I’m sure I wrote something a little while ago about cutting down on long-haul flights – but I’ve just been subjected to a positive barrage of invitations that I’ve found hard to resist. So my international travel itinerary for the future is starting to look like it might be a little busy. Probable highlights:
I’m aiming to take a short city-break in Moscow in May, and I’ll be stopping off with the people at Innova to spend a day talking about Oracle.
I’ve volunteered to take part in the southern leg of the “LA OTN” tour in August – aiming to visit Chile 01/08, Peru 03/08, Uruguay 06/08, Argentina 08/08, and Brazil 10/08 – flying home just in time for my son’s 21st birthday.
Then, in late October, I have an invitation to spend a couple of days in Beijing presenting at the All China Oracle User Group conference.
And if I manage to complete all that lot I think that will take my list of countries visited up to 60. Who knows, I may even find a couple more photos to publish in my “Travelogue” series.
I rarely make a fuss about the places I go and the things I do, but I had another one of those moments last week when I felt the weight of history.
I was in Capetown, South Africa, on a glorious winter week-end, and I had strolled out to the Waterfront. Walking back to the city at sunset, I was suddenly hit by a feeling of the immense age of the mountains compared to the (relatively) new city nestling in the hollow at their base.
Naturally I’d forgotten to take my camera with me on my walk, and my mobile phone couldn’t cope with the low light – but here’s a picture I’d taken (on my phone) on the way out to the Waterfront a couple of hours earlier. If you imagine the perspective from a mile further away, with the city looking about one third of the size and the mountains unchanged, you may get an idea of the image that made me stand and stare.
Now that I’m back home I’ve got a load of comments that need answers – so you can expect to see my name as the author on just about every comment on the comment list for the next two days.
In the last five years I’ve visited more than thirty different countries and seen a lot of wonderful sights – some natural,some man-made. But Sunday was the first time I’ve walked into a hotel room and been overwhelmed by the view.
I was in Athens, staying at the Hilton, in a room facing the Acropolis – and most of the wall was glass, so the impact of the view as I walked into the room was staggering.
The picture, inevitably, doesn’t do justice to the scene. When I tried to include the sweep of modern Athens the Acropolis got lost in the picture; when I tried to capture the Acropolis I lost the sense of how it grew out of the surrounding cityscape – this is the best I could do.
When you’re there, the feeling is of an immense sea of modern buildings, with the Acropolis as a giant focal point that spreads a layer of solidity and calm over everything about it. It is an extraordinary contrast.