Monday, September 10, 2007

Back from the USSR...

Well, here i sit in bonny olde England, in the northeast but south of Newcastle, and north of Durham - at a place called Chester - Le - Street - an olde Roman fort town from the early AD's... don't know the exact history but i am sure i can look it up here in the library.

Counting down the days now til home time - leave here on Sunday next week and arrive Monday night in Sydney. However, the office won't be open again until 24th September. In the mean time i am flying to Ireland tomorrow to stay over night with relations, and then coming back to Newcastle for a Visual Planning and Urbanism Conference, which has a full day field trip on Saturday to the Keilder Forest area along the Northumberland / Scottish border to see the Forestry Commission villages! We will see what i learn from all of that!

My trip home is via Amstedam and Helsinki with an overnight in Helsinki and then on to Hong Kong and Sydney. Helsinki hasn't been all that good to me so far as every time i go there i lose my luggage - twice in one trip has to be some sort of record, let's see if i can make it three for three... We left St Petersburg last Thursday and i booked my luggage through to Newcastle UK but it only got as far as Helsinki... just as well i purchased a little suitcase as an extra for on board luggage!

The Study Tour was interesting - my illness at the beginning of the trip didn't help things and i didn't get to see one of the best developments in Stockholm due to spending the day in bed asleep recovering from excess travel. The make biofuel from the poo and other domestic waste from that particular development for the buses and cars in the city! Something for the Shoalhaven to consider maybe.

In Helsinki, one of the developments there had solar collectors on all the apartment block roofs for dwelling heating and water heating. All very sustainable with veggie gardens and fruit trees for the street plantings.

I am sure you aren't going to be interested in the 1000 terrible photos i have taken, so i will not bore you with anymore at this time, but maybe i will have a slide night around football grand final weekend or on that day, at half time! I will have to tee up a big screen and projector for the back yard for the footy! (What do you reckon Tim??? can it be organised???)

See you anon fellow travellers, stay well and cheery!
Signed Planner Kez

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Town Planner Travels continued...

Peterhof Palace, decadant to the extreme, more gold gilding than i can cope with, and rebuilt after WWII by the State, as it was almost completely destroyed by the war, rebuilding by state, and UNESCO and tourist admission funding! Gardens to rival Versailles - that place in France.

Church of the Spilled Blood - built on the site of the assassination of Nicholas the something, in the 1800's in the Russian Baroque style!

Swan Lake at the Hermitage Theatre in St Peterburg... signets everywhere!

OK, here we are in St Peterburg, hating the place completely...neyt!!! We aren't doing any planning here, just tourist stuff, so there is plenty of wandering and photographing taking place!
Happy Planning boys & girls, be good, stay safe and stay away from gypsies! ... see you in a few more days when i get to the UK.