While there's been a lot of speculation about which country will be the first to see the sunrise of the new millennium, most people still have the date wrong.

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Travel Notes: Travel Articles: Year 2000 -- Travel Writers


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Year 2000 -- Around The World

Dawning of the Year 2000

From Kiribati to Samoa, Travel Notes offers flowing champagne in 24 time zones.

The Morning Call of Allentown reports that the world's oldest person, 119 year-old American, Sarah Knauss, died just two days before seeing three centuries on this planet; she was born in 1880.

1100 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

Kiribati and Tonga welcome in the new year thousand, to traditional dances and choirs of Hallelujah -- Handel's Messiah. A child is given the torch of peace to bring light to the world.

The islanders are dancing and singing as the symbolic torch begins its journey.

Boris Yeltsin has this morning stepped down as president of Russia and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, former head of the KGB, now runs the country as acting president, with presidential elections brought forward to March 26th, 2000.

1200 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

New Zealand have no nuclear weapons or reactors. In Auckland, Crowded House leave the stage for a more traditional Maori dance. "If the last 2000 years are worth anything, it's because we can learn from them." The message from Auckland is "Say goodbye, and get ready to say hello."

And the lights stay on!

Antarctica becomes the first continent on the planet to come into the new year.

The plane hijacking ends in Afghanistan, on the last day of 1999, as Indian Foreign Minister, Jaswant Singh, flies in to exchange three Muslim militants for more than 150 hostages. The Five masked hijackers left the Indian Airlines plane they hijacked a week ago and drove out of Kandahar airport, under the eyes of Taliban guards, foreign diplomats and the international media.

1300 CET -- December 31st, 1999:
Midday in London.

Solomon Islands and New Caledonia are now in the year 2000, along with Marshall Islands.

1400 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

Sydney joins New Zealand in the Year 2000, with pipers and massive fireworks in the harbour; dwarfing even the 1988 bicentennial celebrations. Police estimates put the crowd around the harbour at 900, 000, and say some 5,000 boats were in view of the spectacle; including Microsoft's Bill Gates aboard Kerry Packer's yacht.

Melbourne and the capital of Australia, Canberra, are in 2000 too, along with Port Moresby.

In Macchu Pichu, Peru, the Inca high priest is leading a ceremony to see out the old year. It's still morning here.

In Iceland, Bjork is leading a midday choir. Everyone is dressed in white, and holding candles.

1500 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

No Y2K related disasters reported as yet, fingers crossed.

It's Friday morning in New York, and tight security surrounds Times Square. Nothing is left to chance and an almost military like contingency plan is on the table to deal with any possible terroism attacks.

The party goes on and a large Waterford crystal, six feet in diameter was raised to the top of a 77-foot flagpole. Hundreds of lights are sparkling from the ball, while New Yorkers watch various costumed dancers ring in the New Year Thousand for each time zone around the world.

The media picks up on the Russian story, that we broke to you earlier.

Y2K questions are not being asked, more important is how dangerous can the KGB strongman be for the world? No-one really knows much about this secretative man, but he has strong connections in the military and three months to get the Russian people on his side too.

World leaders will be looking closely at their Year 2000 diaries and making urgent calls to the Kremlin for appointments.

1600 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

Tokyo enters the year 2000, along with South Korea and Australia's outback. The Japanese will be visiting temples around the country and eating noodles for long life and health.

The western calendar is in popular use in Japan, although they mark years according to the Emperor's reign. This year is Heisei 12, the twelfth year of Emperor Akihito's reign. Hopes for a royal baby in Year 2000 were dashed on Thursday, when the Imperial Household announced that Crown Princess Masako, 36,   had suffered a miscarriage. She married Crown Prince Naruhito six years ago.

1630 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

No need to put the Champagne on Ice here -- Scientists at the South Pole celebrate.

The first sunrise hits Kiribatai:
Large women in grass skirts rhytmically wiggle away on the beach of Millennium Island -- formerly Caroline Island.

At the same time, the last dusk of 1999 closes in on Europe. Computer operators make their way to work to ensure everything functions overnight. One bank in Frankfurt alone has 450 hands on deck. Generators are on standby.

No problems with our Tokyo link-up. Computers are functioning in Seoul too, from what we hear.

1700 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

Although the Chinese New Year is first in February, searchlights project upwards from Tian'Men Square and balloons are released into the sky. 2,000 Chinese couples have tied the knot on what they feel will be a day for lasting luck.

The people who invented fireworks start their show for the Western Year 2000.

1730 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

The New Year Thousand sunrise is seen from Gisbourne, New Zealand.

Prince Charles is in Scotland.

1800 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

Indonesia and Thailand welcome Year 2000. Rice is on the menu for luck in Indonesia.

1900 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

Bangladesh and Mongolia welcome in 2000.

In the Buddhist centre of Kandy, traditonal dances are offered as peace to our future.

It's snowing in Vienna and southern Germany.

1930 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

India wishes the world a Happy New Year 2000, and here at Travel Notes we've just had to reprogram our Javascript date and are frantically going through our documents. So if you're already in Year 2000 and you get the year as 19100, we're working on it and there's no problem with your computer.

Sunrise comes to Australia.

2000 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

Pakistan is in Year 2000, and there's bad news in The Philippines. Stray bullets have claimed two victims in Manilla, and there are reports of another death and 200 injuries in the wild scenes caused by people throwing fireworks.

2100 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

We've added the new Javascript date program to agree with the year 2000 to most of our documents, and are still checking through others as Abu Dhabi enters Year 2000. There will be no celebrations in Saudi Arabia, where alcohol is prohibited, and following the celebrations of infidels is forbidden.

According to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran, the only way to solve the problems of the Middle East is for the destruction of Israel -- now there's a party pooper.

2200 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

Moscow 2000 -- a new year thousand in the capital of Russia, with a new acting president at the helm. All nuclear facilities appear safe.

Nairobi and Bagdhad. All's going well.

2300 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

South Africa, Israel, Cairo and Istanbul start the Year 2000 party. Jerusalem is in the middle of Ramadam and it's the Sabbath. In Bethlehem 2000 doves are released in Manager Square and fireworks start to the theme tune of 2001. A year early, but most people are celebrating the New Millenium (officially 2001) already. The Jewish year is 5,760.

In Cairo, Jean-Michel Jarre is performing at the pyramids. Sound and light show par excellence.

In South Africa, Nelson Mandela revisits the cell he occupied for 18 years as a political prisoner of Apatheid, and lights a candle for democracy -- the leadership of the future: "Today it feels good to be an African." Other inmates go to their former cells too.

2340 CET -- December 31st, 1999:

Here in central Europe we've got less than twenty minutes of the 1900's left. Thanks to all of you who've been keeping an eye the moving line of midnight across the globe. We're letting our hair down, the party music is cranked up in the office, and we're on the bottle.

0000 CET -- January 1st, 2000:

We've made it. Central Europe and West Africa joins the eastern half of the world in the Year 2000. Hurricane Lothar claimed many lives after Christmas and did much damage to property and centuries old trees. The French Prime Minister has cancelled his New Year celebrations, but even people without electricity in France will be drinking champagne at candlelight. We're in the New Year Thousand and our skies are alight with greens, reds, and if you're wearing the new glasses on the market in Germany, all sorts of kaledoscopic colours.

The Eiffel Tower is glittering with electricity, and we've still got got Javascript to correct on our pages. Oh well, they didn't get their 2000 clock on the Champs Elysées to work either.

The Pope's New Year message from the Vatican sounds clearer than the one he delivered at Christmas. The crowds are quieter than they were on Christmas Day. Buon Anno.

Brandenburg Gate used to seperate East and West Germany -- tonight it's the sign of a togetherness.

0100 CET -- January 1st, 2000:

Big Ben strikes twelve! The timekeeper of the world ushers in Year 2000 -- it's now 00:01 GMT, 2000.

Two bridges were closed in London for safety reasons. The Queen attended the Millennium Dome celebrations at Greenwich, while her son was in Scotland -- interseting, considering he's The Prince of Wales. Midnight GMT and still no problems .. all eyes turn to New York. Mainland America will greet Year 2000 in less than 6 hours -- Guam is already in the new year.

If the stories we've received are true, hackers got into the railway site to say that trains were not running.

In Scotland they'll be celebrating the New Year for a week. Be sure to take a bottle and you'll be welcome in most houses.

0200 CET -- January 1st, 2000:

We're still up and it's going great. Thanks for all your e-mails, it keeps us motivated!

Special thanks to Jenny, Whiz, Sputnik and Wolfie. We couldn't have done it without you.

Midnight arrives in The Azores.

0300 CET -- January 1st, 2000:

We're still up, and we'd like to wish everyone floating around in the mid-Atlantic a Happy New Year.

Brazil comes into the year 2000. On Copacabana beach they're lighting candles in the sand and sending flower offerings into the sea. Forget Carnival, this is always the best time to be in Rio.

New York -- Year 2000 is coming your way.

The party is underway in New Orleans, the dance in the Latin Quarter at present is to "Oh When The Saints."

0400 CET -- January 1st, 2000:

We welcome Argentina to the year 2000.

0500 CET -- January 1st, 2000:

The west side of South America are partying from Santiago to Caracas.

0600 CET -- January 1st, 2000:

Times Square is electric. Eastern Time (USA & Canada). The giant Waterford crystal ball was lowered for New Year as fireworks lit up the sky from Central Park to Ellis Island.

In the White House, Muhammad Ali and Sophia Loren were among Bill Clinton's guests of the century.

0700 CET -- January 1st, 2000:

The Mariachis are making a roaring trade in Mexico City, and it's Central Time, 2000.

0800 CET -- January 1st, 2000:

They're Partying in the mountains.

0900 CET -- January 1st, 2000:

West Coat -- Pacific -- Alaska -- Hawaii; come on board.

In Hollywood, the famous letters on the hill of Tinsel Town were lit up in red, white and blue. In Las Vegas they had their own party at the Eiffel Tower. There was a bomb scare at an arts centre in Alaska and the revellers had to shuffle out into the cold.

Honolulu's Diamondhead extinct volcano, at Waikiki, was the scene of a laser show and firework display.

1000 CET -- January 1st, 2000:

Samoa are the last to join the day.

Next year people around the planet will be doing it all again for the official start of the new millennium.

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