Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back on Charge

After practically no sleep, a 5am start, 3 flights, shopping and a drive it was difficult to know where to begin when we returned home late last night.

Unfortunately I picked up the phone in Sofia airport and agreed to logon to investigate a customer issue as soon as I got home.  So the relaxing evening was in effect cancelled.

One thing I can rely on is our ability to recharge.  And of course we don't mean physically. Agata and Marcus pride ourselves on our keeping going without sleep, after all we are IT consultants!

However the same is not true of electronic friends.  They tire quickly. Only a few days away but most daily helpers were desperately low on juice:

Agata's iPad maintained an incredible battery life, but my poor 2 year old iPod needed a good boost.

I used the waterproof MP3 player twice whilst swimming, and he was totally flat.

It was the first test of our inexpensive Samsung camera.   Over 300 photographs and a charge is required.

The wireless headphones had been left on by accident.  Now totally flat

The keyboard picked now to run out of charge.   4 batteries to charge up.

Baby Nokia performed well but it urgently needed some electricity food.

Finally the obsolete but still capable Logitech speakers were flat too.

So now our electronics is charged, and, our now that bodies and minds are recharged from our mini vacation I guess it is time to go off to work :-(

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday in Varna

We barely had time to admire the decor outside the swimming pool of our Hotel Dimyat, because this Sunday was our only change to explore Varna.  Tomorrow we will spend a full day travelling back to Switzerland so after a swim we were out walking

First a fancy coffee at a nearby open plan restaurant 

Wedding review

Welcome to McDonalds, alternate spelling included

Well, a mediocre clothes shop in this instance

Journey to Varna cathedral

Our first introduction at the Cathedral tells us to avoid Pick Pockets!

 As we have commented before.   Given our religious persuasions we spend a huge amount of time visiting Religious icons.   Ah, we like irony.

You can pay money to get a candle which you light and place in some sand.  There is a full time candle remover and reorganised walking around due to volume of candles consumed

Just a few of the spectacular views.  See full Picasa album for more

Oh yes,  we did donate to the Cathedral fund, AND we paid for the photography pass!

Interesting to see the alternative marketing.  This is from Nestle Bulgaria.

Streetside coffee machines abound

Are these waste bins a communist standard?  We have this design in Poland too!

Our visit to Varna Mall resulted in 0 purchases.  But we tried hard.

Time for a spot of lunch at the Fancy Restaurant

We exit the Mall and our goal is to walk to the industrial part of town. 

Just close to the Mall is a different world with some pretty basic living accommodation 

Arrival at the train yard.   It a mixture of current and derelict rolling stock

Ancient rolling stock 

Eventually we get back to the beach 

Agata takes the opportunity to get barefoot

 I still can't decide if this is a genuine or replica F40

More communist relics

 The Motorbike wall

 In the evening the beaches are manicured

Farewell Dinner to all 

Varna Cathedral by night

Sunday in Varna, Picassa Album

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pierre and Krissy's wedding day

And so the big day for Pierre and Krissy is here and we are delighted to be present.   In summary, a fantastic day,  everything went brilliantly.  Here is what happened

 Whilst Pierre and the Video Cameraman were getting acquainted Agata and Marcus checked out Pierre's room.  We hope it's no better than ours!

Initially we'll take the wedding car with Pierre to the Hotel Splendid where we'll meet up with some other family members

The Varna Cathedral is an impressive architectural sight.  And we are so glad that it will have no involvement in Pierre and Krissy's special day

Arrival at Krissy's parents house.  Wedding party now fully assembled.  The first traditional part of the ceremony is that Pierre the groom goes to the door of the family asking for the hand of the bride and has to articulate his case and win over the hearts of the parents.

Varna is a kitty friendly city.   This is a good sign to us

Bride and Groom leave Krissy's house with musical accompaniment

Time for some photos before a trip to the Registry Office.

Arrival at the Registry Office

 One of several traditional ceremonies in the Office

Pierre's parents Mr and Mrs Renwick ... very happy

The registrar

 Last part of the ceremony ... you are now married!

Time for the Professional and my amateur group photograph.

After this we journey back to the Hotel Dimyat were the wedding reception is being held

We were seated well before Krissy and Pierre arrived.  So long before we thought they might have got lost!  But apparently they had been on a whirlwind photographic tour 

Finally they are here :-)

 First of many innovative events.  Here bread is broken by Pierre and Krissy to determine who is going to earn the money for the family in future years

First Dance

 Marcus helped along the party by drinking all that he could

An example of some excellent Bulgarian Merlot.

 Marcus waits anxiously for the highpoint of the evening ... the Dessert course to arrive

And here it is: the Wedding Cake.

Paul and Louise share in another finger licking good Bulgarian wedding cake eating tradition 

 Father and Son 

The clamouring for the bouquet

The search for the Garter 

A final event at the close of the evening.

And so Pierre and Krissy are now married.   We are so happy that we were able to show our support of this traditional and Secular wedding.   I don't think I saw an unhappy face all day long.

Full Resolution and Extended Picassa Album