We arrived in Honolulu just as the sun was beginning to rise, the lights of the city were still shining and it was already very warm.
The best and one of the cheapest ways to see the island is to hire a car. The ship was offering a 6 hour tour for about $150 each and the cost of the car hire was a lot less than that and it took the 4 of us!
Our first stop on this island was the Byodo-In Temple which is located in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. It is a non-denominational Buddhist temple located on the island of Oʻahu in Hawaiʻi in Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. It was dedicated in August 1968 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaiʻi. (Thank you Wikipedia!)
We spent a very tranquil hour or so here taking photos and just taking in the ambience of the surroundings.
We stopped at Sandy Beach Park where we had a spot of lunch and then we were going to have a snorkel. We were advised that it was too choppy and we wouldn’t see much, and it would be better to drive further along the coast and seek calmer waters, which we did, and it was great!
It was a weekday and very quiet. As you can see from the photos we pretty much had the place to ourselves!
The ship stayed overnight in Honolulu and that night we were treated to a show performed by local singers and dancers. It was lovely, and a welcome change to some of the shows that the ship had put on!
On our second day on O’AHU we did take a ship tour, as I was really keen to get to see Pearl Harbour. This was a place I never thought I would get to visit. Infamous as the place where the Japanese attacked the U.S Navy and almost destroyed its fleet with one air raid, thus bringing America into the Second World War.
The photo above is of the USS Oklahoma Monument. The only land-based memorial at Pearl Harbor, the USS Oklahoma Memorial honours the more than 400 servicemen who lost their lives aboard the ship during the flurry of attacks on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Second only in casualties to the USS Arizona on that fateful day, the Oklahoma Memorial on Ford Island commemorates each life lost with a tall white marble column, symbolizing a crisp white Navy uniform. Taken together, the low black granite walls etched with stories and towering clean rows of columns symbolise the ship, and the crew within, standing tall forever. (I copied this directly from the website as its too important and I didn’t want to get anything wrong!)
This is a picture that I took from the visitor centre of the USS Missouri, or the “Mighty Mo” as it is more commonly known here.
The “Mighty Mo” up close………
On the deck of the “Mighty Mo”. These huge gun barrels are 65 feet long, weighing an incredible 116 tons, and can fire a 2,700-pound shell 23 miles in 50 seconds – with pinpoint accuracy. The Missouri was the last battleship ever built.
From the deck of the “Mighty Mo” you can see the USS Arizona Memorial. Sadly we weren’t able to visit this as it was undergoing maintenance and visitor numbers were greatly reduced!
The USS Arizona Memorial is built over the remains of the sunken battleship USS Arizona, the final resting place for many of the 1,177 crewmen killed on December 7th 1941, when their ship was bombed by Japanese Naval Forces. This loss of life represents over half of the Americans killed during the worst naval disaster in American history. (Again I copied this information so as not to make a mistake.)
A map of the devastation caused on December 7 1941
USS Missouri, as this plaque details, is where the the document that ended the Second World War was signed. This was the last thing we saw on our tour and it brought to an end a truly moving and thought-provoking day!
When we got back to our ship we both sat on our balcony gazing at the modern city in front of us and raised a glass to the brave men that went before us and enabled us to live the lives we do today!