Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Please Do Not Feed the Sea Gulls BMW Motorrad Tour 1

Some in the blogging community choose to visit places in Wales portrayed on their Granny's old tea towel, or should that be "... their old Granny's tea towel."?  Quite a good idea but my Granny's tea towels got stolen by the Turks.

I have visited many places around the UK where seagulls have been problematic so this weekend I had lust for sea air, seagulls and crappy food eaten in the proximity of tatooed loud and incomphrehensible sounding Northern people. Please don't get me wrong, I am a snob.  So I took the opportunity to test the concept of a Motorcycle touring company specialising in problematic sea side locations with shitting sea birds open exclusively to BMW Motorrad riders - and I need to put some miles on my new machine prior to its "running in" service where I will be charged £150 or so for a free coffee.

I chose for the inaugral tour the Northen Welsh resort town of Llandudno and picked the cheapest hotel with a seagull problem on the marvellous website "last minute guano dot com".

That red motorcycle is actually mine at Llandudno - clever these BMW GPS systems? Stoke on Trent does not enter into it but I went past Rhyl OK.

Here we are: The Shelbourne hotel, the only place to have been bombed out of the solid esplanade front... I had to ride around a bit to find the advertised exclusive hotel parking area tucked around by the dustbins.

On approach to the parking area my first seagulls are spotted

Tucked in nicely

In Room 4 I feel instantly at home.

The explosion of motorcycle gear increases significantly the entropy of the room within minutes of arrival.

I had in mind a few things to do in Llandudno such as visit the  obvious Victorian pier and the Great Orme tramway.

An orienation stroll along the sea front

Spot the seagull
Some appealing buildings - I do like a good recessed balcony

The weather forecast for the weekend was sun cloud rain and wind, in no particular order.

I notice that there is a ski slope and cable car too

The decaying Grand Hotel heralds the renovated pier


One is not amused...

..to have a tram staion named after one

***************READER WARNING - TRAM STUFF AHEAD********************
Splendour of Victoria station

The lower section tram arrives suspended on a cable

Fish Tram Chip WYSIWYG

Hard to understand timetable

Perillous view as we are dragged up the lower town reaches of the Great Orme

It's the Halfway point and we must transfer tram to the summit

The marxist styled concrete block masquerading as the visitor money extraction centre

Ships in a field as a Greek coach tour guide might say

Not a seagull - they can't make it to this altitude

View down the piste to Llandudno bay

Healthy fare

Following consumption of a lot of healthy fare, I forego my return tram fare and walk down back to the town next to the tram way (or in the local lingo Dramfffordboyo)

Both the lower and upper sections are cable powered but differ in their construct.  The upper has 3 cables linked to two tram cars and a winch at the top. The lower has a cable attached to each tram car wound around  contra rotating drums at the top... I think.

Wise warning to anybody who has suffered whipping from a flailing hawser.

Halfway station

The passing point and the cables diverge

The welcome arrival of a Honda breaks the constant drone and squaeking of sheep and moving cable pullies

The passing point - gravity is our friend and as one comes down another goes up

Anxious to investigate how the cable is picked up I lie on the line

Technical blurb

Town texture

This is probably not "do not feed the seagulls" in Welsh

Dim Fford is obviously no route and I suppose sgio could mean snow, but llethr? Leather??
The walk down the Great Orme was bracing in the cold spring wind that was to bring sleet snow and hail the next day.  The next priority was a restorative capucinno on the Guy Martin Pier -------> see, this is true!

The pier is in good Victorian nick

A bit windy at the end of the pier and my froth is blown over the side

Some visiting bikers wondering where the sea has gone

Anti seagull measures prevail -"Nid ydynt yn ei hoffi i fyny Mae eu gwaelodion" as Corporal Jones might have mused on C4C

Iechyd a Ffarwel da am y tro!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Arson About in Athens

Nikos World Publicity Department.

For Immediate Release:

Some Greek children with a radical mission to burn down Nikos World Towers in central Athens (Greece) succeeded in breaching the extensive  security measures and let off 6 gas bombs in the 2nd floor hallway.  Amidst dramatic scenes of rescue on the 3rd floor, the resultant blaze was soon extinguished but moderate smoke and water damage was sustained up the central stair well. The perpetrators, reported by a witness to be 2 smartly dressed males and a female entered the building around 7pm holding a Lidl shopping bag...

Looking on the positive side, the place needed  redecorating after 86 years. The lift has also seen considerably better days.

Elsewhere in Athens over a pleasant spring weekend:

A useful place to stay on the beach especially when one's residence has been fire bombed

Fisherman and dog

Canoodling couple and cello

My net worth

The oranges still grow and remain unpicked despite austerity
Classic boxer air cooled with art deco gear lever

a shapely mud guard which looks as if it might actually perform a useful function 

discrete extra rear lights on rear protection bars

Bar end flashers - a fine example of BMW motorcycle spotted on my sea side stroll

The poor man's marina Glifada No. 3

Motors at half mast waiting for the summer to arrive

A stiff wind at the trendy Sirocco

Flowers, beach, sea.

Ca,t cat, cat.

Contented beach feral cat.

Cats examining my discarded apple pie - a little too sweet for my taste and I suspect that the fat pigeon finished this off - in hindsight  I would have hated to have contributed to cats caries.
 Back at the Airport for my return journey, I have time to explore (but avoid the ridiculous shops save for a bottle of Ouzo). There is an exhibition area displaying historical and other cultural stuff.

A bizarre underwater ballet performed at Cape Sounion in 2015 is displayed  - called Drops of Breath.

Reminder of modern Greece's refugee crisis of 1922

Motorcycles rule and are allowed to park 10m away from the arrivals area 

Olympic legacy - whether to the former airline or the sporting event I'm not sure.

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