Last Saturday we headed out sans an under-the-weather Glen to the Experimentarium, a terrific science activity center for the kids. When, on entry, you are greeted by a couple of guys flying a 2-storey high remote-controlled hot air balloon, it’s a pretty positive sign. We skipped past the espionage exhibit and headed upstairs, where Aleks was in heaven in the water park and the kids construction area. Marie also had a great time cruising around & playing with the giant Lego blocks.
On Sunday we jumped into the car and headed for the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark’s old capital. For many years there was a rumour that there were Viking-era ships sunk in one of the fjord channels linking Roskilde to the sea. When someone actually got around to checking out the rumour in the late 60’s they discovered five vessels buried in one of the channels, presumably to protect the city from seaborne attackers. The recovered ships are now on exhibit in the museum, and craftsmen are also making and sailing new vessels based on the old designs.
Aleks mostly enjoyed the model dioramas and throwing rocks into the water, while
Mila was a bit bewildered by the whole thing
Last weekend was sensational, despite the lingering effects of jetlag. Saturday Glen & Anna took us to the zoo which was wonderful even for me. I saw quite a few animals I’d not seen before (tapir, red panda) and there were even a few familiar ones: kookaburras and a Tassie devil. Aleks in particular had a ball, loved the tigers, rode a pony, and of course visited the gift shop. Velinka had arrived that morning from Serbia & will stay for about 2 weeks to help us out, so she came too.
Sunday we headed back out for a canal cruise, which was lovely (but went on a little too long for poor Aleks). Parts of the city are very reminiscent of Amsterdam, by design it turns out. We saw beautiful Marmorkirken, the Little Mermaid, the amazing new playhouse and opera house on the harbour, as well as the royal yacht.
After that hunger got the better of us and we headed up to Kongens Have (King’s Gardens) for a leisurely picnic in the sun
We just got back from our second trip to Trysil, Norway, having experienced a skiing extravaganza hosted by Olaf. We flew into Oslo and took the bus up (about 3h), as before. Stayed at Olaf’s grandparents old place, just a short walk from the bottom of the ski lifts.
Had some really great weather, great skiing and good company with Olaf, Jill and Marco. We also learned some interesting facts — for example, the spice cumin is frequently confused with carroway. Long story.
Highlights included dogsledding, the skiing of course, and playing Norwegian Trivial Pursuit (only Olaf speaks Norwegian, so you can guess how that went).
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We continued on to the Netherlands for three days and then on to Serbia to visit Jasmina’s family. More on that later.
Just got back from a much-needed trip home. Caught up with Goran & Lidija in Sydney, then drove down to Canberra for a workshop at Mount Stromlo. After that it was on to Melbourne to stay with Stu & Belinda. I was pretty busy with a talk on the 5th at U. Melbourne and XMM proposals. Finally got to the actual holiday part at mum & dad’s place in Maroochydore, where I spent plenty of time on the beach but also made my leisurely way through Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver (I’m still in two minds about whether to continue with the sequel).
Here for 4 days (also for the first time) to attend a meeting at the Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter. Think narrow streets, elaborate & colorful facades, louvered french doors opening onto high-ceilinged rooms & the occasional gaslight. Bourbon street is apalling but fun, great if you like booze and jazz, but I also discovered the Tin Men, who are pretty damn awesome. Something for the gadget freaks too with the registration package, how did I ever live without this? Photo courtesy Paul O’Neill
This morning we went into Dundee again to do some more shopping (naturally, we eventually ended up at a pub). I couldn’t find anything for Jasmina but bought a nice little crystal trinket for June.
Around 11 we went over to June’s place and then I went with Tracy to visit grandma. She was in a pretty good mood, pretty bright and cheery. I gave her Morag’s present &emdash; a picture of Jasmina & I at our wedding, very thoughtful gift. After a little while I bade her goodbye – Tracy’s strategy is to say she’s going to work – and we went back to Junes.
I raided her photo collection, Susi is going to scan the rest of the old photos of grandma’s and send them to me on a CD, hopefully. This technology is wonderful. I gave June the present and she gave me everyone’s birthdays, as well as Susi’s address (incl. email). Then we headed off for Perth.
Moira was there with Ian and Cara and a friend of hers. She’s much better now but wasn’t yet up to coming with us on a walk along the riverbank. We went up to the railway bridge, crossed over to the town side, down again and back over on Perth bridge. Nice little town, lots of flowers around at the moment (Ian said that’s just a temporary thing). We ordered some delivery Indian food for dinner and had a few drinks and chatted.
Got back to Kinross about 10:30, threw the bags in the room and called Jasmina, then went to sleep. Set the alarm for 4:30 the next morning… ugh.
Dad dropped me off at the airport the next day, foggy and rapidly brightening as the sun rose. Got into London very early, Sunday morning and nothing was open. Wandered around listlessly for a while, there was a market of some sort setting up so I hung around for a while and checked it out. Time was running out so I headed back to the airport by tube and home to Boston. Great trip.