Thursday, 31 August 2006

Football Results

Just been catching up on the results of last week. Tottenham, Bielefeld and Southend all lost.

I don't half pick 'em. :-(

Black Gold

Mistakenly people think of oil when they hear this term. It is not. It is in fact Marmite**.

Things are looking grim- we're halfway down our last jar!



Aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.................

*wimper*

** For our foreign readers, this post will make less sense than usual. Marmite is a delicious, savoury (dark brown/black) spread best enjoyed on hot, buttered toast. It is an acquired taste but once smitten you will never, ever find anything better. If it is of interest, here's more detail:

http://www.marmite.com/love/

**Forewarning**

Just to give you plenty of notice, it will be my birthday in 10 days time. This is necessary as the post from the UK to Poland is v-e-r-y slow and I'm sure you'd want to make certain any and all presents arrive on time, right?

1st September 2006

The beginning of our sixth month on the road and exactly 153 days away from the UK. I doubt anyone had this figure in the sweepstake but it's starting to look like we mean business.

The time is really shooting by and we are sometimes having difficulty coping with keeping a track of what day of the week it is. OK, every day is a weekend for us but it can still lead to confusion on occasion.

We are still in Poland, currently Wroclaw and next week we leave for our final destination in this fabulous country; Krakow. From our research we expect this to be a bit more touristy but this is not putting us off in the slightest and we are very much looking forward to our three weeks there.

It is also not too far away from Warsaw so we may pop in for a few days to visit the capital city, hopefully to meet a friend who may be in town.

Or we may not- we have to keep some things for our return vist "n" years down the line.

Bog Paper

8 x 3-ply rolls at just over a quid for the lot. Same thing in the UK? At least four sovs and it's inferior 2-ply stuff.

There has to be a gag in there somewhere, surely?

Inside the Delfin



Happy memories from our favourite bar in Poland.

Yes, those really are my knees...

Saturday, 26 August 2006

Our Current Status


Believe me, it's a lot further when you're on Polish roads...

Wroclaw City

What a wonderful city, with perhaps one of the loveliest European squares I have as yet witnessed. Much bigger than the other places we have already been to and so much more space, without too many tourists. Tourism is still its main money earner and you’ll get the usual plethora of restaurants and bars along the four sides of the square and with it the usual “tourist prices”. Saying that, the prices are modest in comparison to what you guys are used to in London- let’s say a good two course lunch would set you back £8-£9 including coffee, try finding that in the UK?

Being a bit savvy now and gaining in confidence with the language (at least being able to read a menu in Polish is a major achievement for me) we headed off to the side streets and here is where you’ll not only get cheaper prices but also a wider choice of menu and higher quality of ingredients. As an example, I had an amazing French onion soup (really good), chicken “Cordon Bleu” with salad and fries and a Coke for £3.50! Good, healthy sized portions, very tasty and to a high standard indeed. So, by all means look around the squares and popular places to get an idea of what is on offer but I guarantee you it’s much better off the beaten path.

Anyhoo, Wroclaw is really a top place and I’ll sort out a proper write up soon. Maybe.

Nah, perhaps I’ll just rob some much better stuff on the internet when we get connected. No point re-inventing the wheel, is there? So:

“Wroclaw, the capital of Lower Silesia, is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Poland. Situated at the foot of the Sudety Moutains, upon the Odra River and cut through by its numerous tributaries and canals, it is an exceptional city of 12 islands and 112 bridges.Wroclaw’s complex and dramatic history is embedded in the city walls. We are reminded of the early medieval times in Ostrów Tumski, where one of the most beautiful sacral architecture buildings in Europe has been preserved. Wroclaw Town hall is considered one of the most splendid Gothic buildings in central Europe. In Wroclaw one can also see the biggest baroque interior in Poland, which has remained until today - the Leopoldine Hall, located in the 17th century University building. The old and modern architecture of the city is surrounded by the abundance of greenery. In the city centre, there spreads out the Szczytnicki Park dating from the 18th century. It cointains over 370 species of trees and shrubs and a Japanese garden. If you want to have a walk, the great places are the Botanical Garden with their beautiful flowers and Alpine gardens, green house and the biggest cactus house in Poland, and the Zoological Garden, founded in 1865 and accommodating about 5 500 animals representing 650 species.

Wroclaw is the economical, cultural and intellectual capital of Lower Silesia, located in southwestern Poland, 160 km from Germany and 120 km from the Czech Republic. It is well equipped with communication facilities: international airport, railways, highways and river ports. Medium - light industry, trade, service and education are major employers. The city with its charming historical centre, parks, good restaurants, hotels and friendly people (700 000 inhabitants) is a very pleasant place to visit."

See, much better than I could have managed. :)

Steering Wheel

Driving long hours makes the hands hot and sweaty and not very pleasant on the steering wheel. In this modern day of invention, practicality and innovation why can’t we have an air-conditioned steering wheel?

It’d be a piece of piss to manufacture a wheel perforated around the circumference and then pass a continuous blast of air through the holes to allow the hands to be cooled whilst in situ.

This idea is patented to “ktelontour” and you read it here first…

Our Gaff in Wroclaw

The more observant amongst you will have noticed that it has been fairly quiet on the Blog over the last week or so. That is due to us having left Oliwa (Gdansk, Gdynia & Sopot) and being on the road for a few nights whilst we found somewhere to stay in Wroclaw. Naturally being in temporary accommodation one does not have immediate access to creature comforts so once again, you the reader has had to suffer.

We did have three weeks booked up at a three star hotel on the outskirts of Wroclaw which boasted the best water park/fitness centre in the area, together with all the trimmings of that standard of hotel, including internet access. It was a bit pricey but when you pre-book for that length of time one can usually negotiate a good discount and we ended up getting a very good price for our stay, so we booked it up and looked forward to living it up a little. Hotels are always good fun, right?

Wrong.

When we turned up and it wasn’t quite what it said on the tin.

The room was particularly small (barely two twin beds and an en-suite with shower) and although wifey did say she had found a wardrobe of sorts, I wasn’t convinced. It could barely hold an upright golf club (a putter at that) and you’d have to use a shoehorn to even try to get a toothbrush in alongside. So, compact but it had internet access, right?

Wrong.

The internet access turned out to be dial up, via modem (of course we don’t have a cable with a correct fitting) and it was charged at hotel telephone rates by the minute! This, from a hotel proclaiming to provide all facilities for the discerning business traveller? Wonder what type of business was catered for?*

The parking was out in the open, which was not good for our security either. We couldn’t unload our stuff due to not having adequate storage space in the room (see above under “swinging a mouse and getting a rodent on the eye”), so we had to leave all our things in the car.

Aside from my shaving bag, the only thing to physically fit into the room without undergoing a severe contortion (and the most useless as I rarely shave “on the road”) we had to leave everything out in the open, right next to a public swimming pool with people coming and going all day and most of the night. Far from ideal.

However, breakfast was included in the price and again, whilst we don’t usually take breakfast a freebie is a freebie which is bang on our budget agenda and so we indulged. Kind of. There was never anything on offer by the time we went down at a not too unreasonable 9.00 am (come on, we are on holiday, don’t forget) aside from a couple of slices of greasy cheese and cold sausage. Oh and cold coffee, which I don’t drink anyway. We cheekily asked for some fruit juice and this duly arrived, eventually. Then we had to go back and ask for glasses- these took even longer to arrive, but they did, rather begrudgingly.

Call it intuition, but we got the feeling it was not to be here and a re-think was needed. As we had no internet to check out alternative options, we therefore headed off to the Tourist Information in the town centre (itself a 20 minute tram ride and not the advertised 3 km distance at all. *Perhaps this is the type of businessman that stay at the hotel, map producers who unable to measure distance accurately?) and as luck would have it, an apartment was being vacated as we spoke.

It wasn’t too far away from the town centre so we arranged to meet the owners that afternoon.

The accommodation was amazing- fair sized bedroom, large bathroom and a big kitchen/diner + sitting area (with sofa beds if need be). It was lacking internet access but if we agreed to take it for the three weeks they would install the necessary broad band by the coming week end. Done deal, at a very reasonable rate and as I type this, we expect to go live by tonight. Pictures to follow and you’ll see that once again “ktelontour” land on their collective feet.

Pasta

Why hasn’t anyone brought out a coloured pasta prior to cooking that then turns clear when cooked perfectly “al dente”? Pretty obvious and surely dead simple to do?

Plugs

So why do we have to have differing plugs and sockets in every bleedin’ country then, eh?

Ggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……..

Kafe Delfin Part II- Leaving/Oliwa

They say leaving is always the hardest part and they’re completely right. We had our last night in our local and as usual we had a wonderful evening out. All the staff were there to say good bye and as a going away present (to perhaps ensure we wouldn’t darken their doorsteps again?) they had all clubbed together to get us a lovely wicker basket full of Polish beers and a bottle of genuine Polish Vodka. Better still they had also bought us a poster*.

It would of course help if you understood the nature of the cafe- it is a themed bar relating to films and the cinema. The owners had installed original, folding cinema seats along the walls, there are all manner of camera and film paraphernalia and of course there are pictures and posters of all the landmark films and their stars from the decades adorning the walls.

We usually sat under a poster of John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson in Tarrentino’s “Pulp Fiction” and opposite us, and in constant view, was a poster of “Easy Rider” with Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson riding two up and Dennis Hopper along side, on “all American” custom choppers. I suppose it’s a bit like us, just hitting the road and seeing where it takes us, having fun and looking for the next adventure. Although there are only two of us, we have a car and are not on bikes and they’re famous film stars, and we’re not…yet. Anyone want to make a film of our exploits? It was a best seller for Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman recently and we’re loads better looking.

Anyway, it was this poster (*useful asterisk to remind you of what I was babbling on about prior to going off on an aside) that they had chosen for us, along with their signatures and cartoons of all the staff. Whilst the beer and the Vodka (oh God, not again!) will get drunk, the poster shall always remain a constant reminder of the fun times we had in Oliwa, in the Kafe Delfin and most importantly with all the guys there.

As usual, I will not mention names on the internet but they know who they are and we’d like to thank them all for their generosity, genuine warmth and friendship they offered us over the last 8-9 weeks. We will meet up again someday, somewhere and as mentioned, if you fancy a break away, keep a close eye on our Blog and drop us a line. We’ll be more than happy to look after you in the same way you did us.

Good luck with the business (the café was newly opened earlier this year) and also to all the bar staff who are studying hard at university- we’ll hopefully see you again soon.

Monday, 21 August 2006

Wroclaw

Well, we left Oliva on the weekend and landed in Wroclaw yesterday. Whilst it's only about 500 km it still took us several hours longer to drive than anticipated as the roads are single lane most of the time and overtaking is at your peril. Indeed we witnessed the aftermath of several nasty looking accidents en route which gave us food for thought.

We are now currently at our new place of residence and I doubt we will be staying here the full three weeks as intended. It's a lot further out than advertised to the city centre and the internet access is via dial up! Of course we have no modem and so without access to the internet it's a no goer. We will move to better accommodation as a matter of priority and will spend the next day or two looking for alternatives.

Which is lucky for you as I'll be off line for a while- so make the most of the peace and quiet!

Speak soon...

Thursday, 17 August 2006

How Does That Work Then?

Petrol- the whole world needs it and it's quite probably the most precious liquid we have.

From memory, a litre of fuel in the UK is around 95p (probably gone up to a quid a shot now).

So, how can it be that beer, mainly water, hops & barley costs well over £5.00/litre?


Can anyone explain the sense in that?

Anyone???

Wednesday, 16 August 2006

Wembley Stadium

Costs mounting (currently £757 million to build) and still further delays. Not even sure if the 2007 FA Cup Final will be played there. Someone is having a laugh.

Is it really reasonable to spend this amount of money on something that was started in 2003?

Delays are inevitable. Let's face it getting builders to keep to a schedule in the UK is impossible- they're lucky anyone even turned up in the first place. "Sorry mate, we got called out on another job. We'll definitely be with you a week on Tuesday morning* so get the kettle ready."

However, I'd like to know why it takes three years to build a football stadium in the first place. Mind you, it's going to be even longer than that by the end.

My real query though is why the need for a national stadium in the first place. As the last three odd years have demonstrated, the national football team can quite happily tour around the country playing at club stadiums and thereby giving the whole UK fan base a fair, inexpensive chance to see their team play** without having to get to London every time.

Imagine a mid-week game and you're a Geordie. Kick off at 8.00 pm and it takes say three odd hours by train. OK coming down (hopefully), but how about getting back? Cost of a train ticket- they're not cheap. If they're even running at that time of night.

Or perhaps you want to drive down? Call it five hours (if you're lucky with the English traffic and road conditions) plus the cost of petrol on top. Are you on a £1.00/litre yet? Can't have a beer though, can you? And you're still not going to get to bed much earlier than 3.00 am. Nice if you've got to be at work that day.

Maybe you take the next day off work and you fancy staying over in a nice hotel. See the sights of London the next day, perhaps have a meal? Won't get much change out of £150. Minimum.

Just an example of the difficulties that non-London based fans have to face to watch their team play and personally I don't think it's fair or reasonable.


*6.00 am to 4.30 pm; new definition of morning as defined by the public amenities services. Tuesdays excepted.

** Snigger.

Mosquitos

What is it with these little bastids? All day long they leave you in peace but as soon as you crash for the night they go to dinner- on you.

To date I've always been lucky with bites but recently I picked up a couple that have certainly left their mark. The "best" was one on my middle finger, just above the knuckle which was so severe it puffed up to twice the size as though I'd been bitten by a bloody scorpion.

I couldn't even bend my finger.

Which was most unfortunate as the position it was in is most certainly a universal sign and I was getting some really evil looks...

Nearly Time To Go

Villa Ada in Oliwa, Gdansk has been "home" for the last two months but now we sadly have to collect our belongings, such as they are, and get ready to leave on the weekend. We only have a couple more days to say our farewells and then we head south through Poland for around 500 km onto Wroclaw.

We have had a great time here. It was our first real "test" to see how we could cope truly on our own (let's face it, Germany was nothing more than an extended holiday and through the generosity of family and friends it was the best holiday ever) and I have to say, I think we've done quite well.

No major disasters (yet), no rows or arguments (yet) and we have both had such a good time we really cannot work out why we haven't done this years ago. I know this style of living is not suited to everyone and I fully understand that there may be greater things in life for the majority but I am not here to convince you to try our way or give up what is right for you.

We simply want anyone who has taken the time and effort to visit our Blog to gain a small insight into how perhaps an alternative lifestyle is possible and with it; what our experiences are. So far, all is good but we are not naive enough to think this is how it will always be. No, we'll take the lows along with the highs and continue our way across this globe to see things we have only dreamed about.

So, au revoir Oliwa. I'm not sure when we will meet again but I suspect we will. I am certain of one thing though- you will be missed.

Tuesday, 15 August 2006

Our Photos

Found a rather wonderful site that allows us free uploads (maximum 20 MB) of photos per calendar month. This is about 20-30 odd images and fits in nicely with our budget of FREE. :-)

Here's the link to our bit- have a look, leave a comment, take the piss, whatever.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ktelontour/

More photos next month, probably of Poland as it's all Germany so far. Might even do some more body shots...

Friday, 11 August 2006

From One Extreme to Another
















The rain came first but a few hours of sun and it had all dried up. Remarkable; and jolly lucky we found shelter whilst it TIPPED it down.

Thursday, 10 August 2006

Finders Keepers?

I think not.

Came out of the cinema yesterday slightly depressed at the thought that I had lost well over two hours of my life on the biggest load of shite since "Titanic". "Superman Returns" was the optimistic choice of our day's entertainment but having sat through such a ridiculously unbelievable load of guff I nearly lost the will to live. I've had more interesting things fall out of my arse. Still, never mind, eh? We're on holiday!

Wifey had nipped off to the Ladies (I think she intended to slash her wrists but luckily the Polish word for "razorblade" was one she did not know) and I sat in the foyer sticking fingers into the power sockets to kick start any kind of cerebral activity, when I espied an object on the sofa next to me.

Relief flooded through me as I realised permanent damage to my visual senses had not been damaged irreparably by the blurk in tights (although to be reasonably fair the effects were pretty smart) and whilst not employing said gadgy's X-Ray Sight through the dark gloom of the cinema's blackout conditions, I realised the object was a purse.

Picking it up, it felt full of coins/money (I didn't even open it) and despite my lack of the local lingo I managed to pass it onto the ticket office whereby an enthusiatic chap thanked me profusely in quite excellent English.

That started the road to recovery- one good deed of the day accomplished, wifey returning sans blood escaping from the wrist area and plans to head off to our favourite restaurant for a slap up meal. But there was still one treat in store.

Exiting the shopping complex where the cinema is situated one turns into a busy, dual carriageway which at around 5.30 pm is naturally slap bang in the middle of rush hour. I've already described the Polish need to test brakes and tyres to the limit which adds a little adventure to crossing the road but as we carried on our way I noticed a beefy streetfighter* lined up at the front of the traffic light GP.

Lights turned green, me-laddo hit the throttle (for it was a blurk) and he hoisted the front wheel clean into the air. He took off and held the wheelie the entire length of the road up until the next set of lights (which were sadly red for I swear he could have continued his stunt for miles) which were at least 300 metres away- and to make things even more impressive, he had left his seat and was standing on the footpegs!

Superman can fly? Can he feck- this guy flew.


*Streetfighter = a large capacity motorcycle which though once a full on super sports road legal racing bike; has been dropped and damaged and then, due to cost of replacement parts, stripped of all unnecessary additonal items (such as fairings) to bring the machine down to its bare bones and thus "designing" a unique looking "one off" mofo light/quick bike. Usually.

Monday, 7 August 2006

GPS

Last December was wifey's 40th birthday which we celebrated by going out to dinner with a few close friends. It was a wonderful day/evening and I suppose it also served as a "bon voyage" party because we had by then decided to embark on our little adventure and most people were aware of our plans.

Anyhoo, everyone chipped in and amongst loads of presents for wifey, (we have very generous friends indeed) she received a global positioning system (sometimes called a satellite navigator).

What an amazing piece of kit and without a shadow of a doubt a life saver for us, because although wifey is an excellent map reader and navigator herself, I am totally shite. Used to get lost coming out the top of my road and invariably always ended up in Colchester when trying to get to Kent or similar!

The GPS took us safely across Holland and directly to the door of our first stop in Bielefeld and then on to Hamburg (including rush hour right the way through the centre of town) without once missing a beat.

Full colour screen, some burd with a proper accent (ie not American) giving us clear and precise directions and also the ability to avoid traffic jams and roadworks by entering new destinations.

It was all going swimmingly until we passed by Berlin and entered Poland when on the border, the screen went blank. Much head and arse scratching later we decided it had a technical problem, referred to as "fecked, innit?" and it was lobbed into the back of the car with the rest of our belongings.

Only through wifey's navigation skills did we find Villa Ada (pretty much at our first attempt) and after unpackng all of our stuff did we find the instruction manual/CD to try and "unfeck" the GPS.

Realisation then dawned that the system did not cover Poland! On further investigation, it also showed that Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Greece were not covered either. And guess where we were intending on heading? Aye...

Much trawling on the internet we found that the company had released an upgrade for our GPS and the new maps would cover what we needed. Trouble was they wanted money for this- lots of it. More money than the car was worth. We could have bought a car full of maps with the amount they wanted for the upgrade CD ROM so we had to rethink our stratergy.

Long story short (I do so wobble on, don't I?) we located a very helpful dude via a Techie Forum (no names mentioned to protect the innocent...) and he sent over the CD containing the new maps and also a memory card to "flash" the new operating system onto the GPS. Via email he also talked me through the upgrading procedure and we managed to get it sorted without too many mishaps. Cheers D, by the way- you are a star!

Result is that we now have our most useful GPS jobbie up to date to tackle a few more of the countries ahead of us (although sadly Croatia is not covered) and we can continue on our merry way without detouring via Colchester.

Kafe Delfin

Can't believe we've been in Oliwa for over six weeks and we haven't mentioned our local.

Bloody fantastic place which is a type of coffee bar/ice-cream parlour but it also does the local beer "Okocim" and a rather wonderful selection of snacks and nibbles whilst you have a pint or several. The best snack is their cheese platter offering up to half a dozen different types of cheese- most excellent.

Not unusually, the bar is run entirely by students wanting to earn a bit extra and over the weeks we have got to know them all. All are hard working, look after all the customers well and they are all friendly, welcoming and very pleasant. Luckily they all speak first class English too.

But the best bit for me is that they are quite happy to allow punters to bring along their own music and lob it on the CD player. We've left quite a few and what is most pleasing is that they play them even when we're not there.

Nothing better than to walk in hearing "Dr Feelgood" and the barmaids already know your order. Now that is service with a smile!

Thursday, 3 August 2006

Discrimination

It's quite an ugly word, is it not?

Just saying it makes most people shudder as it usually conjurs up all sorts of unpleasantness.

And of course it is against the law.

Sex, race, religious, age- nowadays all areas of minority are safeguarded against "discrimination" and so it should be.

But that being the case, why is it that there is one, blatant area which is discriminated against? Not only quite obviously so but usually encouraged by the vast majority of law abiding citizens. You in fact either support it by lack of knowledge or secretly think it is a "good idea".

Up until now I bet you haven't the faintest notion to what I am referring to and already I can sense the heckles rising in a "how dare he suggest I would discriminate against any minority" type way.

Let me enlighten you then. It is in regard to my favourite form of transport- the motorcycle. (See, you're starting to relax a bit now as they are noisy, anti-social, all ridden by hooligans and of course, most importantly they are DANGEROUS so we have to ban them for their own good)

*sigh*

Well, I am not going to put up the pros and cons here, we'll leave that for another time and another debate, however, I am going to prove why I feel motorcycle riders are being discriminated against, and whether you agree with bikes or not, as we have already established it is against the law (in most cases anyway) to do so.

At 17 (in the UK at any rate) you are able to learn how to drive a car. You pass your test (nowadays a series of tests) and then you are able to buy a car, sell a kidney off to pay for the insurance and off you go. Alternatively, beg your parents to be included on their insurance and borrow their wheels and lucky you if they might happen to own a Porsche.

Then you are able to drive on the Queen's Highway (in accordance to the Highway Code) as free as a bird or as long as there is no traffic jam and Dibble is not about with his mobile GATSO scamera.

Similarly with a motorcycle- take a series of tests and then buy your bike, get the insurance and off you go to terrorise old people- because that is why you pass your bike test, right?

Actually, no.

Upon passing your bike at a similar age you are not able to jump onto any bike you fancy and ride off into the sunset with the wind in your hair. Well, you can't do that anyway as by law you need a helmet and more on that later too.

At 17 you are restricted to a power output of 33 bhp for two years (that, depending on make and style of bike is ~400 cc bike or lower). No such power restriction for cars, so why for bikes?

If that is not blatant discrimination I do not know what is, and yet we allow this to continue.

Rant over, but one final word about helmets as mentioned above.

By law we have to ride with one as it is for "our safety". OK, therefore a helmet by definition must be an item of health & safety or as we call it in the trade PPE- personal protective equipment, so why is VAT being charged on that?

PPE is VAT free, yet we have to lob out 17.5% on our crash helmets, which can cost up to £500.

Yes, that's all fair and reasonable then...

Learner Drivers in Poland

Quite near to where we are staying there is a big driving instruction centre (both car and bike).

I was on my way back when I stopped at the junction to allow a learner driver to pull in off the main road, onto the large concrete area where they practise their manoeuvres and slow skills without danger to the public or other road users.

It was as the driver passed me by that I noticed that she was crossing her hands to turn into the centre and (although I am not 100% sure) the instructor did not seem to have any concern about this.

Not in England though. This is seen as a cardinal error of the highest magnitude and if it doesn't result in a public flogging it most certainly warrants a failure of the driving test and not ever being allowed to have children.

I have frequently wondered why this "crossing of hands whilst turning" is considered such bad habit. The usual response is that it either:-

(a) Means the driver has not sufficiently slowed the vehicle down to take the corner
(b) It is not considered "safe" to drive with one hand on the steering wheel

OK, I further state:-

(a) Bollocks. Not once have I ever seen (or personally done so myself) a corner being cut off or driven wide due to crossing of hands

(b) Double bollocks. So what happens when you change gear- that necessitates in one hand being removed from the wheel.

Anyone care to put me out of my misery and explain what the real reason is? And also why no one* pays the slightest bit of attention to this once they have passed their test?






*With the exception of ex-Plod and drivers who wear driving gloves and a hat, of course...

Polish TV

Well, not quite, but TV we have been watching in Poland.

Our apartment currently has cable (although Villa Ada intends to switch to satellite at some point and that is far better for English/German speaking channels) and whilst having loads of channels to choose from, we only have two English speaking ones. One is CNN, so enough about that, and the other is BBC Prime.

Didn't know much about Prime until we began watching it but essentially it is the "flagship" of all the "good" programmes the BBC has churned out over time. Not current stuff but programmes dating back to around five years or so.

It has actually got some quite good stuff. Good dramas and detective series, equally good documentaries, some reasonable comedy and of course the nature stuff will always be to a high standard.

It's the comedy that is the interesting part. Perhaps programmes that I would not have watched back in England I now have given time to and I'm glad I have. The best example of this is probably "The League of Gentlemen" which I had previously avoided.

For some reason I dismissed it without watching (probably due to some trailer or hearsay) but having watched all of the "current series" to date I can say I am hooked and it is quite brilliant. Very dark, sometimes a bit sick but superb and richly funny none the less. The acting is nothing less than brilliant and I look forward to seeing the show every night.

Contrary to that are "Dad's Army" and the "Vicar of Dibley". What utter, utter shite no matter how much effort one makes to give it a chance.


I only hope "It Ain't Half Hot Mum" is never re-run, that will deffo have me reaching for the razor blades...

Tuesday, 1 August 2006

So Begins Another Month

1st August 2006.

It seems like only yesterday we were hauling our shite into the Pug and preparing to set off on our Road Trip. In fact it was four months ago and the saying tempus fugit is most accurate in this case.

But we are of course, having fun. Really. Lots of it. So much so that we have decided to extend our stay in Poland by another month or so.

We'll be in Gdansk (Oliwa at the Villa Ada) for another three weeks and then we shall drive to Wrocław* for a three week stay at the Hotel Orbita:-

http://www.polishtravel.com.pl/hotel/wroclaw/orbita/

thereafter we drive further down through Poland to Krakow where we will stay for another three weeks at the Dove Apartments:-

http://www.dove.krakow.pl/english_index.html

That takes us right to the end of September, and depending on finances we will then hopefully spend a few nights Warsaw before leaving Poland for Slovakia.

Poland has (and still is!) been a wonderful experience. The people really are warm and friendly and we are so glad we have had an opportunity to spend time in such a wonderful country. I for one will be very sad to leave but the point of a "world tour" is to do a bit more touring, hence leave we shall have to.

We're also dictated to by the weather conditions. It's bad enough driving on "the other side" (although quite honestly it isn't) but we would prefer to avoid the snow and icy conditions one encounters during the winter months in Slovakia and so if we are to have a chance of seeing the country properly we need to arrive there for the beginning of October.

So, that gives you the next couple of months ahead and hopefully it continues as it has thus far.





* One of the most difficult words to pronounce. In Poland the "ł" is not an "l" at all but pronounced as a "w" and a "w" is actually pronounced as a "v". Go figure.

Minimum Wage

We were talking about this recently and agreed it was a good thing.

However, we came to the conclusion that perhaps the minimum wage should differ according to the type of work one does. Why is it a flat rate across all the professions?

See? It's not always fun and games...

Good Luck to Sue & Wayne

Around about this time our good chums S & W will be preparing to leave England and move to New Zealand.

Good luck, dudes. Safe trip and we hope you land safely. When you're settled please drop us a line with your contact details and we can keep in touch.

If all goes to plan we'll be popping by around 2011 or so...