A much-needed update!

Well, it’s certainly about time I posted a new update, don’t you say?!

I’ve been in Glasgow now with Anza and Malcolm for the past 5 days, and spent 3 in Aberdeen prior to that with Carol, Bernie and the two oldies as well. It’s been a lot of fun and I still have two days left so there’s still plenty to see. It’s been nice to visit the houses where Dad was born and grew up, as well as those of Grandma and Grandbert, and to hear some of the background and history of the family – I’ve found it very interesting! I’ve also had the pleasure of a very willing driver, so I’ve seen some great places! We’ve visited Ayrshire (Robert Burns’ place, Culzean Castle, etc), Drymen and Loch Lomond (from one end to the other, no less…) Lanark and the Falls of the Clyde, and the aforementioned tours of the family haunts.

There are plenty of photos in my flickr, unfortunately they’re all a bit awkward to post here due to their proportions etc… Check them out at http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewleitch

Before I came down here I spent a couple of weeks after Oktoberfest (interesting experience, that one..) back at the hotel at Corgarff, basically doing nothing. However, I got my first snow of the European trip there, so that’s worth noting – there’s a photo of it on flickr :p

It’s steadily been getting colder and colder (and wetter and wetter here in Glasgow), and I’m really finding myself having to start to rug up to go outside – it’s only autumn… Winter will surely be an experience!

Also worthy of note is that a week from today Alli will finally be joining me in London (after I spend the weekend with Uncle Tim..) to start the next chapter of the trip, and I really can’t wait. It’s been a really tough and trying 3 and a half months apart, but I’m happy to be able to say that we’ve just about made it and we’ll soon be able to enjoy each other’s company again. Talking on the phone or over Skype really isn’t any kind of satisfactory alternative to face to face contact, so I’m really excited to finally see her again!

Well, this update is really just that – bringing the blog up to date – so forgive me if it’s a bit disjointed and rambling. I’ll try to keep posting more regularly now and Alli and I will have plenty of photos and stories to share soon enough.

Stay well,

Andrew

October 21, 2008 at 10:21 pm Leave a comment

Salzburg, Austria.

Well, what a lovely little city!! The new part is a bit grimy and not particularly nice, but the Old Town is just wonderful. This is the place that brought us Mozart and the Sound of Music, so it’s got to be pretty good! 

Seriously though, we arrived here on Monday and I love this place. We’ll be here until Thursday, when I’ll head off to Vienna and Tristan to Paris before heading Munich. There’s not really a lot to say, except that it’s been pretty cold the whole time we’ve been here. 5-7 degree days have been the norm. Tomorrow it’s supposed to fine up a bit, so we’ll head up to the castle on the hill and check out the view!

As I said, there’s not a lot to report, so here are a few photos…

 

Cathedral.. Really really pretty, totally different to the Gothic architecture of the French cathedrals

 

Cute little lighting store shopfront

 

The main shopping street in the Old Town – a beautiful little district, full of great little shopfronts and museums and galleries.

 

Shoe shopping in Salzburg:

 

Stay well, 

Andrew

September 16, 2008 at 3:59 pm 1 comment

Austria, MTB World Cup.

Well, we’ve been in Austria since Tuesday, and to be honest, I’ve taken photos of nothing but bikes and the people riding them. Hopefully I can get out tomorrow and take advantage of the last day of press pass validity to get up the top of the mountain and take some photos of the incredible scenery that surrounds the town of Schladming. 

The World Cup has been an awesome experience, and a hell of a lot of fun. The track drops approximately 650 metres in elevation over a distance of 2.2 kilometres, with a maximum gradient of around 35%. So in short, it’s bloody steep. There’s not much rock, but some seriously loose rooty sections, and it finishes up coming down what is the worlds fastest Downhill Skiing run – there are some seriously tough and fast corners in this last bit. 

We’ve had some beautiful sunny days, and some seriously wet nights. Thursday night we had a massive thunder storm, and honestly felt at risk of losing our little cheapie tent that we bought for the occasion! Friday saw more rain, and it rained consistently all night. Today the forecast was for 4 degrees and possibility of snow – we didn’t get the snow (just rain), but it sure was really really really really cold up on the mountain this afternoon. 

We’ll probably stay here until Monday, head back to Salzburg for a couple of days, and then when Tristan heads to Paris, I’ll head to Vienna for a little bit, I think! That week is still a little undecided. Money’s a bit funny at the moment, as we haven’t worked out whether we can actually cash our work cheques or not. I’ll be sending mine home on Monday, and hopefully Mum can help me out with that!

I have heaps and heaps of photos from the race, which I can’t be bothered to put up here, so check them out at http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewleitch and have a browse! Believe me, there are more that that, too, but there’s a decent selection there.

Until next time, 

Andrew

September 13, 2008 at 5:36 pm Leave a comment

Schladming – the World Cup!

So we arrived in Schladming on Monday to find not a whole lot going on at first. We spent most of the day walking around town trying to find somewhere to camp, but eventually got lucky when Ryan called us up and said they’d found the campsite – sweet! But it’d cost us 13e a night each – bugger! Ah well, we set up our little tent and everything and got heavily into the sleeping, seeing as it had been by this point about 36 hours since we’d last slept…

 

Anyway, today is the start of the practice so some photos should be coming through in the next couple of days. Keep an eye out and we’ll see what turns up.

September 11, 2008 at 8:37 am Leave a comment

Checking in!

Well, today marks the end of the most recent chapter of our travels, and begins a day or two of transition. We left the Allargue Arms this morning, and after enduring the hour and a half of narrow winding roads at 80mph, we arrived at the Aberdeen train station in one piece (thankfully!), and have been sitting on this train for the last 4 hours. It even has free WiFi! 

 

I’ve been battling unfortunately with the Orange France website for much of this time trying to recharge my phone online, and I’m not sure whether I’ve got it or not. I’ve paid for it as far as I can tell, but my account hasn’t been credited yet… Anyone who reads French (I kind of had to just guess…) feel free to lend a helping hand and tell me if there’s something I’m missing here!!

 

Anyway, we’re on this train to London, then we’ll sit around Stanstead airport for 6 hours or so until we can check in for our 6:30am flight to Salzburg in the morning. We should arrive in Salzburg around 9:30am, from where we’ll jump on a train for the hour long trip to Schladming – the base camp for this final World Cup round. We’ve got press passes organised for the event, so provided the UCI doesn’t renege on it’s promises, there should be plenty of photo opportunity over the next week or so. 

 

Stay tuned!

September 8, 2008 at 5:47 pm Leave a comment

Update!

Well, the last 10 days or so have been busy!

We started off in Nice, caught the TGV (first class!) to Paris, spent a night in Paris, and then got the early bus to London:

Then, we caught the overnight bus to Aberdeen (it really was a drag), where Euan – the owner of the Allargue Arms Hotel where we are working/living came and picked us up where and drove us the 50 miles out to Cock Bridge/Corgarff where the hotel is located. 

The scenery here is beautiful:

 

 

 

 

So, that’s where we are and what we’ve been doing. We’ll be here for another month or so before we head to Austria for the worlds and then Munich for Oktoberfest – can’t wait! Money is going well, all is good.

August 13, 2008 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

Le Tour, final stage

Today saw the final stage of this year’s Tour de France finishing on the Champs Elyssés in Paris. We hung around on the Rue du Rivoli to catch the peleton as they pushed through a few laps of the Place de la Concorde. I’ve only made the effort to process one photo thus far, and I went for something a little different this time. 

 

Needless to say, it was an awesome experience and I’ve been stoked to be able to catch a few stages of this year’s tour. Definitely something I want to do again when I have the opportunity. Maybe next year!!

July 27, 2008 at 8:03 pm Leave a comment

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