Hi, I hope this year has treated you well, and that you've been having fun! For me the big news was escaping work on 6 months long service leave for the latter half of the year. The highlight of this time was 3 months touring Europe from mid-Aug to mid-Nov. I started the trip in mid-August staying with Ingrid sightseeing in Munich and then Immenstadt in Bavaria. From here we first did a weekend walk in the Bavarian Alps with beautiful sunny weather and some great views [L] and then a 1 week walk in the Austrian/Swiss Alps. The weather for this was mixed, but I did make it to the top of two big peaks: Sulzfluh (2817m) and Schesaplana (2965m) [C] with some awesome views. We crossed back from Switzerland to Austria over the knife's edge Gamslucken pass (2383m) with great views of Lunarsee [R]. The next day we woke to 20cm of snow everywhere and had to bail out via the Lunarsee Cable-car!
Then I used a Eurail pass to head north visiting Liepzig; Berlin [Brandenberg Gate L and the Sanssouchi Palaces at Potsdam C]; Hamburg (all in Germany); Copenhagen (Denmark); and on to Goteborg [gallery R] (Sweden). I typically spent just a day in each, seeing the sights and some galleries & museums.
Then on to Norway to Olso; then Arendal where I stayed with Per and Anne; and finally back to Trondheim [L] where I stayed with Martin and Ellen, and caught up with friends from my sabbatical 10 years ago. I then flew to Manchester to visit Eric, Finn & my relatives in Yorkshire [C] and Colin & Rachel in Liverpool. Had a quick day trip to Swansea to hear Colin give his "Science of Juggling" talk, a brief stop in Bath, and then caught the Eurostar train for a few days in Paris [Musee d'Orsay R]. A high-speed train ride took me back to Germany for a few days exploring the middle-Rhine, including a most enjoyable day trip from Bingen to Koblenz and back the next day, before heading back to Munich.
The end of the trip was a bit more sightseeing and exploring of Bavarian Castles including Herrenchiemsee [Ballroom L] and the fairytale Neuschwanstein in Fusen [C]. Then I headed home with 4 day stopevers in Vienna to see Penny & Nick; and finally in Bangkok for a little sightseeing [R] and to give a seminar on Computer Security at Dhurakij Pundit Uni.
As for the rest of the year, it was much the usual. I spent time over summer in Melbourne with the family, and got down the beach fairly often, cf my sister Robyn with Tubby on Somers Beach [L], and the Davies Bay beach [BC]. My brother David visited Canberra in May [BL]. I got to a number of folk festivals, including Cobargo with Trish [hamming it up on Bermagui beach C] and the National at Easter. And there was lots of dancing of course. I competed in the GDS Competition in Ceroc with Renee [C] making the finals which we were both very happy with, as well as separately gathering a bunch of medals for DWAS and other categories. And I've been dancing regularly with Earthly Delights classes and costume balls [R & BR]. Mid-year I started Swing classes with Jumptown for something new.
Thats about it for now, hope it gives some idea of my many and various activities. I hope you're keeping well, and look forward to hearing your news. May your life be filled with peace and joy this Christmas and New Year Lawrie - 3 Apr 2008.
And a few more photos that I didn't get room to squeeze into the printed letter, including the wonderful Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo [L]; some beautiful reflections of a canal bridge at Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire [C]; the view from the top of the Arc de Triumphe in Paris [R]; and me at Rutchawararam temple in Bangkok [BL]. Then another photo with Renee from the GDS Comp [BC]; and more gorgeous costumes from the Earthly Delight Balls [BC & BR].
The Organ Pipes National Park outside of Melbourne last Jan [L]; Mum and Robyn at the new Australia Gardens at RBGC Cranbourne in Feb [C]; and Heather and Miles wedding reception in Mar [R].
Bordonians meet Buffy at the Earthly Delight's Musketeers Ball in Apr [L]; Fran's birthday celebrations at Oak Valley near Numeralla in Aug [C]; and a corner of my living room at home in Chisholm [R].