Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Aunty Claire and Lena

So not too much commentary necessary here - this is me with the lovely Lena Juliet in her pretty pink dress. Lena and I have been having fun bonding! Isn´t she cute!!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Eye candy

Left: Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Right: Bison at Elk Island National Park in Canada

Left: The Chicago Bean, Right: Central Park in New York

Left: High above Dubrovnik on the city walls, Right: Stari Most (Old bridge) at Mostar in Bosnia

So here is a teaser post for those of you who keep asking me for trip photos... As usual with me, I take photos at a rate at which I could represent Australia in the Olympics, so there will be lots to sort through.

Supetar on the island of Bra─Ź in Croatia

So far this has been a fabulous trip, I have been to many wonderful places, and have lots of stories to tell when I get back... Watch this space!

Left: Ivangorod Fortress in Russia (taken from Narva, Estonia), Right: The Hill of Crosses in Lithuania

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Alive and well in Sarajevo (except for the cold)

So... this trip I`ve been somewhat of a slacker in keeping this blog updated. I expect I`ll get around to it when I get back, sorry guys!

This is just a quick post to let you all know that, yes, I am still alive and didn`t get apprehended by the Croatian mafia, and despite the annoying cold I must have picked up in Dubrovnik (only the hottest place I went in Croatia) I am doing well. I don´t have a clue what was in the medication I picked up in Croatia, but it seems to be doing the trick.

So currently I am located in the fascinating city of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo is in the Bosnia part). So far it strikes me as a bit of an oddball city, but I`m sure I`ll have fun here!! The Turkish style bazaar looks fun, and don´t get me started on the fantastic coffee here in Bosnia. I´m sure I even saw a roadside scythe stall on the way into town today!

In summary, alive, well and you`ll see some photos eventually!!!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Round the world Mark II

So most of you probably already know... but for those that don't, I enjoyed my round the world trip last year so much, that I'm taking another! This one is slightly smaller in scale, but over 7 weeks, I'll be taking in San Francisco, Edmonton, Chicago, New York, London, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Croatia, and the Western Balkans. I'm exhausted just thinking of it!

Watch this space for photos and stories coming soon from various places around the world!!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Picnicking at Point Cook

The purple scenery of Point Cook

The 2nd of Jan was Mum and Dad's Ruby Wedding anniversary, so since this was the last day that we were all together, we went for a picnic at Point Cook - a state park in Melbourne's south west on Port Phillip Bay.

Mum and Dad celebrating their Ruby Anniversary

We had a great day - in spite of the heat, and Tom gave us all a crash course in "frisbeeing". We slowly improved over the course of the day...

Left: Justine, Right: Rachelle and Tom

Following that, we took a nice walk along the beach, which due to all the seaweed and sea urchins etc washed up, had turned a pretty shade of purple.

It was a lovely day, and was enjoyed by all, as you can see from the photos.

Retail therapy in Melbourne

Left: The Block Arcade, Right: Rachelle and I with our day's
purchases (includes some of Justine's too!)

While down in Melbourne at Christmas, one of the things to do is go to the Melbourne sales... Rachelle, Justine and I set out for a "Girls' Day Out hitting the shops of the Melbourne CBD".

Those who know me well will know that I have a slight shoe addiction, so will take any opportunity to buy some new ones. Rachelle and Justine did well too - each of us found two new pairs during the course of the day. We all picked up a number of bargains for the day - nothing at full price!

Now just need to hold out till I get to New York!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Web Albums

As you all know, I love putting photos on my blog here.... But playing with Picasa tonight, I've become a fan of web albums. It's always so hard to pick the photos that I show to the world, now I get to show a few more. I will of course continue to post photos to the blog here... but if you want to see more... visit my web albums!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Boxing Day at the "G"

We had already won the Ashes... but we were yet to whitewash... the series was at a tense moment.

Aah... I'd been to the Boxing Day cricket test before, but never on Boxing Day itself, nor to the Ashes... So after pestering Rachelle and Tom for a while, they gave me one of the coveted tickets that would also hopefully see Warnie's 700th wicket.

It happened late in the day.... After we were partially frozen from the football-type temperatures. We watched Warnie get not only his 700th wicket, but he scored a 5 wicket innings, in his second last game before retirement...

Go Warnie!!!

Special mention should also go to "Cousin Glenn" - Glenn McGrath who Mum suggests is likely to be some distant relation of ours, who is also soon to retire from cricket.

Sydney summers on the beach

Waves crashing at Avalon

Of all the places I've travelled to in the world, the only beaches coming close to Australia's have been Hawaii's, and let's face it... much of the sand lying on Hawaii's beaches is from Australia anyhow! This summer has been an odd one, weather-wise, so my friend Claire and I agreed on a day, and said we'd go to the beach, rain hail or shine.

The beach at Dee Why

We headed north, to Sydney's beautiful Northern Beaches and ran into a bit of foul weather... It rained most of the way to Palm Beach, however we did get a bit of a break when we stopped for lunch at Avalon.

Claire relaxing on the beach

Then we headed back towards the city, and by the time we got to Dee Why (Just before we were about to give up and go to a movie at Warringah Mall) so we stopped off for a relaxing afternoon on the beach. It was great - one of those beautiful (however still cool) afternoons we get here in Sydney, just before summer kicks in.

Claire and I at Dee Why

Barefoot Bowls at Mosman

Left: Stormclouds rolling in, Right: Here I am with Jodie (Left) and Kate (Centre)

As our 'End of busy season' (implying that there was a quiet season that I've not yet seen) function for work, we had a barefoot bowls day at Mosman (conveniently in walking distance from my place!). It was fairly dicey weather, you can see above the stormclouds rolling in, however we still got a fair bit of play in.

A great day was had by all, and I even learned to bowl a bit!

Dashing through the snow...

Standing on skis

While I was sitting at work one day in England worrying about some hedge fund, I got sidetracked, and found I'd agreed to a ski trip on my return to Australia.

Tim and Pete before we headed out for the first day's lesson

It took place in September, for what was an already fairly poor ski season... We boarded the bus in Sydney at midnight, and pulled into Perisher resort just as the sun was coming up. We waited around for an hour or so before anything even opened to sort ourselves out with ski gear. We were all tired and grumpy, however it was a beautiful day - we just had to get out there and go.

Views of Perisher - Left: the village, Right: My "toddler" slope

As you all probably know, I'm not the world's most accomplished skier. This was my third time ever on skis, the previous times being once at Falls Creek where the weather was so foul we only gave it half a day, the second time being a day of cross country skiing with Greg at Lenggries in Germany, which I have discussed previously on my blog. This time I actually felt as if I ended the trip being able to ski... at least a little, meaning I could make it down the toddler slope (a bit more challenging than the baby slope) and also - (for me perhaps the greater achievement) ended the weekend having finally mastered chairlifts - i.e. being able to ski off them.

Left: Stacks on on the snow; Right: Grant and Pete during a game of "Thumb King"

We also had some great accomodation. Everyone returned after the day's skiing to have a short nap, before tucking into the great dinner and desert that was served for us. We had a great time, and it also gave me the chance to get to know some of the new faces around the office since getting back from England. One night we even headed into Perisher for a night at the pub. A great time seemed to be had by all!

Dinner at Barakee Lodge

Can't wait for next year's trip!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Flashback to Russia - and some feedback on decisions I have made

Before I booked my May 2006 trip to Russia I struggled with the dilemma of how I was going to get from Moscow to St Petersburg. Unfortunately I couldn't book an open-jaw flight, and had to fly both in and out of Moscow, so I was of two minds whether to train or fly the 700 odd kilometres between the two cities.

In the end with the help of a good friend in Moscow, Lena, I went for the rail option. After all - travel by rail in Russia is legendary. If it's good enough for Dr Zhivago and Anna Karenina... it's good enough for me. And my reading on the situation prior to travel suggested that Aeroflot was the best of the Russian airlines, call me prejudiced, but based on the airline's past, that wasn't quite enough assurance for me.

So today following some random browsing on wikipedia, one of my favourite websites, I discovered some scary information on the airline's performance... I think I made the right decision.

Incidentally, my cousin Robert who was also travelling in Russia at the same time, and whom I finally met up with in Krakow, Poland after some Fawlty Towers style communication problems, made the brave decision and flew Aeroflot... He suggested that it was an "experience", after he was advised to shrinkwrap his luggage and personally identify at the other end. (And that's before even considering the in-flight safety!) Maybe next time I'll brave it!

NB: Despite the above predicament I was in, Russia was an absolute highlight of my world trip. I'd be there again in an instant... if only the visa wasn't so expensive! And admittedly, when I look at the link, American airlines and United Airlines are almost as bad... Might do some rethinking for trip 2007!