Thursday, September 22, 2011

Derwent Edge

I've had a few days holiday and in the hours between the school run I parked the car near the Ashopton viaduct SK195865.

I headed directly up to Whinstone Lee tor and onto the Derwent edge and enjoyed the fantastic rock features on the edge. The Hurkling Stones, Wheelstones, the salt cellar, Dovestones tor and finally Back tor.

I descended Back Tor via Lost Lad and Abbey bank I walked back along the road running alongside the Derwent and Ladybower reservoir. The reservoirs are low I like winters when the reservoirs are full it seems that we need rather a lot of rain to get to this situation.

I'm enjoying the spell of wonderful September weather and not wishing vast quantities of rain.... but it is needed!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Solar Physics Summer School and Conference in the Ukraine

Over the week of the 29th August to the 2nd September I attended a Solar Physics Conference and Summer School. At the summer school I presented a training session on developing numerical codes for solar physics, this proved to be very successful! However not to mention here the excellent conference and summer school sessions, the week was a week full of events.

The conference took place at the Dubna-spa Hotel, Alushta on the Crimean penisula.

A view of the Black Sea from the Dubna spa

I was warned by the conference organiser that I would be "shocked" by the accommodation! True it was quite dated the room was like something out of the 60's, but it was comfortable and not shocking. The shock occurred in the morning. The key to my hotel room snapped! I was locked in the room and there was no phone. I went on to the balcony and tested my skill at charades attempting to explain to the gardener about my predicament. The gardener shrugged his shoulders said "nhyet" and carried on sweeping! It was quiet in the hotel corridor the balcony looked climbable so I traversed until a reached a room where someone was in. Somewhat embarrassed I waved my broken key at a lady in her underware. Fortunately she immediately understood what was going on. I returned to my room via my series of traverses!

Alushta is a popular seaside resort the black sea was a wonderful place to swim

Food stalls on the coast road at Alushta

The conference organisers had laid on a day long excursion visiting places along the Crimean coast. We drove to Sevastopol and visited the ancient Greek city of Chersonessus. Some of the ruins are shown below, the ancient harbour can be seen. The Sebastopol skyline is in the background.

Our next stop was Vorontsov's palace near Yalta. Our coach journey down to the palace, was interesting on a road barely wide enough for two bicycles. The skill of the coach drivers is amazing or does this explain the dented cars which were parked at the steep side roadside. Below is a view of the Black sea from the palace gardens.

Winston Churchill had stayed at Vorontsov's palace for the Yalta conference it had been commented by Chuchill that the sleeping lion below resembled himself!

The limestone cliffs of the Crimean peninsula looked fantastic, speaking to colleague at the Conference I have identified a source for obtaining information about climbing possibilities.
Prices here are quite reasonable people are friendly, its a place I would want to visit again. However communication is very difficult and a knowledge of Ukrainian or Russian is a good idea.