Month: June 2013

..was food that was tasty- ty ty!

This was by far the poshest port we stayed in.

The night before, when we sailed in, we went to have dinner at a small, overpriced restaurant. 
On the table behind us were three decked-out middle aged society ladies, plus the hapless husband of one of them- who spent the night flirting with the owners and discussing how their friend’s brother just wasn’t the same ‘type of person’ (of the same snobbery) as his siblings.
On the table in front of us was an old, overweight, clearly-wealthy German man. He was eating alone when a tanned bottle blond of 40-50 dressed in 20-30 came in, sat at the table next to him, and turned on her charm. She found out within about two seconds that he was in a relationship ‘good, so you’re not lonely’, but kept the charm on (he seemed to be ok with it), and kept trying to lure him to a second location. At one point she asked him what his ‘thing’ was. Because ‘everyone who comes to Majorca has a thing‘. For example her friend was a writer, a poet. Coincidentally it turned out the he wrote poetry too. I think she was impressed. Then the owner came out, a german woman, and the man started talking to her. In german. The blond lady couldn’t understand, was put out, and showed it. She kept interrupting, trying to make him leave with her.  She tossed her hair, crossed and uncrossed her legs and waved her heels about. Eventually she go the message and left.
It was gross. As, to a lesser degree though, was the food- I ordered a salad which had overripe (off) avocado and overlybitter lettuce, and the service-I felt like it was immediately recognised that we weren’t the wealthy kind of customer. 
But everything was beautiful in the morning:
And the posh people seemed to have gone away- sleeping off their hangovers from their overpriced champagne, regretting their decisions of the night before.
Instead we had still waters, beautiful blues, and duckies begging for bread!

Some of these things are not like the others:
 (He’s very beautiful- but when I tried to save him I realised he was already well gone).
As usually, we spent the morning taking in the town, and soaking in the sunshine.

 
.. and taking GruppenFotos! Stolen from Marta again. I’m kinda loving how Marta and I are pulling of modeleque Smizing (also known as ‘squinting’). 
The water had definitely hit what we’re calling ‘azure crystal’, but alas! a few degrees too cold to swim still.

 (This one and below also from Marta)

Before we headed back to the boat, we ducked into a supermarket. Andy an I bought mopheads, because apparently germans don’t believe in the power of the string mop. Of course, it’s been weeks and weeks, and I still can’t find the right stick to allow attachment of the heads…

I also managed to snaffle this- which is a deliciously light and fluffy pastry stuffed with bitter dark chocolate. 
I cannot recommend it enough to anyone who has a soul!
Back to our beloved boat, for the final ever sail- ‘homewards’ to Palma.

(photo from Marta).
We had to be back before 5pm, and- because we easily made the deadline- and because this is the Northern hemisphere, where spring sunlight lasts forever, we had a bit of time for Palma exploration. So we slapped on some more sunscreen, scrambled over the boat next to us (our boat was weirdly parked so that we only had indirect dock access), and headed up to the very tip out the Palma hill.. to the Princess Castle of Walt Disney’s dreams.
(This is during the hill climbing- from Marta)

What do you think? Maybe a bit less pink than Walt would have liked. But with moats and turrets and archways and wells! All very glam.

And 360 degree views across the whole city.

Although of course some people will be plant-nerds!

 Marta got heavily into the GruppenFotos- these next few are all from her:

This last one, also from Marta, is on the way down the hill.
This one is also down near the ocean:
Can you see at the pack near the water there is a tiny arch? As as we walked past a lady came and lowered a little dish of something down on a string. Almost immediately, 2 or three cats shot out, and started chowing down on the (presumably) biscuits in the dish. Spanish love their cats!
So we headed down the hill with our tummies starting to rumble, which turned out to be quite conveniently timed for a meeting with Rafa and friends, and the eating of large amounts of Tapas.
We went to a couple of little bars- the first of which was possibly the most hipster place I’ve ever seen in my life.

Andy was right at home:

(Above and below from Marta)

And here’s me taking photos of my food.
You’re welcome.
You’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome:

The thing with the cheese circle and then jam-y thing on top was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted!
We didn’t stay long, because the town was calling.

Rafa took us to this ‘hidden-behind-closed-doors’ type place, which is apparently where the royals come when the visit the island. It had fairly exorbitant prices, and the most Over the Top decorating I have ever seem in my life. Up stairs were rooms straight out of Versailles, overlooking a beautiful enclosed courtyard. We only took a couple of shots, because technically no photos were allowed- and in fact a group of tourists tried to come in as we were leaving and were prevented from entering. 
But I think you’ll get the picture:
As you enter- that’s real fruit and fresh rose petals by the way.
From the top of the stairs looking back at the door, the fruit shrine is kind of hidden by the chandelier- but you can see the woman in khaki taking a snap of it.
I kid you not!
This was just ridiculous: rather ‘girl with the pearl earring’-y no?
 (Photo from Marta).
I wish I’d worn my finery!
Not that that stopped me:
(again, from Marta)
In the bathroom, of course:
Just- WOW! Next time we go we must have a (10 euro) coffee! And wear our pearls!
Anyway, back on the street, where swines like us belong! To something more reasonable, and- I’d bet, a hell of a lot tastier.
(Another Marta Photo)

Oh My! I’m sorry it’s blurry- but that in the foreground is some sort of slow-cooked octopus. It is tender, it is succulent.. it is… indescribably good. 
Will you be convinced of its merit if I mention that, just trying to describe it you you now, I am literally salivating??
We ordered one. 
And then we ordered more.
After the deliciousness, everyone headed to a bar/club with live music near the port. I have to confess that at this point Andy and I bowed out, and headed back to our boat for our final night of sleep in Majorca.

Dinosaur Days

I think it’s actually impossible that any day featuring more than one dinosaur can be not awesome.

It started with dinosaur pasta!

As I have probably ranted to you before, I tend to morally object to ‘organic’ food (50 % on the basis of ‘I find it hard to believe that the carbon and whatever else inside your food is ‘inorganic’ and 50 % on ‘I am poor and this is probably a scam).

Which is why I haven’t really been into the new Bio store in the Hbf very much.

But what a treat! Dinosaur Pasta. And endorsed by T-Rex no less!

I will admit that I was a little sad that there were only three types of dinosaurs, imagine the outrage, for example, if alphabet soup came only with the letters X, K and R. But this was mostly due to the absence of my favourite friend- Parasaurolophus.

Onwards to the Hauptbahnhof, with the promise of possibly-not-real-but-real-life-sized dinosaurs to actually leave the house and possibly even go to the gym on a Lazy Sunday.

They had a kind of ‘Jurassic Park’ set up, with labs and eggs and… VELOCIRAPTORS!

Now, this might be a slightly controversial statement, but I would warrant that Transperth would get a lot more action if the Esplanade had dinosaurs.

Something to think about Perth Government!

And oldish man was looking at the sign for the T-Rex, and when we came back after 10 minutes he was still there.. but he very kindly moved aside and offered to take a photo for us. Clearly my camera recognises T-Rex as more important that us, focus-wise!

What was weird was that two hours later, after going for dinner and then walking back to the station from Potsdam, we were about to cut through the station when we noticed that the same man was still gazing at the T-Rex.

Andy’s parents are coming to visit in a couple of weeks, and we realised that we really haven’t tried enough of the local restaurants to make informed recommendations.

Also.. I promised some of you food porn…

This place was on the main street, and was apparently ‘Thai’ but also served Sushi.

As most vaguely Asian places seem to do in Germany…

Crispy duck! The duck was super tasty, but the sauce and accompanying veges were a bit- bleh.

Andy got some version of red curry, which had ‘two chilis’ and was therefore supposed to be ‘superhot’, but was, as usual, rather weak.

I was impressed by their fortune cookies at least! The last ones we bought (from Kaufland) pretty much said things like ‘Hello’ and ‘Sometimes, things that are red are pretty’. These ones seem to be proper Fortunes, with predict-y powers and everything.

And then we walked home in the crazy light of German Summer.

These photos are taken between 9 pm and 9:30. It’s just super mind-boggling how long the sun hangs around.

It’s pretty eh?

In addition to the strange light, one of the things that’s really playing with my senses, is these white flowers:

I swear they smell EXACTLY like pink hubbabubba, and every time we go past them (they’re just in front of the hauptbahnhof), I get assaulted with the scent of our childhood.

Our home is <—- Thataway!!!

…was a field of almond tree-tree-trees

How long does it take you to organise your snaps after a successful holiday?

Clearly the answer for me is ‘too long’- but that’s because I tend to be over-exuberant with the shutter button.

I think most of us agreed that Soller was one of the most beautiful places we visited. It has a decent amount of shops and restaurants around the port, which was filled with blues and whites and shimmering waters just as we’d come to hope and even expect:

Around the bay ran a tram line- one of the oldest on the island according to Marta’s travel guide, which took you past some beautiful scenery and up the hill to the main city.

 (These two photos are stolen from Marta- Thanks Marta!)

As you can tell from my whimsical poses, I’m pretending I’m a lady from….whatever the Majorcan equivalent of ‘colonial times’ works out as. I was glad to be wearing my ‘gown’, and it is very possible that at some stage during the day Marta and I had a discussion about how we wished we had proper hair and hats to match the period feel of the train that was hurtling us through the mountains.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here is us being less refined.

 (These two photos are also from Marta)

The tram ride, which is a little expensive (5 euros per person), was definitely worth it for the landscapes. I’m going to use the word picturesque. As a Perthian- coming from a city without trams, I think it’s easy to attach a certain romance to a tram ride.

The city itself was everything a tourist coming to a small spanish town could hope for! In the centre was a square, with- what else- a church as feature point, and small streets, of the narrow and winding sort, radiated from it.

 We sat in the sun, and ate freshly baked pastries, and drank freshly squeezed orange juice.

There may have also been icecream.

The cats were given to have breakfast too (not by us)!

We headed towards the train station. The plan of the day was to take an (also ancient) train that hurtled across and through mountains towards Palma. And then catch the train back to Soller and continue to sail towards Palma.

It was incredibly beautiful. One minute you’d be hurtling past a valley filled with houses, then you’d be in a dark tunnel, surrounded by the smell of earth, then back into the sunshine and past orange groves, or almond trees.

Again, I think it was slightly costly, but I would very much recommend it. I guess it makes more sense if you don’t have a boat, and just want to go from Palma to visit the city of Soller.

(Photo from Marta)

(Photo from Marta)

When we arrived at Palma, the train was suddenly flooded with hundreds of German tourists. We sat tight and headed back to Soller.

Back in Soller there was time to have an underwhelming lunch under the watchful eye of the cathedral, and to explore some of those narrow streets in the search of fresh produce.

… and also time for more icecream…

As we headed back to the boat, the clouds descended, and the whole scene became a lot more dramatic.

Some of our fresh produce included loquats, which I hadn’t had for ages, and which the others hadn’t seen before.

And of course some of the delicious half-moon cookie-pastry things that had become a major part of our diet. I’m not sure if I described them before- they’re basically shortbread pastry, and filled then with apricot or fig jam or sweet ricotta or something else delicious.

(Photo from Marta)

That’s them in the top right of the photo. You can also see meat pies at the bottom, made with a similar shortcrust pastry. Andy and I scoffed a couple of these on the trip, mostly because there is nothing in Germany even slighly akin to a savoury pie.

You can really pick the fishing boats- based on the number of gulls following. 

We headed back out to sea…..

…and sailed into the next port as the sun was setting.

Baby Animals!!!

This post has to be dedicated to my father.

He’s always been fascinated with nature, and is a big part of why my sister and I spent a lot of our childhood gazing and poking at things (or if you’re me, trying to pet things, like bees, that should not necessarily be petted).

He’s also always been what society would generally describe as ‘maternal’- very good with children and ga-ga over babies. I’m not trying to put a gender swing on him, but I think the connotations we’ve developed for the word ‘paternal’ involve things like scotch and driving lessons and golf and threatening of boyfriends or something…

A couple of years ago my parents finally graduated from having a single, 30 cm TV in the house, to having a full fancy-pants with-bells-on Plasma or LCD thingame. This coincided fairly well with the introduction of 5-10 new TV channels in Perth, after years of us only having a few, and thus the need for new and exciting programming to fill the many hours.

It also coincided with what I will disrespectfully refer to as my father entering his ‘dotage’: the period of his life in which he intends to watch a lot of TV.

The dotage part is that, with the possible exception of the Fussball, he intends for most of that TV viewing experience to involve some form of baby animal.

You will be surprised at just how many TV shows contain baby animals. And I do not refer to ‘incidental’ baby animals: a coincidental kitten, a puppy as a plot device. No no! I mean whole shows, revolving entirely around the things.

And my father watches them all.

So Father.

Behold The Baby Animals That We Saw At Berlin Zoo!

(Photo taken by Ashleigh)

(Photo taken by Ashleigh)

(Photo taken by Ashleigh)

What’s this- these are just normal sized owls you say?

Check out this fluffball:

(Photo taken by Ashleigh)

There are actually two owls in this photo. But the fatter one is basically sitting on the smaller one.

A baby Hippo is still quite large:

As is a baby elephant:

And a baby giraffe:

Did I hear you suggest that many babies are cuter than single babies??

Does that hold true if they are baby warthogs??

This little guy was pretty cute too!

I think that’s it of the babies. But there must be something in the water because every second animal seemed to have just recently birthed.

Anyway, we went to the zoo.

I like animals. As at least 97 % of the people who ever did a Conservation Biology type degree at uni, I grew up with a healthy dosage of David Attenborough.
But Andy isn’t really into them.
He feels incapable of respecting anything that cannot fix inorganic carbon (i.e. that isn’t photosynthetic)… so apart from plants, it’s pretty much down to that awesome seaslug that has found a way to capture and use the chloroplasts from the algae that it eats.
(as an aside, if you haven’t already heard about this you should google photosynthesising sea slug, it’s seriously cool: the creature can survive for months in the light, using the energy from its stolen chloroplasts, which are aptly named kleptoplasts, but in the dark can only survive a couple of weeks).
Andy also tends to see animals as ‘dirty’, and distrusts anything that might be able to move faster than him and could possibly be his natural enemy.
Which the long way of saying, that although I like animals, I’m not sure that I would have got around to seeing the zoo without the prompting of the Visiting Cousin. Thanks Visiting Cousin!
But it was beautiful.
The zoo itself is a quite lovely area….

… and they have a great deal of all sorts of different animals. The weirdest being an ‘Aussie magpie’.
But it was also a little startling.
In some ways the areas felt more open than the Perth zoo: Perth has glass everywhere, where as this was more Open Air, with the animals on ‘islands’.
But a lot of the closures felt way too small, and it didn’t feel as if enough care had been taken in making the space feel ‘like home’.

This was especially true for the lions- the male was roaming back and forwards and roaring continuously, and he just seemed so, so bored.
And for the many birds, things like vultures and eagles, which were given no space to fly. 

(Photo from Ashleigh)

And some of the animals seemed to want out:

(I’m not sure what this bird is, but it looks pretty flightless, so I’m going to assume it’s from New Zealand.)

On the other hand, some animals seemed to be pretty happy just chilling, and others seemed to be having the time of their life.

This seal kept swimming around and jumping on the land and then diving in the water, sliding along the edges and generally showing off. He was fabulous. The thing is, I’m not sure if that was his way of saying he was bored.

It left me with mixed feelings.

I don’t like animals being kept in small enclosures, and ultimately, any environment that is not their native habitat is not ideal: taming a wild creature can be the most damaging thing you can do to it.

But we’ve already screwed up a lot of things so very badly, and in some cases, without zoo populations and breeding programs, many creatures would be well and truly extinct.

Furthermore, there’s a quote which I think comes from Gerald Durrell*, which basically states that when it comes to conservation, in the end we will save only what we love, and we can love only what we understand.

*Edit- the quote is from Baba Dioum, and it goes like this:

“In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we have been taught.”

And I agree with that wholeheartedly. If the next generation is going to have any chance of being better than us at this planet co-habitation thing, they need to love the creatures in the world. And I can think of few ways to do this more efficiently than to take a small children to the zoo, and let him or her see the elephants.

Or, if you’re like me and have a fondness for ‘Life in the Freezer’, the Penguins!

At the end of the day we listed our favourite animals, and I came down pretty firmly on the side of the ‘Italian Job Mafia Penguins’.

I also loved this little guy, who was running around his cage so fast it was impossible to get any sort of decent photo:

I’m pretty sure he was screaming ‘I’M A MONGOOSE LOOK AT ME I’M A MONGOOSE TOO FAST FOR A COBRA I’M SO MONGOOSEY’ the whole time too.

I also liked this guy, because I’m pretty sure it’s just a cat that they’ve given an exotic name to (Sandcat):

and because he’s being scratched on the head with a broom!

Ash loved the seals, and- for some reason, was pretty fond of the baby hippo.

But she was also impressed by the polar bears: although part of this was because it took us ages to find them.

 Andy was generally into the monkeys, but he liked the Chimp the best, primarily because it sat right up on the edge- as close to the visitors as it could be- but with its back to us, deliberately ignoring us!

 Feeding Time!

Was a sunset over sea-sea-sea

We spent a good part of the morning roaming around the German-crazy town of Cala Ratjada. In the early morning (by Spanish if not German standards), we headed to a cafe overlooking the sea….

and I stuffed in slightly disappointing pancakes while Andy, clearly missing his adopted home, attempted to eat his body weight in Brot.

Being ‘little Germany’, the cafe of course came ‘with dog’ (I’m sure you’ve already read out guest-writer’s thrilling and daring expose on this matter: http://fishwithwhiskey.blogspot.de/2012/12/expose-into-seedy-underbelly-of.html).

… but as there was a nice number of cats to balance it all out, I was pretty happy.

Plus, it came complete with this Dapper fellow:

I’m pretty sure he had mustard coloured pants on. Seriously rockin’ the look!

But seriously. This couldn’t be more Germany if it tried (although I would also argue that perhaps it’s trying too hard and is therefore almost ‘more’ Germany than Germany and thus less.. if you get what I mean).

Speaking of weird imitations, does this writing look familiar to anyone?

Anyway, I think Ratjada is pretty- or at least it was in full sunlight. I wandered around with Andy and Kuba, and later Andy and Alvaro, with some ‘escape’ time in between for looking at girly shops, which sadly turned out to all be identical.

We managed to coerce Alvaro into taking several photos of us. Alas! our light sensing units had clearly senescence, or become augmented in the Long Darkness of Winter, and now we were overcome by an attack of the squints.

Here’s the pretty view without the sunburnt mole-people in the foreground. You can actually make out our boat in the background……………………………………………………..HERE

It was a rather beautiful day. Warm and sunny, but cool enough that we could wear our long sleeves to protect the now fragile skin.

Oh how much these trees remind me of home!!

By the time we left, it was looking a bit like a storm was brewing, but luckily the weather held out, and we were able to spend a very lovely afternoon and evening boating.

 

Was some cal-a-ma-Ri Ri Ri

Cala D’Or was a rather beautiful port.

Although some of my bias may have stemmed from the fresh feeling of un-seasickness, another part came from wonderful deliverance of Spain of that which it offers:

Bright blue skies….

acting as a perfect backdrop for pure white buildings….

And sticky, Mediterranean trees, that smell like home:

Andy, Martin and I headed out for breakfast, at a time that was more appropriate for brunch, but seemed to the Spanish to be ungodly as an hour for the service of food.

We sat down at a cafe brimming with life, most of it Dutch (a crowd of orange-clad people had come to see the crowning of the new king), but were told that it was just too early for any food, so had to move across to the next cafe for some breaky.

It was quite a nice feeling to just sit in the sun, and stock up on some vitamin D after the long, long, long, long winter.

But sooner or later we had to head back to the boat, the plan being to sail at noon.

Cala D’Or is situated in a kind of inlet, and the view on the way out was really quite stunning.

(Alvaro thinks so too)

This… THIS, is sailing weather.

Although, unfortunately, it’s not really. The sky was blue and the sea was calm and… there was not the tiniest whisper of wind to be found.

So we had to go by motor.

But I don’t think anyone was complaining too much about spending a day gliding through the ocean (on autopilot), sunning oneself, reading a book, occasionally looking up to take some photos or admire some coastline or eat some olives and prosciutto.

(Did I introduce Kuba #2 yet? This one is the Cap’n)

I might note that we all got sunburnt.

Personally, I was working on the belief that
a) my legs never burn,
b) even if they do they tan straight away
c) the Spanish sun is way less harsh (i.e. it is more ozone-y in Spain) that that of Australia
d) my people are Spanish, there should be some sort of natural adaptation thing going on.

So I didn’t really apply much sunscreen to my legs.

As a consequence, they spent the rest of the trip lobster red and pulsating with heat (although not too painful thankfully), and later on peeled. They did eventually tan though, but if I get leg-skin cancer in 20 years time, you know that I only have myself to blame.

This is also the reason that I spent almost the entire remaining part of the trip wearing the same dress- a nice long one that protected my upper thighs from any more UV.

We arrived in Cala Ratjada, and after some teething problems that involved the port people wanting us to park our boat against a dock practically in open water (very wavy, very hard to dismount, very bad for the boat because of all the knocking about), we headed to find some dinner.

One of the first things we noticed were the cats:

Heeerre kitty kitty kitty!

And then, we noticed how very very very German everything was.

It is a totally surreal experience as a non-German living in Germany to go to Spain and have everyone assume you are German.

Especially because I’m pretty sure most of the people in Germany can still recognise that I’m an Auslander.

All the waiters would greet you in German, and everywhere offers German translations. All the restaurants served German options- including one store dedicated to Wurst and Doner!

Truly weird though, that the default second language was Deutsch.

Anyway, we headed out to find some fish, presumably served with a side of Kartoffel

GRUPPENFOTO (stolen again from Marta)- possibly one of the only ones with all eight of us

Panorama from Marta, showing the view over the bay

(Photo of Andy looking cute also from Marta)

Sorry for the bad image- it’s really quite inappropriate to provide food porn of low quality.

Olympus Launch

As part of their promotion of the OM-D E-M5, Olympus held a ‘Photography Playground’ in the centre of Berlin.

One quiet Friday, Andy and I headed with Mercedes, and her lovely friend Babs, to what can only be described as a very hipster looking warehouse, in order to get our play on.

The general concept is that they give you one of their shiny new cameras to play with for a couple of hours as you make your way through the floors filled with a mixture of art and play equipment. You look, you photograph, you get occasional instructions for use, and you fall in love. At the end, you hand over the rights to any photos you took, and they give you the SD card on which you took all the shots for free.

When we arrived, despite bunking off work quite early, there was a massive queue, and only a couple of cameras left, so instead of waiting we decided to frolick on our own.

Luckily I already had my (brand appropriate) camera with me.

I have to hand it to them for the set up. On the first floor, there was just some cameras, and some lenses to lust over,

… plus these giant balls

Plus a giant pile of powdered Oasis foam (you know the stuff you use for flower arrangements). Apparently it started of as a sculpture, and its disintegration symbolises the ‘human urge to move’ that ‘leads to complete destruction of the space and neutralizes architecture’s control on human beings’.

Deep.

It really made us contemplate…. things like ‘did they pay money for this?’

But everything got a lot more fun on the next floor!

Of course, we had to wait aaaaggges for the tiny children with boundless energy for mesh castles to get out, and then rather quickly found out that mesh castles are very hard on the feet and that we do not have boundless energy.

Nonetheless.  It’s a friggin’ giant hanging three dimensional spider web people (I may have pretended to be spider man for some seconds, before realising that spider man has much better upper arm strength than me).

Next in line, Dressups!

I’m pretty sure that Mercedes is visually measuring Andy, and mentally concluding that he is perfect for the crazy-shiny skirt

I apologise to any small children we may have elbowed out of the way in our grab for the shiniest costumes.

Onwards and upwards, where the world got a lot trippier, and a lot more filled with awesome.

(Ok, that’s just Andy’s hair.. but there was more!)

This room was rather strange. If you ‘played’ the record, the music started, and the two dresses spun and danced around and around, with the scene punctuated occasionally by bright flashes.

Andy made friends with the record player.

And then…

LASERS!!

Ok, so they weren’t technically lasers, but actually bits of white string in a dark room with a black light shining on them.

But I refuse to recant the exclamation marks!!!

Come! How AWESOME is that. It makes me think of Tron, although I’ve never seen it and really have no concept of it and I think it might even be from before I was born… but still… Tron-y.

Of course Mercedes was cool enough to have pale pants and patterned socks that glowed in the black light:

Although admittedly her outfit was not as cool as this girl’s:

We had to play instead with what we artistes call ‘negative light’.

The next area focused on the macro properties of the camera lens, so we were able to express our musical sides, using a keyboard to produce vibrations in a cap of water.

For this bit I put my SD card into one of their tripod-mounted camera.

And then came the actual lasers, in a small, mist-filled room, where they used beams of light to define the distance and spaces in between.

And more: in this one the light created liquid oily-looking sheets, which I wasn’t able to properly capture on film.

And then, we left the future, and headed into Wonderland.

This room was actually kind of strange, because we got told after about 5 minutes of playing around that actually it was supposed to be art, so could we kindly put the props down, and, that while it was agreed by all that Andy looked very nice on the chair, it would be possibly better in the long run if he removed himself.

Which explains our looks in this photo (these are our ‘trying to work out what the Nice German Man is saying’ faces)

Take that Reality!

The QR code room was rather beautiful, and came with bonus gimmick- we were given a tablet with which to scan the different codes in the room and see some slightly boring videos about some Scandinavian company.

If you heard that someone was currently focusing on ‘self-organising structures that readjust our perspectives and expectations’, what would you think?
I, personally, would not think of a 360 degree panorama of mould and bacteria, but maybe that shows my lack of artistic vision.
As a scientist, I would suggest he were more careful with his sterile plates.
Finally, we walked into a room on the top floor, and thought we heard the rain restarting outside.
It was, in fact, the sound of hundreds of small cork balls being wound around and around, to repeatedly hit against the walls of a tunnel created from cardboard boxes.
And that was it. After a busy week, and an evening filled with costumes and climbing and futuristic lights and fungus, we were tired.
Andy and I headed off to a rather tasty steamboat restaurant (which I won’t talk about, because there have been complaints about the amount of food in this blog) and then headed home to bed.