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11. July 2007 04:34
by Rene Pallesen
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Denmark 2007

11. July 2007 04:34 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

denmark 2007


Ok, it is not just in Holland that they steal with arms a legs. I am not proud to admit that the same seems to happen in Denmark (my birth country)...but more about that later.

After Holland I flew a quick trip to Denmark. On the way there in Heathrow Airport I met up with Kim who had spend a couple of days in London with a couple of friends. I was really looking forward to introducing her to my parents.

My flight arrived a bit late in London so we arrived to Copenhagen without my luggage which turned up the following day.


All the time while in Denmark it was pouring with rain, but we did have one good day in Copenhagen where Kim got to see the sights Fredriksborg Slot, The Marble church, Amalienborg, City Square and City Hall, Stroeget, The little Mermaid, Runde Taarn, Tivoli and Gefion Springvandet. We had lunch at Kultorvet and here Kim got her handbag stolen by a very professional bag snatcher (Latin American or Eastern European looking, dark short hair, wears a dark green suit and will sit down at the table next to you and talk on his mobile. When he leaves he will take your bag).

Click here to see more photos from Denmark

We also spent a couple of days at my grandmothers place where we we had a look at Koldinghus and Trapholt. Kim got to meet most of the family in Jutland (The family on my Dads side).

Click heer to see more photos from Denmark

My cousin had a child recently and the christening was taking place while we were visiting, so it gave us an excuse to visit my grandmother.

Click here to see more photos from Denmark

On the way back from Jutland we visited my Uncle and Auntie Eli and Henning on their farm and also had a look at their windmill.

One day we went also sailing up through Guldborgsund with my dad and we also went a quick trip to Germany one afternoon with the ferry.

Click here to see more photos from Denmark

It was good to see my parents again, but I also realise that apart from them there is not much left for me in Denmark and I would never be able to live the same lifestyle in Denmark as I do in Sydney Australia.


Click here to see more photos from Denmark



I took a number of videos while in Denmark and also a lot of photos. I can recommend that you click on the following links to see more from Denmark.

Video of my Uncles Windmill #1
Video of my Uncles Windmill #2
Video of my Uncles Windmill #3
Video of Kim and my dad picking strawberries
Video of sailing with my dad #1
Video of sailing with my dad #2
Video of sailing with my dad #3
Click here to see more photos from:Denmark/ Slideshow

22. June 2007 06:58
by Rene Pallesen
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Holland 2007

22. June 2007 06:58 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

holland 2007


After my stay in Athens Greece I am now in Vianen in Holland where our European office is. The purpose with my stay here is to do a bit or coordination and do some planning.

Vianen is about 45 minutes drive south of Amsterdam not too far from Utrect. I am staying at the only hotel in Vianen which is located 3-4 kilometers from the office, but fortunately I have been able to borrow one of the company cars.

Vianen really is in the middle of no-where. It is a sleepy little town with no major attractions.

The hotel here is really weird. None of the floors meet and the numbering system of the rooms is all over the place. It is generally faster to get from one room in the hotel to another by always taking the lift to the ground floor, exit the hotel, enter it elsewhere and then take the lift up again...at least the ground floor is always on the same level.

The room itself is nice enough. When I wake up in the morning i wake up looking at a cow paddock with a couple of horses wandering around...did I say that this is out in the sticks?

Click here to see more photos from Holland

People in holland steal with their arms and legs. Yesterday I asked to get an ironing board and an iron brought to my room.They told me that they could not do that (could be because of the mile long walk from the reception but I don't think so, because the room also don't have an alarm clock and the tv is bolted to the table) and they told me that they now had a special ironing room. The iron and ironing board was bolted with a big chain to the wall.

The only positive thing about the hotel is that the breakfast is pretty nice (dinner isn't) and the internet is reasonably priced at 25 Euros for a week.

Its is nice to catch up with colleagues although the schedule is pretty busy here. I interviewed a couple of people for the office here and we are going to give an offer to one of the guys.

Also a couple of the restaurants in Vianen itself are fairly decent and the fact that I could borrow a car meant that I could get around a bit.

12. June 2007 07:35
by Rene Pallesen
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Greece 2007

12. June 2007 07:35 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

greece 2007


Here in mid June I am in Greece assisting one of our partners on a project involving our software.

I arrived Sunday evening and started working Monday morning with the partner. One of my colleagues Karsten is also here and last night we went to this fantastic restaurant called moorings.




It is the most fantastic setting right next to the sea, and the food was fantastic. My starter was goats cheese wrapped in prosciutto ham baked in the oven and then served on a bed of wild mushrooms. For mains I had Grober (a fish) and it was really nice. The servings were massive so no chance of leaving hungry. It was a pity that Kim wasn't there joining me...she would have loved the place. The whole dinner including a bottle of wine, pre-dinner drinks for two people amounted to approximately 135 Euros which is really cheap considering the food and the setting.

During the week Karsten and I have been pretty busy assisting the partner on the project. Later in the week they requested to get some more of my time to assist them. Since Athens is a nice place to be (more interesting than Vianen anyway) I as happy to stay. This means that my stay will ten days in total before continuing to Holland.

During the weekend I had time to do some windows shopping along Ermou street and in the Athens Flea markets as well as visit the Unknown soldiers grave.

Click here to see more photos from Athens


After that I continued up to see the Acropolis.

Click here to see more photos from Athens

I was in Greece and Athens about 15 years ago and managed to see a lot of things, but it was nice with a bit of a refresher. One of the things I particularly remember from Acropolis is the Porch of the Maidens.

Click here to see more photos from Athens

One evening around sunset on the weekend I walked up this hill close to the hotel that has a small chapel on top. There were also a couple of restaurants up there so I decided to sit down and have dinner. The evening view from the hill was fantastic with a view of Acropolis lit up as well as all of the lights of Athens all the way to Pireus.

Click here to see more photos from Greece

Click here to see more photos from: Athens / Slideshow

21. May 2007 12:12
by Rene Pallesen
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Golf at Wakehurst Golf Course

21. May 2007 12:12 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

golf at wakehurst golf course


Sunday afternoon Kim, Luke and I went playing golf at Wakehurst Golf Glub near Manly.

It was the first time on this course and it was in perfect condition and a very scenic course.

Luke joined us and managed to loose a fair amount of balls until he figured out that he should keep his head down to be able to hit the ball. After this he was able to play a fairly decent game...which was excellent, because I had been giving him a bit of a hard time until then (especially after being 30 minutes late for the game).


Wakehurst Gold course

I think I managed to play the first none holes 7-8 strokes over par.

After the first nine holes Kim and I continued on our own and managed to play an additional 6-7 holes before it got to dark to play (and Kim was starving).

I recorded a couple of videos of us playing. Click on the links below to download them:
Me playing golf (first movie)
Me playing golf (second movie)
Kim Playing golf
Luke playing golf





17. May 2007 10:41
by Rene Pallesen
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Australian Drought

17. May 2007 10:41 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

australian drought


Since 1998 we have had a drought in Australia. The water supply in Sydney has been declining ever since and early may 2007 the supply was down to around 30% with only about 8 months supply left.

On the 17th of May it started raining in most parts of NSW and in many areas the drought now seems to be either over or at least less serious. Here is a radar photo from that day:

The day the drought was over
Our water supplies in Sydney are now up to 57% and still rising. It would be fantastic if we could reach 100%, but we would need a fair bit of rain still.

It also means that there is snow falling in the Snowy Mountains, so the skiing season has already kicked in with plenty of natural snow.

15. May 2007 10:52
by Rene Pallesen
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Romantic Dinner

15. May 2007 10:52 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

romantic dinner


A couple of months ago I took Kim out on this really romantic dinner. She was really impressed with my ability to choose the best places in town. I am writing this post so that all you other blokes (or Sheila's) out there can do the same for your loved ones.

The place I took her to is this really romantic waterfront restaurant placed on some of the most expensive realestate in Sydney. The cousine is traditional Australian but this place is famous throughout the world and regularly appear in magasines.
The food is very reasonably priced and it is almost always possible to get a seat right next to the water. In the evening the waterfront seating is dimly lit and has got enough privacy for some kisses and some cuddles.

A lot of famous people have visited the restaurant and they have got photos of some of the people such as Richard Branson (Virgin), John Travolta (Actor,Grease) and many more. The restaurant has got a rich history and has been in this area for many decades now.

The service is quick and polite. The restaurant is BYO so I can recommend bringing a good Australian wine or even a couple of chilled beers on a warm summer night. The restaurant doesn't even charge corkage like other prime restaurants do.

On valentines day this restaurant still does a-la-carte at their normal prices where other restaurants either have set menus or inflate their prices.

Being on a tight budget is no excuse not to go to this place. They have got food that will fit in any budget and I find it hard to believe that you will leave the place hungry. After dinner go for a romantic stroll along the water and you will have won the heart of your loved one (I did).

Click here to see where the restaurant is

6. May 2007 11:02
by Rene Pallesen
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Climbing - Celebrity Crag Blue Mountains

6. May 2007 11:02 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

climbing celebrity crag blue mountains


Saturday Sarah and I went climbing in the Blue Mountains Saturday. Two of her friends from Canberra were also in the blue mountains, but they wanted to climb at Centenial Glen and Porters pass.

Sarah and I decided to spend the morning at a crag (a cliff) called Celebrity Crag. The cliff is split up into two areas called Jimmy Cliff and Heathcliff. We decided to go to Heathcliff which doesn't see a lot of climbers and we hadn't been there before.

Click here for more photos

We managed to get lost trying to find the cliffs and almost gave up trying to find the right track through the bush. After a final try we eventually managed to find the start of the climbs after more than an hours bush-bashing.

It turned out that the climbs there were excellent. Especially a climb called Bad Blood is a must do. It is a two pitch climb where the first pitch is a very pleasant grade 19 (led by Sarah). The second pitch is a grade 22 (which I led).


Click on this link to download the video I took (18Mb).

Near the top (after passing the crux) I took the biggest fall I've taken on lead so far. I climbed up to the next bolt and while clipping the bolt I got my feet up too high (stay low Andy) and couldn't keep the balance. The fall (maybe 3-4 meters) was nicely caught by Sarah. On the second try I managed to get it.

We were planning to climb out rather than walking through the bush, but we ran out of time and I was way too tired to climb with the backpacks. We decided instead to see how many pitches we could complete of another climb before it got dark. We managed to do the first two pitches and then had to bail due to the time.

We didn't get back to the car until after it was dark, so we didn't meet up with Sarah's friends until we got back to the car park. It turned out that they had had an excellent day at Upper Shipley (which you can see from Celebrity Crag).


It is probably one of the best climbing days I've had for a long time although I was totally of of shape.

Click here to see more photos of: Climbing 2007

23. April 2007 07:46
by Rene Pallesen
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Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia 2007

23. April 2007 07:46 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

opening event


I just got back from our Captaris International Partner Conference in Kuala Lumpur. I flew up there Friday week and we started on the Saturday by going whitewater rafting with just the international captarians.

Click here to see more photos

We had a whole bunch of people of different skill levels from the company, so it was good that the rapids were fairly easy so that everyone could join. But...if I had been there by myself with a groupf of people I didn't know then I might haven been a bit dissapointed.

There is a lot of rock climbing potential in the same area.

On the Sunday we were getting ready for the conference, this means setting up the Booths, presentation laptops and getting all our presentations ready. I also volunteered to take photos at the conference for official use (awards handouts etc).

In the evening the 200+ partners arrived and we had a party at the pool in the hotel for everyone.

Click here to see more photos

Monday morning the actual conference started with local drummers and after that all the speakers started their business and technical presentations for the partners.

Click here to see more photos


During the breaks I was speaking to partners at the professional services booth (here with one of our partners from India).

Click here for more photos

On the first evening we had out Galla Awards party. This is the official party where the partners are given awards for their effort the previous year. The party was held at the the old English governors residence (from before Malaysia became independent). Locals dressed in traditional costumes greeted us at the door.

Click here for more photos

During the dinner there was organised local entertainment in the form of dancing. One of the dances there was the bamboo dance from Sabah which I saw before when I worked on the Ecochallenge.


Click here to see more photos




On the Tuesday we had the official party (which is much less formal and usually more fun). This was held in the cultural centre and the entertainment was as usual sponsored by one of our partners (usually dancing girls).

Click here to see more photos


Click here for more photos

Wednesday and Thursday was followed by more presentations and some training. I did a presentation on the Wednesday on the business track based upon a case study from a project we just finished in Japan.

Click here for more photos


Kim had arrived from Sydney on business on the Wednesday and was staying at a hotel just a couple of kilometers away...so on the Thursday when our conference ended I moved over to her hotel. She was working Friday, so I headed into town to check out what electronic gadgets I could find. I didn't have much luck as prices were the same as here in Sydney, but I did buy a new digital camera for $250. It will come in handy when doing stuff where the SLR is too big to carry and it is also pretty good at taking video.


On the Saturday Kim and I went clothes shopping together. I hate buying clothes and it is much easier when she is there as my fashion consultant. Here is the result of just three hours shopping.

Click here for more photos

Kim managed to buy three pairs of shoes in just 15 minutes...she has got a size 4 foot and hardly any stores in Australian stocks that small a size.

In the evening I managed to book a table in the KL tower. It was excellent, very romantic and very reasonably prices (about $120 australian dollars for the whole evening).

Click here for more photos

Unfortunately we had both earlier that day eaten a sausage bread roll which resulted in a really bad diorrea later that evening. Mine eventually disappeared later that morning, but Kims continued, so she didn't have a very good flight back and was grateful that I was there to assist her checking in her luggage while she spent most of the time on the pot.
Click here to see more photos from Malaysia

15. April 2007 02:16
by Rene Pallesen
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Ethan's birthday 2007

15. April 2007 02:16 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

ethan s birthday


Saturday Ethan (Kims Nephew) had his birthday party. Kims sister asked us if we would like to come and do face painting on the the kids.

For the event I got dressed as a pirate and Kim got dressed as a fairy with wings.




KA, kims sister also helped out with some of the face painting. Here is a photo of KA with Ethan.




And here is Kayla painted as a mouse.

Kayla


For the event they had also hired a jumping castle (can be seen in the background) and for some weird reason the caucasian kids loved the face painting idea where the asian kids didn't want to have their faces painted.


10. April 2007 07:51
by Rene Pallesen
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Great Mackerel Beach - Easter 2007

10. April 2007 07:51 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

great mackerel beach easter 2007


During Easter Kims Family had borrowed a house at Mackarel Beach, so we went up there the whole family, Kim and her three sisters, her brother in law, her dad and two nephews and one niece.

The only access to the beach is by boat from Palm beach one hours drive north of Sydney. There are no roads or shops on the beach. The ferry only leaves once an hour and only between 9am and 6pm. The beach is on the opposite side of Pittwater from Palm Beach and it has got a community of about 50 houses.




Most of the two days we were up there it rained, so we spend the time indoor eating, playing games and sleeping. The TV and VCR was out of order and the place didn't have a DVD player. At least it did have a CD player so we could listen to music.

We cooked dinner on the BBQ and the Kookaburras came to get fed. They were really tame, so you could touch them which is exceptionally rare.

I was on breakfast duty both days, so the first morning I made Bacon and Eggs for everyone and the second day I made pancakes. Sometimes it was a little stressful with that many people in the kitchen while trying to make breakfast, but it went alright! I am coming from a fairly small family,so I am not used to have that many people around.


Easter Monday Kim and I played golf at Mona Vale golf course which is one of my favourite courses to play on.



It is right next to the coast and the course is normally in a great condition. Even though the course is long it is not that difficult.

I was playing pretty average on the first nine holes but improved my game significantly on the second nine and managed to play a number of the holes at par. On one of the holes a Currawong (big black bird) flew down and stole Kims golf ball. I had to chase after the bird for 200 meters until it eventually landed in a tree and then dropped the ball.
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