Discussions (225)

Phil: Un agenda visuel

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~ Phil Moore says:

Sunrise Smiles

I moved to Paris, from England, in August 2006 with the intention of experiencing life in another country, as well as to improve my French. I anticipated being here for at least a year. Will I still be in Paris at the end of 2007?

As well as providing a structure for documenting 2007, I hope that this project will motivate me to make the most of every day: doing things that will not only make my life more fun, but provide something worth looking at for those browsing through this wee archive.

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~~~~~~~~~ January .... ~~~~~~~~~ February ... ~~~~~~~~~~~ March ... ~~~~~~~~~~~~ April
01 02 03 04 05 06 07......................01 02 03 04......................01 02 03 04.......................................01
08 09 10 11 12 13 14.....05 06 07 08 09 10 11.....05 06 07 08 09 10 11.....02 03 04 05 06 07 08
15 16 17 18 19 20 21.....12 13 14 15 16 17 18.....12 13 14 15 16 17 18.....09 10 11 12 13 14 15
22 23 24 25 26 27 28.....19 20 21 22 23 24 25.....19 20 21 22 23 24 25.....16 17 18 19 20 21 22
29 30 31............................26 27 28...........................26 27 28 29 30 31...........23 24 25 26 27 28 29
...................................................................................................................................30

~~~~~~~~~~~~ May .... ~~~~~~~~~~~~ June .... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ July .... ~~~~~~~~~~ August
......01 02 03 04 05 06...........................01 02 03.......................................01................01 02 03 04 05
07 08 09 10 11 12 13.....04 05 06 07 08 09 10.....02 03 04 05 06 07 08.....06 07 08 09 10 11 12
14 15 16 17 18 19 20.....11 12 13 14 15 16 17.....09 10 11 12 13 14 15.....13 14 15 16 17 18 19
21 22 23 24 25 26 27.....18 19 20 21 22 23 24.....16 17 18 19 20 21 22.....20 21 22 23 24 25 26
28 29 30 31......................25 26 27 28 29 30...........23 24 25 26 27 28 29.....27 28 29 30 31...........
.......................................................................................30 31........................................................................

~~~~~~~ September.... ~~~~~~~~~ October .... ~~~~~~~~ November .... ~~~~~~~ December
.............................01 02....01 02 03 04 05 06 07......................01 02 03 04.................................01 02
03 04 05 06 07 08 09.....08 09 10 11 12 13 14.....05 06 07 08 09 10 11.....03 04 05 06 07 08 09
10 11 12 13 14 15 16.....15 16 17 18 19 20 21.....12 13 14 15 16 17 18.....10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23.....22 23 24 25 26 27 28.....19 20 21 22 23 24 25.....17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30.....29 30 31............................26 27 28 29 30................24 25 26 27 28 29 30
...................................................................................................................................31..................................
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Originally posted at 7:11AM, 19 December 2006 PDT (permalink)
~ Phil Moore edited this topic ages ago.

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~ Phil Moore says:

Glad to be of service! I'm sure that whatever zones you decide to go for, and whichever countries you go to, you can't fail to have an amazing time! So much to see and do and taste and ...

As for the Parkour - I love the idea of it, but never really given it a real go ;)

And the sans-ropes - that's where the exhilaration comes from ;)

Thanks Maïa - I wasn't that keen on it myself but I didn't really take any shots on the Friday - guess another example of me having bizarre taste!
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~ Phil Moore says:

Sunday. August 5, 2007
Morning Tea

Waking up, I think everyone who took part in yesterday's events ached all over. I certainly did - everything hurt. But that good pain - the sort that tells you that you've done something, and something fun.

The Peaks were basking in the beautiful morning light, and in keeping with our Englishness, plenty of tea was brewed on a camp-stove.

Once some frisbee was played, and tents were packed away, we decamped to Hathersage for a well-deserved breakfast which saw me through the rest of the day.

And then it was time for goodbyes. Whilst everyone else headed to Chatsworth for rivers and swimming, I had to catch the train back to Sheffield, and then down to London, before catching another train back under La Manche to gay Pareee. But in between trains I did have time for a very wee wander around London, and a problem with the Eurostar carriage that was printed on my ticket meant that I travelled back in First Class. ^_^

By the time I got home it was gone midnight, and I was truly ready for bed.

That was a good weekend. Damn good.
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RobW_ says:

Sounds like an exhilarating, if punishing day, on no sleep at that. I see the Great British weather in the pic above, and the one you linked to is stunning.
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Glow* says:

I'd be glad to travel in first class! At least once ! :D
You lucky guy !
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eelend says:

i love your last shots
and hey, your weekend looks wonderful (and tiring, too, haha, but that's what makes it great, isn't it?)


eelend's 2007
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~ Phil Moore says:

All of those things! And thanks for the kind words on the photos :)

Hehehe, yes, it was nice to have some legspace! trop de chance.

Thank you, quite pleased with how some of them came out ^_^ And the weekend was amazing - and I'm with you all the way on the "that's what makes it great" comment - a friend had a saying which I quite like:

Fun is not relaxing.*

* If it is, you're not doing it right
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Glow* says:

that makes me think of a special way to have fun, hehehe :D...
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~ Phil Moore says:

Hahaha. I think I've forgotten what that is ;)
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CollardGreens says:

Eurostar, coaches, bellding fingers and aching fun...you do lead the good life - see you monday.
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~ Phil Moore says:

Monday. August 6, 2007


Here begins the week of shoddy entries

Body. Does. Not. Want. To. Move...

So after work I had a night in with the colocs and then had a quick browse through this book (which has already done many, many miles), reading up on Warsaw & Kiev.

I'm not really keen on these types of travel books any more, but for the short visits I'll have to the aforementioned cities, where I won't have time to explore for myself, I thought I'd brief myself courtesy of Lonely Planet.
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~ Phil Moore says:

Tuesday. August 7, 2007
Love in Black and in White

Un grand dîner chez nous

(And afterwards I played with some light.)
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eelend says:

love, love
very beautiful

i like those travel books, because i always find something curious

eelend's 2007
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~ Phil Moore says:

Love, love - I like that. ^_^
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~ Phil Moore says:

Wednesday. August 8, 2007


An evening of climbing at MurMur, a climbing wall in the north of Paris that I'd never been to before. I'm slowly starting to get to know some people in Paris who are keen to go climbing, and it feels good.

Some cracking routes (it's a pretty big indoor center, with climbs of 17m), and some that defeated me, which is even better as it gives you reason to go back and conquer them. Definitely need to work on some forearm strength and cut-down on the pâtisseries!

Bit of a shoddy photo, but I didn't take my camera due to anticipation of the fact I'd be concentrating on the climbing and not the snapping, and also that my hands would be covered in chalk all evening ^_~
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sunshinecity says:

Hmm.... not shoddy to me.
I'm back from my vacation... waiting to upload all of my 300 plus pics or so...

When you off??

sunshinecity
~ a picture, a story
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eelend says:

nice pic


eelend's 2007
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~ Phil Moore says:

Thursday. August 9, 2007


A dinner party chez une amie for her birthday, where we dined well, drank well & sung, erm, well?
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~ Phil Moore says:

Friday. August 10, 2007

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~ Phil Moore says:

Saturday. August 11, 2007
Vélib
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~ Phil Moore says:

Sunday. August 12, 2007
100

Centurian

In England, when you reach 100 years of age, you traditionally receive a telegram from the Queen.

I was back for the day (8am Eurostar there, 8pm back) to visit my great aunt who was getting hers.
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ltcherrypn says:

What a fabulous photo and something to charish a very very very long time. This is wonderful.
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Dragonhide says:

Wow that is awesome tidbit about Centurians... Such a nice touch.

Love reading about your adventures, Phil!
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~ Phil Moore says:

Thanks guys, nice of you to say so. And , glad you like the info, I'll try to drop in some more random facts ^_^
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~ Phil Moore says:

Monday. August 13, 2007
Bastille

The Vélibs of Paris provide a much nicer way to get across the city than the métro, particularly on evenings like this. Crossing Paris from Gare de Lyon to École Militaire, one passes a lot of the Paris landmarks: Place de la Bastille (above), Notre Dame, Palais de la Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Pont Alexandre III, Invalides and pretty much all of the ride is presided over by la la Tour Eiffel.

But arriving and spending half an hour searching for a station with available space is frustrating.

Thanks for organising the evening Ted ^_^
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ltcherrypn says:

Very nice shot. I enjoy reading your entries...nice to see what life is like across the world.
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CollardGreens says:

Phil - the photo of your great aunt is well - great ! The lines of her face each have a story to tell and I am sure she would tell you if given the time. It was a good thing to go to her centurian party - I never knew the queen passed a note - good idea.

The meetup group was a large and good one - glad you could come. There are more of us helping Jim now which should make things flow a little easier. Have a good trip to Russia !
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~ Phil Moore says:

Thanks - I think it would be really good at the end of the year to compile some sort of book-or-site-or-something with a selection of images for each day from around the world. Both to see what is shared (e.g. supping caphirinias in Copacabana & in Kazakhstan on July 12th), and also the difference (attending a birth in the Australian summer at the same time as someone attends a funeral in the Nordic Winter)...

Now there's a big task for somebody.

I'm sure they do - although unfortunately I'm not sure how many of them she could recount - her memory certainly isn't what it used to be - she thought I was my sister's husband!

I think the Queen is having her work cut-out for her these days as the frequency of people reaching a century increases. What used to be a personal telegram is now probably somewhat automated. But still, good ol' Liz smiling away.
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ItinerArts says:

When you reach 50, do you get a message from Charles?

www.flickr.com/groups/2007/discuss/72157594528937014/
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~ Phil Moore says:

Tuesday. August 14, 2007


One Point Four

A while ago, I acquired (thanks to a certain Alsacien) a 50mm lens for my dSLR (I've long loved the one on my film Minolta). Unfortunately, due to its age, it only allowed manual exposure, which made it not very practical for all but the most set-up of shots.

I finally dug in to my pockets and invested in a more recent model.

And Adrian's anniversaire provided the perfect opportunity to test it out.

We went around to a friend's house for a big ol' dîner; I love how in Paris you can have very unassuming doorways (this particular one was on rue Montmartre) which open up to behold all sorts of treasures. This was a swanky pad.

And the Ricard-marinated porc went down very well...
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CollardGreens says:

1.4 now you're talking !

Camera: Nikon D80
Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture: f/1.4
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Exposure Bias: 0/6 EV

(EXIF Data associated with this shot !!)
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~ Phil Moore says:

I think I've got you to thank for the push in the right direction ;)
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sunshinecity says:

ooof i love this shot.
I am sad now... i think about all the money i'm going to need to replace my stuff
= (
maybe this will give me an opportunity to save up and then buy a digital 35 mm... like a digital version of my canon 3000 EOS.
*sigh*
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~ Phil Moore says:

Yeah, that royally sucks, particularly without insurance to ease the transition. Good luck pulling it all back together.
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educated boot [deleted] says:

Like you really needed a 1.4 .... :-p
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~ Phil Moore says:

it's all relative
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~ Phil Moore says:

Wednesday. August 15, 2007


Jour Férié

Despite it being a jour férié here in France, I was working in order to gain a 'free' day of holiday for the Россия trip. But I did so from home, with plenty of breaks for tea and nibbles, which were much required after the previous night.

And in the evening I got to try out the chopsticks that my friend brought back for me from China. A stir-fry is a quick, tasty, simple meal:
Throw a bunch of chopped veg into a wok, add some ginger, and just before it's ready some spring onions. Serve with rice & soy sauce and enjoy. Fifteen minutes from walking into the kitchen to sitting at the dinner table. Remind me again why people 'go out' for fast food?
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~ Phil Moore says:

Thursday. August 16, 2007


I'm going to reiterate how much I love the fact that our offices have moved to Paris.

Post-work, straight on a bike and down to Belleville to meet a friend for some vino in a nice wee bar. Then back up to Jaurès for a spot of food & drink with her and another friend before watching 2 days in Paris. (Some very, very funny parts, just a bit let down by some of the more sombre parts, which were poorly done. Worth watching though.) I still get a buzz from seeing films set in the city in which I live.

Where was the hour-long commute? Ah yes, a distant memory...
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RobW_ says:

I started catching up yesterday before being called away, and completed the exercise now. Very special of you to pop across the Channel to attend the old girl's 100th, and you linked to some extraordinary shots of Paris on the 13th (thanks for that). Yours is good, too.

I think you Parisians on your diaries have turned me onto the Velib idea - surely a wonderful way for a tourist to see your city also? I feel a trip to Paris coming on, it has been a long time. You all seem to have done it, with the possible exception of LBT. Come on Lady, let's see you cycling.

You're getting some wonderful results with that new lens. Several faves from these two visits.

Roll on Russia.
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CollardGreens says:

Agree with you 100% on the stir fry and how easy (fast) it is. We make it often and well - I like eating with baguettes anyway. Good Stuff here Phil...

CollardGreens
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~ Phil Moore says:

Hi Rob, thanks for taking the time to look through! The vélib thing is good, except that it's not infrequent that I'm stuck for a place to leave a bike - honey-pots form around the places that the vélibs are more suited too, like heading out for the night! And I can only see this getting worse as Paris refills after the August vacation. We'll see. But it's damn handy to get to work (takes half the time than the métro).
As for tourists, it's a good idea in principle, but it helps a lot to have local knowledge of where they tuck-away the stations. Although they all have interactive screens telling you where the nearest stations are, I've found some bugs and it's not rare that stations I know exists aren't listed! If pocket-Paris-vélib maps are available, that would help no-end, but I've never seen one.

Bread and stir-fry? And then I realised that you'd slipped in the French ^_~ hehe. Much more civilised than a knife and fork...
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~ Phil Moore says:

Friday. August 17, 2007
Stuck in the Sound-12

I'm not a fan of Paris Plage per se. There's nothing really to it - just some deck-chairs and some sand. But what is cool is the events that go on surrounding it - the Festival Indétendcies (sponsored by fnac) being one.

Every Friday and Saturday evening, a few bands play a free concert on a stage erected by the Pont Sully. Above is Stuck in the Sound - a French indie/post-punk kinda band who were really good.

Whilst the weather may not be indicative of the season, the atmosphere here was.

Afterwards, we all rolled over to Mouffetard for some crêpes and some beers.
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Dragonhide says:

that is a sweeeeet 50mm you have. 1.4! wow.
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~ Phil Moore says:

Saturday. August 18, 2007
Déminage

Bomb Disposal

This is the first capital in which I've lived. I guess things have to be taken somewhat more seriously in today's fear-filled world.

A suitcase left in the Marais brought the police & a controlled explosion, rather than the lost-property department & a dusty cupboard.

Keep smiling. The world isn't as bad a place as they'd have you believe.
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RobW_ says:

That looks like a determined pair of individuals.
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~ Phil Moore says:

What amused me was the guy who went in to plant the detonator (and subsequently push the plunger) had his big flak jacket on, but then bare arms and jeans...
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~ Phil Moore says:

Sunday. August 19, 2007
Crumble

Il pleut. (But I quite like it.)

Good things to do on a rainy Sunday:
- take advantage of the quiet period at the market
- go running in the rain
- sit in a café and write letters
- watch a film at the cinema
- bake

These were some of the things that kept me warm when the sun was not fulfilling it duties.
--
Apple crumble recipe:
- brown some peeled, cored apples in a pan with butter, sugar & cinnamon
- mix flour, butter, sugar and a few oats until one has a crumbley mixture
- assemble & sprinkle with nutmeg
- enjoy a cup of tea as the smell emanating from the oven entices you back to the kitchen
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eelend says:

your pic from the 10th is wonderful

mmmm the recipe looks tasty
:)

eelend's 2007
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~ Phil Moore says:

Thanks eeland. I like that one too :)
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~ Phil Moore says:

Monday. August 20, 2007
The End

Heavy heavy music on a boat. Batofar is a fun venue ^_^

I managed to get a free photo-pass for the gig, so I was a happy chappy.

This was The End.
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educated boot [deleted] says:

Is there even room to take photos or are you in front of the moshpit praying to not get swept by the pitters ?
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~ Phil Moore says:

What do you mean "praying to not get swept by the pitteres"? That's the best place to be!
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educated boot [deleted] says:

Well yeah when you're not taking photos ^^
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~ Phil Moore says:

Do both!
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RobW_ says:

Great live shot! I can almost hear the music.
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Glow* says:

I'm craving for your crumble !!!
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Glow* says:

Julien, can you translate your sentence in french for me please ? I don't understand a word :s (can be on msn)
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~ Phil Moore says:

Tuesday. August 21, 2007


Dîner

A combination of not being able to count, and people bringing extras meant that I ended up cooking for eleven in our tiny kitchen with our tiny oven ^^;;

But it was nice to get everybody around a table.

Staying in beats going out.
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CollardGreens says:

Cookin for 1 or 100 doesn't matter if you're having a good time ! Good Stuff Phil ...
CollardGreens
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eelend says:

they look so relaxed


eelend's 2007
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~ Phil Moore says:

Wednesday. August 22, 2007
Constitutional

When it rains in Paris, it pours. At least it's good for the tulips, and the grapes that produce them...

After work, riding down to Villejuif to go climbing, I got absolutely soaked. I really should get a bike with mud-guards...

But climbing was great, and a wee tipple later on helped things along.
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~ Phil Moore says:

Thursday. August 23, 2007


A time for reflection

I can't really remember what I was doing on this Thursday, but I'm sure it involved working late, and then running around like the proverbial headless-chicken to begin getting things sorted for Russia.
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~ Phil Moore says:

Friday. August 24, 2007
Bal

La bal finale

After having moved the Earth to get everything finished at work before I departed, I went to a fun black-tie party organised by some friends.

The hosts were moving back to England after having lived in Paris this (academic) year; a lot of other Frenchie friends were disappearing off to various places; it was a night for farewells.

--

And my backpack that I'd be leaving with the next day was still making it's way back to Paris after having a séjour in Italy. Cutting things fine?
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~ Phil Moore says:

Saturday. August 25, 2007


Paris - Cologne - (Warsaw)

Waking up after having drunk a preparatory amount of vodka, the preparations for departure weren't easy. Having reclaimed my bag, and hurriedly packing, I was off to Gare du Nord to embark on a journey to Russia.

A train to Cologne left me in the German city for a couple of hours before catching a night-train to Warsaw, which, rather ironically, was headed for Moscow. Damn the Belarussian's and their extortionate transit visas...
But it meant that I would spend some time visiting some places that I wouldn't have otherwise gone to.

This was a massive piece of street art outside the grand cathedral of Cologne.

Vivre le travelling.
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RobW_ says:

It seems a long time since I was on this stream, and it seems we have just embarked on your journey to Russia. In the meanwhile, a very appetising chilled glass of rosé on Aug22 and an interesting shot on Aug23. Have opened your sets in a new tab, to be checked out after I have visited other diaries.
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~ Phil Moore says:

Thanks for dropping by. I've a lot of catching up to do... Despite having been back for a couple of weeks I haven't had chance to upload images really & get up-to-date with the MDPD. The images are all there, it's just the time that's lacking!
Hope life in Greece is good - I shall endeavour to catch-up with that, soon, too!
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~ Phil Moore says:

Sunday. August 26, 2007


(Cologne) - Warsaw

Twelve hours after departing Cologne I arrived rather bleary eyed in Warsaw - the 3am border-crossing would set the precedent for all border-crossings, it seemed.

Warsaw was just a little bonus for the trip really; I didn't have any intention of making it a significant stop as I wanted to profit from my Russian visa. That said, I had a good twelve hours of wandering around, seeing a few things, before boarding the train to Kiev that evening.

This was a shot from the massive Jewish cemetery where I lost myself for an hour or so.
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~ Phil Moore says:

Monday. August 27, 2007


Kiev / Київ - a day on the train

The day started with another 3am (or thereabouts) border crossing, and the brusque Ukrainian border-guards didn't seem to like my passport photo so much, but I eventually got in. Filling out the landing card was somewhat interesting:
- Where are you staying
- Ummmm, Kiev?
- Where in Kiev?
- Ummmm. Yeah. Kiev. I don't know yet...
- Growl
- Eeep!

After having spent twenty hours on the train, I arrived into the bewildering world of Kiev - my first immersion in cyrillic.

That was a fun evening, hanging out with the random Ukrainians I met in the hostel. There's not too many tourists round these parts...
Nor water it seemed. I hadn't showered or changed my clothes since I left Paris; however, when climbing into the shower, finding nothing on opening the tap, and asking at the desk, I got a "yeah, we don't have any water tonight. It's [a] common [occurence]..."
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~ Phil Moore says:

Tuesday. August 28, 2007


Kiev / Київ

There is a massive gap in Ukraine. A gap between those who have money and live in Kiev, and those who don't.
The previous day, passing through the fields on the train, I was astonished by the number of really old women I saw working in the fields. I could not imagine my grandmother grafting away with a massive bag on her back like that. It makes you realise how lucky we are to have a state-welfare system such as we do in countries like France & the UK.
Talking to people in the city, too, the gap is evident. From the taxi-driver who has to somehow pay to live in the city where he makes his living off a very disparate wage, to the Ukrainian tour-guide I met on the train who makes a 200km commute to avoid the Kiev housing prices.

There are department stores and Western shops, with Western prices, but there are not the jobs that pay the wages to afford that.

But there are the cheaper sides of the city, too. And it's in those areas that I really saw an interesting side of the city.

As interesting as the Chernobyl museum was, and as picturesque as the many Orthodox onion domes of Kyiv-Perchersk Lavra were, it's nice to escape the beaten track a little.
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Dragonhide says:

Outstanding adventure... I'd love to hear more about it!

I had a chuckle about your border crossing exchange with the border guards.

The only real trouble I had crossing border was going thru customs in my own home country- USA... Turned out to be a case of identity theft- someone stole my identity to travel with- on the same plane as me from Madrid., no less. I was so scared I would be kicked out of my own country.. yikes.
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sunshinecity says:

your trip looks and sounds, by your tales, amazing....

Looking forward to more!
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CollardGreens says:

Hey Phil...yeah - water, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and sometimes it is just brown,,,don't drink any !
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~ Phil Moore says:

Wednesday. August 29, 2007
Chai

Mocквa / Moscow

Another overnight train, a Russian stamp on my visa at 3am, change the record, Phil.

The train was fun - I travelled in the next class down than the train to Kiev which meant that everything was a little more open plan. The people with whom I shared a sleeping space were all either Russian or Ukrainian, and didn't speak any English or French, but we still managed to communicate a little.

We think that the English are a nation of tea-drinkers, but the only consistent thing on these trains is the God-given right to chai, which I was offered by my new-found travelling companions.

We arrived into Киевская station in Moscow, where I was met by Anastasia, and took a walk back to her place where my bleary eyes were wide-open to the grandeur that is Moscow.

I like this city.
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CollardGreens says:

Hey Phil - good to see you here ! Chai - the mainstay of all russian life...not the vodka that you would imagine. I very much like the dark flavours and indeed you have to be careful of the caffine content if you intend to sleep - but if I recall correctly that is not a problem for filhimself ! good stuff.
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~ Phil Moore says:

Hi Ted, thanks very much. I'm very much behind - since getting back from Ruski-land life just hasn't stopped, both at work and at play. All the photos are there, just waiting to be uploaded and written about!

In St. Petersburg we found this great little tea-shop - the Russian equivalent of Mariage Frérès - which translated as "ounce".

I hope to catch up with your stream soon!
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~ Phil Moore says:

Thursday. August 30, 2007
Собор Василия Блаженного

Mocквa / Moscow

The obligatory visit to Красная площадь. Or Red Square as we anglophones say.

There was also a fantastic exhibition on of Sergey Borisov nearby ^_^
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~ Phil Moore says:

Friday. August 31, 2007
Café

Mocквa / Moscow

Chez elle.
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~ Phil Moore says:

Saturday. September 1, 2007
Денъ Города

Mocквa / Moscow - Денъ Города

Moscow's birthday doesn't pass by lightly in this town...
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~ Phil Moore says:

Sunday. September 2, 2007
Настя

Mocквa / Moscow

Saying goodbye to her native Moscow before we head up to St. Petersberg together.
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RobW_ says:

Pensive.

Nice to see your diary pop up on the front page again. I must visit your stream to see the full set of your trip.
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~ Phil Moore says:

Hi Rob.

Thanks :) Yeah, it's been kinda neglected since I got back. Once I didn't have time to catch up from Russia, it's been getting consistently harder to post as there's now a back-log of three full months. The pictures are all there, just waiting to find their way to the Web!

Don't even get me started on other peoples' streams...
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ebilflindas says:

Well, seeing as you have three months backlog, I can leisurely enjoy myself from the beginning. I just took this page in (from 5 Aug) and am wondering how I never visited before!
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~ Phil Moore says:

Monday. September 3, 2007
Fisherman

Санкт-Петербург a train trundles in to St. Petersburg

Everybody seems to be getting married, everywhere.

Apparently, there's a tradition in Russia where there are several spots in the city where one goes to have their photo taken on their wedding day. We saw several people in Moscow following this tradition, and on arrival in St. Petersburg, similar scenes met us with the Leningrad flavour.

The former capital has a very different air to it's older brother.
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Tuesday. September 4, 2007
Soviet View

Санкт-Петербург / St. Petersburg

Louer un appartement en St. Petersburg, c'est marrant.
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~ Phil Moore says:

Wednesday. September 5, 2007
Circles & Shadows

Санкт-Петербург / St. Petersburg

Most of the day was spent jumping on a boat & playing around at Петергоф with it's marvellous gardens and fountains.

The shot above is Palace Square, which houses the Hermitage on one side. Come night, les jeunes on their scooters tend to congregate around here, shredding some rubber and the like...
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~ Phil Moore says:

Thursday. September 6, 2007
Champignons

Санкт-Петербург / St. Petersburg

I love markets.

One of the things I love about my life here in Paris is the well-stocked market that is just around the corner.
In Kiev, it was great going around a monster market, really mixing with people there, trying a bit of this, tasting a bit of that. So when I stumbled across a big food-hall style market in Saint Petersburg, the day after Anastasia had left, I was very content to have a mooch around.
Dried mandarins are damned tasty.

The cool thing about this market was all the people congregated outside, who had travelled from the countryside to sell their wares. All sorts of fresh fruit & vegetables, as well as flowers, which had that air to be grown in the weathered sellers' gardens.

Bio / organic without knowing the meaning of the word.
Home grown.
No insecticides.
Just good soil, a bit of care, and plenty of Russian rain.

It was today that was the last day we had booked for the apartment.
It was today that I decided where would be next.
It was today that I booked a coach to Tallinn.
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RobW_ says:

Another set and another stage of the journey to check out!
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sunshinecity says:

he how wonderful to see you posting again.... i've missed you!!
You back in paris?
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Dragonhide says:

Hi Fil! Glad to see you around again.. Wonderful posts.. must come and peek at your photostream!
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~ Phil Moore says:

Awww shucks, thanks ! Yup, back in Paris. I've been here (except for wee little trips here & then which will eventually trickle through here) since mid-September, but just too busy to post! Slowly catching up...

Thanks for the words there dude, glad you like.
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Friday. September 7, 2007
Sunrise

Tallinn

The first border crossing that wasn't by train, and by God it was a faff.
The Russian's dragged us all off the coach at 3am, we had to all take our bags off, walk through a holding area, show our passports, and get back on the bus. Joys.

The upside was that I got chatting to some fellow passengers, Helenc and her friend, who came from Tallinn. They'd travelled to St. Petersburg for the day for a hair-dressing competiton - Helenc the hairdresser, and her friend the model.
We swigged a drop of wine by the roadside, before getting back on the coach and chatting away until the wee hours.

On arrival in Tallinn, they asked me where I was staying. I had no idea other than the vague plan of finding a hostel. Helenc offered her place - much more fun!
So at 7am in the morning, we were wandering the streets of Tallinn back to hers. Quick wash & breakfast and she took me for a wander around the city, showing me the sights, and the sights that aren't sights.

Her housemates work in the coolest skateshop I have ever seen.
She has a friend who works in an old monastery (where I somehow ended up giving a guided tour to some Japanese tourists - don't ask).
We met up with a photographer who wanted to use her skills in some photo shoots.

And then we partied.

Clubbing to Estonia's biggest hip-hop group, followed by an old-school drum & bass night in another club, followed by an after-party with a bunch of Estonian pro-snowboarders at one of her friend's places.

Here's to saying "yes".
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~ Phil Moore says:

Saturday. September 8, 2007
Leaving Town

Tallinn ( - Warsaw)

After a couple of hours sleep, waking on the couch of the party-house, there were still people up, even doing the odd line of coke. (A bit strong for me, I'll keep my vices to fermented sugars.)

I had a train booked which left Warsaw the following evening, heading back to Cologne, from where I could get back to Paris. Time to look at getting to Warsaw. I was looking forward to burying my head in my book and relaxing on a train.

Except there aren't any trains that go that way.

Bugger.

But there is a coach. Grrr, I hate coaches.

So I sorted my shit, had a bite to eat, said a massive thank you to Helenc for a fantastic taste of Tallinn, and boarded a Eurolines coach.

Estonia - Poland involves three border crossings (Estonia-Latvia, Latvia-Lithuania, Lithuania-Poland) as well as an unanticipated change of bus in Riga. (Déjà-vu!)
And goddamn, I'd forgotten how bad Polish roads were.

All part of the fun though I guess! Flights are just plain boring.
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RobW_ says:

Helenc the hairdresser seems to have been a fun person to meet and guide you around a new city.
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ItinerArts says:

I'm enjoying following your travels!

Same thing here-- all organic fruit and vegetables, but not by plan--just because, until very recently, no one could afford pesticides.

www.flickr.com/groups/2007/discuss/72157594528937014/7215...
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CollardGreens says:

Hey Phil - I have REALLY been away too long - I will take the proper amount of time over coffee in the morning !
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~ Phil Moore says:

Indeed, it was perfect ! Trop de la chance.

Thanks! The way you say "until very recently" - does that mean that they're becoming more commonplace now? Albania is somewhere I'd like to visit soon, before the invasion begins... I've a friend who has just bought a house & some land in Bulgaria (to run a campsite) and reading her e-mails about shifting from a large UK city to a subsistent life-style in a village is a real eye-opener.

Hey Ted. Hope you find something interesting whilst supping the coffee :)
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~ Phil Moore says:

Sunday. September 9, 2007
Crossing the Lines

Warszawa

Once again being woken several times during the night for border crossings, and sleeping on a coach, I was pretty damn tired this time around for Warsaw. I dumped my bags, and decided that it was to be a very relaxed day on which to end the voyages.

I wandered around the other end of town, away from all the sights that I had seen a few weeks before. Just taking in a bit more of the atmosphere of the city. I popped into the outdoor Polish Army museum, just to have a look around.
But the day was largely spent reading in nice little cafés, sampling the local kawa & tea, and a few cakes here & there :)
In fact, I think I found my favourite cafe in the world, or at least of the small pockets of which I've seen so far. Comfy chairs, good music, tasty cakes, and a relaxed atmosphere in which to read.

Come evening, I boarded my penultimate train to return to Köln...
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Monday. September 10, 2007
You lost the music

Köln - Paris

Arriving into Cologne at 6am I attempted to get a train back to Paris. You'd think I'd have learned by now that it's better to book in advance ? Nope.
The majority of the trains were full, so I ended up having to kill a few hours, and then buy a first-class ticket back. I felt a little out of place in first-class, not having showered since I left Tallinn, exhausted, carrying a big ol' back-pack rather than a suitcase, wearing jeans instead of trousers.

Getting back to Paris was bizarre. Everything seemed, well, different.

The view from my little balcony was the same, but yet it wasn't.

What had changed? Me?
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Dragonhide says:

Traveling the world changes you forever.
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~ Phil Moore says:

You're not wrong there - I just wish I was able to stretch my wings a little further!
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~ Phil Moore says:

Tuesday. September 11, 2007
My Paris

Back to the city, and this is what I see when I look out of my window.
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