Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Invading UK 2: London

The capital of UK, quite a big city actually (although not when you compare it with Cairo...nothing is as big as Cairo ), i went to London twice talking slightly a different route through my day.

My first time in London started at London Victoria station, Erik visited me for some days here so we went togehter, started walking towards Buckingham palace (the royal residency) and into St.James park, although it was so gray, the walk in the park was really beautiful, you could see ducks and a lot of squirrels, so tamed that they ate from people's hands and you could simplt take a picture of them, that was a really pleasant site.

Finishing the park, we arrived at WestMinester palace (which includes Big Ben in its architecture), that building is really beautiful...a piece of art, and looks really pretty when you see it from the Thames side, as we crossed the bridge, the London Eye was on our left hand side, we turned towards it and kept walking along the Thames till we reached the most famous Tower Bridge passing by loads of famous nice buildings including the Millienum Bridge, the military vessel Belfast, London Dungeon and London Bridge.

A really interesting sight on tha Thames bank is the live statues, you have a lot of people there dressed up into different characters, standing there as statues, some of them have certain movements, others are totally still, also some performers where there with football or jungling small balls...

At the Tower Bridge we crossed the river to the other side and started walking on the north bank for a while before going into the city passing St.Paul's cathedral and just walking our way back towards Victoria, got to a point where we got really exhausted, our legs started to hurt and our stomaches to complain, so we stopped for dinner at an English restaurant at Victoria str. (which wasn't as bad as people say about English food), relaxed and continued to the station, although our day was spent only walking around and we didn't take any pitures, we enjoyed it.

The other time went to london was with my mother, that was a more cultural program, we didn't walk along Thames, we didn't see St.Paul, but we took the London Eye, it's actually huge but you don't see all the sights you expect to see riding anyway, we also went in the Aquarium which i really liked with all the fish and sea creatures they have there (including Nemo ), we saw the Dali & Picasso exhibition they had there (i really like Dali's art...), we also walked through Northemburland str., saw Sherlock Holmes pub, passed Trafalgar's square, Picadelly circus, walked along Picadelly str. (bought a mug that had a chocolate rabbit for free ), walked past Buckingham palace and took photos there, which was the most important about this day, it was all documented with photos, my mom just loved London.

So London is nice, but do i really like it...hmmm...

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Invading UK 1: Gatwick!!!

Here i am back to writing again after a looooooooooong period of updating nothing at all on this page .

So here is my company sending me for my first 3 weeks in the office and i get assigned to Gatwick.

Gatwick is basically an airport with a few hotels and companies around and nothing more than that, unless you want to count the petrol stations in as well, it's a 40 minute ride by train from London, it's surrounded by some small towns, you can walk to the closest which is Horley (15-20 min. to the town center) and there you can find some shops, restaurants, pubs and generally a nice place to have a dinner then a walk.

I'm staying at the Sofitel which is located at Gatwick airport's north terminal, and the Schlumberger premises are 10-15 min. walk from the south terminal, so it's a ride on the nice small transit train everyday then a nice refreshing morning walk . The office here is quite big, people seem nice but i didn't communicate with many.

The problem with this place is that it's so damn BORING! There isn't a lot of work for a trainee who comes for 3 weeks out of each 10, so i ended up having loads of time to myself, progressed a bit in my training program, but also started heartily hating Gatwick, still i have some hope it'll get better.

My mom came here too, and is spending 9 days here with me, we had a really nice Sunday in London, but you'll read about that in another topic .

P.S. The building in the picture is the Schlumberger House.

Thursday, 1 February 2007

How i missed home!!!

I'm home!!!!!!!! Finally i'm home...

What a great feeling!

So here i am after spending 6 weeks out there on my dear Bluefin coming back home, the crew change was really tiring. We were told that we'll be in Doha at around 10 a.m. and start it but some onsigners were missing, then we found out they'r stuck in Dubai then that they're in Doha but stuck in we ended up starting to move to the Zakher Princess at almost 5 p.m. We got to Doha port almost at 8 and went through lots of papers and checks and security stuff, it was so damn boring and the time we went out of there it was already time for most of the people to start heading for the airport, so the bus took us to the airport, everybody went down apart from me and 4 other people who were flying the next day.

The hotel they put us in was another story, the moment you step inside you know that this doesn't look really good, it's just one of those hotels having no stars at all, you know? (hmmm...lokanda?) Fortunately, regardless of the "luxurious" bathroom, the room was clean and encouraging enough to sleep.

Then it was time to eat something as by this time which was a bit after 10, the birds in my stomach mutated into dinosaurs (i.e. I was starving), as Erik was still there, we went down together and decided to go for the chinese restaurant, the sight inside wasn't at all pleasant, of course as expected (although i kinda forgot about that) there were no women inside apart from 2 quite suspicious looking, there were only arabic men in all their traditional dress and head gear, and they were all totally drunk, listening to a band of a far-eastern man & woman who sing famous songs in English (and who aren't really profissional, to tell the truth...they were more annoying than enjoying). We decided to sit down and eat anyway as our choices at this late time and place weren't big at all, the food on the other hand was really good, so it payed-off for the lousy place.

My flight was next morning at 12:10, i headed for the airport at 9:40 or something and there everything went quite fast, first to Qatar Airways office to collect my ticket, then to check-in, then to the duty free shops for perfumes and chocolate, then for a quick breakfast as i didn't have any in the hotel, then it was already time to go to gate and start boarding, the flight went fast as well, spent on watching an Egyptian movie they were showing then half of a russian one i had with me.

And then i was home, feeling really happy and great to be there, the dinner was one of my favourite dishes "Mahshi" stuffed cabbages and grape leaves...yummy! I slept for 15 hours and now i feel just perfect ;)