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My Russian Love affair
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Author:  wiz [ 15 Sep 2009 11:58 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

turboguy wrote:

When I had a garden my cucumbers looked more like pickles.

Do you mean something like these ones?

That is the latest production of Hanna's.... small size.... but ... delicious! :D

Author:  wiz [ 15 Sep 2009 17:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

Donhollio wrote:
Hey Wiz just read you trip to Nice. I guess anywhere in this world is cheap if you live in the UK eh ? :P

So what does a week long holiday on the south of France go for ?


From the UK we have plenty of charters or a cheap schedule flights
nearly to everywhere in the world.

Last year I booked a self catering holiday to Kos for a week for £ 284 (flight, transfer & accommodation in a studio by the sea) for both of us.

Nice cost to us for 5 days, flights, hotel and food.... around £350 for both of us!

No Bad at all. :D

Have a look at these offers from my email box!

Air Lingus Offers


Author:  wiz [ 26 Nov 2009 14:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair


It has been sometime now since my last update so here is the latest news:

As you know, last September Hanna was offered a job, very local here and started her new job on the 19 October. Now, after the initial difficulties she has settled down to her routine, learning new methods and other things about her job.

I must admit after 14 Months out of work, since our marriage in Russia on June 2008, it started getting her down and during last September it was obvious that she was going through the denial face in her cultural shock period and the job came at the right moment. [happy.gif]

During the first month at work her confidence came back in leaps and bounds, her English continue improving well and she is very happy with her job. Of course after receiving her first pay-packet she feels a lot happier than ever. :lol: :lol: :lol:

I hope soon she will start posting again on the board. [wink.gif]

I am very happy that we have come through this difficult period of adaptation with very small problems and I have to say that having a daily contact on camera with her mother and family has helped a lot. I will definitely recommend it to anybody who gets married with an FSUW. [thumbs.gif]

It has been a long journey since we decided to marry, on Mach 2008. During this period we had all the wedding preparations to make, then after the wedding the application for Entrance Visa to the UK and then after her arrival here waiting for the Resident Card, which took 7 + months to arrive. Meanwhile we had to register with a Doctor, Dentist, open bank accounts, getting a National Insurance number and also recognising her Diplomas, kept both of us, especially me, very busy. Mustn’t forget the garden work and of course a couple of trips abroad, in Kos last October and then this last June the trip to Nice in France. At the same time Hanna was working hard to improve her English and I was chasing around looking for a job for her!

Now we both feel very relaxed and happy that our life has somehow normalised and we enjoy every minute of it!. :D

We both look forward to our next trip in Athens, Greece next January to celebrate my birthday.


Author:  wiz [ 01 Feb 2010 19:39 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

Athens - My Birthday trip 22 Jan - 24 Jan 2010

As I mentioned on my previous post, this year to celebrate my birthday,
I made a plan to fly with my wife Hanna, to Athens in Greece for a long weekend. Last November, I had a good look around for tickets and managed to book 2 return tickets for Athens for the total cost of £125 GBP (202 USD) for both of us including taxes etc. Bargain as you may say! [biggrin.gif]

I have been flying with Easyjet for years now, because I always find cheap fares with them and more importantly because Gatwick Airport is round the corner from our house, 20 minutes drive. Easyjet fly only to the main airports, instead of some obscure one, like Ryan air does, (another cheap fares airline.)!

At the same time, using the site I organised a room at a 3 star hotel, right in the centre of Athens. The location is very convenient to shops and places of interest and the special price of 68 EURO, £60 GBP (110 USD) for two nights including Continental Breakfast, even better for our budget! Bargain you may say!

Hanna was very excited when I told her about it and she couldn't wait to fly there, so early morning on the 22nd of January a friend of mine gave us a lift to Gatwick airport and with out any problems or delays we flew to Athens.

Athens arrival ( Greece) after a low cost flight

The Greek Immigration officer on arrival at Athens airport waved us in after a quick glance at our Passports and Hanna’s Resident Card. Then very quickly we found our way to the Athens Metro (Attica Metro) to take us to Omonia Square in the centre of Athens. The journey takes about 50 minutes and the fare was 10 Euro return for each of us but later discovered that we could have pay less by purchasing one way single ticket!

The trains were very clean and nearly brand new, the announcements were also very clear to hear and made in Greek and English languages. All the stations are nice and clean without any advertisements or any graphite on the walls. We were very impressed with the quality of the service till we hit the Syndagma Square, where we had to change trains and there it took us a bit of time to work out which train to take next. Unfortunately the signposts are not indicating clearly the directions and even that I am a Greek, still found them very confusing. Luckily some nice young lads showed us the right platform for Omonia Square.

The Hotel was only 5 minutes from the Omonia Square station and we found it very quickly. The room was very basic, but most Greek hotels of that category are basic furniture. Not a big problem for only 2 nights there. The room had all we needed, clean double bed, large bath/shower and air-conditioning/heating and we were pleased with that because all were included in the price including Continental breakfast. Price for 2 nights was only 68 Euro, so we can't complain at all; Bargain!!! [wink.gif]

After settling down, we had a bit of a rest but later we went out to meet a friend of mine and she took us to a very nice restaurant, where we had some excellent traditional tasty Greek food. I must not forget to say that the Greeks when they say “let’s go out for dinner in a restaurant”, they mean after 9 PM or later, so we arrived at the restaurant at around 10 PM. Earlier than 9 PM most of the restaurants are empty!

After dinner and around 11.30 PM the live band music started and there were many Greek signers, singing traditional popular Greek Music. As it is customary the Greeks always dance and I am posting a couple of photos. My wife was not used to stay up late so going back to our hotel at 3 AM was a little bit late for her but she did not complaint as she had a great time.

Yiammas..... Cheers...... Nastarovya

The girls dancing and having fun!

..........and that was our first day from our trip to Athens. [drinks.gif]

Author:  wiz [ 05 Feb 2010 00:22 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

Saturday 23 January 2010

After the late night we had on Friday, on Saturday morning we wake up a bit late and we missed our breakfast which was open till 10 AM. Around 11 o’clock we went out and Hanna spotted a shop selling men’s clothes with very attractive prices….so for the next hour and a half, I was trying on several pairs of trousers till Hanna found a couple that she liked and we bought them.

By then I was very thirsty and wanted to eat something so I took her at the top floor restaurant of the multi floor shop Hondos on Omonia square where we had a coffee and something to eat. By the time we finish, it was time to go and visit my cousin, who is like a sister to me. Obviously have not seen her and the family for a few years we spent most of the day there but in the evening together with her husband we went out for another late evening meal. Finally we managed to be back at the hotel around midnight.

Syndagma Suare - The Greek Parliament

Sunday 24 January 2010

We wake up early that morning as we were planning to visit Acropolis and the New Acropolis Museum but looking outside we discovered that it was cloudy and light snow was coming down. Very disappointed we went for breakfast and then on Omonia Square in a pleasant snack bar to eat delicious cheese pies.

Then we took the metro to go to acropolis museum but when we arrived there the weather had changed and we went to visit Acropolis. Hanna was very impressed with the sculptures and also with the Parthenon building at the top of the rock and also admired to view of the city of Athens. As it happens the sun came out and apart from a breeze the day turns out to be a very pleasant one.

What would a visit to Athens be without going to the Acropolis to see the Parthenon?

As you must know I am very proud and passionate about my country’s old history and of course, people I have talked about the Acropolis ask me why the Parthenon is so important?

It’s because it was the most perfect and magnificent building, built by the world's most advanced civilization, four plus centuries BC. Still despite the many unfortunate damages inflicted on it by various invaders of Greece, Venetians, Turks and other people, like Lord Elgin who did a lot of damage to the Parthenon building it still stand there magnificent to bee seen from any part of the city of Athens. Elgin took about half of the frieze and some other sculptures from the Parthenon and sent them back to England.

Even though we have been studying it for centuries we are still not sure how they did it. Acropolis and the Parthenon have come to symbolise and be the navel of our Morden civilisation.

You can read more about the Acropolis and the Parthenon building and the Elgin Marbles here:


As I am getting older, ........ :(

I am a bit rusty with the ancient Greek history especially with the information about Acropolis so to provide you with more accurate information I took the liberty and copied the text and photos on my next post from “Matt Barrett’s – Athens Survival guide”. I am sure he wouldn’t mind!

His site is here: The Acropolis of Athens

Author:  wiz [ 05 Feb 2010 01:35 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

The Acropolis of Athens

“Matt Barrett’s – Athens Survival guide”

Acropolis is the one historical site you can't miss. You can take a tour or wander up there yourself but during the summer, whatever you do, unless it is overcast, go early or late in the day. It can get very hot up there and gasping for breath can take way from your ability to marvel at the greatest of all archaeological sites.

Getting to the Acropolis is’t easy and more pleasant than ever because the large avenues which border the south and west of the site (Apostolou Pavlou in Thission and Dionissiou Areopagitou in Makrianni) have been turned into giant pedestrian streets with cafes and restaurants and the walk is quite pleasant. From the Plaka and Monastiraki side it has always been a car-less, enjoyable walk and all you have to do is, just walk uphill.

After climbing the steps you are at the entrance, or the Propylaea, which was completed in 432 just before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian wars. The main architect was Mnesicles, a colleague of Phidias. To your left is the Pinacotheca and a Hellenistic pedestal and on the right the tiny temple to Nike Athena or the Athena of Victory which commemorates the Athenians victory over the Persians.

This small temple stands on a platform that overlooks the islands of Saronic Gulf and used to house a statue of Athena. It was dismantled by the Turks in 1686 so they could use the platform for a large cannon. It was rebuilt between 1836 and 1842 and again taken apart and rebuilt in 1936 when it was discovered that the platform was crumbing. If you looking from the propylaea towards Pireaus on a clear day you can see ships waiting outside the port of Pireaus, the islands and the mountains of the Peloponessos beyond.

The Parthenon and other main buildings on the Acropolis were built by Pericles in the fifth century BC as a monument to the cultural and political achievements of the inhabitants of Athens. The term acropolis means upper city and many of the city states of ancient Greece are built around an acropolis where the inhabitants can go as a place of refuge in times of invasion. It's for this reason that the most sacred buildings are usually on the acropolis. It's the safest most secure place in the town.

As little as 150 years ago there were still dwellings on the Acropolis of Athens. Those of you who have read Aristophanes will recall that in Lysistrata the women have Athens barricaded themselves in the fortress in protest, being tired of their men going to war against Sparta. Depriving them of sex, cooking and care it was a terrific strategy that might even work today. Now days there are still protests which occasionally take place by site employees closing the Acropolis to tourists, some of whom have waited a lifetime to come to Greece. Thankfully these are rare and of short duration.

The best time to go up there is the late winter or spring when even this stone mountain is not immune to the proliferation of grass and wildflowers which seem to burst from every crack. Even in December, January and February the Acropolis can be surprisingly green. Even having seen a thousand photographs one is still not prepared for the immensity of the Parthenon. The building was designed by the architects Kallikrates and Iktinos as the home of the giant statue of Athena. It took 9 years to build and was completed in 438 BC and is probably the most recognizable structure in the world next to the golden arches of McDonalds.

From a temple it became a church, a mosque and finally as a storage facility for Turkish gunpowder. In 1687 the Venetians bombarded it from below. A cannon ball hit the gun powder and blew it up. What makes the Parthenon so fascinating is that to look at it you would think that is is made up of interchangeable pieces. For example the columns are stones placed on top of each other and you could replace one piece of a column with any of the others. Not true. Each piece of the Parthenon is unique and fits together like the world's biggest and heaviest jigsaw puzzle. Lines that look straight are actually not.

The ancient Greeks understood the mechanics of site and that to make a line look straight it had to be tapered or curved. The Parthenon is the most perfect and the most imitated building in the world. The restoration work you see has been going on for the last 30 years and may go on for another 30. The more they try to put it back together the more respect and awe they have for the ancient Greeks.

The Erecthion sits on the most sacred site of the Acropolis where Poseidon and Athena had their contest over who would be the Patron of the city. Poseidon thrust his trident into the rock and a spring burst forth, while Athena touched the ground with a spear and an olive tree grew. Athena was declared the victor and the great city of Athens was named for her while Poseidon was given a small village in Syros after it was discovered he had merely ruptured a water main. (not really).The building itself contains the porch of the maidens or Caryatids which are now copies, four of which have been placed in the Acropolis museum, hopefully to be reunited with a fifth taken from the Acropolis by Lord Elgin and put in the British Museum more than a century ago.

A question in my mind is why not rebuild the Parthenon to its former glory? It is not as if the destruction of it is sacred history that must be preserved, in fact the 300 years since the explosion is a relatively short time-span in the history of the building. Much of the Parthenon has been taken apart and put back together with pieces being replaced or clamped to remedy the wear and tear of centuries, in particular the last 20 or so years of air pollution. As it stands now, though it is a tribute to the glorious past and the achievement of the Ancient Athenians it is also at the same time a reminder that whatever is good in man is eventually overcome by ignorance, war and a hunger for domination. I say rebuild the entire Acropolis as an inspiration that whatever is wrong with the world can be righted. (Until some idiot blows it up again).

My favourite spot is at the flag where Athens stretches out endlessly below. You can see the Plaka beneath you, the ruins of the giant Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Olympic stadium nestled in a pine covered hill, an island of green in a sea of concrete. To the left of the stadium is the Zappion building and the National Gardens. To the right of the stadium you can see another large patch of green which is the First Cemetery. The Acropolis is a great place to get your bearings and get an understanding of the layout of the city. In fact the more you know Athens the more interesting it is to come up here and see familiar landmarks.

If you stand by the flag and look to your left you will see Mount Lycabettos rising from the neighbourhood of Kolonaki , with the Hilton and the Athens Tower at Ambelokipi in the distance. The large green area is the National gardens. The Acropolis is a great place to get your bearings in Athens. You can see as far as Kifissia on a clear day.

When the Germans occupied Athens in WWII, the Evzone who guarded the Greek flag which flew from the Acropolis was ordered by the Nazis to remove it. He calmly took it down, wrapped himself in it and jumped to his death.

The plaque by the flag commemorates Manolis Glezos and Apostolis Santas, the two eighteen year-old heroes who tore down the Nazi flag flying from the Acropolis on the night of the 30th May 1941. It is of particular interest because these names are known not only by Greeks, but by many Europeans, because this act of courage and resistance to Nazi oppression was an inspiration to all subjected people.

Below the Acropolis is the theatre of Herod Atticus built by the Romans in 161 AD and still used today for classical concerts, ballet, performances of high cultural value. Further on is the Theatre of Dionysius the first stone theatre and home to Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides and Aristophanes. It was rebuilt around 342 BC by Lykourgos and then enlarged by the Romans to be used for gladiator fights.

The small temple known as the Thission was built in 449 BC and is virtually intact. Supposedly named for Theseus because his exploits were shown on the frieze, it is now believed that it was actually a temple to Hephaestos and Athena. Unfortunately they realized their mistake too late and the entire neighbourhood is called Thission.

The temple was used as a Church, dedicated to Saint George, known as Saint George the Lazy because it was only open one day of the year. The neighbourhood of Thission is full of cafes, bars and restaurants and like other areas around the Acropolis has been made pedestrian friendly, its streets turned into walkways and landscaped with trees and flowers.

Author:  wiz [ 05 Feb 2010 02:32 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

Photos from our Visit to Acropolis

Starting the uphill climb to Acropolis

The Erecthion sits on the most sacred site of the Acropolis where Poseidon
and Athena had their contest over who would be the Patron of the city.

The Parthenon


The Parthenon

The Parthenon

Theatre of Dionysious the first stone theatre

The New Acropolis Museum

The marble Panathenaic Stadium, where the first Modern Olympic Games were held in 1896.
Also you can see the remaining columns of the Temple of Zeus

The theatre of Herod Atticus built by the Romans in 161 AD

The theatre of Herod Atticus built by the Romans in 161 AD

The Acropolis underground station, exhibition

The Acropolis Marbles in te New Museum

The Acropolis from the New Museum

An excellent, unforgetable, tiring day but something we both will remember for ever.
We both were mesmerised with the beauty of the Parthenon!

Author:  Rasboinik [ 05 Feb 2010 03:15 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

Very beautiful photos. [bravo.gif] The included article about the Acropolis is very informative and interesting. [bravo.gif]

Looks like both Hanna and you had a very nice time, [bravo1.gif] with dancing the night away and then enjoying the beauty of Athens.

Author:  Olga [ 05 Feb 2010 04:22 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

Congratulation to both of you, Hanna and Yannis, on everything that I missed.

Wonderful photos! You both look great!
But Hanna of course is more beautiful than you, Yannis, I must say, that even the statues lost their heads. [tonque.gif]

I bet Hanna does her best to keep your head on your shoulders, Yannis :lol:

Author:  BrianW [ 05 Feb 2010 06:23 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair


Absolutely amazing pictures. Totally fascinating. I can't wait to visit Greece one day.


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