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Beautiful December

Now, when the garden awaits the return of spring
Now, when the silence is deep and blue
Now, when the winter has cast her spell again
Beautiful December, Beautiful December

Here, where the snow is as soft as a woolly lamb
Here, where the nightfall is deep and blue,
Here, where the stars are so bright, you reach for them
Beautiful December, Beautiful December

Child, may you sleep in gentle peace tonight
Dream of songs that rise on silken wings!
When you wake, enchanted by the snowspun light
Sing the songs that came to you in dreams,
Your beautiful December dreams
August
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Another road trip - Sri Lanka and India

245

Comments

  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,180 ✭✭✭✭

    @Vok

    It was a round trip a take break and stayed one night at my home town.

    In India it's really difficult to drive even 200 KM due to traffic and pollution.

    And if anyone who is travelling with kids it becomes more difficult.

    A commercial driver here is required to make a break after the first four hours of driving for at least 15 minutes, and after each two hours afterwards, but the total time behind the wheel can't exceed 9 hours a day. I think a motorist could stick to this, as the timetable seems to be reasonable. If there isn't a serious reason to do otherwise, at least.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod

    Hi,

    I have came back today after driving of 800 KM exhaustive journey from my home town.

    Faced lot of pot holes,pollution and traffic on the road.

    Wow that is a very long journey indeed. I am guessing you took lots of stop along the way, but you will need a good rest now!
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    @Practical_Severard my berth last night was an upper one again but this time in first class. I slept well but arriving at 6am meant checking in to my hostel that early was a bit problematic. Even having warned them in advance, there was no one who could speak English to start with. Not that this stopped the very kind woman making me a cup of tea while we waited for the boss, who is fortunately, an English teacher!
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,180 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge said:

    @Practical_Severard my berth last night was an upper one again but this time in first class.

    That was the second. The Soviet and post-Soviet first class compartments don't have upper berths, they accomodate just two people. It's usually twice as expensive as the 2nd class, but your train might haven't had such carriages at all. The journey is too short to justify the expenses.
    mheredge said:


    Not that this stopped the very kind woman making me a cup of tea while we waited for the boss, who is fortunately, an English teacher!

    Dinnerladies' Tony would have envied you:
    "a cup of tea and no bloody conversation" (S1E4 "Moods").

  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    There wasn't a huge difference between the two classes really @Practical_Severard. I recall that the Transsiberian had three classes with the first class being two berths.

    Lviv is interestingly different from Kyiv and Odessa. Apart from the architecture, so far I've only been able to find one person who admitted to speaking English!
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,180 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge said:

    There wasn't a huge difference between the two classes really @Practical_Severard. I recall that the Transsiberian had three classes with the first class being two berths.

    Well, you have the door in the second class, while sleeping in the 3rd is like on a tram.
    mheredge said:


    Lviv is interestingly different from Kyiv and Odessa. Apart from the architecture, so far I've only been able to find one person who admitted to speaking English!

    Weird. This city is a popular tourist destination. Probably most of them come from the former USSR, or, maybe Poland.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    Maybe only the tourists speak English then @Practical_Severard.

    This youtube video on Chenobyl is interesting.



  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    Today I will be walking out to the Museum of Folk Architecture, and then I will visit the cemetery. I'm going to take a picnic as I'll be walking through parks.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    I never stopped and so my picnic lunch turned into dinner when I got back to my room!
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    Today I managed to get to go on a free walking tour of the centre of the city. Though in theory this is 'free,' obviously everyone pays the guide a tip. The girl spoke good English and seemed to know her stuff, giving us a very good explanation of the different types of architecture and the history of the various churches. After this I visited the Ethnographic Museum that is housed in a beautiful building.I found a nice shop where the artists have used recycled materials. I bought a small glass bottle that was reheated so that the it meled flat, now forming a rather attractive serving dish. The artist told me how her mother had been evacuated from the town near Chernobyl when she was 1 and how although she, her daughter had watched the tv series, her mother didn't want to see it.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    I had to run the length of the train to find my carriage. It was even starting to move when the woman looking after the carriage was trying to get me off, disbelieving me when I insisted that I had the right ticket. Panic over, I settled quietly in the compartment with three people sleeping. They probably got on in Kyiv six or seven hours before, or even Minsk yesterday afternoon.

    The train shunted out of the station, stopped and reversed back to now sit at another platform waiting for goodness knows, as it was already 20 minutes late in arriving. It looks like it will be leaving about an hour after its scheduled time now.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,180 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge said:

    I had to run the length of the train to find my carriage. It was even starting to move when the woman looking after the carriage was trying to get me off, disbelieving me when I insisted that I had the right ticket.

    Horrible!

  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    I had to laugh but I think it was my fault as I was early! The train too, rather than being 20 minutes late was in fact early. When double checked my timetable it read 05.52 and I was there an hour early. The train obviously had to get out of the way, explaining why it shunted in and out of the station, and maybe why it eventually left 20 minutes late.

    It has arrived bang on time at Ivano-Frankovsk, departing one minute late!

    My goodness, I'm impressed with the rail system where the train leaving Minsk 15 hours ago can be so punctual @Practical_Severard.

    I now have the compartment to myself, though this might change once the train crosses into Romania in a few more hours. I don't know how busy this train gets, as it only runs once a week.

    When I reach Varna tomorrow I have decided to take the train to Plovdiv in the afternoon, as I don't really want to spend time in the seaside town, preferring to visit the mountains instead. My train arrives late in Plovdiv but there's a hostel very handily located by the station.
  • bfluentmanishbfluentmanish Posts: 328 Inactive
    I am planing to visit nearby hill station by toy train that covers 110 k.m. in five hours.
    I have heard lot of about this journey and good experience revealed by some of my acquaintances.They says it's a fun train runs some time too slow that people can get down from running train.
    This railway track is situated at hilly terrain.
    Train journey is very relaxing and I enjoy a lot however last 7 year I have not travel by train.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 2,180 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge said:

    My goodness, I'm impressed with the rail system where the train leaving Minsk 15 hours ago can be so punctual @Practical_Severard.

    This is not so difficult when there are not so many trains. Juggling tens of suburban trains is a more demanding task.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    @bfluentmanish do you mean the Shimla train? It's great fun. The engineering along this line is really impressive with its 100+ tunnels and bridges.

    The Darjeeling Toy Train is back in service along its whole route now. Part of the line was damaged in an earthquake in 2008.
  • bfluentmanishbfluentmanish Posts: 328 Inactive
    @mheredge
    Oh! yes, you are absolutely right, how do you know ? have you ever traveled ?
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    I have travelled on all three @bfluentmanish. The one to Ooty is very interesting as it uses a ratchet to get the train up the steep slope. The Darjeeling one uses a switchback and a circuit to climb.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    I spent 29 hours on the train and was sorry when the journey was at an end, I'd enjoyed it so much. I slept well, even sleeping through the border crossing into Bulgaria apart from a couple of times having to pass my passport out of the compartment (each time it mysteriously reappeared, but I was asleep).

    In an hour I'm jumping on another train for six hours to go to Plovdiv. When I get off the train I just have to tumble into bed as the hostel is in the station, so ideal for a late arrival.

    In the few hours in Varna I visited the history museum and picked up a few apples for later. I first came here in 1981, so it has changed since then, but even then it was open to western European tourists and was very different from the other eastern European countries that me and my friend saw back then.
  • bfluentmanishbfluentmanish Posts: 328 Inactive
    @mheredge
    Wow it sounds great that you have experienced all of these beautiful location.
    I am yet to experience all of these.
    I have a query in my mind about your current journey that you are visiting Europe by train. I hope it is economical also.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    It is cheap in eastern European countries @bfluentmanish but I'm not sure if I will find it economical once I leave Slovakia.

    Tomorrow I will be going to Sofia, which is 122 kilometres away, but will take two and a half hours by train.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    The train brought me to Sofia. Fortunately in Plovdiv I managed to get a seat as the train was fairly crowded by the time it reached the capital city, two and a half hours away. As it's Sunday, everything was closed except for a little store where I picked up some provisions along the way to my hostel.

    At the hostel there was a young Australian who's got a work visa to work a couple of years in the UK, and a young Singaporean who's travelling around for a year.

    Tomorrow I will visit another important monastery outside the city. I've been assured that it will be a lot cooler up there as today I was melting, it was so hot.
  • walterwalter Posts: 693 ✭✭✭
    These days I looking where I can to go at holiday. I looking for some mountain. I like more mountain than sea. Probably I will go at Durmitor. Durmitor is mountain in Montenegro. The nature is very beautiful and in near exist lake where I can to swimming. Also accommodation is not very expensive.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    I have met a Singaporean here in Sofia @walter who's travelling and plans to visit Montenegro in a few weeks. He loves the mountains and went to see the mountains outside Sofia today while I visited a monastery outside the city.
  • walterwalter Posts: 693 ✭✭✭
    @mheredge
    I was should go at Sofia before one months with my office, but I had been sick and unfortunately did`t can to go. Yes, Montenegro have I beautiful nature and I recommend to visit that. My country also have a nice monasteries with very long tradition. Maybe you heard for monastery monastery "Mileseva" where you can to see fresco white angel which is very significant in our culture.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    I find the churches and monasteries in this part of the world very beautiful @walter. Sofia has some very fine churches. This morning I went on a walking tour of the centre of the city. There's also some very impressive Soviet Union buildings ; huge but not unattractive in their way.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    walter said:

    These days I looking where I can to go at holiday. I looking for some mountain. I like more mountain than sea. Probably I will go at Durmitor. Durmitor is mountain in Montenegro. The nature is very beautiful and in near exist lake where I can to swimming. Also accommodation is not very expensive.

    If you are looking for mountains then I would recommend Switzerland, as they have some of the most beautiful mountains that I have ever seen in my life!
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    I know that I am finally going home when I have booked my transport back to Nice! But I will break my journey from Bratislava one more time, in Genoa which is on the way and one of my favourite cities in Italy.

    I'm taking a bus on Sunday evening to Milan and continue to Genoa to arrive in time for lunch on Monday. I will head back to Nice on Wednesday.

    @filauzio maybe we can have a coffee if you have time!
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    I know that I am finally going home when I have booked my transport back to Nice! But I will break my journey from Bratislava one more time, in Genoa which is on the way and one of my favourite cities in Italy.



    I'm taking a bus on Sunday evening to Milan and continue to Genoa to arrive in time for lunch on Monday. I will head back to Nice on Wednesday.



    @filauzio maybe we can have a coffee if you have time!

    I love Milan. I adore having a look round the shops, and buying something to treat myself, though it can be expensive.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,980 ✭✭✭✭
    It seems like l might be popping into Vienna for the day tomorrow. It's only an hour away and my friends here love to visit, so are suggesting that we could go for a day trip.
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