Sunday, 26 December 2010

Snow storm (as seen from my window)

I just can't get tired of this view. Let it snow! A morning spectacle of nature. Makes me feel like singing:

When the winter comes and the cold sets in
As the city's prone to do
They forecast heavy seas and gale force winds
That's really nothing new

When I'm falling down
Deeper than the underground
My thoughts race back to you
Again and again

Monday, 20 December 2010

Snowy Berlin

Elegance and glamour in a city which has a lot to tell; The former centre of unending battles is an open-air museum.
I had been to Berlin for the first time in March of 2007. I remember the exact date because it was my birthday and by the end of March the landscape in Berlin is not so white as in December, but still very beautiful to see and take some photos.
The photo beside was taken in the Brandenburg gate. The famous walls of Berlin which divided the city in two used to be just behind it. They eventually fell in 1989.
For those who visit, I recommend a walk through the Tiergarten park (even if it's snowy), the Berlin Zoo (Yeah, go there see the Brazilian Jaguar and the Siberian Amur leopard!), Brandenburg gate, Berlin memorial to the Jewish killed in WWII, Wax museum, the Berlin tower etc. You will need at least two full days to see them all. If you are a fan of history maybe you will need few more days.

I took few photos and I also made a video of the Brazilian jaguar (Panthera onca) which is similar to the very endangered Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis).

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Spanish nightmare

I've just lived the most frustrating weekend ever! I was supposed to meet my family in Madrid and stay there for three days before heading back (with them) to snowy Wrocław.
I had a flight from Wrocław to Madrid via Frankfurt. I left work on Friday at 15:00 so I could be on time for the flight at 17:00 to Frankfurt and then connect to another flight to Madrid. Before getting on board, I was constantly checking the current situation of my next flight (the one to Madrid) on my phone. There were no cancellation nor delay remarks on it. Everything was going to be fine, but the first leg of the flight was starting to get delayed. Airport staff informed that the crew was one hour delayed because they got stuck in Wrocław's traffic jam. Why didn't the crew leave the hotel earlier? Some people just can't handle Wrocław! But even with one hour delay I would have enough time to connect my flight to Madrid. So, let's fly then!
My first big frustration came when I landed in Frankfurt and the flight to Madrid was canceled (it got canceled when I was already flying! bad luck, isn't it?). Air space controllers started a strike in whole Spain. There were still lots of uncertainties whether it was going to be long. Lufthansa arranged me some hotel for the night and put me in the next flight to Madrid at 6:55 in the morning of Saturday. After a very short night in Frankfurt (slept only 4 hours) I rushed back to the airport and got the information that the flight at 6:55 had been canceled. They kept being optimistic and put me on the flight at 9:35 which eventually got canceled too. Everybody expected some quick action from the coward government of Spain. The strike affected nearly 250.000 people. My 3-day weekend was getting shorter, and I decided to come back to Poland. I asked them to re-book my flight back to Wrocław which was originally scheduled for Monday at 20:05 to the same flight on that Saturday. When I tried to check-in later I got another big frustration: flight back to Wrocław got also canceled due to technical problems (four canceled flights for me within 24h - Am I going to Guinness book for that?) and the next flight to Wrocław was going to be on Sunday at 12:35. I went back to Lufthansa's desk and I said that I just want to go back to Poland! To whichever airport they can get me a flight to! So they offered me a flight to Poznań at 16:00. Deal. From Poznań to Wrocław the train journey took me two hours and twenty seven minutes, no delays. Nightmare ended for me on Saturday around 22:00 when I was already under my warm blanket and writing this post. I'm not flying to Spain so soon. I hate it already! :P Next time, maybe a train trip to Ukraine or Croatia. :)