Wednesday, January 10, 2007

travels with v

It was strange to see v at the airport when I went to pick her up. Waiting expectantly in the arrivals hall, the door periodically opening with showers of people as planes landed. The arrivals board indicated that her flight had landed and that the passengers were awaiting the baggage, five minutes after the board revealed that baggage was available then the doors opened with v at the healm. It'd been about 6 months since I'd last seen her, and now in 3D, which is far better than the small 2D screen of the webcam that had been our means of communication. I was really pleased to see her again.
We exchanged presents and spent a few days around sheffield, meeting friends and family and also going to see a few movies. The bizarre, Perfume: the story of a murderer, directed by Tom Tykwer of Run Lola Run fame. A stroy line so strange and twisted that it left you leaving perplexed. However it was infinately better than the dire the holiday, reminding me why I detest romantic comedies that are neither romantic or funny. When was the last time that Surrey experienced significant snowfall between christmas and new year? Still it amused v that I would be willing to accompany her to such a film.
pragueWe spent a few days of the new year in Prague, which is a very pretty and quaint city. It wasn't too cold, but an icy wind made it feel very chilly as we wandered around the city. Public transport from the hostel to the city was cheap and efficient. We saw many of the historical sites, churches that looked like something from Gormenghast, interior decor that, though beautiful, often lifted high some man or other, often some saint or bishop and sometimes in a pose that was quite oppressive, eg standing on top of someone. I find this style frustrating, male and power centric, detracting from my understanding of my christian faith. The changing of the guards was long and dull with few choreographed moves, I'd have preferred some mock sword fights at least! All backed by a brass band leaning out of windows playing a tune similar to the Thunderbirds theme, but in a different key.
We did enjoy a stringed performance of Vivaldi and Mozart, there was some violin maestro dude who was very good and we applauded heartily at the end. He bowed and left the stage, we continued the applause and the backing string players took a bow and left. We continued clapping and the maestro dude re-entered, excellent an encore I thought, but alas, he had returned merely to hold aloft his violin and take a further bow. It's not like going to gigs!
Food and drink was very cheap provided you kept away from the touristy areas, though both me and v felt that czech food left little to be desired. Little wonder there aren't chains of czech restaurants outside bohemia! We did find this lovely tea house where we spent some time drinking strange asian teas and doing sudoku.
slideAfter Prague we went to London for a night for my friends 30th bday, travelled by coach which cost us less than a return to town on the tram! Great to see my friend and also to have a day to spend in london. We visited the tate modern and enjoyed the slide installation, riding the larger slides, which I actually found quite scary with the fast twist and turns. Also amused by Merde d'Artiste and other works on display. One of my favourite museums. Had lunch in London's longest bar near paddington station, then to Harrods, then straight out of Harrods as we could barely move through the hoardes of shoppers. A quick view around the science museum before some yo sushi and the coach home.
Prague photo set
London photo set

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