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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#111  PostPosted: 01 Mar 2012 15:07 
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As you already know, since 1995, every year at the beginning of October, I have been travelling to the Greek island of Kos for some relaxation, visit friends, swim at the hot spa waters and plenty of good Greek food. It is like a yearly ritual and my wife very happily has adopted my old habit. We have already been to Kos twice and this was going to be our 3rd time together.

Why in October you may ask and the answer is simple?

The Kos island is situated south east of Greece and always enjoy very good hot weather. I don't remember a time that I have been there, during October and rained or it was cold. Most of the time temperatures are over 20C, even in the middle of the winter, and they get very little rain. Sometimes temperatures in October are near the 30C, which it's hot.

This time decided to change slightly our plan and include a visit to the larger Island of Rhodes. There is a fast service between the islands, twice daily by Catamaran, have few more friends over there so it wasn't that difficult to organise this island hopping trip.

For our stay in Kos, I booked an early afternoon flight and a studio at the "Denise apartments," in the Psalidi area, north and just outside from Kos town, which are located near the hot spa waters. I know it's owner and we did get a very good apartment. We always get a car so we travel all over the island easily!

In Rhodes accommodation was arranged through a hotel owner, personal friend of mine.

The Catamaran departs twice daily and makes one stop at the island of "Symi", and we bought the tickets on the same day of departure.

I think, I will not bore you any more with other details and will be better to let the photos speak for themselves!

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Hanna can wait to start eating the delicious meze, at Arapi Restaurant!

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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#112  PostPosted: 01 Mar 2012 15:14 
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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#113  PostPosted: 01 Mar 2012 15:26 
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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#114  PostPosted: 02 Mar 2012 08:05 
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memories of warm days...


oh I remember walking those Rhodes castle walls very well.


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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#115  PostPosted: 03 Mar 2012 19:44 
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For a long we have talked with my wife that Venice is one place that we must visit, so as a Birthday present she suggested we go there for 3-4 days visit. As it happens we had to alter our plans slightly because on my birthday we had to go to my granddaughter’s christening in London and booked to go on the 30th of January to the 2nd of February.

Personally I have been there before but for my wife was the first time and as time came closer she was getting very excited. I am sure you all heard the famous song, “O sole Mio”, that stirs the romantic notions and feelings about Venice. This romantic call echoing out from the gondolas has stirred many people and made them to get over there. Countless films featuring the canals, gondolas and bridges in Venice have no doubt evoked a strong interest for a visit. Venice is one of the most romantic cities in Europe and you will never get disappointed even visiting during the winter.

With more than one hundred small islands and canals and more than four hundred bridges, Venice is built like no other city in the world. Water and indeed high water (the locals call it 'acqua alta') is a standard feature of life in Venice. The water level in the lagoon sometimes rises and flood the streets. However, I was told that the high water is quite predictable and is announced well in advance.

The city of Venice sees more tourists than the number of its citizens and Venice knows its primary industry very well. The many hotels in Venice offer a wide variety of accommodation. There is something for the budget traveller and for those with more generous means. The architectural beauty and the stories connected with famous buildings often make travellers to overstay.

The city is not going to be around forever. Water is slowly corroding the foundations of the city and the buildings themselves are sinking. Unless some major (and exceptionally successful) steps are not taken, Venice will eventually end up like Atlantis but we must not despair just yet. The process will still take a few thousand years.

A holiday in Venice can be the most memorable experience in your life. Summer or winter, the city offers great sights and a unique environment that is unparalleled anywhere else. Whether on a small budget or as someone on a more elaborate vacation, you can’t beat the sights of Venice!

In the meantime, my wife and I enjoyed immensely our holiday break in Venice and we think it’s the ideal romantic holiday spot. Its rich history and intricate system of waterways and walkways mean there is a surprise around every corner. During my search for accommodation, found many affordable hotel rooms and our little hotel we stayed, was right just around the corner from the famous Sam Marco Square.

Venice is a city of boats, no surprise there, as it’s famous for gondolas, water busses – vaporetti – and water taxis but its dependency on water travel is particularly delightful in two regards. First Venice is incredible quiet and rarely hear loud motors running because there no cars. Second you see all sorts of interesting and unexpected boats. We saw ambulance boats, garbage boats, construction boats and many other kind of boats and mostly the local busses ones. The bus system is excellent, very comprehensive and very good. The weather turned cold after a couple of days but it didn’t really bothered us and we really enjoyed my "birthday" holiday and New year’s break in Venice.

As usual taken too many photos and here are some of them.

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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#116  PostPosted: 03 Mar 2012 19:55 
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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#117  PostPosted: 03 Mar 2012 19:58 
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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#118  PostPosted: 15 Mar 2012 21:58 
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Several times we have discussed in the past of how important and vital is our wife's to have good communication with her parents back home. I am sure everybody has found some way to make cheap calls to Russia/Ukraine and FSU or they have contact via their computer using one the many messengers available.

Ever since I met my wife and while we were still courting, I made sure that her computer was in tip top working order and installed for her a camera and MSN Messenger. At the same time we arranged with her local provider, UFA net, that is supplying Cable TV, Telephone service and Internet connection via a fibre optics cable to have a very fast broadband, 30 Mbits, for the pricey sum of 350 Rubble's a month! I am sure you would have guessed already that her Internet connection and MSN messenger, after that, were not only in daily use but were providing us with an excellent communication tool that helped us to build and improve our relationship.

Since our marriage, back in June 2008, the same communication tool has been used from my Mother in Law to talk to us, almost daily, and slowly I teach her how to use it correctly, with excellent results. Basically all my MIL had to do is to switch on the computer, then the Internet connection was opening automatically as also the MSN Messanger. One click on MSN and she was/is on line with us. [thumbs.gif]

The unfortunate thing is that over the past 3 years, some very close relatives of my wife, who visit her often, without asking...... use the computer for their own communication and most of the time something went wrong, and time after time my wife and I had to spent a lot of time to discover what was the problem and sort it out, bearing in mind that I don't speak Russian, wife is not an expert in English computer techninal terms and my MIL hardly knows anything about computers.

Last December and while one of the relatives was using the computer something went wrong and they called in an "Expert" to sort it out!

Well this expert managed to start the computer and at the same time, he was asked to make Skype as the default Messenger for our relative to use it. Additionally he deleted the MSN Messenger and also the AVG Free Antivirus program that I had installed and replaced with another one, which of course was not FREE like AVG. There was nothing I could do about it after the event, so I had to use my SKYpe to speak to MIL.

When Skype came out I was one of the first 8 million people to install it but I soon realised that Skype is using most of the computer resources, like Memory and CPU making the use of any other program simultaneously very difficult, and if ever I used anything else the quality of the voice was/is distorted. On the other hand MSN Messenger is low in the use of resources and the CPU (Central Processing Unit - Chip) and more importantly is producing an excellent full screen picture and very good quality Audio. I am also able to use other programs, at the same time, and some of them are heavy in the use of resources, PhotoShop, and Web editor for example.

Few days ago, I got hold of a new program "Team Viewer" that allows me to remotely access my MIL computer and make any necessary changes and improvements but I was not aware that the internet connection was not automatically connecting and my poor MIL had to learn to click the "UFA net" link to open the connection. I discover it when after a long and painful time managed to delete the new and not working Antivirus program and download AVG but then the installation requires rebooting the computer.

After realising that something has gone wrong, called my MIL and she told me about the "Clever" [surprised.gif] way to connect "Manually" [nono.gif] to the internet. After that I spent a couple of days clearing all the mess that has been accumulating, because none of the relatives knew what to do and what programs to run regularly, cleared a lot of unnecessary heavy games programs, installed MSN Messenger and made the computer running much better and fast, like I left it when I was there 2 years ago.

Naturally, I was pleased with myself and my MIL was much happier because she was used to good quality Audio and excellent full screen video. [veryhappy.gif]

So, I decided to solve the problem of the internet not opening automatically and after of few frustrating calls to "UFAnet support" with my wife, finally we spoke to somebody who promised to sent an Engineer to correct the fault!

Today this young technician arrived, while I was de-fragmenting her disk, and without any warning he started working on the computer. To my amazement without first "making a Back up" he went into the "Registry" of the PC and started deleting and changing lines etc. Everybody who knows about computers will tell you that you don't work on the "Registry" without first making a back up! [nono.gif]

By the time we managed to call home and speak to him........ he had dome several changes/deletions etc in the "Registry" but he re-assured us that the system from now on will connect automatically to the Internet and he will reboot the computer several times to make sure it works.

Well soon my worst fears proven right...... and it took him another 2 hours to manage to make the computer to work, as it was doing before he started work....... [angry2.gif]

Then he announced that "he has more clients to visit and my MIL will have to continue just click the link to open the connection and ..... left," ignoring my wife's and my comments. [sick.gif]

I am sure you can imagine what I will have to say, when we call tommorrow to his supervisor!

PS: Sorry about my ranting but....... I am extremely angry. [angry2.gif] [angry2.gif] [angry2.gif]


UPDATE:

After calling Ufa net and speaking to the head of the support department......finally the problem was resolved. It appears it was something to do with their configuration but he would not admit anything.

Never mind, now everything works as it should be. All my MIL has to do is to switch on the computer, in the morning and go to her kitchen to do her chores.

The computer loads automatically the MSN Messenger, the Team viewer (so I can get in whenever I want), updates the antivirus AVG, AVG scans the pc and clears any malware and the pc is ready for communication .... when we are getting up here in the UK, must not forget we have 5 hours difference in the summer.

So everybody is happy now! [yahoo.gif]

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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#119  PostPosted: 28 Mar 2012 09:44 
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Costa Del Sol - Spain 16 March - 21 March 2012

Living in the South of England we get a lot of opportunities to fly very cheaply around Europe, especially during winter time and my favourite airline EasyJet has not let me down in that score. My wife Hanna had an extra 5 days left from her annual holidays, so after coming back from Venice, where we had cold weather.... we decided to go somewhere hot in March.

Costa Del Sol in the south of Spain is well known for it's high temperatures during winter times, so looked around the Easyjet site and found 2 cheap return tickets (£75 all inc) for the 16 March and book them. Quick search on Booking com and found a small nice and cheap hotel in Torremolinos with very high recommendations from other clients and booked a room there too.

Flight departure was in the late afternoon and 2.20 hours later we landed in Malaga aiport and we were not dissapointed with the weather and temperature, which was around 20C at that time of the day. A very short drive, 10 minutes down the road and we were at our hotel right in the centre of the town Torremolinos. Hotel exceeded our expectations, had everything and more from what we needed and the price we paid £110 for the whole week... was a bonus. Staff usually in Spain don't speak any other language but we managed to communicate well with the very helpfull staff via google translations. [lol.gif]

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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#120  PostPosted: 11 Apr 2012 07:08 
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Visiting Granada

Sunday morning, the weather is absolutely wonderful, so we decided to visit the famous town of Granada, which is about 1.30 hour drive from our base Torremolinos.

Granada is a very modern town with many also historical buildings in the old part of the town. Obviously it was impossible to visit everything on a day trip but the photos below will give you a taste of the town.

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