Ani, the ruined Byzantine city in Western Turkey, in the city of Kars, near the border with Armenia, who could forget. Its a magical forgotten place, desolate and yet majestic, a really must see place.
Its hard to imagine, in a blinking of the eye, the year is going by so fast. I was here in France last October, having a rhubarb cordial in a restaurant in Amiens, France. Work is so hectic, its the same everywhere in corporate America. My neighbor who works for a bank just took medical leave, she's stressed out. I'm hanging in there. Its an entirely regulatory world, whether in the medical field (I am) or in the banking industry (where my neighbor is). But I have my memories and its keeping me going.
Just another Cotswolds' village, another pretty one. I remember being here some 15 years ago. It hasn't changed at all. I remember the shop that sold kitchen things. I bought something from there 15 years ago ad I bought something this time too. I hope this is the last time I'll go back. Its enough already, besides there are too many other places in the world to visit and even in England, there are other places yet to visit.
I first visited the Cotswolds some 15 years ago. I thought it'll be nice to see it again. Nothing's changed and that's a wonderful thing. Its still as lovely as ever. It was raining on and off the whole day until our last stop when it was really coming down, then all of us gave up, except for those who spent their last few moments having refreshments in a tea room. I was asked why I didn't join them. I said I didn't want a pot of tea sloshing in my bladder as we make the long drive back to London! This is a very popular trip for visitors. There were a lot of coaches in these little villages that we were visiting that day. Its always lovely to see roses climbing up the stone walls of the houses or clematis. The Cotswolds is always and forever a delightful place.
I took a coach tour from Victoria bus station. It was raining but it didn't bother us.
The English countryside is still as lovely with all that rain. The yellow buttercup covered most of the landscape. It was a very nice way to end my trip to England and Berlin. I don't know when I'll take another trip. My work is at jeopardy right now and I'm going to stay put till it gets resolved. I've applied for a visa to Russia and it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to use it. I can reapply again when I'm able to travel again. In the meantime I'm glad to be still working.
I left Berlin and came back to London. I went to the British museum looking for a very specific exhibit but couldn't find it. In spite of all the great things that Sir Aurel Stein did for the British empire, he made numerous expeditions to China and brought out countless ancient manuscripts but there isn't any gallery dedicated to him. It was very disappointing. Since I was within walking distance to Soho, I decided to have Chinese food at London's Chinatown. Its changed quite a bit with a lot of cute cafes and eateries. This is London's Soho district.