Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
109Trip End Dec 15, 2011
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Where I stayed
Got to the dock, handed over the car with instructions on how Anton was to drive it, and said goodbye.
Took the bus back into town, spent a bit of time at the hotel, booked flights home for Saturday. Now that we are carless, theres no point in hanging around. Everything we do, we do for Stanley.
Got a call from Ilene from Silver Wind, one of the docum ents we had they require the original, not the copy they took. So we meet up with her, hand over the document and she tells us that there is a problem
Went for a long walk into town. Went into GUM, the State department store. Wanted to buy Russian dolls for Martin and a hat for me/Fiona. Prices are outrageous! Everything we lok at is over priced. Sandals for men at £100. Dolls were £40 for a smalll set. How can they sell any? It doesnt appear that the locals are wealthy. Had lunch from a street vendor - 2 kebab types things and 2 slices of bread each. Decide that our wives would kill us if they knew what we were eating, if the food didnt do it first!
Walked along the sea front. Everywhere is being worked on, the roads are all up, the pavements are being destroyed or rebuilt, depending on your point of view, the sea front is a building site. But there is very little work actually being done, most of the labourers are standing looking and talking. Apparently its all for the Asia conference next year, but if there is a plan, there;'s no sign of it or anyone knowing what it is. Lots of things are left in a state of being started but no more.
Even along the sea front, the buildings are half done, a few workmen, but not doing much and not enough to achieve anything
Along with the weather, cloudy, and the fog.smog/what you will, its quite a depressing place. Cant wait to get out of here and back home.
One bright point, I noticed an arrayu of anti aircraft type weapons on a hill, so insisted we go and see them. There's a museum up there, with a wide range of submarine, tank etc guns, and in one of the bunkers theres a huge museum with details of all sorts of weapons, from early Japanese right through to WW2
Anyway, back to the hotel to write postcards, and relax. We'll be home before the postcards (if they ever arrive, unlike the Baku ones).
It comes to something when a visit to an array of aged armmaments represents a bright point.I do have to humour the boy at times.God knows why this place is worth defending.It couldn't be in a worse state if it had suffered an attack Nobody is working on anything in any significant numbers.Still I'm pleased to be here - when you consider the alternative.Its pretty cold here as it seems to be for most of the year except for three months culminating in September when it reaches the dizzy heigts of 12-15.Roger is given to talking about a nip in the air but I have mentioned our location makes such loose talk unfortunate
So we're booked for home flights via Moscow on Saturday,arriving at 10 p.m. if on time.Will make it difficult to get home by public transport.Alison has said she will come to get us - hopefully will bring someone along .
But before I forget let us finish the saga:
By which I imply you are going to die
Mr Ivan Petrovski Skivar
Then the brave Marmaduke drew his trusty skilbouk
Crying "Allah,il Allah!Allah!"
And on slaughter intent,he ferociously went
For Ivan Petrovski Skivar
On a stone by the banks where the Danube doth roll,
Inscribed in characters clear,
Is "Stranger,remember to pray for the soul
Of Abdullah Bul Bul Ameer"
A Muscovite maiden her sad vigil keeps
In her home by the cold Northern Star
And the name that she murmurs in vain as she weeps,
Is Ivan Petrovski Skivar
So here dear reader our tale ends.I remember a highly underrated singer on the radio during my formative years who sang the ditty and I was fond oi at the time.I think it was Clinton Ford (or was he the one that sang "Why do you want to make those eyes at me for").Its all a blur now
We were saying today that we had lost sight of the news but then realised that of course you do not need it..
So the last of the heroes on this trip has been Roger.But not the least.Steadfast and unwavering he has been an absolute rock and the fact that I can bellow at him all day and he doesn't take a blind bit of notice is an added advantage.I could not have wanted for a better or more supportive companion and knew I had made the right choice as soon as the selection process was over.Only Roger could start querying the costs of towing Stanley (with us on board) across a fast running river after we had made it to the other side.He got the price he had expected and then gave the bloke a tip for his troubles.is it me?Thank yoiu Roger.
Stanley is waiting for America,we're waiting to go home and there is work to be done between now and when we are reunited.Is it truly around the world? The nearer you get to the top or the bottom of the globe,the quicker the journey in theory.I guess it is probaby one of the longer land journeys,if you stick within certain latitudes.Now if you started talkiing about up and down. I suspect it would be a different story We arrived in Vlad in 52 days -should be try to complete in 80 days?