Australia

A short hike on Mt. Barney, nothing too strenuous

The Scenic Rim is the name of the bottom left quadrant of a giant circle in south-east Queensland, centred on Brisbane, of radius one hundred kilometres and which more or less forms, in those parts, the border with New South Wales. The Rim itself is made of a chain of mountains which was formed by… Continue reading A short hike on Mt. Barney, nothing too strenuous

Russia · Travel

Our, and Russia’s, first Kremlin

Having learnt just enough Russian to recognise the word gorod (town, city) in the name Veliky Novgorod, the town four hours south of St. Petersburg (by train) we'd be stopping in overnight on our way to Moscow, I wondered what the nov- prefix meant. Indeed, what did Veliky mean? Eoin and the dragon Well, turns… Continue reading Our, and Russia’s, first Kremlin

Russia · Travel

In the Hermitage and at the ballet in Russia’s city of culture

Back home in Brisbane after our European summer break, we watched a movie one cold winter's evening called Russian Ark. It's set in the Winter Palace of St. Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum, somewhere we'd visited on the Russian leg of our trip, and it's unusual for having been shot in one ninety-six-minute-long continuous take. In… Continue reading In the Hermitage and at the ballet in Russia’s city of culture

Russia · Travel

A tour of Leningrad – I mean St. Petersburg

We'd lined up a tour guide for our first full day in Russia. Igor came and met us outside our hostel/hotel. He was a serious, middle-aged, academic type, and spent a long time untangling four sets of headphones he said he wanted us to use while he talked into a microphone as we walked the… Continue reading A tour of Leningrad – I mean St. Petersburg