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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake

Peterhof’s Fountains and 900 Day Siege

October 11th, 2008 by sunflowers

For the rest of our time in St. Petersburg we took a ferry to one of the summer residence of the Royal family Peterhof’s which is famous for it’s fountains that are all gravity fed (rather than using pumps). A museum about the 900 day siege of St. Petersburg when they were surrounded by the Nazi army during World War II. A beautifully decorated palace, a folklore show, up the main street and shopping area Nevsky Prospekt and a boat ride – St. Petersburg is crisscrossed with rivers and referred to as the Venice of the north.

St. PetersburgSt. PetersburgSt. PetersburgSt. Petersburg

St. PetersburgSt. PetersburgSt. PetersburgSt. Petersburg

St. PetersburgSt. PetersburgSt. PetersburgSt. Petersburg

Posted in Russia | No Comments »

St. Petersburg

October 10th, 2008 by sunflowers

St. PetersburgSt. PetersburgSt. PetersburgOn our first day in St. Petersburg we had a guided tour around the city stopping at Saint Issac’s Cathedral the resting place of the royal imperial family including Anastasia, Peter and Paul Fortress, Trinity Square and the Church of the Saviour on Blood.

It is funny as someone at work was saying that their friends had just finished bicycling around St. Petersburg and had a horrible time with the people, ignored in restaurants and apparently treated really horrible. Whereas we had a great time and people seemed really friend albeit the services wasn’t all that good.

St. PetersburgSt. PetersburgSt. PetersburgSt. Petersburg

St. PetersburgSt. PetersburgSt. PetersburgSt. Petersburg

Posted in Russia | No Comments »

The Hermitage Museum

October 9th, 2008 by sunflowers

HermitageThe State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg is one of the largest museums and oldest art galleries in the world. The collection is displayed in six buildings, the main one being the Winter Palace which used to be the official residence of the Russian Tsars. You are allowed to take pictures of the art works as long as you aren’t using the flash.

I think I might start posting on website for people to travel with for bits of my trip. Mainly because after reading other motorcycle blogs I am starting to get quite nervous.

My flatmate has kindly volunteered to help me organise a fund raising event diguished as a leaving party including some talented acoustic, folk, blues singers. squeezeinpresents.weebly.com/alaska2argentina.html. Check out the links to the musician’s myspace pages – they are very good and I am pretty pleased that they agreed to play!





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Getting Older

October 7th, 2008 by sunflowers

St. PetersburgSt. PetersburgSt. PetersburgThe great thing about living in London is that it is relatively easy to go to Europe. So every year for my birthday I go on holiday. This year I was lucky enough to go St. Petersburg in Russia. St. Petersburg was founded 305 years ago by Tsar Peter the Great and at its height the Russian Imperial court was the most affluent court in Europe. There are avenues and prospects (streets in Russian) full of grand buildings. I will put the photos up over the next week or so.

On the plus side of getting older tomorrow I am having dinner and drinks with my friends but on the downside I might be losing it as I managed to fall off my bicycle on the way home and left my watch and bracelet at my women’s self defence course tonight.

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Explaining the Sunflowers

October 4th, 2008 by sunflowers

It’s my birthday tomorrow so I have added a bit of whimsy. This is a poem my friend wrote me.

Sunflower Smile
Golden Aura
Shadows Shine
Stems Steer Skywards
Among The Daisies
Of Daytime
You Nod
In The Gust
You Must
Grow On
by Julia Miller-Surridge

Also a friend once said that this poem reminded him of me.

The Lion and the Blue By Robert Vavra

My lonely roars echoed far, in a jungle that was old to me, a lion in the winter of his years, whose hear had never known spring.

Until that afternoon when in the darkness of silent thoughts my yellow eyes were dazzled, blue.
Suddenly blossoms lit this dull stare when you, brilliant beautiful, Brazilian butterfly drifted into my life.

Blue became… Blue was my love, my life, my all around.

Happiness was a spring and summer that seemed could never turn to fall. Though you told me, ‘Someday, Lion, the time will come when I will have to leave you. In search of the flower of the sun.’

Those thoughts made me want to shut my ears or roar away a destiny which threatened our happy voyage across the sea of love.

The other butterflies clustered round my head, and off somewhere I heard a lioness call.

But in my world, my sky, there was only you my Bella Blue.

Though my open eyes seldom left your wings, One night you left me, Blue. In search of your golden destiny.

There was no world for me. Endless years I awaited your return.

But out boat drifted past as empty as my heart. And so my quest began. I sailed to places far away.

In search of you I wandered far, and all the while I thought, ‘Why could we not have met when the time was right, when youth had lit my stars.’

‘But yesterday is over’, whispered the far-seeing Giraffe, ‘As tomorrow is yet to come.’

‘The only time that is ever right,’rumbled the wise Elephant, ‘Is now, so make haste, this journey of yours is a only way trip eternally.’

As I climbed the grass towards the clouds, a yellow blossom appeared. Could it be your destiny? Would you be there, Oh Blue?

‘The flower is the Leopard’s’ came the Cheetahs voice, It’s sprang from the garden of his soul. You won’t find the love of which you speak until your roots have grown strong grown deep.’

In the dark of night or in the flame of morning sky often hope would awaken in my heart with the flashing of blue wings but feathers covered them and not your brilliance.

Then one day on the plains edge, where the wind blows fast and clean, a Wort Hog came trotting by, a daisy in his mouth, and as he passed I heard these words, ‘Lion you have proven your love, now let the humble daisies set you free.’

White and straight stood a daisy proudly at the fields edge. ‘Come among us’, beckoned the simple flower and as I strode through that meadow of honey and snow. Then, not the tawny lioness’s purrr or the tides of oceans could take me from my course.

But no blossom of the sun was there. ‘The brilliant flower you seek’, lulled the daisies, ‘Is springing now from your lion’s heart.’ And as rich pollen covered me, golden petals crowned my head.

Centuries, years, days … How may passed I don’t know. But born again was I when in the evening sky a dot of blue appeared against the moon.

And as the sky oranged with break of day, I saw you … Blue. But to me why come when your search had been for that golden blossom who by now your heart had surely won?

At last your voice I heard, ‘Lion, Lion! Dreams do come true, you dared, you hoped, you believed, and for doing so look what you have become. My golden maned flower hero of the sun!’

And now … Blue! Blue! Brilliant, Bella, Brazilian Butterfly. Again my life, My all around, Is you.

Posted in General | 1 Comment »

Wanted: Missing Side Panels

October 3rd, 2008 by sunflowers

When I travelled up and down New Zealand I managed to leave something at every place that I stayed. Which wasn’t too bad as I was going the other way and picked it all up on the way back through.

I was congratulating myself in San Francisco that so far I was doing all right and then it started. I left my Spot messenger in San Francisco. I left my ipod in LA and I left my side panels at the Corbin Factory.

When I phoned the Corbin Factory they said that my friends had taken them. If you are my friends and have taken them can you please let me know as it turns out it is going to cost $200 to get new ones :-(

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Corbin Seat

October 2nd, 2008 by sunflowers

Corbin FactoryWhen I was sorting out my bike I tried to order a Corbin seat but unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to have one made before I flew to Anchorage. Then when I was staying in Port Angeles Greg said that he had stopped at the Corbin and loved his Corbin seat so I couldn’t resist the temptation to stop and get a seat made.

It was pretty impressive as the whole seat is tailored to your bottom. It took the entire day and I didn’t leave the factory until four in the afternoon and then headed down Highway 1. Not long after leaving the factory I realised that the seat was pretty uncomfortable which was a bit upsetting. It took me until Big Sur to realise that I should go back to the factory and get it redone.

Corbin FactoryCorbin FactoryCorbin FactoryCorbin Factory

Corbin FactoryAlso I realised what they meant by the fog rolling in. I couldn’t see the water due to the fog which was strange as the other side of the road was bright blue sky.

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San Francisco

October 1st, 2008 by sunflowers

San FranciscoSan FranciscoI was welcomed with homemade pizza and beer by Allyndreth (sister of friends in the UK) and David when I arrived in San Francisco.

San FranciscoSan FranciscoI caught the ferry into San Francisco for a day of sightseeing passing San Quentin the big prison on the way (there were actually prisoners in the yard the first time I passed) and a faint view of the Golden Gate (red) bridge.

San FranciscoSan FranciscoSan FranciscoWalking everywhere I had chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf, viewed the sea lions at Pier 39 and marvelled at the flocks of pelicans wheeling over the cargo ships. I also took a free tour of the Maritime National Park on Hyde Street Pier. (August 27)

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Avenue of Giants

September 28th, 2008 by sunflowers

RedwoodsAfter passing through Oregon into the state of California you go through tracts of giant redwoods. Instead of taking the 101 you can take the old 101 called the Avenue of the Giants. The redwoods were so big that you felt as though you were riding through the land of the Ents (the tree herders in the Lord of the Rings). (August 26).

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September 25th, 2008 by sunflowers


The Oregon coast is dotted with tiny little towns, waves, surf, rocks, strong winds that cause trees to lean and sunsets. (August 26)


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