Kenneth Charles' LJ, please keep it anonymous, mention no names!|
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|Wednesday, January 10th, 2007|
Since my jaunt through Switzerland for a song or 400 or so (three serbian christmas masses back to back!), I came to Heidelberg, a quaint town spared bombing in WW2 in consideration of a large US base planned to be built there! I have had 2 days here, and it is lovely. Big on charm, small on monuments forces the average ´see everything punter´ (ie, me) to slow down and soak it up a bit at a time!
I stayed with a friend and also went to their choir rehearsal, which was a lot of fun! Without a doubt the silliest bunch of choristers I have ever seen. And I have seen a lot of silly choristers! Woohoo!
Later today I travel to Vienna, and soon enough homewards.
I hope all toes are warm. People keep remarking how warm it is here. Today it got up to 16 degrees. Which is pretty damn warm for Bavaria in mid-winter!
|Monday, January 8th, 2007|
Wow! I left Rome, travelled to Assisi, a rediculously quaint Tuscan village which also happens to be the origin of St Francis... one of the churches (santa maria degli angeli) near the train station enclosed completely a smaller church, and also had more confessionals than any other church I´ve ever seen! From Assisi I went to Florence, changed trains and then to Pisa, where I walked around with some Singaporean tourists photographing other tourists making silly poses and trying to convince the african peddlers of fake watches etc that we were poorer than them. Not hard to do when you´ve been living on dry bread and water for a week and most importantly, don´t have a mobile phone!
From Pisa I travelled to Torino, where I wandered the city at midnight, got lost, and locked out of the train station. They also surround the line with barb-wire fence so you can´t get in (and to a train to sleep on) via the tracks, at least, not easily... I slept outside the station crouched on my pack to insulate me from the ground, and also crunching the last of my Chinese two minute noodles into powder. Simultaneously their inventor died of acute heart failure (I´m not joking).
At 4:26 the station was opened and I went to the train I was going to leave on to Bardonecchia, where a friend from Aus. met me. On exchange, his host brother has the same size feet (almost) as me, so for only 26 Euros I got a days skiing on snow that the locals lamented was terrible, hadn´t ever been so bad. Apparently it´s the warmest winter in a thousand years. It was still about 100 times better than australia though, and the runs were long, wide, well covered, and fast. We found an off piste section with thigh deep powder (crusted in places), which my carvers struggled a bit with. I face planted about 10 times in my battle to reach the bottom. I also managed to link one turn without stopping for a breather... I think the gradient being about 30 degrees made it a bit challenging too...
All good things come to an end, so we retired exhausted to the flat and consumed vast quantities of pasta, my first italian food since coming to the country. That evening I left, passed through Milan, Chiasso, and arrived in Zurich, where I eventually found the youth hostel. I washed all my clothes, meaning I was wearing only my raincoat for a few hours, during which I also finished off my food. I decided to wash my socks separately to avoid smell moving across. I had only worn them since I left Russia. They turned the water black... yummo!
Then eventually my german friends arrived in dribs and drabs, all bringing lots of lovely food, cheer, and English that was better than mine! Scary.
We spent most of the time singing Serbian Orthodox Christmas masses (3 in all, although we missed the last one), but found a few moments to explore Zurich. The place was rather strange, like the rest of Europe, minus bombs in WW2. Like austria and germany very controlled. A bit like a giant open air prison, really. Except that the prison is in their minds... so it doesn´t have to be in mine.
Anyway, the singing was great. I was singing tenor the whole time, so rather tiring. The Serbian basses were quite amazing though, more than one could easily hit the deep A found in Rach´s requiem or whatever it is, and loudly too. Wow...
Lots of serbian bean soup too, which made for an exciting game of ´who farted´ in the rather rowdy choir stall. Lots of fun. Then into germany, where I will stay for a few days. Sleeping in a horizontal bed in Zurich was quite a treat, even tiring at first!
Hope everyone´s alright!
|Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007|
Today started at 4am when the lights in my bonnie compartment came on. This was the signal that cleaners were coming through, and sleep would not be had. No loss. I stumbed onto the platform, washed by a night of rain, and ate some brekky, unpacking my raincoat. At 6 I checked my bag at the station, and walked to the spanish steps via the trevi fountain. Due to the hour, I had them to myself! Past Augustus' mausoleum, the castel de St Angelo, to the Vatican. Checked out the basilica, sent a postcard, climbed to the top of the cupola. Barely a warm up compared to Vesuvius... only 511 steps, and thoroughly recommended. From there the queue for the Vatican museum was almost as long as my beard, so I took the metro to EUR and walked to the museum of roman civilisation, which had some excellent models, lots of busts of famous people, and some of the frescoes missing from Pompei! The 1:250 scale model of Constantine's Rome was in particular fantastic!
From there I splashed out and bought a mozzarella and prosciutto (priskita! ;)) sandwich, and caught the metro back to the coliseum. I tagged along with a tour there, and there was a really interesting exhibit on the Iliad with lots of ancient greek art, then the capitoline and the forum, where I finished off my bag of cornflakes (better dry than wet!). Then I continued my random perambulation of churches and other monuments, eventually coming to grips with the Piazza Venezia, which is rather grand!
Rome certainly wasn't built in a day!
Everytime I get news from home it's bad. Someone's died, broken a leg, crashed their car, gotten married - and worse! Take care of yourselves!
|Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007|
|News in Australia
I also heard the disapointing news that Saddam had been hanged. I'm interested to know how large a pay-rise the pollies voted themself at the time... anyone ever start at the back of the paper?
|Happy New Year!!!
Since the last post I saw the Amalfi coast, then returned to Rome. I wandered around looking for a free concert or a party or something, but couldn't find one. I went to the station and went to sleep in the train, but was awoken about 1 hour later by the cleaners doing their bit. Thankfully they didn't mind that I was there. I got up and wandered into the town again, reaching Piazza del Santa Maria Maggiore at about 11:45, and chilled as a young family with an encouragingly large collection of fireworks proceeded to form a small but vital part of a new years celebration that continued with 3d surround sound and light fireworks of all sizes, car alarms, a million bells, lots of Italians and their booze, a few random tourists who I chatted to about a day trip to Pompei, etc. Btw, I recommend Herculaneum instead.
Eventually went back to the station and slept until 3 am when intrepid neapolitans began boarding for that train trip (due to leave at about 6).
I took the train to the alban lakes and walked around there for a few hours, then I saw a Carravaggio exhibition which was a ripoff (4 paintings for 10E, that I talked down to 5). I then went to Ostia, but the ruins were closed today. I managed to hitchhike (!!!) to the main town, then went back to Rome. Internet tells me I no longer have to stretch 5 Euros for the next week, so I might go and eat some italian food instead of the usual imported chinese biscuits and water. I'm in an internet cafe where two american women have been writing an email detailing how 6 towels in a rented appartment wasn't adequate. I stopped short of offering to swap with them. I have a very small travel towel (essential, says Douglass Adams), but it's in no danger of being worn out, unlike everything else I have...
Rome for one more day! Tomorrow I will check my bag for the day to save me the trouble of carrying it around.
|Sunday, December 31st, 2006|
|Since last post - italian adventures
I took a train into Rome. I saw Sienna too. Rome was amazing. I found my Austrian friend's aunty's shop, which was good. That evening I confirmed that it is possible to sleep on trains due to leave the next day, and went to Napoli (though I got a little cold). Next day in Napoli, I took the line around to Pompei and saw the ruins, which were, basically, ruins. In the unexcavated parts are farms. At about 12:30pm I started walking, and by 4:30 after a few wrong turns and holes in fences had reached the tree line on Mt Vesuvius. It was rather cool, travelling through garbage infested urban fringes, superstar resorts, pine forests, denser forests. I at last found some clear space between some pine trees (on a very steep hill) and hung my hammock. Dinner of bread and salami, presliced! That night despite all my siberia cold gear, a heat pack and a space blanket I got pretty cold, and had to wake up every 20 minutes to shiver myself back to warmness. Luckily the night was about 15 hours long. The upshot of this was I got to watch the moon and stars and clouds wheel overhead, a few shooting stars, the lights and fireworks of the campanian coast, as all the boys wind up for new years.
Next morning I struck camp (leaving no rubbish, of course) and recommenced the climb - only 1 km to go. and 400 vertical metres of exposed scree. That is, loose rubble that forms landslides regularly! Rather challenging, it took 3 hours. At the top (1279m) there was and excellent, if slightly hazy view, and of course, the caldera, which was unlike anything else I've ever seen. I then walked back down the other side, which, being on the north face, was a bit icy on the roads... the cars were sliding around a bit. I also bumped into some people I'd met in Rome two days before on their way up! Lucky my bag only weighed about 15kg, and is a very good one!
The walk back down only took 3 or 4 hours, to Herculaneum, which I think was better than Pompei, more compact and more complete. Some frescoes and mozaics were still in place, and visible! Though how they'll excavate the parts under the modern town I don't know. More fireworks, and I took the train to Sorrento, where I found a youth hostel (euros or no euros, I want a horizontal night's sleep!)
Unsure of the future, must be in Zurich on the evening of the 5th, would like to see Amalfi, Ostia, Alban lakes, Rome, Assissi, Perugia, Pisa, and Turin! Should be possible!
I can think of only one thing comparible in wowness units to the last 48 hours, and that is my Austrian friend's command of English!
Thankyou to all the people who've helped me out along the way!
|Wednesday, December 27th, 2006|
Today the weather in Firenze was a little chilly but not a cloud in the probably overated Tuscan sky!
I visited many parts of the city, including the Uffizi Gallery (which had a section on Leonardo da Vinci) and the academy of Fine Arts, with David! Quite an interesting sculpture. I remembered it from my youth. Various other places to visit over the next week or so throughout Italia, so with me luck!
|Sunday, December 24th, 2006|
Arrived in Venice this morning, walked around and caught a ferry to Lido like a real pro. The place seemed kinda dead and full of overpaid unhappy tourists hating themselves because it was too cold and the place was full of frowning tourists and was dead, if you get my drift! But still cool despite that.
I caught a train in the evening to Verona, where I will spend Christmas.
To my thousands of devoted readers, MERRY CHRISTMAS and a happy new year. You know I love you all to bits, and that is very easy to do from the other side of the world.
Austria was great, I will say that I gained 2 kg on Christmas cookies! Yum!
|Wednesday, December 20th, 2006|
|Out of Russia
Managed to leave Russia with no hassle save finding a place in Vienna to change my emergency bribe money in Rubles back to Euros. Mistake to have brought it, especially when I found some more I didn't remember I had. Got an exchange rate of 53.0105, which is somewhat different from the rate of 35.00 or thereabouts offered in Russia. Ah well.
Unfortunately all flights out of Vienna to Australia are booked out for the right times, so I'm looking into alternatives...
Still, being in a place which lacks regular NDIs, but has laws against feeding pigeons, crossing the road, or abseiling in churches is interesting!
|Sunday, December 17th, 2006|
|Moscow to St Petersburg Highlights
Saw a few more of the vital sights in Moscow, and spent a lot of time wandering around lost. Good fun.
Met the LJ friends and had some tea and cake, very civilised, but it ran a bit late, the results of which was I had to run for an hour across Moscow to catch the train to St Petersburg, and I made it by about 5 seconds. Rather scary...
Awesome dreams on the train, and St Petersburg is amazing! Wow. I did the Hermitage today. Wow. My facial hair growth is credible in about 1 square cm.
I saw La Boheme last night, which was awesome (at the Marinsky). I had the worst seat in the hall, but I sat on the balcony instead, and got a good view!
Tomorrow night I will see Rigoletto, and tomorrow I'll continue my agressive leg training scheme by walking around St Petersburg some more, until my legs drop off. Or maybe I'll invest in a metro ticket.
Thus far have avoided major trouble, though stories abound. There is a piano at the hostel I am in, which is rather nice.
Thankyou to an anonymous benefactor for putting some of my photos online. They won't be there forever, so enjoy.
I reckon I'll fly back into Sydney and instantly ask around "where's the best hostel!"
No train, no Russian improvement, though. Ah well. Such is life. It wont be very useful to me in a few days. I attempted to buy an Italian English dictionary today, with limited success.
Weather here is sunny and patchy clouds. Everyone wants some snow to cool their tootsies and for pretty photos, but slush really isn't that cool.
I'll be thinking of HSCites on the 19th, I'm sure you'll all go great. That's fantastic but remember how irrelevant the marks become very soon! Ie, don't get too worried about it! There's more to life.
|Thursday, December 14th, 2006|
|Moscow day 2
Visited the Kremlin. Lots of bling!!! I think, however, that you can't measure a country by how many kms of borderline microscopic precious metal filigree it can roll out (or any of a million other rediculously, mind numbingly opulent treasures).
Red square was also good. St Basil's cathedral is very interesting - one of the few Russian churches who's design aethetic I find pleasing. The others often strike me as square!
The weather here is quite warm and nice.
I saw Hamlet this evening.
|Wednesday, December 13th, 2006|
|Moscow day 1
Last nights sleep was punctuated by snoring, crying, etc etc, as the fellow occupants of my carriage occupied themselves in chess, sleep, and other activities.
I arrived at Yaroslavl station early this morning, and spent the next 6 hours at least running around buying chocolate, attempting to get on the internet, finding accomodation, buying tickets for onward travel, and finally finding food, at 4pm! I ate an enormous pizza... mmm.
Moscow is amazing. It seems every building is either a bank or a metro entrance. And rather huge too. 8 degrees celcius and raining. I walked a long way today, maybe 20km. Walking is easy when the ground isn't icy and slippery! The Bolshoi theatre is closed for repairs, continuing my streak of rotten luck for opera!
This evening I saw a Hayden Mass and Mahler's 10th symphony at the Tchaikovsky conservatory, which was interesting. The vocal soloists were human! There's hope for me yet. Tomorrow night I will go to see Gamlet at the novaya opera - which should be wonderful. Don't forget the chinese cheapo binocs!
I shall attempt to meet some of Vlad's friends over the next few days. I'm thinking on Thursday some time, meet somewhere for tea/beer. Any favourite places?
|Saturday, December 9th, 2006|
After yesterday's post I caught the bus out to the Stolby and hiked about 15km through the snowy forests there, though the warm temperature and non water-proof shoes weren't the highlight. Again I forgot to take my walking pole, that might have been really useful.
I then spent a few hours spending rubles for hotels and tickets to Moscow, I leave tonight.
Then I went and watched the Siberian Dance Company's "Love Dream" at the Philharmonic. It was... amazing. Would you believe the opera house is closed for remodelling.
I met a lot of Americans (they come here to adopt), one of whom knew someone who studies flute at the Con, so I almost certainly know someone who knows her. After the dancing (wow) I met a young expat couple, linguists, who met in Russia doing what I'm doing. He's American, she's Swiss! They were in Yakutsk about 5 days ago, it was only -46C. Wow. They paid for my third all you can eat meal in one day, I suspect they found me rather entertaining. I mean, crazy Australian tourists covered in mud are rare at this time of year in the middle of Russia. They might know Alex Jones.
This afternoon I will go to the Egypt Styled Museum.
Here's a prose translation of something I did on the train (with the help of a Russian speaker).
ненавижу и люьлю. может быть спрашиваешь, почему? не знаю, но так чувствую и это меня мучает.
Many places in Russia have had a long and bloody history, but I think Yaketerinburg takes the cake! Named after the wife of some important politician and the patron saint of mining, said wife was rewarded with her lovers severed head to adorn her bedroom after her infidelity was discovered a year after the naming. In 1918ish the Bolsheviks shot the royal family there, (something which my Russian friends seemed to relish!) and in the 1990s there was a spate of Mafia killings. Lovely.
Speaking of dying, I came within about 2mm of being hit by a car crossing a road this afternoon. Funny that. I can travel all over the world, but wherever I go, gravity still points down and I'm still most likely to die on a road.
Apparently while writing this I missed a jet fighter aerobatics display, so consider my sacrifices here! Lol.
Going to Moscow this afternoon, wont be on interney until at least the 12th.
|Friday, December 8th, 2006|
For those of you who didn't realise, Poezd Nomer 351 in my case was a special platzcart service to Moscow on the Transib. But my travel companions were good and I thought a stoic approach was the best way to avoid having Fate smite me down. However by the fourth day of travel my russian had improved to the point where my companions were able to ask increasingly probing questions into my wealth and marital status - details I wasn't too keen to divulge, as two of them were returning soldiers, ie, penniless. Once I entertained the idea of stopping off at Kras (a centre for international adoption, it seems), I knew I couldn't not do it. At about the same time my companions brought out the beer, and although they bought my wallet saving excuse of 'gepatit' from a prawn in Vietnam, it wasn't that pleasant watching them consume about 3 litres each of beer, some of which found it's way onto things... I mean, I can have that at college.
I got off at Kras, it was warm, the station beautiful. A blustery southerly brought Freezing cold wind down across the wide yenisey, a mild -5degrees celcius. I attempted to bluff my way into a cheapie Russians only hostel and was soundly rebuffed. I didn't even get a niet! I was shown the door. Hotel Krasnoyarsk is ludicrously expensive, but I'll hack it.
Suggestions for cheaper accomodation/things to do welcomed. I'm going to see the Stolby later today. And the opera (Carmen) in a few days, if I'm lucky...
For some bizarre reason the clock here chimes the introductory bar of the Australian National Anthem plus the pedal note. Weird.
Current plans are to Moscow for a few days, then St Petersburg, then Vienna and seriously frugal living until I fly home sometime around the 10th of January!
I hope everyone at home is well, and gearing up for speech days etc.
|Saturday, December 2nd, 2006|
|Vladivostok day 2
Today I woke up, head buzzing from way too many dreams to fit into one fitful night's sleep. I dressed and headed to breakfast at Studio Cafe. A waiter there spoke some English (I had no concept previously of how bad people's English could be). Omelette and water. xorosho!
I then progressed to an bankomat (ATM) withdrew another kidney and proceeded to the train station, where a small session with my pocket dictionary and some deft copying of timetables had me succeeding in purchasing a ticket. On account of the novosibirsk opera season being over, and the weather and me being miserable I bought a direct ticket to Moscow, no 351 along the BAM. I haven't fully decoded my ticket, but I will soon. I leave tomorrow at 1:30 (LOCAL TIME!!!)
I walked up to the top of the hill near something or other, above the bay. Very good view, Vl. resplendent in morning sunlight. Some guy there from some distant city competing in a billiards comp! Saw the funicular railway and launched into a version of "mama, I like a little bit of pizza, on saturday night" to the appropriate tune. By this stage I was just sane enough to be able to sing - previously foodless irrationality and grief had rendered my vagus nerve rather vagrant.
I walked down to the Gorky theatre and attempted to decode the playbill with my pocket dictionary (with some success, I might add). A young girl there called Sonya (I love the way all the Russian girls names end in ya) took pity on me and revealed (much to her embarrassment) that her English wasn't as bad as my Russian.
We walked around the place, walking around a submarine, swapping stories etc. I eventually bought a matroshka doll, that reminds me perhaps of Russia - a bit hard on the outer shell, but there are bits inside, some persistence is required. In addition Sonya was the third Russian I have ever met who smiles. In Russia, that is. For some reason all expats smile all the time. I can't imagine why.
Later that afternoon I succeeded in buying some chocolate without using a single word of English. Da da da da da!
I walked around the waterfront (the sea frozen about 1cm thick in sheltered parts, a strong wind blew up nice whitecaps), and while singing "serenade" from student prince, a babushka mumbled xorosho! :) *strokes ego*, confirmed that no theatres had opera on tonight, and that my head is about 20% too large for the largest Ushanka (so perhaps you were right all along!). Lucky I have a nice beanie.
I bought a ticket to see James Bond, which was certainly interesting in Russian (no subtitles). I understood enough of it to get the general idea. Plot is hardly the strong point of James Bond at any point. The Opera principle of understanding came in handy here (for foreign languages) though the singing was certainly not the film's strong point. I felt the usage of dodgy shades at times to be distracting. After the film they cut the credits music :( BUM BUM da Bam! And outside the theatre, someone held the door open for me, instead of the other way around.
As for meals, I have eaten 3 of the last 3! *pats self on the back*. Now I need to find some nice dinner.
Interestingly, most of the 'useful' words I put on my sheet before I left are either useless or easily mimed/theatresported, so I haven't used it much.
Now I am partially regretting not stopping in Krasnoyarsk to perv on the stolby, however I am sure they are much nicer in Summer, so I will have to return.
I hope to plan to Iran soon (money being the main issue), as it's beauty/being fucked up by the USA soon halflife quotient is about 10^5 times higher than anywhere else!
To the people who offered help, THANKYOU so much! I feel all warm and fuzzy now! spasibo! Yes, I do read the comments.
Other observations. Pigeons, cats, horses, and ponies. I mean, it's damn cold here. Maybe 0 degrees sometimes. Anyway, I'm due in Moscow on the 10th, Visa expires on the 20th, which leaves a generous (by my standards) 10 days to explore Moscow, St Petersburg, and get to Sochi to cross into Turkey.
I have also got an offer to sing in a Christmas choir on the 5th of January, so here's hoping money/fat reserves last that long!
So far my excuse of 'gepatit' to avoid being totally wasted has worked rather well.
|Friday, December 1st, 2006|
|Vladivostok from the border
Took a train to Harbin, which was a bit too warm. In Harbin it was freezing, slipped around on the pavement for a few hours, eventually found a bus to 'vladivostok', handed over 250 yuan, (have about 120 left).
Eventually arrived at Suifinhe (via a taxi), booked into a hotel after about 1 hour of deliberations in no language known to man. It's a worry when the best language for communication with the chinese is Russian, of which y menya nemnogo russki yazik! Ie, I don't speak it at all!
Next morning tried to take money out, no can do. Changed 50US of emergency money, caught a bus to Ussurisk. At the border, the Russians checked every inch of the bus (even under it), and the booths had mirrors, so the official could see down our backs. Managed to get in, changed some money to Rubles (at a fairly rip off rate). Have 860 Rubles. Bus to Ussurisk. Which is a hole. Took a taxi to train station, no train until 8pm (this worked out after a 1 hour queue), took a taxi back to the bus station (vokzal avtobus). 200rubles spent. 150 rubles got me in a van going to Vladivostok, which stopped at the bus station 1 hour later. Then 500 Rubles for a taxi through peak hour to the poezd (train) station. Now have 10 rubles left (about 30c Australian) and no guarantee my cards will work. I find the bank, and the ATM says "exceeded daily limit". As izvestia says, SHIT. Then someone explains in a language unknown to man that the daily limit is 2000. So I take out 2000, and walk to the cheapo hotel recommended in the (I realise) 5 years out of date and largely useless LP guide. Book a 8 buck room for 1100 rubles (about 42US), go to dinner (have something like Lasagne), second meal in 3 days, then find an internet cafe. Inside is too hot, outside is too cold. Noone smiles, there are no tourists in my position, all the young pretty women have tarty makeup and smoke and drink and have herpes, all the women over 30 look like they are wearing 6 coats instead of 1, and that's not even getting onto the men.
Tonight I will see if I can find the James Bond film at Kino theatres.
On the other hand, Vladivostok is beautiful in the 7 hours of daylight it gets at this time of year (but not for its architecture), and there are enough very helpful people to make it worthwhile.
That's not even counting UVIR office registration. ARGH!
Have fun in warm, sunny, free Australia, where if the trains run late, at least the guard MIGHT speak English!
|Wednesday, November 29th, 2006|
Flew to Beijing. Saw heaps of cool stuff, very Chinese. Rather cold. Caught up with Lucy. Saw the forbidden city, the temple of good harvest, and walked 12kms along the great wall of China. Rather tiring.
I leave tomorrow for Harbin. Should be a party. Minus 20 they say.
Beijing is kinda like sucking on an exhaust pipe in a Maths tutorial, in reference to air quality and most common dialects.
Lots of fun bargaining. It's the travel part that is expensive!
Anyone want to keep me out of Australia! DONATE here... lol.
Woah. Must sleep!
Hope everyone who has no life is studying hard! (It is a small consolation).
|Thursday, November 23rd, 2006|
Took a soft seat train for 29 hours, (ie economy class style) to Hanoi. Interesting trip. Somewhat dodgy. Met some interesting people. In Hanoi, saw lakes, more chinese looking people, interesting morning exercises, very flashy and largely useless currency. I went to the opera house, but I couldn't get in. Begged, bribed, still no luck. I'll have to take a leaf out of vdinet's book and go in the dead of night...
Off to Beijing tomorrow - it's a bit of a rush.
|Tuesday, November 21st, 2006|
|LJ Update Number 1
Sydney KLA Saigon. Saigon is very interesting. I think it's cleanest areas (around the old town) are only about 10 times dirtier than Vienna's dodgiest areas. Wiring is very interesting, as is the eb and flow of traffic at intersections. Lots of fun, quite warm. Pictures may get added here if I ever work out how to do so.
|Monday, October 2nd, 2006|