Saturday, January 30, 2010

Filling the blanks.

I promised some updates in February, so here they are.

Jujitsu and self-defense classes.

Starting a couple of weeks ago, we've attended to martial arts training.
The sedentary life that installed in this cold season, didn't quite fit our adventurous spirits. So, we decided to do some physical workout and also learn a useful skill during the process.
What can I say.., it is very interesting as some defense/attack possibilities are incredibly effective and easy to apply. Admittedly it is also hard and pretty painful in some cases.
A general pain usually settles in the next day after each session, and lasts until the next one.
It is amusing to see us - young people, walking around like centenaries - whining constantly about all sorts of pains in muscles we didn't know they even existed :).

Board Games.

Our 1st game - The Dominion, arrived this Friday.
We played it once and then played it again and again and again. It is awesome and we totally love playing it; Andra a bit more than myself: she always wants us to have one more round at the end of each one.
This kind of games got to us, and I'm sure we'll make a somewhat of a hobby out of them. Especially because they are fun to play with friends, have a higher complexity that normal card games, and implicitly have a strategy available to develop. Also, they benefit from the "luck" factor, which is much more controlled, thus a good player can always have higher chances for winning.
Today we had a marathon playing several different games for half a day, with some friends.

London and Transatlantic Sessions concert.

For too long we've seen the world through others' eyes; now it's time for us to actually leave again and visit a new area.
This time is London where we'll be attending at a concert called "Transatlantic Sessions".
The whole package is a present from Andra, received on my birthday in December. So, I'm taking the opportunity to thank her again for the unexpected and amazing gift received.

Rocky road to Dublin.

This is one great Irish song I've discovered recently.
Last night, after more than one month without any guitar rehearsals whatsoever (yeah, I was lazy in this regard), I decided to give it a try and learn the song.
What used to take me weeks, this time happened in a matter of hours when I was able to play both guitar and voice in the same time; granted that my voice still needs training :).
Being rightfully called a tongue-twister song, I was able to memorize and play properly the first verse; four more remaining to be learned these days (hopefully).
The funny thing is that after a strong pain started developing in the left hand fingers - because of the lack of repetition for such a long time - I decided to numb the pain with two glasses of strong wine.
It did work and I was able to play another hour and a half; but boy I was so far gone..that night.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Photography - improvements.

I found some time to update a couple of photos. They seem more expressive in the new state:

Other than this, things are pretty normal around here. No special events in the last couple of weeks.
The next week and February will bring some changes though; but all in due time.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

1000 m - 2034 m.

These are the altitudes between which we spent the passing between years, together with some friends.

The rented hut was situated near Balea lake (Fagaras mountains), in a very quiet and relaxing area.
The room we occupied, was shared with a little mouse which constantly raided our snacks supplies, in the first day. As we didn't succeed in catching it, and killing was not really an option, we had to learn to cohabit with that little guest.
So, we bribed it :) daily, by putting a piece of bread under the bed. As the bribe size was always calculated to be more than what he can chew, we assured the safety of our precious sweets.

During our time spent in that area, we got the chance to climb at 2034 meters and visit the Ice Hotel, check the surroundings on foot, visit a monastery, play chess & card games, and simply relax.

First day.
Here's the gang in the first day; we checked the surroundings and had a good snow fight:

The snow was really lacking at the base of the mountain, but the guys still tried to ski on it (with moderate results):

On the other hand, we continued exploring the area and experiment with taking photos in those bright and high contrast conditions. Some photos required post processing:

Dinner and a show.
At night, we had a very consistent meal and also large portions of alcohol:

During the second day, we all went up with the cable cabin, some visited the ice hotel, some skied and others went through a closed 1km long traffic tunnel - in pitch blackness..

The rest of the time spent in the area, was pretty chaotic, everyone using their free time as they saw fit. We all gathered together in the evenings when having dinner, and also partially during the day when doing various things together.
There was even a surprise marriage proposal, but the couple probably wishes to keep everything private, so I won't satisfy anyone's curiosity for the time being. Maybe I'll update the blog with a picture of the ring, as soon as I receive it.
And here it is:

Below are some more random pictures: