Greece: Day 1-2 – Getting to Tseria

The beginning of full coverage of my holiday, starting atv the beginning with the journey to Tseria and the rest of that day.

INTRODUCTION

Yes folks, after yesterday’s little offering I am now able to start the story of my Greek holiday in earnest, and my usual logical fashion I am beginning at the beginning.

THE JOURNEY TO TSERIA

The flight to Kalamata (nearest airport to my parent’s house in Tseria) takes off at 5:40AM (the return flight leaves Kalamata at 12:00 Greek time, enabling the same crew to do both flights), which means that for a public transport user who lives in Norfolk the only way to get to the airport is to travel down the night before. I did this, arriving at Gatwick as planned just after 1AM, and making my way via the automatic monorail to the North terminal, where I waited landside until the EasyJet check in desks opened just after 3AM. An uneventful passage through security and I was safely airside and had about 90 minutes to wait for gate information to appear on the screen. I had had a beer landside, and now airside I had a bagel and a coffee while waiting. 

There were equally few dramas boarding the plane. I had an aisle seat, which meant no chance of seeing anything through the windows (they are too small to be of use unless you are in a window seat) and also that I had to get up more often than would have been the case had I been in a window seat.

I had had the forethought to equip myself with plenty of reading matter. We landed at Kalamata fractionally ahead of schedule, a gain that was more than lost to slow baggage handling at that end. My parents collected me in their hire car, a nice sensible Skoda Citigo, very economical on the fuel, and suitably robust for handling rural Greek roads (which are much better than they were when I visited Greece in the early 1980s, but still a fair way from being describable as ‘good’). 

Inspite of a sleepless night I managed to get through the day without napping and went to bed at a sensible time, following a meal at the new taverna that has opened in the village. It was good of its kind and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Network MapLondon Underground MapBathroom mosaic, Tseriatelephone teapot, TseriaJazz poster, TseriaKardamili Jazz Festival ads, TseriaPoster

Church just below my parents house
This is the first of a number of pictures taken from the balcony outside my parent’s house.

View towards the seaLeptiniView down the mountainsOlive posterbird mosaic photographsMosaic over the stairs

New tower, Tseria
This tower is newly built since I was last in Tseria.

Coloured posterModel TortoiseThe view of Kardamili

Kardamili from above
A distant view of Kardamili and the mouth of the Viros Gorge.
artwork, local church I
There is a lot of fascinating artwork set into the walls of the church just below my parent’s house in Tseria and I captured some of it.

artwork, local church IIartwork, local church IIIartwork, local church IV

Welcome to Sunday Social

Why not join in with Rachel’s Sunday Social….

Rachel McKee~Illuminated Literation

Sunday Social is a place to mingle, collaborate, and share our blogs. Sunday Social is one more place where you can share a post that maybe didn’t get as much feedback as you were hoping for. Sunday Social is a place to meet new bloggers.

This weekly post is a “wild card” of sorts. There aren’t many rules but I do ask that you follow a few guidelines.

  • Give honest, constructive feedback, but always be courteous.
  • If someone takes the time to comment on your post, please return the favor and check out their endeavors too.

How do you participate?

It’s very easy.

  • Copy and paste the link to your blog or a specific blog post in the comment section below.
  • Give us a little blurb about your blog, the feedback you are looking for, or if you are just hoping to meet some new blogger buddies.

Voila! That’s it.

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Greece – an Aperitif

Introducing what will be a series about my holiday in Greece.

INTRODUCTION

I am just back from a week in Greece, mainly in places without internet connections. I have huge numbers of photos to edit, so to keep things going for the moment I am presenting a selection from across the week, plus the return flight, on which I had a window seat.

THE PHOTOGRAPHS

Lizard I
The first few pictures here are from in and arouns Tseria, where I was staying.

Lizard IICleopatraLizard IIIButterflyButterfly IIHeraldic Double EagleButterfly - folded wingsMule trackButterfly on spiky plant

Map
This map is part of the decor of the shop from which my new Sandals came.

Fish in rockpoolred beetleOrange Butterfly

Me at the gateway to Methoni Castle
My new profile pic – me at the gateway to Methoni Castle.

View at Methoni Castle

The Bourtzi of Methoni
The Bourtzi of Methoni.
The bridge connecting the Bourtzi to the main castle
The bridge linking the main castle and the Bourtzi
The main castle from the Bourtzi
The main castle from the Bourtzi
Heraldic lion, Methoni
A heraldic lion set into the stonework of the outer wall of the castle

Giant green beetle

The Bath of Nestor
The bath of Nestor, Pylos

Yellow butterflyHopping insectNatural Window

House Martin nests
House Martin nests, Agios Nikolaos
Adult House Martin visits one of the nests
An adult House Martin visits one of the nests
Distant view of Karytaina Castle
Karytaina Castle
Waterfall, open-air museum Dimitsana
The next three shots show water power – all taken at the open-air museum of water-power, Dimitsana

Waterfall, DimitsanaWater power, Dimitsana

Karytaina Castle from below I
Two shots of Karytaina Castle from below

Karytaina Castle from below II

Lousios bridges I
The first of four shots of the bridges over the Lousios.

Lousious bridges II

Alfios
The Alfios, the other river guarded by Karytaina

Lousios bridges IIIruins at KarytainaLousios bridges IV

Small castle between Tseria and Kalamata
A tower between Tseria and Kalamata, the last picture taken from ground level to feature in this post.
Major bridge from 37,000 feet up
Even with 37,000 feet of vertical distance between me and it this bridge looked impressive.

Seaside town from the airOverhead shot of a near sea townCoastal land from the airCoastal developmentCoastal Town

Bridge links two landmasses
Another fine bridge (two shots)

bridge closer-upAerial View

Sharing our airspace
This aeroplane was flying at a lesser altitude than the Airbus A320 that I was aboard
Stretch of coastline
A stretch of French coastline.
White cliffs
The approach to Britain – I believe we flew directly over Brighton, if the combination of a large pier and a major cricket ground (Sussex CCC’s HQ if I am correct) is anything to go on.

Answers to Puzzles and Notice of Absence

Notice of my imminent departure for a week’s holiday and solutions to Wednesday’s puzzles.

INTRODUCTION

A couple of days ago I set some puzzles for you, and in this post I will be answering them. Also, I am off to Greece for a week’s holiday later tonight (I fly out of Gatwick at 5:40AM, so am envisaging taking the 21:36 train out of Lynn, connecting to a Thameslink service at St Pancras and arriving the airport just after 1AM – the second latest set of connections available to me, and I know British public transport too well and trust it too little to rely on the last possible connections) and although I will take any opportunities that arise to go online I will still have comparatively little access to the internet, so you will hear little from me between now and a week tomorrow evening when I shall be back home.

SOLUTION 1: DR FRANKENINE

Dr Frankenine

Here is the most elegant of the official solutions, posted by Callum Cassidy-Nolan:

CCN

SOLUTION TWO: FUEL TANK

Fuel Tank

As you can see from the above graphic, almost half of those who attempted solutions on brilliant.org got it wrong. A perusal of the comments section revealed a degree of reluctance on the part of some of the errant solvers to admit to being wrong (never mind arguing with the umpire, some of these folk were metaphorically following that up by arguing with TV replay umpire) so I am to explain the whole process of getting the right answer (though it took me milliseconds to work out and not much longer to enter the correct answer):

  1. After stage 2) half of the original fuel remains and is then topped up with new fuel, and we are told to assume that perfect mixing occurs…
  2. After stage four one quarter of the tank of perfectly mixed fuel has gone, and as it is perfectly mixed one half of that fuel is original, meaning that a further one eighth of total tank full of original fuel has been used.
  3. One half plus one eighth = five eighths of the original tank full of fuel has been used, leaving three eighths of the original tank full still there.
  4. As a percentage three eighths is 300/8 = 37.5 per cent, and the question has asked for that figure. 

One particularly offensive complainant attempted to use the fact that the question had said decimals allowed to claim that an answer of 0.375 should have been permitted. This is wrong – the question specifically asked for a percentage, and the reason for mentioning the a decimal figure was OK was so that people did not think they needed to round to the nearest whole number, which in correct mathematical notation would have been 38 (the figure being rounded away is five or greater so you round up, had it been four or less it would have been correct to round down). 

Another complaint people made was being marked wrong for including the percentage symbol – I am less unsympathetic to this than I am to the indefensible claim that 0.375 should have been marked as right, as this latter has missed out turning the answer into a percentage, but including the symbol is still a mistake as the way the question is asked renders it needless to do so. 

Please note that I did not create this problem and had nothing to do with deciding what answer should be marked as right – I have treated it at length because I was annoyed on the composers behalf that so many solvers rather than attempting to see by looking at correct solutions, of which plenty of good ones were posted, why their chosen answer was wrong instead opted for the ‘argue with the umpire’ approach, in some cases being very unpleasant about it. Here to end this little post is David Vreken’s published solution:

DV

A Couple of Puzzles and Some Butterflies

A couple of easy problems on brilliant.org that have generated considerable controversy, and some butterfly pics of my own.

INTRODUCTION

A couple of this weeks puzzles on brilliant.org have generated considerable controversy, so I am going to share them with you as a prelude to the butterfly pics. Both puzzles are actually very simple, and I will provide solutions and explanations some time on Friday.

PUZZLE 1: DR FRANKENINE

Here is a screenshot of the first puzzle:

Dr Frankenine

PUZZLE TWO: FUEL TANK

Here it is:

Fuel Tank

BUTTERFLIES

These are from Saturday and Monday. In addition the ones I have photographs of I have seen one other species, mainly white but with flame coloured wingtips but not yet been able to photograph it.

Small Tortoiseshell IIISmall Tortoiseshell IIWhite butterflySmall Tortoiseshellgreen and white butterflyveined white butterfly

Autistic Special Interest 1: Public Transport II

The second post in my personal series about #autisticspecialinterests.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to my second ‘special interests’ post for the month of May. The first, which set the scene can be seen here. The first post dealt exclusively with London, where I grew up. This post looks wider, although it still deals with events from before I was diagnosed. NB – undiagnosed means just that, not diagnosed – it DOES NOT mean “not autistic”.

ST PETERSBURG

This overlaps with the first post, because I visited St Petersburg in 1991. The two week visit I made to that city in 1991 was significant in many ways – it was there that I learned to eat a more varied diet, because I was just mature enough to appreciate that it was a choice between eating what was served or not eating at all and make the best of things. Also, because the family I was staying with were living very close to one of its stations I gained a considerable acquaintanceship withe the St Petersburg Metro, and also experienced the trolleybuses and trams that were a feature of daily life there. 

Other than being horrendously overcrowded the St Petersburg Metro was a significant improvement on the London equivalent – a far more frequent service, and no delays. Also the underground portions were much deeper than in London, with often two colossally long escalators (far longer than any London equivalent) between the platform and the surface. This was my first major experience of public transport anywhere other than London. 

GOING SOLO 1: SCOTLAND 1993

My first solo holiday took place in the summer of 1993, when I travelled to Scotland for two weeks. I travelled all around Scotland in those two weeks. As well as some seriously scenic journeys on mainline railways (I experienced both the lines the head towards Skye among others) I also made the acquaintance of the Glasgow undeground system (a single, circular route). 

This holiday was a splendid experience overall, but a mere curtain raiser for…

A SCANDINAVIAN HOLIDAY

This happened in the following summer., Equipped with a rucksack and a two week rail pass for Norway, Sweden and Finland I started by taking a plane to Gothenburg. From there I travelled north, pausing in Stockholm. From Sundsvall I temporarily abandoned trains to take a boat across to Vaasa in Finland. From Vaasa I headed for Helsinki, and then the longest single journey of the trip, to Narvik, the most northerly railway station in the world. I continued my northerly exploration by bus as far as Tromso, before switching to boat for a journey along the coast to Hammerfest, the northenmost town in Norway. I varied my route back by taking a bus from Hammerfest to Alta (a mistake, this place is the Nordic equivalent of Brandon, only with even less appeal). Back in Narvik I selected a bus to Bodo, Norway’s other northern rail outpost. This decision cost me a  night spent on the sgtatiopon platform at Bodo before I could head south to Oslo. From Oslo I headed east to Stockholm, and my last journey of the holiday (other than the flight home) was from Stockholm to Gothenburg.

Not having previously explored any foreign public transort systems in this kind of detail I was highly impressed. Although there are many ways in which Nordic public transport is a vast improvement on British I note a few things in particular:

  • Comprehensiveness – although the terrain in these countries is much more difficult than anything in Britain pretty much anywhere of any size has some sort of public transport connection.
  • Integration – there is not much duplication between bus and train routes. The buses tend to cover the routes that the trains do not. The only small flaw I noted in that first visit to these countries was that en route from Helsinki to Narvik we had to disembark at Haparanda on the Finnish side of the Finland/ Sweden border to transfer to Boden on the Swedish side for the last leg of the journey to Narvik, and even that was handled efficiently.
  • Reliability – never once in these two weeks, nor in my more recent trip to Sweden, did I encounter a service not running precisely when it was supposed to, and there has never been a two week period in my lifetime when one could be in Britain, travelling by public transoort most days, and get that kind of service.

FUTURE POSTS AND PICTURES

My next post in this series will look at public transport in various cities that I have experience of. Here to end are some public transport themed pictures…

86
Lot 86 in our next auction – see my post about my first week as a commuter on the Lynx njumber 49 re the rarity of such uncut cigarette cards

86-a86-b86-c

110
Lot 110
181
Lot 181

181-a

199
Lot 199 – second behind on lot 86 on my wanted list…
199-a
…not least for this.
200
Lot 200
223
Lot 223
224
Lot 224
278
Lot 278

 

 

Welcome to Sunday Social

Another Sunday Social with Rachel for those who are interested…

Rachel McKee~Illuminated Literation

Sunday Social is a place to mingle, collaborate, and share our blogs. Sunday Social is one more place where you can share a post that maybe didn’t get as much feedback as you were hoping for. Sunday Social is a place to meet new bloggers.

This weekly post is a “wild card” of sorts. There aren’t many rules but I do ask that you follow a few guidelines.

  • Give honest, constructive feedback, but always be courteous.
  • If someone takes the time to comment on your post, please return the favor and check out their endeavors too.

How do you participate?

It’s very easy.

  • Copy and paste the link to your blog or a specific blog post in the comment section below.
  • Give us a little blurb about your blog, the feedback you are looking for, or if you are just hoping to meet some new blogger buddies.

Voila! That’s it.

View original post 46 more words