Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Alva - The day after boxing day.

Christmas was spent at Tom and Shenea at Ecclesmachan. Near Edinburgh, also near a place with wonderful imaginative name of threemiletwon. All one word, must be populated by Germans.
It was good to relax after finishing the articles on Edinburgh walks. I took a rest from it 1am on Christmas, and the woke up 5am to finish it for 7am. Sending it off. Then caught 2 hours sleep before getting up. Why do I always end up work late when I have things to do the next day. Time management issue maybe. Will start researching the article on Roppongi, Tokyo. How they developers are moving in and gentrifying the area.
It was good to talk with close relatives, the Kindlen clan do so few clan gathers. Well none, keeping ourselves to ourselves, end result is who Am I.
The Champagne went down a treat, even my mum drinking a "wee" bit of Champers and red wine.
All five of us had fun, pulling crackers, chatting, wearing silly hats. Same picture repeated up and down the land.
Around 11pm I started to feel tired, having worked late. So I tired and left them to it. Should that not be the other way round.
What presents did I get. Three boxes of chocolates. Did I not say that I was on a diet?
Tom and Shena interesting people involved with pharamkology and biology. Talking about dieases and health and such things. Not exactly the topic for a season of joy.
Still running in the morning. Strange there is no pain. I must have been so unfit when I returned from Tokyo. Need to check out when Yoga starts again.
Thanks you for the hello. My mum and dad say hello back.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Alva - The Day before Christmas

I Am running again. First day was yesterday. No pain. Bounced out the door and up the road. It is dark in the morning, and cold. Good to be running again. The air is so fresh here. Running along the back road towards Menstrie, passing the highland cows. Such a good way to start the day. Well I wanted to start running on Thursday the day I got back but my training shoes could not be found. Not a good way to start the day. So I went for a walk instead up to the woodland park. I took the, Leica 2dlux to along with me to capture the winter morning. I wish I had the Canon SLR with me, I so loved the photographs I could take with that camera and the 50mm lens. Shame it has been lost.
Posted photographs of Edinburgh on , under SiPeKi. Check them out. The photographs are to go along with the piece for Escape Magazine. I Am re-writ ting that piece to focus more on the walks. It was to general for there needs.
Need to get back to work and finish this travel article.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

ALVA - Reset, where next?

Woke up this morning to the red sun. Just like the Japanese flag. The sun rose and then was blocked by the clouds.
Back to the rest, where it all started.
Next I plan to go to Brasil.
In the meantime I will rewrite my travel article. They want a more focused article.
Also need a more structured day. So will start running again.
Also do post blog on my travels in Tokyo and Singapore. 3 weeks slipped past.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Edinburgh - waiting on the train.

Back in Scotland. Just touched down. Waiting on the train to take me to Stirling. Then onto A-L-V-A. It was great seeing everyone again. Love you all. Jesus a man just puked behind me, just missing me! Welcome back, I guess.
BTW This my blog I do not take kindly to other people posting. There is always photoshop!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Tokyo - Back in the big Mikan

Waiting for the train to Edinburgh this young woman came skipping down the platform, like some fairy. Smiling away and stopped right next too me. She asked me when the next train was I said in a couple of minutes. Oh good she said as she just missed the last one and went to the bar to wait. I could tell she had missed more than a few trains by the smell of the beastly booze. Then she told me she loved Stirling people so much nicer that Edinburgh. The reason for her visit to Stirling was that she had a court case today that had been adjourned. She introduced her self and Angela, like an Angel. Then came the story of her life. Basically a victim of life. Men are had been bad to her which lead to a series of events that lead to her being in Striling today. This made me wary of getting involved. I want to get to Edinburgh and then catch the plane. Life for this person seemed not to be so simple, and who knows what would have happened. I thought great what a start to my trip back to Tokyo. I meet the a real life character from "Trainspotting". I was polite to her, as people need to be shown that there are good people in the world. No need to be rude to her. Anyway the train pulled in, we got on the train. She went to her carriage and I went to mine. We said good by, and maybe one day we will meet.

The flight to Paris was not with out event. I could feel some tight pain in my chest, and air seemed cloudy. I thought my eyes had been affected. No smell though. Then we landed in Paris, and the plane taxied very quickly to a stop. Turning corners tightly. Then they announced that there was smoke in the cabin and the fire brigade had been called out. Minutes latter the plane was surrounded by fire engines. No one panicked. Firemen came on board with breathing apparatus. Surprising we all sat there asking no questions. Then a bus came to take us off the plane to the airport. That was the end of that. Who knows how close we were to a disaster. I Am kind of worried about the pain in my chest. Which went away after getting off the plane but woke me up today. That is why I am typing this 6am in the morning. I hope its just some cold thing. The day before I could not sleep because of back pains. I think this is due to drink.

The flight form Edinburgh to Paris, apart from the near miss on being BBQ, and Paris to Tokyo was good. Service was good, food was great, and seat comfortable. Also they give out Champers in Economy. Great! Looked down on Siberia and sow these large fires burnimg away. They must be burning of the gas. Looks like massive bomfire parties going on. Arrival in Narita was smooth. Hired a phone and made my way by bus to Tokyo. The bus dropped me off at T-Car.

Robert picked me up in his new toy. Dropped my bags off and then went for Sushi.

The view from the guest apartment was amazing.

As usual Japanese tv did not let me down. Interview witha a monkey.
At the time of writing I do not have my PC connected to the internet. So will download the pictures when I do.
The next day, feeling full of the joys of life I moved my stuff to Mateen and Angelika home in Minami Azubu. I like Azubu, one of the places I want to live. Angelika was working, so I walked to her work place in Shibuya to say hello. Where I met up with Gary. So me and Angelika listened to Gary and what he has been up to and plans to do. Will catch up with Angelika later in the day.

In the evening went to meet Martin. Went to the outback in Roppongi. That is when I carshed landed into Tokyo. As usual binge drinking, and a very late night that did not stop until 1pm Saturday. There is no leaving Tokyo with out a sore head.
Have been hanging out with Elena. Which as been good.

Did some shopping.
I need to get this piece for Escape done on Edinburgh. I need to write from memory as have left most of my notes in Alva. I might have placed them next to the suite case but forgot to pick them up. Bummer, but it must be done. Maybe that is causing the pain in my chest. Stress levels become relative.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Alva - The night before Tokyo

Packed my bags, ready to go. Strange though as usualy it takes me all night to pack my stuff. Must be getting good at it. Anyway packed 21 pairs of underpants, fed up buy new underwear.

Tommorow catch the bus at the bottom of the road around 2:00pm, then catch a train around 2:30pm from Stirling to Ediburgh. Then I catch another bus that goes to the airport. Then a plane to France, Paris 18:15. Then Paris 11:30 to Tokyo. Plane gets into Tokyo around 7pm. Then I will get the orange bus to Tokyo. Then I will have a cooling glass of Asahi. Ah back in Tokyo.

As requested a picture of my parents home.

The other week I was in Gothenburg. Visiting my Swedish and Brazilian friends Martin and Fabi. Thank you guys for a great time. Relay enjoyed myself.

Go and check out Sweden, it has a pace off its own. Laid backed people. Chill! Blonde, as expected, but not as tall as Denmark.

When I come back I will need to get my shit toegther. Maybe Viral advertising is the way forward. Let the target do the work.

When in Tokyo I will try and update this blog more offten. I seem to spend my time planning rather than doing, more than just being lazy.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Alva - Scottish National Party campaign Start for MSP

Checking out flights for Tokyo this week. I want to fly back on the 20th of December, for some reason the BA charge 1880 punds for fling back on that date, al other dates are normal price. I wonder why that date. Anyway soon it will be too expesive to fly.

Tonight was the campaign start for Scottish parliment, election day May 2007. Same old faces around, must have been 20 odd years since I last sow them. How distant I felt from it all. Comparing life here and life in Tokyo. The time has come for Scotland to take back its nation hood. My parents have dedicated most of their life to the SNP. It will be good that they see the change in teir life time.

I need to get under that sun lamp. I can feel the lack of sunshine affecting me.
The weather was amazing yesterday. Went for a walk. Some great photographs. Pitty I only had my camera phone with me. Enjoy.

Saki is up from London on Saturday. Oddbins is have a wine tasting Murrayfield. So I will be away in Edinburg for the weekend.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Alva - Stories of Portugal

Great to see the return of my pictures.
The last two weeks I was away in Portugal. Down the Algarve with Ma and Pa. The weather could have been better. Rained every day but at least the sun comes out to play at least at the end of the rain.
Flew into Faro and the drove to a place near Lux, west of Faro, down the A22.
Parents relaxed, I relaxed. Taking day trips, by car, around the area.
I was away from the internet for 2 weeks. Loathed to us my vodafone, since the last bill was 700 pounds. Still to write that letter. Rip of Britain. Anyway that is in the past.
Feel quite fustrated with life. Things seem to pile up, nothing seems to get done. I get up early in the morning to get things done, and something else stops the closer of tasks. Makes my head hurt and brings back the anger.
Back to the yoga, hopefully will sort it all out.
So I need to write that piece for Escape Magazine on City Break, nature escape. Also sort out my visa so I can get the NI back.
Plan to return to Tokyo at the end of November, for 3 weeks. So I can keep my stuff in storage. 6 months past, and no further forward with finding myself. To much thinking. Despite this I still feel positive about the future.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Alva - DIY and Ozone layer

As I sand and varnish the 130 year pew that mum and dad had bought for 10 pounds sterling I start to think about the ozone. How DIY is damaging the ozone layer, making the whole bigger. Paint and related chemicals are now rated. Informing us how damaging the product is to the ozone hole. So should we never paint or varnish ever again and let things rot? Then if they rot we need buy new. Then the transport used to get the new bench, door, window will cause a whole in the ozone. Seems we are in a no win situation. Things are getting so close to the edge that we now have to start considering doing only essential repairs. How things have changed in the last 10 years. It is like I have been on a different planet not 6000 miles away. As flying and the ozone affect of paint does not seem to be considered in Japan. I can see a day coming soon where just like now people are encouraged only to make essential journeys the same will apply for DIY. Any way I do I little bit by using the bus as much as possible.
Yoga today. Bowels let me down, farted during a quite period. These things are expected when you are bent double.

They are going to replace the my old school, Alva Academy. All the financing was planned. Then the rolling party changed for the area. Labour got in. Scrapped the trust funding for the school, changed the funding to PFI. I think its called PFI. This funding is more expensive to administrate. So less money to spend on the school. So class rooms are smaller and no swimming pool. So they will move from a school with a pool to one with out. Surely someone could make a legal challenge to such a change. The reason for the funding change was it was Labour party policy. Class rooms are smaller because of Labour party policy. Makes you sick.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Alva - Fun guys in the garden

Now that is what I call boring. It must be the easiest job in the world to write for these magazines. I ask you who is interested in what Posh thinks about David's hair. Did they managed to fill 1 page, 2 pages about it. Someone must be laughing. The poor plebs that buy this magazine. It is all just to sell advertising. What ever next a magazine about your next door neighbours because that is what its reporting. People start to think they know these people, just like they are next door neighbours.
Quiz telephone tv shows. ITV Play made 9 million in 6 months of broadcasting. People pay 75pence in the hope they get on air to give a answer to a question. Even if they do not get on air they pay 75. Easy money. Seemingly it is all going to come to a end when it gets properly regulated. The shows are more boring than these gossip magazines.
Felt nervous about the future tonight. I tend to feel less confident and nervous about the future after the sun has set. Even if ma and pa do not want to use the britebox I should start.

Found some fun guys in the front garden. So many mushrooms around. Should pick some and put in my cooking.
I have so much to be getting on with. I should be getting on with it. Instead I dream about the possibilities.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Alva - Bad ankle day

Just as I was getting into some routine with the running my ankle starts to give me issues. So did not run today. Kind of feel tense due to not runing.
Head feels dazed and confused. Special at night I feel more emtional.
Might go up to Inverness thsi weekend. The quikest expanding town/city in Europe. Up there with Cork.
Since being back I have noticed that there is more money. Either you drive a small new car or a large new car. Gone are the days of the family saloon. As every where SUV are mainly driven by women. They think they are safer but actualy they are not. High sided vehicles can fall over easier.
My the Canoon scanner arrived to day, 9950F. So I can start scanning all the tickets and odds and ends from my spanish trip and creat a collage of it all. The OCR function of the scanner is really useful. Special for turning news paper articles from paper to a text document.
Dad is a lot better today. He stopped using the britebox that I bought. The britebox was menat to help in the winetr months with SAD. This was due to epilepsy, People whoo have had epilepsy should not use the box. So he stoppd using. Dad seems used to me being around now. So does not get so streessed about the way I can affect his routine.
To be bi-polar seems to be the in thing. Suddenly anyone who is anyone in the entertainment industry has it. Its the mark of being artistic.
Elena sent me a message to me today, " I should learn to speak". That was it. Tell me something new.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Alva - pole to pole

No great adventures today. Picture is not off Alva but Stirling, high street.

Dad seems to getting used to me being around. At first it disrupted his routine, me coming down from no where. As I said before there is nothing wrong with his mind and intellect but I can see that he likes routine. It is difficult for me to say what changes have occurred, as I have been away. There are somethings missing from his personality but not to the level off most stroke victims. When he gets tired I can empathize with him, some days I feel so tired that all I want to do is to crash out. If I feel like that now, what will I be like at my dads age. You will find me staring at blank walls, dribbling. Saying "I will do it today". Connection between between us is building.

Everyone I meet I want to hug. I think this is due to lack of intemecy with a MOTOS. I thought I was handling it well, but the cracks are starting to show. Hormones feel low though, no feeling of drive.

The spell checker is so shit for writely, come on pay the money and buy decent dictionary. Also I keep jumping word, thinking I typed them but it was all in my head. My word blindness us getting worse, and also the weird word association that goes on when I subconsciously change words. Instead of typing "a word" I typed "about".

Watched a documentary about Courney Love. Where some guys follows her around for a month or so. The kind of show that usually shows the subject of the program in a bad light. Mad person, distrubed, I prefer mad people to any other sort of person. I bet most bi-polar people have high IQ rates. The only thing stops me being crazy is not believing in myself. The time I do my most crazy stuff is when I feel over confident. Other wise I just stay in my corner. Viewing it all.

Ordered speakers today for the MAc. This is for the small studio I want to build and then make music from. Starting simple, end big.

I have not had a drink now for two weeks come Sunday. Good for me.

Sent a eMail to GP talking about HK.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Alva - Total exposure and the joys of indoor skiing

Starting to formulate plans of working in HK. Still in a state of limbo what I want to do. My desire is enjoy my work time, and be happy with what I produce. Not wanting to be a member of the prolateriate. I also want to do something quite different from what I was doing in Japan. Freedom to express myself and be creative. Always felt that If I was truly to succeed I need to do something artistic. Programming is a creative process but confined. Confined to what the OS and language of what the machine understands. Anyway I would love to write, produce something, make a LP, shoot a feature, take a snap. Just mix it all up with the technology. So I have these thoughts in my head but no real way to turn then into a career a wau forward. Then last week I was running along the road think about HK, how the people there seem so busy but enjoy life. Active. Then I got to thinking what if I helped out these people. Working with them, ghosting. Then see what I liked and then pick that as a career option. So I fired off a eMail to TH in HK asking him what he thought of the idea. The idea being that I will work , help out EH and GP. I would work for free while I found my niche. As always TH is so suportive, and puts me in connact with GP. So I need to clarify my thoughts and put it in a eMail to GP.
Fitness assessment today. Basically what happened they measured me and asked me what I wanted to achieve. Then they worked out what fitness regime I should do. Next I was shown how to use the machines. They are the same machines I used in Japan. In Japan the staff were to scared to tell me how to use them. So I have a greater understanding on how to get the most from my work out. Which I want to do, and improve my energy levels. My favorite machine is the Scandic skiing machine. Nothing better than putting on some great mix and jump on the Scandic skiing machine. The feeling can be quite euphoric when you feel the blood flowing through your body. So for 2 days a week I will head up to Stirling uni and do my work out. The picture was taken today around the campus. Can you imagine coming from a city or arid Spain, find yourself learning in such an environment. You head would be a buzz with ideas and dreams. Then the Scottish winter would take affect.....
Wasted time in front off the TV tonight. I like the concept of E4+1 , which is the same as E4 but an hour later. Solves the problem off always turning on the telly at the end of something that looked good.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Alva - Yoga

Today I felt so hyper at the end of the day. Could this be related to Yoga treatment, or the pain killers I took for the laser treatment.
I leave the laser treatment to your very own imagination.
Yoga was good. All that stretching, and feeling the blood move around. Very practical instructor, no introduction just straight into it. Would have been nice to know her back ground, and how she got into it. I guess but by bit we will find out. Special when we go on that bender ( drinking session) on our last lesson.
Then at the end of the night, time to go to bed, I started to feel apprehensive about the things to be done tomorrow. Small things that need to be done. This is why I always like to keep my plate clear. Do not like things hanging around in the back of my mind. It is these little things that clog up your clarity of thought. A little task becomes something unmanageable in my head. Like carrying a balloon full of water on a severing spoon.
Tomorrow I will have my health check up at the local gym, at Stirling university. Where they will create a fitness program for me. So once I return to that big bad world I should be big and strong.
I need to create a rythm in my life. Its the only way to move forward.The rythm builds up momentum, and pushes you through.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Alva - Enough of the procrastination

Since reaching London I have be in recovery mode. I had so many interesting things to write to you about, you being the collective you. Who ever you are its you that I Am talking to at this moment. Instead of writing I procrastinated to myself and others that I would get on line and start bloging again.
Do not think that I have been doing nothing. I would be a very good at being filthy rich. I never get bored by anything, can always find something to think about doing.
It has been great being back with my parents. Hanging out together. Mum and Dad have been going through a bad patch health wise. Well dad has been in a bad patch for around 15 years. It all started with ME when he was working. Woke up one day and could not get out of bed for 6 months. Took that long to get better. Never fully recovered and so took early retirement. Then 4 years ago had a stroke/fit due to osteoporosis. Which knocked dad side ways for a while. He is better now but tiredness comes in waves. Tonight near the end of dinner I turned to talk to him. He was sitting there head bowed, deflated. Voice small, child like, confused. Makes me tearful think about it now. Dad's Memory is slightly muddled but his brain is still working. Doing the crossword in the morning paper. As you can imagine this has affected my mum. She suffers from irritable bowel syndrome. This means the bowel does not function as it should. The week before mum wassuffering from gastroenteritis. She could not keep food down for two days. Her body was rejecting food. Mum has not much fat on her, every day she can not eat takes a lot out of her. Maybe I Am painting a bad imagine in your head about their life. They enjoy life, take pleasure in each other and life around them. I Am glad to have theopportunity to share our time together. Also should I be writing about such deeply personnel matters.

So here I Am back on the blog. Getting back to you, it is kind of strange writing a blog, when you have no particular audience or agenda. It is like a combination of whistling in the wind and screaming in space. Why are you doing it and no one can hear you. One day the wind might stop and back to earth I come.
I have been composing today's posting on On Line word processor. Great tool but the spell checker is not that hot. Red line under blog telling me it is a spelling mistake. I need a good spell checker, trust me.
So for today I sign off. Monday is my first yoga day.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

London - Hamstead on the top of London

Clambered onto the roof of Christain's (aka Justino/Sir!) house. What an amazing view off London. His house is very tasteful done as well, what we would expect of someone with such taste. References to Japan/Tokyo there for the knowing eye to register.

Lazy day today.

Walked around the area. Walked down to Camden Market. Quickly looked around then strolled back home.

Living in Tokyo, is like living in a bubble. Special if you do not understand the language. You can switch off so easily from immediate surroundings and be last in thought. No distraction from over head conversations. So you experience audio and visual over load being back in a English speaking country. Unbalances yourself, not used to be able to process what people are saying without having to tune in. Scrap book of conversations you hear as you walk down the road, still in you bubble but the skin no longer blocks the out the outside. The bubble acts as a receiver, amplifying everything around. Like the feeling we all have felt, that one going from a cool dark empty room, peaceful , no distractions and then into a busy street during the day , everything fades to white at first then the heat hits you and then confusion and distraction off it all. Trying to find your barings, your place, where are the steps.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

London - Hamstead Cafe rouge

Arrived at Hamstead bank card does not work and no answer from Sir! Anyway have a glass of red and no where to go.

Paris - Chez Papa

No not lunch with the president of Iran but with my good friend Regis from my Tokyo days. We talked about how things have changed in europe in the 10 years away. The feeling of being Am a outsider, the class system in France that no one talks about (so many upper class people in France), how France will implode and a 69th republic will be born. Now on the the Eurostar heading towards London.

Paris - Rainy day

In a hurry need to check out, dump my bags at Station Nord and then meet up with Regis, old friend from Tokyo. Then catch the Eurostart back to Blighty.

Yeserday was a wash out, heavy rain when I left the hotel, so grab a paper, and had some lunch. Rain had turned into drizzle by then so headed towards the the Eiifel tower. ON the way I sow a guy kite boarding in a park right next to a busy road. I wonder if he thought what would happen if a gust of wind had picked him up and dumped him on the road.

After standing under the Eiffel tower, walked back to the hotel. Around the Eiffel tower are all these soldiers with big guns.

Another good dinner. Bottle of wine was off. At forst I thought it was me, and it should taste that way but now it was off.

Nothing of interest, as it was a perssonel experience just walking around taking it all in. Cities are great for doing nothing in, and just for taking a random walk.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Paris - Hotel room of Crystal

So here I am in Paris. Sitting in a room that is not far removed from a bedsit not a hotel room, doing a blog. Hotel Crystal in Paris. I should be out drinking in the city, but I can do that anytime in the next 24 hours. Breakfast was a joke. Went down for breakfast, couple jammed right up against the table where the muesli was, no one else and nothing else. Is that all there is? Went back up to the front desk, told them that there was not much for breakfast. The place looked cleaned out, the special fridge for yogurts cleaned out and coffee pots emptied. He said someone should be down there. So I stomped down the stairs again. Out pops two women one large short middle aged woman and one tall and slim and beautiful young woman, both at different ends of the spectrum of femaleness. Looked like some comedy act from a black and white movie. Anyway I get my breakfast, croissant, un baguette , cafe noir. Oh yes Coffee is ok now, coffee does not dehydrate you. Seemingly just a food scare story, based on no facts. So drink your coffee and feel good about it. Just looked out the window (this minute), and its raining. Its been raining everyday now since I left Spain, which is two days. Bummer.
After my dinner last night which was very tasty, and I take back everything I said about French food just being about the sauce and losing the taste of meat or fish. The Mozzarella and tomato I had was just perfect. The cheese was not bitter, so it was fresh, and soft. No slight burning sensation on the tongue. They had blanched the tomato, to remove the skin, great idea. Actual I am sure I have seen or read that some where else, I Am talking about the tomato.

Makes up for not being able to go to Italy, Naples and taste the Mozzarella straight from the buffalo. Such a shame not being able to Nip across to Naples. After the meal I walked around the area, trying not to get lost. The hotel is just off St. Germain Bolavard, rive gauche (left bank). Passing woman says Bonsoir to me. Yes to Simon from the box. Must be those new glasses I bought in HK, gives me the aura of a thinker and do'er. Women in other cities never go around saying good evening to strangers in the street. No she was not one of 'those' women. Anyway this a city I must come back to again and again.
I am still having probelms with my Vodafone eMail account. San not login. Some server issue. Can not login on my phone or the web site. Such a pain, and so expensive.
Time to go out and say Bonjour to the rest of Paris.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Paris - Le Bilboquet 'jazz club st. Germain'

Right to the heart of the matter. Quite a step from Josef cafe to this place. Hotel crystal is far from crystal clear. 3 Star make that -3 Star. Anyway I Am not here to lounge at the hotel. Here to be part of it all. In St Germain you dine not on the street. Which I do. Other cities have just been large towns, this is a capital city, not France but a place of its own.

Hendaye - Rainy day in France

Arrived 5 hours early for the train. Police stosped me and asked for my passport. Nothing to do with the north African next to me. Few minutes later they came cal and asked to see my passport again. He wanted to show his fellow officer my passport. First time they had seen a biometric one. Went across from the station to the brasserie. Josef was his name who ran the bar. This was not your Aux Beauchanals, no play ground of the gods. I asked for ravoli, Josef said nune. Steak frites, qui. The charters of the town dropping by to keep Josef and myself entertained. Well that was 30 taken care off. Only another 2 to go.

Bilbao - bus station

Early morning start, up at 5:30. Catching the #1 bus to Hendaye where I get the 1408 TGV to Paris. Taking about over 5 hours. The train will travel along the track that the French brock the speed record on, Atlantic track.

Bilbao - Guggenheim

After all the port Gothic cities now a post industral city. The usual redevelopment along the dock lands. Open spaces to walk along, where the city can spend time together. In this area of renewel is the Guggenheim art gallery. Where audio guide introduces the building, asking you to stroke the sides, respond to the visual emotion the structure invokes. I like museums. Safe, nothing else to be lost taking it all in, the outside is outside and you are in. No distraction. Did not have time to check everything out. So I checked out the exhibition 'Russia!'. Art work from Icon art used in the Russian orthodox religion to present day modern art. Really thought provoking. if you have time check it out.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bilbao - Hotel Petit Palace Arana

First posting from my laptop (Sony Viao VGN-TX27GP, see now they have brought out TX37 with new intel cpu solo, oh hum). All other postings have been from SE k800i phone. Which I hate except for the camera. Buggy and slow, and vodafone price structure is day light robbery. Why can SE Japan AU make a better phone than SE World Vodafone, because they can.
A joke before I forget:

What do you call a black Pilot?
A pilot, you racist!

The journey from Savilla to Madrid was uneventful, as travel should be but not good for the blog. The same goes fro Sevilla to Bilbao. The talgo. Which a slow express train that chugs along and gets you there. Scenery out off the window reminded me of low land Scotland, except it was not raining. The rail system seems to have been rebuilt from scratch, nothing looks older that a couple of years. No delays, just a straight line to Bilbao. Stopping off at unannounced stations. When it comes to information the Spanish rail system likes to keep you guessing. Not as bad as the time 13 years ago when I got a train from Barcelona to the east coast. Nothing was said at each station, and the stations had no names. Felt very eerie, pulling into stations with no names, and most of the places had nothing but the station. Ima sure I could distant cow bells in the distance, and stampeding cattle. Anyway when I arrived in Bilbao it was party time. It was like all the spanish students usually roam the streets of Europe and all flown back to Spain for one grand meeting. All with their Don Simon vino tinto and 2 litre Coca Cola bottles, standard issue for any young person in Spain. No taxi's were available, the streets around the station were blocked off. I asked a policeman how to find my hotel ( booked through He gave me directions, simple enough walk down the road and across the bridge. People were walking in the same direction as me. The time I reached the bridge, it was blocked by people, then the fireworks started.

So there I am stuck on the wrong side of Bilbao with my heavy rucksack , and smaller ruck sack, sweating away. Great I thought, no way I am going to make it past these people. So waited for the fireworks to end, thank good they are not as rich as the Japanese, half an hour later.

Crowds cleared and I could pass. The hotel was in the centre off town, so was everyone from the Bilbao. The map I had was crap, as usual. I asked a couple of people they had no idea, one woman walking her dog could not read the map or my address and had no idea. So I phoned the hotel, why did I not do that earlier. I asked for directions, they said they could not give me directions. Just kept saying no. I aksed them how the hell they get to work then? and put the phone down.

Evetualy lady luck gave me a break. I asked a couple dressed in blue for help. They walked me to the street. They told me that today was a party for the people of Basque, part of 9 days of parties.

(Very genki couple, broken English but I understood them. As usual in this part of Spain very nationalistic. He was pissed off that they did not have a national team for football, like Scotland. He kept saying GB out when I was taking the photo, hence the gesture. I told them about my travels in Spain, they love Sevilla, special as the beer is cheaper. They will visit good friends in Sevilla for Christmas.)

Took me three hours to find the hotel. Crashed out on the bed straight away. I am off now to check out the rest of the city, I think I sow most off it last night as a tramped around in dispear swearing at the crow. Guggenheim Museum and the state of the art metro system, that is what the guide says I should check out.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Madrid - Atocha station

Cheripaha one of the few words I know in Russian, turtles. Supply spelt wrong. In the huge green house at the station there is a pond full of relatives of terry and charly. Station are excuted better here than Japan.

AVE to Madrid - Preferente

Back to Madrid then catch the 16:05 Talgo to Bilbao. Feels so much like a plane that you look for a seat belt. No wireless or power point connection. Which sums up the whole internet infra-structure in this past of the world. On the train from Edinburgh those facilities were available on the 125, 30 year old train. The AVE does this trip in 2 hours and 30 minutes. Time includes stopping at one station for 15 mins. Coming to Sevilla it got in 15 mins early. Making it 2 hours. That is fast.