The LA Times has a story and an interview with an Ukrainian tour guide claiming that "Elena"'s motorcycle ride through Chernobyl/Pripyat, which attracted quite a bit of attention over the last couple of months, is almost pure fiction. That might serve to dampen a bit the enthusiasm of some people about taking a trip there themselves. Then again, it might not - which is just as well :)
Via Neil Gaiman.
Well, it seems that Victorinox have done it again - SwissMemory® USB Storage in a Victorinox pocket knife! Wouldn't it be fun to have a <insert OS of your choice here> rescue disk literally in your pocket, along with all the tools you need to disassemble, reassemble, and generally mess up your computer? :)
This weekend was again dedicated to outdoor and out-of-Sofia activities - and no, it was not just Rob's hike to the Seven Lakes that made us choose Rila :) Unfortunately, right now a webserver is experiencing some out-of-disk-space ailments, so you'll have to wait a day or two for the pictures.
So Iva, Petya, Iva's coworker Dobri and I left Sofia on Friday (in the hot, hot afternoon - about 7-8pm, but it was indeed hot!), thinking that we would drive to Borovetz or somewhat higher up and camp out for the night. However, about midway between Sofia and Borovetz we decided to camp out on the way to Malyovitza instead and drive back to Borovetz on Saturday. There was a nice place just above Govedartzi with a meadow big enough for three tents and plenty of space left. That's where we waited for another coworker of Iva's - Martin - and two more girls, who arrived at about one in the morning on what was Saturday already.
After a good night's sleep we drove to Borovetz, where Martin and the two girls went back to Sofia. The rest of us took the lift up to Yastrebetz, fully aware that waking up at about 9am and getting to Borovetz at 11am does not a good day for climbing Musala make: since the plan involved getting back to Sofia on that same day, we had to be back at the lift before 4pm, which did not quite leave enough time for climbing Musala and back. Still, it turned out to be a great hike along the mountain ridge, then down to the "Musala" hizha, and back to Borovetz.
Somewhere along the way, Dobri had got the idea of eating fish into his mind, so we stopped at Shturkelovo Gnezdo on our way back to Sofia. Initially the plan was just that - grab a bite, then go - but as we all know, no plan survives first contact with the enemy, the enemy in this case being the splendid weather, the slight breeze, and the calm waters of the Iskar lake. Despite the protests of Iva and Petya, we rented a boat and spent an hour trying to come to grips with the concept of rowing with two oars that are actually synchronized, or at least waving two rows aronud in a vaguely synchronized manner. Then, just as it started looking as if it's not that difficult after all, the time was up.
On Sunday, a good friend and former coworker celebrated his birthday in the village of Gorna Malina, not too far from Sofia. Sun, fresh air, steaks and meatballs on the BBQ in the shade, a hammock strung between two trees - I think there's just nothing more to say :)
So, after a couple of days of rest, I'm pretty much back in circulation - and circulation it is indeed. Yesterday, for example, took me from the Faculty of Mathematics and Informations (at the Sofia University) to my new workplace to my old workplace to my aunt's place... and only then back to my place :) Today looks like pretty much the same, minus FMI, and it seems like the rest of the month will be more or less split between jobs. I wonder what that will do to my sleeping schedule :)
As for the days of rest and studying - I wish I had the time right now to really write about a baptizing celebration in Chiprovci. One of Iva's childhood friends had her son baptized, and then threw what some might call a party, though it was more like a feast - more than 60 guests, a night of eating, drinking, and dancing to Bulgarian folk music (real folk music, definitely not the "chalga" kind). Also, I wish I had the time to write about the LIO and Friends seminar at FMI - several very interesting presentations of work in the IT field done by Bulgarian companies (well, okay, so most of them were FMI graduates :), topped off by a concert of Vasko the Patch (maybe more familiar to Bulgarians as Vasko Krypkata), right there, in the yard of FMI, with about 300 litres of beer. Vasko was not accompanied by Poduene Blues Band, but by his new group, Kaskadyori, briefly presented in an interview he did for his 45th birthday recently.
There were a lot of other things that happened in those four days (it's amazing how much can happen in just four days when you do not spend most of your time staring at a computer's display), but this will have to do for the present. More to come soon... I hope.