Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “travel”

An Hour In Heidelberg


Heidelberg is a town around an hour from Frankfurt. A pleasant town it seems although an hour to see it is not extensive. A few photographs to give a flavour of what you might see.

The large Police sign amused me a little in comparison with the minute street sign. The deckchairs in the NH hotel reception were fairly unusual. Simply changing a photo to black and white takes you back 50 years or more. The low clouds over the river give an aura of spookiness.

Reethi Beach Resort Maldives


Reethi Beach is one of the newer resorts in Maldives. For those not familiar with Maldives, they are essentially a series of islands, some of which have been transformed into resorts.

Reethi Beach is a good resort although the complexity of travel in the Maldives means that getting there might take a bit longer than some other resorts. Flights arrive in Male and for some resorts a speedboat transfer is relatively quick – for example one could be in Kuda Huraa in less than 30 minutes. Most, however, require either a seaplane or an internal flight. Seaplanes look incredibly cool but do not come cheap and can add almost £1000 onto a holiday cost.

Getting to Reethi Beach requires an internal flight, then a short bus ride and finally a 20 minutes boat transfer each with its obligatory delay. So upfront I will say that the only negative about Reethi Beach is having arrived in Male at 8.30 am it was near enough 13.00 before arriving at the resort. The rest is entirely positive. If your bank account allows it seaplane is recommended but also remember a 20 kg luggage maximum and 5kg for hand luggage.

Reethi Beach is one hour ahead of Male time so it operates +5 compared to UK. The island takes maybe 30 minutes to walk around on the beaches.

Accommodation is chalets. A few water bungalows. Chalets are comfortable and clean but this is the Maldives so the occasional insect and cockroach cannot be discounted nor frankly prevented. Meals are buffet style for those on all inclusive. The food is superb beyond belief. Plenty of vegetarian options. The weather depends partially on the seasons, but you can reasonably expect 28-30 C sunshine most days, the occasional full cloudy day but rain showers also most days. These usually come and go in an hour. Beaches are idyllic. You can pay for a whole variety more of course including various dining options and range of water-sports. Snorkelling is not so good as some of the other islands but not too bad. Stingrays come right to the sea edge to get fed at 18.00 but also some with either bigger stomachs or cheaper watches come any time to say hi. Three herons patrol their beach territory and allow you within about 5 metres. Maybe less.

Prices in other locations vary enormously but essentially paying more gets you relatively less. I would personally recommend Reethi Beach for most people unless you expect the luxury that you get from other resorts paying perhaps 3-4 times more.

Things to recommend though. Pay for coffee in the Moodhu bar that sits on stilts over the sea. Views are great and the coffee is sublime . Expect to pay maybe 5$ for a superb hazelnut latte .Around the edges of the island you will find huge man-made sandbags that probably contain more rock than sand, to prevent erosion of the beaches and create some quiet little inlets. As with all Maldivian islands probably a week is enough or ten days maximum. After that maybe most have had enough sun, food and relaxing. I would personally recommend Reethi Beach. All the photos you see here were taken by myself in October 2018. Lastly there is free WiFi in public areas and also if you position yourself on the beaches near the bars and restaurants you can access it there too.

The resort also make more effort with night entertainment than many others. Live music, DJs and Quiz evenings are actually not a bad effort considering the geography.

Should This Have Been A Penalty?


A pivotal moment in the early phase of the Met Police v Basingstoke Southern Premier game last Saturday. In real time a clear trip by the defender however on reviewing the photo there is clear shirt pulling.

The linesman was on the opposite side so maybe did not see this. The referee might have been unsighted too.

The point is how difficult it is to referee a game .

Even On A Grey Day New Malden Looks Not Too Shabby


An afternoon dog walk on this grey day . Residential New Malden is not too bad. The only negative was the usual rubbish strewn along pavements . The beer cans and quarter brandy bottles suggest that neither Veolia nor Foxes can be blamed for everything.

There are some nice views. The Beverly Brook is not a bad little tributary. The big old house on Blake’s Lane . Even the grey skies. Not too bad at all.

Helsinki Cafes Are Full Of Surprises. Good Ones . Cafe Strindberg


Arriving in Helsinki you often could be forgiven for thinking the whole world has turned grey. Grey streets accompanied by grey sky and cold looking people . But you are wrong . Walking down any of the streets you eventually reach either the harbour or the centre area with the train station. Helsinki geography is easy.

The first surprise is that there are dozens of nice and slightly old fashioned coffee shops . Sitting outside is pleasant though in autumn a decent coat is needed. Some of them make you feel like you have stepped back in time.

My favourite has always been Cafe Strindberg. The coffee is nice although Nordic prices mean you pay 4.5€ for a cup of coffee. The atmosphere is slightly old worlde. The waitresses are mostly stern looking women but efficient and pleasant at the same time. They look the part wearing long white aprons. The coffee is good . If you are brave you can sit outside. The Croque Monsieur will set you back 12.50€ but is great.

There is a kind of healthiness here that is good . Water comes automatically with coffee. As it should . Coffee is a powerful diuretic . As an accompaniment to the sandwich you can choose grilled vegetables or crisps or salad. The grilled vegetables tasted superb mostly aubergine. The other nice thing is that they do not speak necessarily English. Why should they . This is Finland. The clientele are mixed. Some older couples looking guilty sipping their wine with lunch. Not speaking much . Just comfortable in their own presence. No one waits to be seated. One just walks in and sits wherever followed by the stern waitress with menu in hand . Young men under 20 years sit with their coffee and talk animatedly. Someone eating on their own like myself is comfortable.

In short this a lovely place to drink coffee and eat lunch . No pressure to eat quickly . If you are in Helsinki just try this place .

Salted Caramel Profiteroles


There are various kinds of Salted Caramel Profiteroles. A quick google search will tell you that many of the major supermarkets sell them. Mostly they are small and essentially typical profiteroles but with salted caramel added. And surprisingly cheap . At the end of the post you can see some examples.

Staying at The Curtain Hotel in Shoreditch in the buffet lunch was a rather different version. The outside is crusted and a little crunchy with the base being typical choux pastry . They tasted delicious and for the bakers out there maybe worth making . Size wise they were like small doughnut size and one was plenty! Cannot be certain but suspect they are homemade .

Supermarket Version

A New Way To Lose Weight. Travel On LNER Trains


There are many ways suggested to achieve weight loss but few guaranteed to succeed. The new approach by travelling on LNER trains may be the answer to rapid weight loss. Taking a 9.33 train from Kings Cross to Yorkshire seemed a good choice. Tickets bought in advance were reasonably cheap. The expectation was that some breakfast and coffee for the two hour journey may be a no-brainer. However I was very much wrong.

The herding of passengers onto a long train around 10 minutes before departure meant that no visit to the buffet car was feasible before the train departed. Soon after departure the mellow apologetic tones of a stewardess ( whatever they are actually called escapes me) announced that due to “electrical” problems only cash was being accepted in the buffet. Many folks now do not carry cash as many outlets are becoming increasingly card only ( British Airways, Doughnut shops at London City Airport). So the first hurdle, no cash no food or drinks. A few moments later an even more mellow voice announced that due to staff shortages, no buffet trolley car was in operation. The option of walking (if thats the right phrase in a rapid tilting train) from carriage C to H and back, with  hot drinks may also not appeal. Finally the next mellow message announced that they had no change, so the only cash accepted would be small change, ending with pleading for customers to bring any small change they did not need to the buffet. So weight loss is really possible on LNER.

For anyone curious LNER is the new Virgin East Coast reincarnation. How long might it last, who knows?

What Is This Starter? Can Anyone Guess?


This was a starter on a menu in Glasgow Marriott. An unusual option. I chose it and ate it. Delicious . But can anyone work out what it is?

Glasgow Chemical Spillage ? Hilton Hotel Anderston Thursday Afternoon


At the back of the Hilton hotel at Anderston around 2 pm there were two fire engines in attendance spraying . It looked like a spillage that was being neutralised. Relating to a lorry parked there presumably .

A group of workers are now clearing up the materials. Clearly folks were evacuated from either the Hilton or from the adjacent building . Around 2.45 pm they were allowed to return .

Seemingly meaningless Graffiti. Any ideas what it means?


Whilst traveling one comes across a lot of graffiti. Some of it great, some pure art, some vandalism and some of it simply strange.

I have no idea what these sets of graffiti mean. One was painted on a park bench and the other on a metal container .

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