Can you swim in the Miner’s Gala?

Edinburgh’s Russian Visa Application Centre

Not enough swimming this week but an interesting diversion on Wednesday morning as I finally bit the bullet and decided I needed to sort out my visa  before it became a last situation with no room for error.

For the uninitiated my trip to the World Championships despite being in the Republic of Tatarstan requires me to obtain a Russian Visa, and this involves me presenting myself in person to a Russian Embassy (or a Russian Visa Application Centre) to be fingerprinted not to mention being required to complete an incredibly intrusive application form.

Why on earth would anyone want to know my parent’s names? or where I’ve studied or what my last two jobs were?

View from a Train…

My nearest RVAC was Edinburgh, (really convenient!). I was a bit reluctant to take a full day off work so I planned a dawn raid which involved me having to get up in the middle of the night, well ok 5:20am to catch a train.

Unusually for Binge arrangements the trip passed off with military precision and I found myself standing in the rain at 8.20am on a miserable Wednesday morning outside a closed RVAC.

I was quickly joined by two delightful older ladies from Yorkshire who had driven to Berwick and then caught my train. We chatted until the staff turned up and we followed them inside.

God it was a depressing place a bit like the inside of a 1970’s working mens club. I was processed if that’s the right verb by a surly spotty youth, and the whole process took about 12 minutes. So after sharing a cab with my new found friends I found myself back at Waverley station in time to catch the 9:30 train and was back in Newcastle by 11am. What an utter waste of time, although the train journey was great.

Mastercard 2So the cost of a Russian Visa: Cash spent: Train fare £127.50, Taxi £7.00 (each way) mugged in the Visa office £98.20,(“we have no information about free visa”) Parking at station £6.00: Time spent: Completing Visa application online (well actually three of them) 2 hours 20 minutes, trying to find a bank account with my name on it that showed I had sufficient funds to pay for my stay…almost impossible, to and from station 1 hour, train journey 3 hours 10 mins, taxi rides 20 minutes return, waiting 45 mins (15 mins each way for trains, 15 mins for Russia to open) in front of a surly (but brutally efficient) Russian with no social skills 12 minutes. Waiting for return of Passport 8 days! Is it worth it?

Well to try and make it so, I made the Tri session at Durham on Saturday and found the pool surprisingly quiet despite the fact they had held a Miner’s Gala earlier in the day.

  • Warm Up
  • 200 free @ 20 sRI
  • 4 x 50’s @ 60s progressive
  • 200 free @ 20s RI
  • 4 x 50’s @ 60s progressive
  • Main Set
  • 400 Free @ 30 s RI (1st 100 hard)
  • 4 x 25 sprint @ 5o s RI
  • 300 Free @ 30 s RI (1st 100 hard)
  • 4 x 25 sprint @ 50 s RI
  • 200 Free @ 30 s RI
  • 4 x 25 sprint @ 30 s RI
  • 100 Free
  • 4 x 25 sprint @ 30s RI
  • 200 Free @ 30 s RI
  • Swim Down
  • 200
  • 2600 Total

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