In Milan for the motorcycle show; in Maranello for… what else? )

Finally, I made a long-overdue visit to Fiera Milano, the humungous, legendary fairground and exhibition center in Rho, on the outskirts of Milan. The occasion was the EICMA motorcycle trade show.

What really struck me about the place – just how massive it is. so I looked it up later – and yes, the stats back up my observations: turns out it’s the biggest exhibition center in Europe! ->

Incidentally, Expo 2015 took place here (I mention this as the world-expo topic was touched upon recently after I visited Expo 2020 in Dubai).

Read on…

Bolognhattan.

I recall, quite some time ago, wondering why there are so many skyscrapers in large cities in the U.S.A., while in Europe – hardly any. Wait, no let me see – and delve (into my archives). Yes – I wondered it in Frankfurt, in 2017.

My question was answered with a reasoned reply: “just look at Tuscan cities, rather – how they once were, long ago”. I didn’t quite follow, and didn’t follow-up either back then. And having just been to Bologna, (which is almost Tuscany – just outside it), I was still further perplexed since I sure didn’t see a Bolognhattan; only a few medieval skyscrapers:

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“The city’s” disappearing volcanoes.

I’ve already told you what a Kamchatkan mirage is, haven’t I? Briefly, again: it’s when a whole volcano can simply disappear. Oh yes. “But surely you mean just the peak of a volcano can ‘disappear’, say – in some mist or fog or in some low cloud, right?” some of you may understandably ask. Actually – no. Whole volcanoes. Whole, gigantic volcanoes! Like, these, for example, next to… ‘the city’:

“Which city is that?” you may also ask…

‘The city’ is in fact Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky – which used to be the only city in Kamchatka. All other settlements on the peninsula are smaller than city-size: like towns (today there are a further two: Yelizovo and Vilyuchinsk), villages, or even smaller. Since Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was long the only city, it was – and still is, out of habit – referred to by all locals as simply ‘the city’: you never hear its full name uttered. So you hear things like: “I’m in the city”, or “I’ll meet you in the city”, or “there was a bear roaming the city this morning”! :)

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The ever-changing landscapes of Kamchatka’s Valley of Geysers.

Onward – and further down toward the southern end of Kamchatka…

Kizimen and Kronotsky volcanoes – duly observed; the gurgling of Uzon caldera – duly whiffed!

Next, the Valley of Geysers – another unique natural feature: a valley of hissing, steaming and bubbling water (& volcanism). Moreover – hissing, steaming and bubbling over a large area:

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When in Dublin – a spot of business, then get the Guinness in!…

Straight after London and our Thames Pathing and Mitre-staying, we headed over the Irish Sea to Dublin, where the IRISS-CERT conference was taking place. For those for whom that abbreviation is a new one, coming up is brief info. For those who came only for the Guinness – you’ll need to scroll down this post a bit!…

CERT = computer emergency response team: a group of highly-qualified experts who collect information about incidents of a certain kind in the IT field, and also their classification and neutralization. // We have a CERT in the company, btw, which deals with cybersecurity problems of industrial systems.

IRISS-CERT = Ireland’s national CERT. Therefore -> we’re friends with them and help them out – because only together can we fight cyber-villainy effectively!

The event was a modest one, but oh-such an interesting one. I took to the stage and did my customary ‘cyber-standup’ act, where I tell of serious things about serious cyber-problems, yet still the audience laughs – a lot ). Well, why not? Serious – yes; but who – ever – wants a PowerPoint sleepathon?

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The ornate topology of old English hotels.

It’s been a while since the last instalment of my tales-from-the-places-to-stay-side (hotels tag), mostly due to the fact that the places I’ve been staying in of late have been nothing to write home – or on a blog – about. But that changed recently, when we were in London!…

We stayed a night at the mighty Mitre hotel, which is right next-door to Hampton Court Palace, as it’s the perfect location for starting out early on the sixth leg of the Thames Path!…

A traditional English hotel:

  • Ornate if a little puzzling topology of the interior spaces;
  • Thin, steep, ancient, wooden, creaking staircases!
  • Old English musty-musky rug-and-fireplace smells (+ sounds);
  • You could shoot a period drama here with hardly any adjustments or decorations!

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Another London +1: Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace.

My recent trip to London was a busy one not only on the business front, but on the touristic-walktastic one too. We got a central London walk in, and we did a new – long – stretch of the Thames Path. Along the way on these walks we took in the dominating Battersea Power Station, the inevitable Big Ben, and a surprising… Edward Snowden mosaic. There was another dominating architectural object we passed, which looked too interesting to pass up on, and which I haven’t told you about yet (didn’t want to break the stride of the Thames Path reporting). So here, today – quick rewind to it…

‘It’ being… Hampton Court Palace. Cue – architectural appreciation + historical education…

+ landscape veneration! ->

Read on…