental factors and once again draws his evidence from his own experiences.

9. "Comparisons between Sydney and Melbourne." Alan has undertaken many visits to Sydney and Melbourne over the last 40 years and during these visits has researched the 2 cities and made an analysis of the positive and negative features of these cities. The lecture is richly illustrated by photographs taken from his own collection.

10. "Queensland: A Review of the Tropical State." As a former Visiting Fellow at the University of Queensland Alan is familiar with the attractions and drawbacks of Queensland. He has conducted many field work expeditions and research across the state of Queensland from the coastal regions of the Great Barrier Reef in the north to the Gold Coast tourist centres in the south and inland to the tropical rain forests and beyond to the arid interior of Queensland. Alan has had some of his academic papers published by the University of Queensland. The lecture is illustrated by many photographs taken from his own collection over the last 40 years.

11. "The Top End of Australia." In this lecture Alan examines the "Lesser Known Australia" of the Top End. He explores both the rural and urban areas. In particular, he looks at the aboriginals and their traditional and modern life-styles. Aspects of the modern-day economy are reviewed and Alan pays particular attention to the development of tourism, stock-raising, mining and fishing. Alan has been travelling in the Top End for 40 years and gives you the benefit of his experiences.

12. "The Whit-Sunday Islands." Alan first explored the Whit-Sunday Islands with his students some 40 years ago. In this lecture, he identifies the many attractions of the islands and the Region in which they are set, including Airlie Beach. Modern-day tourism has changed the economic character of the area without necessarily impacting to any great extent on the physical character of the islands. Go see and explore!

13. "Brisbane". The tropical capital of Queensland is examined in some detail. The river, often overlooked, gives a distinctive and vital character to the city. The modern-day economy is examined along with the attractions of the city for tourists.

14. "Darwin: the 'Edge City'". Darwin in many respects lives and exists on "the Edge". It has been attacked in the recent past from Asia and is the first urban defence of Australia. It has also been attacked by natural storms which have devastated the city. Darwin also lives "on the edge" of the great Australian wilderness. Despite the "edginess" of the city, it has managed to overcome these drawbacks to become a modern and attractive city in its own right. It occupies a unique position being at a pivotal position between Australia and Asia and therefore has great potential for development in the future.

15. "What happened to Australia after Captain Cook?". This lecture pays particular attention to the early years of the "mother city" of Sydney and then progresses westwards to examine the development of the wool industry. The convict experience is reviewed along with the mining experience. Events of the 20th century are not neglected, including Australia's contribution in two World Wars, the Depression years, the impact of immigration in the post-war years and the development of modern-day Australia.

SOUTH-EAST ASIA & EAST ASIA.
1. "An Introduction to South-East Asia & East Asia." In this lecture, Alan provides, from his own personal research and travels, a comprehensive introduction to the Region. Particular attention is paid to Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia (especially Bali), Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and China. Alan captures the dynamism, vibrancy, enterprise and excitement of this Region.

2. "Why does China protect Kim Jong-Un and North Korea in their disputes with America? Let Alan explain.

3. "Bali: an island rich in culture and tradition, but also many surprises." In this lecture Alan examines the traditional economy of farming, especially rice production, and fishing and the "new economy" based on tourism. Bali is located between the islands of Java to the west and Lombok to the east, but unlike them, the vast majority of its population practise Balinese Hinduism and not Islam. Alan reviews Bali's highly developed arts, including traditional dance and drama, temple architecture, traditional music as performed by the Gamelan orchestra, painting, crafts and textiles. Alan also examines traditional village life, festivals and holy days. Bali lies in one of the geologically most active regions on earth, part of the Pacific Rim's great "ring of fire", and as such, volcanoes are Bali's most conspicuous physical feature and have caused widespread devastation and hardship in the past. However, Alan also indicates that the combination of volcanic soil and rainfall has created a richly fertile environment for agriculture. Alan asks the question whether the cohesive bonds of religion, family and community, which underpin the traditional life of Bali, are strong enough to overcome outside cultural influences in the 21st century.

4. "Good Morning, Vietnam!" This interesting lecture examines the many facets of modern-day Vietnam, based on Alan's first-hand knowledge of Vietnam. The vitality of its people is portrayed in great detail. Economic aspects shown include fishing, agriculture, manufacturing, industry, commerce and the growth of tourism. Cultural aspects include religion, art and drama. Alan portrays the Vietnamese as hard-working, intelligent and friendly.

5. "Saigon, Vietnam - the Paris of South-East Asia". The "Greater Saigon Region" is made up of urban and rural areas. 75% of the population of "Greater Saigon" live on only 10% of the land which constitutes the urban centre. This leads to advantages and disadvantages for the people and the economy. In this environment, market-oriented socialism is the order of the day and the new mantra. Capitalism thrives in Saigon, for good or evil, and this dynamic private sector drives the economy. In this lecture, Alan examines, at first hand, the many faces of modern-day Saigon.

6. "Singapore: The Lion City." Singapore has always been a dynamic city and this tradition lives on in the modern-day city. In many respects, it has become a "model city" for Asia. Many aspects of this dynamic city are reviewed in this lecture. Singapore was founded as a British trading colony by Stamford Raffles in 1819. His intention was to safeguard the route to China for the British and to compete with the Dutch possessions of Batavia (later Djakarta) and Malacca. Singapore offered a superb location, an excellent natural harbour and an adequate supply of drinking water.

7. "The Lives of Rice Farmers and the Poor in Thailand." This lecture examines the lives of many millions in Asia today but focuses on Thailand. In many areas the traditional way of life and farming methods remain unchanged. In many respects, these people literally lead a hand-to-mouth existence. Thai farmers are essential to the well-being of the people and the economy of Thailand and yet their rewards are very limited. Alan uses his own pictures to illustrate these experiences.

8. "Thailand and Malaysia are Neighbours, but are they similar?" Alan argues that, in the main, differences outweigh the similarities between
Thailand and Malaysia. Thailand (68,300,000) has more than double the population of Malaysia (30,950,000) and it is also considerably bigger in area. Agriculture plays a much greater role in Thailand than in Malaysia. Agricultural land occupies 41.2% of the land area in Thailand against 23.2% in Malaysia. Furthermore, agriculture gives employment to 32.2% of the labour force in Thailand against only 11% in Malaysia. In Malaysia, 62% of the land is in forest while only 37.2% is forested in Thailand. In terms of religion, 93.6% of Thais are Buddhist while only 19.8% of Malays are Buddhist. Muslims make up 61.3% of the population of Malaysia while they only make up just 4.9% in Thailand. Life expectations at birth are very similar in the 2 countries being 74.7 years in Thailand and 75 years in Malaysia. Again, educational expenditure is somewhat similar with 4.1% of G.D.P. in Thailand and 5% of G.D.P. in Malaysia. A telling statistic is that Thailand has a labour force of 38.5 million against only 14.77 million in Malaysia. Alan says it should be noted that Thailand has a G.D.P per capita of $16,800 while the G.D.P. per capita in Malaysia is $27,200. Alan rests his case on these figures.

9. "What are the attractions of Hong Kong for business people, tourists and residents?" This lecture examines the three main areas of the city: Kowloon, Hong Kong Island and the New Territories. Alan has travelled in these regions and taken many of his own photographs over many years. The changing economy and society is reviewed and some of his conclusions may surprise you. Hong Kong became a "Special Administration Region" of China on 1st July, 1997 and continues to prosper under the "One Country, Two Systems Formula" which is attractive to businessmen and residents. Life expectancy for residents at birth is 83 years and healthcare is good. Unemployment rates are low at 3.6% and inflation is a reasonable 2.6%. China is a major export and import partner.

10. "What are the economic and social issues which confront Colombo and Sri Lanka today?" The modern-day city of Colombo is examined in some detail. Particular attention is paid to the modern-day economy and society. Both positive and negative aspects are reviewed and discussed. The G.D.P. per capita of Sri Lanka stands at $11,200 which is very low compared to Singapore (£87,100) and Hong Kong ($58,100) but is above the per capita figure of $6,400 for Vietnam. However, the Colombo Metropolitan area is the most important industrial, commercial and administrative centre in Sri Lanka and is the "engine of growth" for the country and as a result has a purchasing power per capita of $25,117.
The rest of the country lags behind Colombo.

11. " Compare and contrast Singapore with Vietnam." Although Singapore and Vietnam are countries from the same Region, namely South-East Asia, they are very different in terms of population, employment structures, life-expectancy, political philosophies and G.D.P. However, export and import partners are somewhat similar and tourism is increasingly important in both countries. Both countries were once part of European Empires. Again, they share similar problems in terms of illicit drugs and boundary disputes. Alan explains from personal experience how Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) with a metropolitan population of over 10 millions is the economic centre of Vietnam and accounts for 20% of its G.D.P. and 28% of Vietnam's industrial output. Let Alan untangle the comparisons and contrasts of these two fascinating South-East Asian countries.

12. "What are the elements in South-East Asia and East Asia which make this Region a prime candidate for being the leading economic and political power in the world in the 21st century?" The Region possesses many advantages which may allow it to be propelled into world leadership during the course of the 21st century. These include: 1. The high technology industries of Japan and South Korea. 2. The huge Chinese population which provides and enormous labour market which is cheap and increasingly efficient. 3. Local food supplies which are particularly productive in rice in South-East Asia. 4. A huge merchant marine to provide transport to foreign markets and import a range of raw materials. 5. An increasingly large and well equipped military and navy to guard its trade routes to importing and exporting markets and for homeland security.. 6. The Region contains a number of important and growing stock markets, e.g. Tokyo and Shanghai.

13. "How and Why did Japan snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the Second World War?" Let Alan explain.

HISTORY OF CHINA
1. "The history of China: 1930 to the present day." This period of Chinese history was both dynamic and tragic and had great implications for world politics. Aspects of traditional Chinese society and economy are reviewed. Attention is paid to the Japanese invasion of China and the consequences of this illegal action on the lives of the Chinese people. Particular attention is paid to Mao-Tse-Tung and his Communist philosophy and take-over of the country on 1st October, 1949. The part played by Russia in this process is also reviewed. In 1949, China had been ravaged by over 12 years of war with Japan and 30 years of civil war. This lecture examines the great programme under Mao of collectivisation on the land and the rapid industrialisation of the economy, fuelled by nationalisation and ideological motivation which would continue into the 21st century when China became an economic and military superpower.

2. "China and the Korean War." The Communist dictator of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, invaded South Korea, with the backing of Mao's "Red China" on 25th June, 1950. The matter was taken to the United Nations where the Security Council, in the absence of the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations, passed a resolution committing U.N. troops to support South Korea. By early August, 1950, the North Koreans had occupied 90% of the South. On 15th September, 1950, U.N. forces under General MacArthur landed at Inchon on the west coast of Korea and pushed northwards. By 26th October, 1950, U.N. units had reached the Yalu River and the border with China. Chinese army units now entered the war on the side of North Korea and pushed the U.N. forces southwards to the 38th Parallel. On 27th July, 1953, a truce was signed but no final peace conference ever took place. The Korean War showed that Mao and the Chinese Army were willing to do battle with the Americans. About 1 million Chinese died in this conflict.

LATIN OR SOUTH AMERICA
1. "The Physical Landscapes of South America." This is an introductory lecture covering the various landscapes of South America including the Andes, the high plateaux of the Altiplano, the coastal deserts of Peru and northern Chile (including the Atacama Desert) the Great Lakes Region of Chile, the fjords and ice-sheets of southern Chile, the barren lands of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, the pampas of Argentina and Uruguay, the sub-tropical world of Mesopotamia between the Parana River and Uruguay River, the Pantanal, the tropical lands of Brazil, Amazonia, the enormous blocks of La Gran Sabana in south-east Venezuela, and the coral islands off the coast of Venezuela.

2. "Social and Economic Conditions in Modern-Day South America." This is an introductory lecture covering social and economic conditions in a range of countries from Brazil to Bolivia, and Panama to Patagonia. The range of topics include the impact of "Globalisation" on Amazonia with particular reference to the removal of the rain forest, the lives of the Amer-Indians and the arrival of miners, ranchers, loggers and colonists. The huge disparities in levels of income in countries such as Brazil, Peru, Chile and Paraguay are identified and the implications for their respective societies and economies are reviewed. Alan also pays attention to the increase in urbanisation and the overcrowding of cities across South America from Rio de Janeiro to Lima. A particular study is made of wealth and poverty in Bolivia.

3. "An Introduction to South America in Pictures." In this lecture Alan examines the "many faces" of South America. The emphasis is on pictorial images and maps of this very diversified sub-continent. Many South American cities are visited and relevant urban issues are identified and discussed. The rural areas are not forgotten as Alan takes you to the pampas grasslands, the fjords and icefields of Chile, the high plateaux of the Altiplano, the forests of Amazonia and many other rural environments. Present day rural living conditions and issues are examined.

4. "The Golden Age of Discovery, Trade and Colonisation in Latin America, 1490-1600."
This lecture opens with a review of the life of Amer-Indians in Brazil and Argentina before the arrival of the Europeans. Using the Tupi Indians of Brazil as a case study example, Alan examines their way of life as hunter-gatherers. These Indians had few cereal crops and no domestic animals or metal tools. The coastal Indian tribes of Brazil and their life as fishermen are also reviewed. The arrival of Europeans and particularly the voyage of Ferdinand Magellan to Brazil, Rio de la Plata, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego is considered. The cultures of the native Indians of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego are covered with particular reference to the "Yahgan" (Canoe Indians) and "Ona" (or Foot Indians). Alan also considers the European colonisation of Brazil and the subsequent establishment of the sugar industry and the rise in importance of Salvador de Bahia.

5. "Slavery and the Plantation System in Brazil." The act of slavery among the Indian tribes is reviewed in the pre-European era. The slave industry in West Africa and the transportation of slaves to Brazil is described. In addition, the conditions for slaves on the plantations of Brazil are covered in some detail. The rise and development of Salvador de Bahia as the slave capital of Brazil along with the development of the "Upper Town" and "Lower Town" in that city are reviewed.

6. "Slavery in Eastern Brazil and the rise of Rio de Janeiro." This lecture examines the large plantations of Brazil which were both "agricultural" as well as "industrial enterprises" and "home" to a large number of people. The early exploration of the Rio de Janeiro area, for example Cabral's Expedition of 1502 is considered along with the development of a Portuguese settlement in Rio in the 16th and 17th centuries and the Gold Rush to Minas Gerais in 1704. Alan next considers the urban development of Rio de Janeiro in the 18th century southwards to Flamengo and Botafogo along with the role of Roman Catholic priests in Brazil. By 1763 Rio had become so important that the Portuguese crown moved the capital there from the sugar-cane and slave entrepot of Salvador de Bahia. In addition, Rio became not only the capital of Brazil but also, and unexpectedly, the capital of a European Empire in 1802. In 1899 Rio became the capital of the Republic of Brazil.

7. "Rio de Janeiro: City Districts of Centro and South Zone." A review of the spectacular natural setting of the city is given along with its climate and vegetation. An examination of Rio's society is provided and its city districts explained. A brief history of Rio is given from 1763 when it became the capital of Brazil. Historic buildings are examined in the oldest part of the city, which is known as the "Centro", including Sao Bento Monastery, Our Lady of Gloria Church, the Paco Imperial, Candelaria Church, Arches of Lapa, Municipal Theatre, Cinemaland, Snake Island, the Metropolitan Cathedral, Flamengo Park, Museum of Modern Art, Gloria District, etc. The districts of Botafogo and Flamengo are reviewed as well as Urca Mountain and Sugar Loaf.

8. "Rio de Janeiro - City of Sun, Sand, Sea, Samba and Soccer - the Marvellous City." A brief review of Rio is given from the 19th century to the present-day. The implications of the physical landscape on the city are examined including tunnel construction and the opening up and development of the beach suburbs of Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon. A detailed social and economic study of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon is undertaken. Life in the many "Favelas" is reviewed including employment opportunities, provision of services such as water, electricity, sewerage, etc. Crime and drug problems are considerable in these hillside townships. Alan also reviews the West Zone of Rio including Barra da Tijuca, the Tijuca Lagoon area, the national park of Tijuca, Itanhanga, the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon and the Corcovado area. Finally, Alan considers the working class and industrial areas of the North Zone.

9. "Beauty and Poverty in the Sun - a study of Rio de Janeiro." The physical setting of the city is beautiful and Alan's pictures illustrate this point to the full. Rio's society, including aspects of class and race is reviewed. Case studies are given of beach life and culture in Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon. The story of the "Girl from Ipanema" is told. Much of the beauty of Rio comes from its natural tropical environment where mountains, forests, beaches, lagoons, vegetation and the waters of the South Atlantic blend to form a dramatic backdrop to the lives of the "Cariocas" of Rio. This physical backdrop is an attraction in its own right. The important soccer culture of the city is explained with particular reference to Fluminense Football Club, Flamengo F.C., Vasco da Gama F.C., and Botafogo F.C. The latter club forms the backdrop for the tragic "Garrincha Story" which Alan explains. The analysis continues with a review of the impact of new waves of immigration on the city. Despite its charm and beauty, Rio is one of the most violent cities in the world.

10. "The Rio Carnival." In this lecture Alan gives an in-depth review and analysis of the Rio Carnival. The Rio Carnival is world-famous for its music, samba dances, colourful costumes and floats. It is a joyous and exciting event. This lecture explains the often untold story of Carnival. The functions and workings of the Samba Schools are explained. Work is undertaken in them over a period of 12 months and provides employment for many impoverished people from the favelas. Production Managers in the Samba Schools decide on a theme for their samba parade which may be based on a contemporary issue or event, a personality, a literary work or a period theme from Brazilian history. A team of designers create costume ideas and float plans. Alan gives details regarding the parades of 12 Samba Schools over 2 nights of Carnival and he explains the system of relegation from and promotion to the elite Samba Schools of the Carnival's Premier Division. Judges choose the "winner" on the basis of theme song, theme storyline, choreography, percussion, costumes, song and dance, floats, decorations, rhythm, harmony etc. Alan also explains how Samba Schools are also concerned with social work in their neighbourhoods which may include quality teaching, skills training and the provision of sports and leisure facilities and activities. Details of the Carnival Parade and Sambadrome are provided. Alan has examined the details of the Rio Carnival and has attended the Rio Carnival on a number of occasions and his photographs illustrate this lecture.

11. "The story of Buenos Aires from its foundation to 1900." The 16th century history of Buenos Aires is examined including the 1516 Expedition of Juan Diaz de Solis, the establishment by Mendoza of the first settlement in 1536 and the foundation of the city for a second time by Juan de Garay in 1580. The early urban plan of the city is explained as well as the provision of public buildings such as the Cabildo. The strategic position of Buenos Aires is explained as it was the capital of a territory encompassing present-day Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Upper Peru. The monopoly trading system of the vice-Royalty is discussed along with the rise of nationalism and the establishment of independence in 1816. The "Centralist-Federalist" conflicts of the 19th century are explained. The development of the Pampas in the second half of the 19th century provided wool and meat exports which were transported to the port of Buenos Aires by a network of railways. The importance of immigration, particularly from Spain and Italy, in the creation of Argentine culture and identity is examined.

12. "Buenos Aires: The Paris of South America, 1900-1930." The final years of the 19th century and early years of the 20th century saw radical changes in the urban structure of Buenos Aires. Old 16th century street plans were cast aside and streets were widened into grand avenues, lined with caf�s under jacaranda trees, after the fashion of Paris. Important public buildings, such as the Congress Palace, were planned and built. These events are examined and explained along with the character of various neighbourhoods such as La Boca, La Recoleta and Retiro.

13. "Modern Buenos Aires, 1910 to the present day." Political events of the 20th century are reviewed including the constant struggle between supporters of a "Constitutional Republic" and "Conservative Elements" with the backing of the military. The global economic recession in the 1930s pushed unemployment in rural areas to very high levels and caused many of these rural unemployed to move to Buenos Aires in order to obtain a hope-for better life. However, for most of these people the "better-life" remained a "dream". Juan Peron saw their desperate plight as an opportunity to advance his own career. Without doubt, Buenos Aires was the "cradle or Peronism". The populist movement, that became known as "Peronism", is examined. The story of "Evita" is told from her days as an actress and trade union supporter to her celebrity status in Argentina and her near "sainthood". The chaotic political situation of the 1970s, which included guerrilla warfare, inflation rates of 1000% and a military campaign known as "The Dirty War" are examined. In the 21st century far greater economic confidence and prosperity has been obtained and this is physically manifested in the Puerto Madero area of Buenos Aires where trendy restaurants, offices, and up-market apartments have been created from the old traditional red-brick dock buildings. Aspects of modern-day society and economy are reviewed.

14. "A Review of Two Very Different Regions of Argentina - Mesopotamia and Tierra del Fuego." Mesopotamia in north-east Argentina is a tropical and sub-tropical area located between the River Parana and the River Uruguay. About 1,200 miles to the south of Mesopotamia is a very different landscape of barren plains, glistening lakes, high jagged peaks and rugged coastlines. This is Tierra del Fuego. The physical landscape of Mesopotamia, including the Iguazu Falls area and the Iguazu National Park is described. This includes the complex eco-system of lagoons and marshlands which is "home" to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Comparisons are made with Tierra del Fuego. In particular, the more austere Ushuaia area on the Beagle Channel is examined and a detailed history of its development is provided. A consideration of the pre-European Yahgan Amer-Indian culture is made.

15. "History of Uruguay: 1516-1900." The early history of Uruguay is reviewed including the pre-European Amer-Indian culture . Uruguay's original inhabitants were the Charrua Indians who were a hunter-gatherer group. They killed the explorer Juan Diaz de Solis and most of his party when the Spaniards encountered them in 1516. However, successive colonial wars and European diseases had decimated the local Amer-Indians by 1800. Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, Governor of Buenos Aires founded a military base in what is now Montevideo in 1726. It should be noted that the city of Montevideo was founded late in the Spanish colonial process of settlement in South America. In 1815 Jose Artigas led Uruguay to independence. The conflict between "Colorados" (Reds) and "Blancos" (Whites) in 19th and 20th century Uruguay is explained. The "Gaucho culture" is examined in some detail. Between 1836 and 1926 about 650,000 immigrants arrived in Uruguay, mainly from Italy and Spain, and began changing Uruguayan society and culture. By the end of the 19th century Uruguay had an extensive railway network which allowed the development of first-class beef and wool production which was in demand on world markets.

16. "Uruguay in the 20th century." The early years of the 20th century saw substantial reform when within a short space of time the first "welfare state" in Latin America was created. This included a free medical service, old age and service pensions, unemployment pay, free and compulsory education and a maximum 8-hour working day. In addition, the first half of the 20th century saw changes and improvements in the urban morphology of Montevideo and other urban centres. To many, the high-water mark for Uruguay in the 20th century was 1950 when the economy was still booming and Uruguay defeated Brazil in the Soccer World Cup Final. The second half of the 20th century was very different and was marked by economic decline, increasing unemployment and the rise of a violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement known as the "Tupamaros" who appeared in 1967. Further social unrest and economic decline in the post-1967 period are described. A review of economic and social indicators in the 21st century are given. This includes a review of the modern tourist industry with particular reference to Punta del Este. Concluding comments are made regarding economic and social conditions.

17. "Uruguay in the 21st century." In this lecture Alan examines urban Montevideo in some detail. This includes aspects such as life expectancy, demographics, household income, religion, social and economic life in Montevideo which some surveys suggest has the "highest quality of life" in Latin America. The lecture ends with a detailed look at the tourist attractions of Punta del Este.

18. "Rural Life and the Economy in 21st century Uruguay." In this lecture Alan examines the Gaucho culture of Uruguay in the 21st century and pays tribute to the role of the Gaucho in the history of Uruguay. Alan stresses the importance of an export-oriented agricultural sector which includes main exports such as beef, soybeans, wheat, wool and dairy produce. Alan concludes his lecture with an economic profile of Uruguay today which includes the growth of the tourist industry and the factors behind migration issues.

19. "An Introduction to Chile: A Land of Fire and Ice, but so much more as well........"
Chile is never more that 220 miles wide from east to west but extends in a north-south direction as a narrow ribbon of land some 2,700 miles from Arica in the north to Punta Arenas in the south. The great north-south extent of Chile means that it is a country of great geographical diversity which Alan examines in some detail. The "Far North" or "Great North" of Chile is a desert area with the Atacama Desert being an outstanding example of this type of physical environment. In contrast, the "Far South" is a land of glacial lakes, ice fields, glaciers, fjords and rugged glaciated scenery. A review of the pre-European Amer-Indian Yahgans ("Canoe Indians") and Ona ("Foot Indians") cultures is made. In addition, some attention is paid to the "Lake District" in Region X. This is a land of volcanoes brought about by the movement of competing tectonic plates which is explained. The geography of the "Central Valley" is described. A short review of Chilean history is also undertaken including the work of Pedro de Valdivia as "Governing Lieutenant of Southern Chile" and his founding of Santiago in the Central Valley of Chile on 12th February, 1541. Alan also considers present-day Santiago which has become the capital and largest city in Chile with a population of over 6 million as well as the major port city of Valparaiso. A review of the Iquique Region and Arica in northern Chile ends the lecture.

20. "Modern Chile: 1970 to the present-day." In this lecture Alan reviews the social, economic, and political conditions in Chile. A brief review of Chile's position in South America is given as well as a concise summary of its regions. The post-1970 history of Chile is remarkable for the rise of the Left-Wing Coalition, known as "Popular Unity" under Salvador Allende, a middle-class doctor turned socialist Senator. Allende's reform programme is outlined along with a description of the anti-Allende groups and their agenda. In September, 1973 President Allende was overthrown and replaced by a Right-Wing military Junta under Augusto Pinochet. A review of social and economic conditions during the Pinochet years is provided. The policy of Chile's "Free-Market Economics" is considered. The post-Pinochet years are reviewed with particular reference to its economy and society in the 21st century.

21. "Southern Chile Up-Close." In this lecture Alan gives a detailed description of the physical environment of Southern Chile before moving on to an analysis of its history. A review of Punta Arenas is given in some detail and then we head northwards to Puerto Montt and the Lake District. The fishing industry of Puerto Montt is reviewed as well as its position as the "gateway" to the "Great South". The importance of agriculture is stressed in the Lake District area.

22. "Pre-Columbus Amer-Indian Cultures in Peru from 10,000 B.C. to the Incas in the 16th century." The vast majority of academics agree that the Amer-Indians crossed a "land-bridge" that linked Siberia to Alaska and moved southwards eventually reaching what is now Peru. Maize is thought to have been cultivated in Peru by 3,000 B.C. Other crops included beans, peppers, manioc and potatoes. The many groups and sub-groups of Amer-Indians in Peru developed in very different physical environments across the country and produced very different cultures. A number of these cultures are examined including the "Chavin Culture", the "Moche Culture", the "Nasca Culture" and the "Tiahuanaco Culture" of the Lake Titicaca Region. The Inca are the best known of the Amer-Indian groups and cultures of the pre-Columbian Era. A detailed description of the Incas and their society, economy and military might is given. In November, 1532 Francisco Pizarro and his Conquistadors defeated the Incas at Cajamarca in northern Peru. The Inca Atahualpa was captured and held to ransom. This event marked the great turning point in Peruvian history and culture.

23. "Machu Picchu and the Incas." From an unpromising start in the bleak Andean mountains of Peru, the Incas created the most extensive and best organised Empire of ancient South America. The best known story reported by Spanish choniclers is of Manco Capac, the first Inca, and his sister rising out of Lake Titicaca around 1,200 A.D., created by the "Sun" and hailed to be the "Sun God" and "Divine Leader" of the chosen Inca race. Manco Capac is credited with the foundation of Cusco, at an altitude of about 10,000 feet, as the capital of the Inca State. Inca society and economy are considered in some detail. After the defeat of the Incas in November, 1532, Francisco Pizarro and his Conquistadors plundered Peru. However, Machu Picchu, only 70 miles from Cusco, was protected from the Spaniards by its remoteness and inaccessibility. A very detailed description of what can be seen in Machu Picchu today is given.

24. "The Lima Story from Francisco Pizarro to the Present-Day." A profile is given of Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish Conquistador, who literally put "Lima" on the map on 18th January, 1535. Francisco Pizarro, as the first Governor of Peru built his residence in the "Plaza Mayor" in Lima at the exact spot where the Government Palace or "House of Government" is located today. A description is given of the town plan of early Lima as well as important public buildings such as Lima Cathedral, the Municipal Palace or Town Hall, the Government Palace, the Archbishop's Palace, etc. Lima was designated by the Spanish Crown to be the most important city in Spain's Colonial Empire of the Americas. The early feudal system regarding land grants and the use of local Indian labour and later black slaves is outlined. Lima lost its monopoly on overseas trade and the subsequent economic decline brought problems to the city. San Martin proclaimed Peruvian Independence in Lima on 28th July, 1821. Various urban renewal projects in the 19th and 20th centuries are outlined. The great growth of Lima in the 20th century is reviewed, for example, in 1940 Lima had a population of 600,000 which had grown to 7,800.000 by today. The "Shining Path Movement" is considered as a contributing factor to the growth of Lima in the latter years of the 20th century. Present-day economic, social and environmental issues are analysed along with the growth of more up-market neighbourhoods such as the Miraflores District.

25. "A Social and Economic Review of the Three Physiographic Regions of Peru in the 21st century: Lima and the Coastal Region, the Andes, and the Lowlands of the Amazon Basin in the East." In broad terms, Peru can be divided into three physiographic regions: the Western Coastal Plain which is an arid desert, the high and rugged Andes which includes the "Cordillera Occidental" ("West") and the "Cordillera Oriental" ("East") and the "Altiplano" (the "High Plateau") which is located between the former two ranges, and the Selva Region of the Eastern Lowlands of Peru which is a western continuation of Amazonia. A detailed description is made of social, economic and environmental aspects of these three very different regions of Peru. Particular attention is given to the distinctive Altiplano Region and Lake Titicaca. Eastern Peru is part of Greater Amazonia and has a range of environmental issues similar to those found in Brazil regarding deforestation and the introduction of cattle, mining, logging, oil and gas production and the planting of commercial crops such as coffee, soybeans, rubber and equatorial fruits for international markets. The people paying the greatest price for development are the Amer-Indian peoples of Eastern Peru who find their traditional way of life under threat. A review is carried out of Lima in the 21st century. Finally, information is given regarding social and economic aspects of Peru as a nation.

26. "The Panama Canal." Panama occupies a very strategic position in the Americas. It is the vital link between Central America and North America to the north and South America to the south. Furthermore, it commands the great artery joining the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean - namely the Panama Canal. The topography of the region is examined and outlined along with the climate and natural vegetation. Early Amer-Indian cultures are discussed. Archaelogical evidence traces Amer-Indian colonisation of the isthmus of Panama back to about 11,000 years ago. Early European expeditions to Panama are described including Vasco Nunez de Balboa who crossed the jungles of Panama in 1513 from the Caribbean and "discovered" the Pacific Ocean and claimed it in the name of the Spanish Crown. Panama now quickly became the "cross-roads" and "market-place" of Spain's Empire in the New World. Gold and silver were brought by ship from South America and hauled across the isthmus to Spanish ports on the Caribbean side of Panama, particularly to Portobelo, where treasure was loaded onto ships bound for Spain. Panama obtained its independence from Spain in 1821. The 19th century history of Panama is covered including the French attempts, under Ferdinand de Lesseps, to build a canal across Panama from the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean. Work began on 1st January, 1880. The difficulties encountered by the project, including the geology and hydrology, disease, deaths by accident, and financial problems are described. The second and successful Panama Canal project, under American leadership, began on 4th May, 1904. In 1903 Panama had seceded from Colombia and signed a treaty with the United States allowing for the American construction of the Canal. The difficulties of the American project are outlined. The Panama Canal opened to traffic on 15th August, 1914. Various developments in the "Panama Canal Project" throughout the 20th century are given. The Republic of Panama assumed full responsibility for the administration and operation of the Panama Canal on 31st December, 1999. Full details of the Canal are given including a "journey through the Panama Canal" which is illustrated by Alan's personal photographs. Future plans for the Panama Canal are outlined.

27. "Au Revoir, but not Good-bye, to South America." As a retired University Research Fellow and Don with 40 years of research on and travel in South America, Alan Walker has a wealth of experience, knowledge, and expertise on the Region. This final lecture in the series allows Alan to give an overview of the history and geography of South America along with a consideration of 21st century issues impacting on the Region. Some detailed attention is given to economic, social, environmental and wealth-poverty issues across South America. Particular attention is paid to environmental issues in Amazonia regarding deforestation and the introduction of cattle, mining, logging, oil and gas production and the planting of commercial crops such as coffee, soybeans, rubber and equatorial fruits for international markets. The people paying the greatest price for development are the Amer-Indian peoples of Amazonia who find their traditional way of life under threat. Another important consideration is given to the gap between rich and poor in Peru, Bolivia and Brazil and the impact that this gap has on the societies and economies of these countries. Alan believes South America has a positive future and will play an ever more important role in world events as the 21st century progresses.
CRUISE HISTORY / EXPERIENCE
Alan has lectured for Cunard, P & O, Fred. Olsen, Oceania Cruises for many years.