The things you see

Santas in VeniceI’ve been going through our photo collection recently to select some for uploading to my new photos gallery and it reminded me that John and I have seen some unusual sights (and sounds) during our travels, for example:

  • just going out of shot but half a dozen men with mowers cutting a single piece of grass outside the Kremlin in Moscow.
  • the open air reception outside the Winter Palace in St Petersburg for two bikers who had just got married.
  • a reindeer gondola full of Santa Clauses punting along the Grand Canal in Venice.
  • a door to the other side of the sand in Whitby.
  • we were wandering the park land on Margitsziget (Margrit Island) in Budapest when we heard loud music – some large scale opera tune. We wandered closer to a small building – a cafe-like building but couldn’t see any speakers that could be kicking out that much noise but lo, there was a small curtain at one side of the building. Pulling back the curtain in a Wizard-of-Oz style, we expected to find the speakers but instead we found a full orchestra and choir on a stage rehearsing.

LUGRadio Live 2006

Spent the weekend in Wolverhampton at LUGRadio Live 2006 with around 350-400 other people, which is quite a feat for an anti-social freak like me. John did a talk about the webcomic he writes (well, we write, he “draws” and pimps), Everybody Loves Eric Raymond and we also sold some of our ELER and Knuth tshirts thanks to Gareth on the FSFE stall. I mostly lingered and sweated.

As the official documenter of our trips, I’ve written up a detailed account of our trip (below).

As it is rather too detailed, as per usual, here’s a summary: hot, good food, clammy, nice people, sweaty, interesting talks, did I mention it was above average temperature?, RedHat flying disc, stupidly warm and stuffy, well worth going.

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Russia – Saturday – St Petersburg

The flight didn’t leave until 16.30 so we only had to leave for the airport at about 2pm. Our plan for the time was: bit of a lie-in then check out, breakfast at The Idiot (because we couldn’t be bothered finding anywhere else in the mainly residential area), go up St Issac’s as a goodbye to the city, then pick up a car from the hotel.

We woke up about 10am and looked out of the window, expecting the sunny weather we’d had previously to really get the most out of a trip up St Issac’s. It was foggy. So foggy we couldn’t see St Issac’s itself. “No, no,” I had assured John the day before, “it’ll be lovely weather. We’ll be able to see for miles.” Bah to my weather-predicting skillzz. We checked out anyway (the hotel cost about the same as the Moscow one but it wasn’t as much of a shock this time as we expected the tax) and headed up to The Idiot, thinking the fog might clear as the day went on.
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Russia – Friday – St Petersburg

Friday was our main full day in St Petersburg; time-wise, Thursday had been a full day too but by the time we had got up and had lunch, it felt too late to start anything major.
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Russia – Thursday – St Petersburg

The train was due into St Petersburg just after 7am (ugh) so our alarm went off at 6am to allow us time to have a bit of breakfast and get sorted before arrival. (We could have just woken up when it arrived and got sorted then but we wanted to be at the hotel before rush hour). Considering we only had about two or maybe three hours sleep at an absolute maximum, we felt reasonably fresh.
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Russia – Wednesday – Moscow

We wanted to get going reasonably early (for us) on Wednesday morning – it was our last morning in Moscow and we wanted to go to see Lenin. The mausoleum closed at 1pm and before then, we had to walk through Red Square and around the Kremlin to the cloakroom near Kutafia Tower, then back again into Red Square to the queue for the mausoleum, preferably joining the queue around noon. Achieving this AND sourcing a breakfast location would be an impossibility for me and SleepyLeach so we elected to breakfast in bed.
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