Rabu, 10 Desember 2014


(I think I have this figured out - from left to right: Margaret Thatcher, Michaela Strachan, an Anathema pick for whoever correctly guesses the bloke in the glasses. A young Billy Crystal?)

Ekaterinburg was bleak compared to Moscow and St. Petersburg, though nowhere looks particularly appealing when the weather's drab. A sizeable portion of the city's population appear to make their homes in ramshackle tin roofed huts which I imagine would be quite cozy in the winter months when the fire's going. It was odd to find such a well specified venue in the midst of all of this, and I'm still struggling to figure out the meaning of the giant silver blob hanging from a knackered crane at the building's rear.

The food during our visit to Russia was uniformly excellent, goulash soup being a particular highlight for me. I got to try proper Borscht for the first time as well. The meal on the Ural Airlines flight back to Moscow was such a vast improvement on the one served coming in that I can only assume they read what I said about them in my previous post and gave the catering company a massive kick up the backside. So, do fly with them if you wish, they're alright. The BA flight back to Heathrow was great, only a third full and staffed by stewardesses whose sole purpose seemed to be to keep us in food and perfectly chilled booze. To top it all we were chasing a beautiful sunset for much of our journey west, and the view of London as we came in to land was quite simply incredible.

I like Russia a lot. Everyone we met, be they fans, local crew, hotel staff or whoever were friendly and helpful, and the country itself frequently impressed with its sheer scale and rough edged beauty. I find it hard to believe that I spent so much of my early teens terrified the USSR would blow the crap out of us with no more than four minutes notice, though I feel I may have the BBC to blame for that with their gritty apocalyptic dramas of the time. I'm already looking forward to a return visit.

Ronnie James Dio 1942-2010. Much respect.

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