Champion and Sportsmanship teams for 2015 Blackpool Dance Festival

 

Champion team

 

Sportsmanship team

Rank

Amateur Rising Star Latin

Austin Joson & Nino Dzneladze (USA)

2 Qualifying & 6 Rounds

(South Africa)

302

Amateur Rising Star Ballroom

Igor Reznik & Mariya Polischuk (Ukraine)

2 Qualifying & 5 Rounds

(Hong Kong)

154

Senior Ballroom

Csongor Balogh & Anita Szabó (Hungary)

7 Rounds

(Hong Kong)

160

Professional Rising Star Latin

Ruslan Aydaev & Valeriya Kozharinova (Russia)

7 Rounds

(China) & (Japan)

206

Under 21 Latin

Alex Pritchard & Chloe Hewitt  (England)

7 Rounds

(Italy) & (Italy)

165

Amateur Latin

Nikita Brovko & Olga Urumova  (Russia)

2 Qualifying & 6 Rounds

(USA)

265

Senior Latin

Andreas Hoffmann & Isabel Krüger  (Germany)

5 Rounds

(Scotland)

87

Under 21 Ballroom

Igor Reznik & Mariya Polischuk ( Ukraine)

6 Rounds

(USA), (USA), (Korea)

95

Amateur Ballroom

Sergiu Rusu & Dorota Makar ( Poland)

7 Rounds

(USA), (USA), (USA), (Hong Kong), (Hong Kong), (Germany), (Singapore), (Korea), (South Africa), (Japan), (Japan), (Russia)

151

Professional Latin

Michal Malitowski & Joanna Leunis (England)

7 Rounds

(Japan)

252

Professional Ballroom

Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova ( USA)

7 Rounds

(Japan), (Taiwan), (Taiwan), (Hong Kong)

237

Ballroom Formation

Utah Valley University (USA)

1 Round

(Hong Kong)

2

Latin Formation

Beijing Dance Academy Secondary School (China)

2 Rounds

(Hong Kong)

10

Exhibition

Gerhard Van Rooyen & Amor Kruger (South Africa)

1 Round

(Croatia)

8

England, Russia, USA, Ukraine both had two Champions, which clearly showed the leading roles of these four countries in Ballroom & Latin-American Dancing.

Hong Kong had the most Sportsmanship results (7) with USA (6) & Japan (5) closely behind, which in a way indicated the massive dancing market in these three countries.

89th Blackpool Dance Festival (22nd – 30th May 2014)

Own perspectives :

  1. I have been bringing couples to every Blackpool Dance Festival since 2005 together with my wife Gertrude. This year my mind was a little perplexed as Gertrude was at the same time taking Alaska Cruise Tour with her family on the other side of the Earth ;
  2. Alexander Andreichev & Kristina Nikiforova from Russia now represented HK under the flag of HKBDI. They made 45th in Amateur Rising Star Latin and 59th in Amateur Latin, best Blackpool results for them.

Talking points :

  1. In the Programme, Daytime Chairman Mr Richard Gleave was misprinted as Mr David Sycamore who was last year’s Daytime Chairman (last year my name was misprinted as the man of one of my couples in the Professional Ballroom field) ;
  2. (c) Serena Lecca, who formed the successful partnership with Alan Tornsberg in achieving all major Professional Latin Finals, came back from retirement with a new partner Alano Gouveia, still representing Italy ;
  3. (d) Wang Zilong & Yang Li made history by achieving the best result for Hong Kong , placed 5th in Professional Rising Star Latin Final and 1/8 Final in Professional Latin

(22nd Thursday) : World Professional Superstars at work

The Competitors' Commission Annual Fundraiser - Superstars in Cabaret was as usual held on Thursday in the Spanish Halls, Wintergardens. World Professional Ballroom Vice-Champions Victor Fung sold entry tickets at the entrance, while World Professional Latin Champions Riccardo Cocchi sold Raffles tickets at the venue!

(23rd Friday) : Double 5th

  • Li Kai with his new partner Yang Xiang Lian made the Senior Ballroom Final (5th Place, same as Wang & Yang in the same evening), 1st time for China Senior Ballroom coupes, Li with another partner was 9th last year
  • Blackpool Ex-Senior Ballroom Champions, Slawomir Lukawczyk & Edna Klein (Belgium) came back after two years’ break & tried to regain their crown. Unfortunately, they withdrew from Semi-Final due to injury

(24th Saturday) : Team Match not the strongest

American Team did not invite Victor & Anastasia, Europe Team did not invite Sergey & Melia, Andra & Melinda, Di Philipo & Sasha. I had the opportunity of talking to Glenn Weiss, the coach of Victor & Anastasia, when three of them were sitting together. Glenn would not comment on this point, Victor & Anastasia were puzzled!

(25th Sunday & 26th Monday) :

  • HKBDI annual Blackpool dinner gathering at Mandarin Chinese Restaurant, only 20 persons attended as compared to 43 persons last year. The new attending HKBDI members Spencer Law & Kennes Yiu made 2nd Round this year in Senior Latin the following day
  • Nikita Novikov & Dovile Sutaite competed in Blackpool for the first time representing Hong Kong & achieved Semi-Final at Professional Rising Star Ballroom on 26/5/14

(27th Tuesday) :

Three HK couples made 4th Round, best performances for HK couples in Amateur Latin field

(28th Wednesday) : Emotional

  • Audience started screaming from 3rd Round
  • Standing Ovation from audience from 3rd dance in the Final onwards
  • Interviewed Valentin Voronov & Alina Imrekova (Russia) who was WDSF top Amateur Latin couple now turned Pro & danced in Blackpool (they made Professional Rising Star Latin Semi-Final & Professional Latin top 48). They felt dancing in Blackpool (WDC event) was great and would not go back to WDSF
  • Neil Jones sustained injury at top 48 & withdrew from top 24
  • Marcus Hilton MBE announced Sergey Surkov & Melia (Russia)’s retirement right after the Final. Sergey & Melia danced their farewell Rumba with emotions & tears

(29th Thursday) : BDFI AGM

BDFI AGM changed to Thursday morning. Only two Asian ID were there to deliver a report – Korea Mr Kim (by his interpreter) and myself. Honorary Chairman Mr Antony Hurley proposed to set up a BDFI Asia Committee. Chairman Mr Greg Smith, will send invitations to qualified country representatives to come up with some solid activities . ID meeting was held immediately after AGM, this clashed with ISTD Luncheon, which I arrived very late. Next year’s BDFI AGM will be moved back to Wednesday morning.

(30th Friday) : Break-through for 3 HK couples

Semi Final saw Andrea (& Sara) fell on the floor with his back completely lying down, luckily he sustained no injury and carried on with the rest of the competitions and kept their 3rd place. Last year Yang Chao & TanYiling made one dance Final. This year Yang/Tan made it three, with Karabey’s brother & sister only made one dance Final.. 3 Hong Kong couples danced at least twice : Nikita Novikov & Dovile Sutaite made 39th (Round 4), Mac Fung Ko & Vesta Lai Ko and Conant Liu & Hiu Mui Wan both made Round 2. The former two couples were 1st & 2nd Place in the Open Professional Standard event, HKBDI Ranking Events in HK on 16th Feb 14 (3rd HK BDFI Cup)

Frustrations of Chairman of Adjudicators

Since my first time overseas adjudication in 1996, my adjudication assignments have been gradually increased in quantity and quality. In 2013, I shall have 23 days adjudicating overseas including Asian Tour judging in Japan &Korea, Open to the World Championships in Lithuania and Russia. I have always been obsessed with this solemn and responsible task as I learn every time when I judge or watch major competitions like Blackpool Dance Festival, the only championships that I will not miss to watch every time since 2005. Whilst I concentrate to assess the quality dancing of the couples, I also compare if my marks are far away from other fellow adjudicators, what the possible grounds would be, so as to keep up with the variety of judging criteria.

I was privileged to be appointed as the Chairman of Adjudicators for Footwork International Dancesport Championship 2013 on 1st September 2013 at Hilton Columbo Hotel, Columbo, Sri Lanka, organized by Mr Dharshan Wijesooriya.

I had been enjoying this demanding duty in Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong in the past. Unfortunately, this time in Columbo, the result in Open Amateur Latin final made me uncomfortable and disappointed. The couple from HK who made 9th Place in Under 21 Latin in Blackpool 2012, 14th Place in Amateur Rising Star Latin in Blackpool 2013, was defeated by a couple from Thailand who was 267th Place in 2013 Blackpool Rising Star Amateur Latin ! Certainly I understand the previous performances and results should not be taken into consideration when assessing your marks in any competitions. Also, I accept political, say the least circumstantial marks all over the World, which however should have their ceiling! I believe Blackpool marks and rankings should be the most open fair and partial index for any couples. For instance, you can be in any competition finishing in front of the couples who are one round ahead of you in Blackpool but you will never beat the couples who are two rounds ahead of you in Blackpool!

I reckon Mr Dharshan Wijesooriya, appointed me as Chairman of Adjudicators due to my accumulated knowledge and experiences in adjudication of Dancesport Competitions. Taking aside all the previous data, I personally opine that the HK couple's performance on the night of 1/9/13 rightfully deserved their ranking in Blackpool.

Lawrence Chan

2/6/13 維爾紐斯舞蹈節 Vilnius Dance Festival 2013

My wife & I first visited Vilnius, Lithuania in 2005 attending the IDSF Congress. I had never really thought of visiting this country again until one day I was asked by my couple if I could find a competition in Europe next to the date of Blackpool Dance Festival when they could join two consecutive championships in Europe. The Vilnius Dance Festival (VDF) came to my mind immediately.

My estimation was wrong in that out of the 31 couples following me to Blackpool Dance Festival, there would be at least 5 or 6 couples going to VDF ! Approaching early May, 2013 only three couples had bought the air tickets to go with us to VDF. Unfortunately, two of these couples failed to apply for Visa to Lithuania at the last moment. Eventually they had to change their tickets and flew back to HK on 1/6/13 instead of flying to Vilnius.

Still though this second trip to Vilnius was one of the most memorable trips in my entire life.

Firstly, flying to Vilnius from Manchester through Frankfurt, sitting besides us on board Lufthansa flight was Edita Danuite, the former partner of Arunas Bizokas. What a coincident!!

The competitions on 2/6/13 was held in Radisson Blu Hotel, the hotel where all adjudicators and most competitors stay. It is comfortable, beautiful & convenient. Two shopping Malls are situated on both sides of the hotel. The Old Town is just 15 minutes walking distance from the hotel.

All the events were run in perfect harmony under the capable hand of Arunas, the current undefeated WDC World Professional Standard Champions. I was having great fun to judge the interesting Pro-Am events and the young & vibrant Amateur events together with some elite World Renowned adjudicators – Greg Smith, Jerry Abrate, Stanislav Popov, Gary McDonlad, Snieguole Wood, to name but a few. I was fortunate enough to judge the World Professional Champions again, this time the most elegant Katusha Demidova was competing in Pro-Am with her Chinese student!

Small hiccups were always unavoidable :

  • The only couple from Hong Kong, Johnson Tam & Anna Ho lost one Luggage during the flight from Manchester to Vilnius on 1/6/13. Luckily the costume was kept in their hand carry. They just needed to buy all the accessories upon arrival in Vilnius to prepare for the competition on the next day
  • Two judges Greg Smith & his wife Jeanny lost all four of their luggage. They need to borrow all outfits from others in order to execute their adjudicator duties
  • Jerry Abrate had an accident in Blackpool which had his legs injured. Although the recovery was well, he had to carry crutches to judge

Several Pro-Am shows and Wheelchair demonstrations (two men & three women) were arranged in the evening session. When I was recalling the touching moment of my first time watching Wheelchair demonstrations in my first visit to Vilnius during the IDSF Congress, I found the two men on wheelchair were not disabled. They are normal dancers who sit in Wheelchair to dance with their lady partners.

The last five dance demonstrations by Arunas & Katusha were their best performance I had ever seen. They danced V.Waltz as their first dance. The audience almost wanted to stretch their legs. From the second dance to the last & fifth dance, I saw each dance with standing ovations – 1st time in my life!

Lawrence Chan

8/4/12 尊師重道

馬德里日誌

5/1/11 晚上出機場
6/1/11 於00.45時乘卡塔爾班機飛往中東的多哈 (約九小時飛程), 05.35時到達, 07.25時再乘QR班機往西班牙馬德里 (約八小時飛程), 13.35時到達, 乘坐免費穿梭巴士由機場到酒店Hotel Auditorium Madrid祇需十五分鐘。全間酒店地方非常寬敞, 分三座, 房間眾多, 我和太太入住的房間是我們多年來入住歐洲各國酒店最大的一間, 執過行李, 稍事休息, 我們便急不及待在酒店員工指示下乘巴士往Avenida de America (巴士及地鐵總滙) 一帶逛逛, 在一間地道的餐廳晚飯後忽然下起雨, 決定豪一豪 "打的" 返酒店 !
7/1/11 上午Buffet早餐 (06.30-11.00時)後我和太太開始認識一下這全歐洲最大的酒店, Hotel Auditorium Madrid雖然外表平凡, 但內裡大堂的佈置、傢俬等大部分都是精緻的古董, 令我們倣似置身博物館一樣, 多間偌大的會議廳 - 其中一間是用作賽手們練舞及上課, 很多教練及裁判都早幾天來到這酒店安排授課 ; 另外一間就是用作當天下午的IDSF講座(*a) 及8/1 & 9/1/11兩天的Dancesport Cup 2011馬德里體育舞蹈錦標賽的場地, 這些廳房間空間之大令人難以相信, 地板質素一流, 作為國際體育舞蹈比賽的主辦人, 這場地可說是完美的夢幻組合 !
7/1/11 下午陪太太參加IDSF裁判講座(*b), 費用為每人80歐羅, 內容分為四部分 -
(i) 標準舞 ;
(ii) IDSF新評分制度 ;
(iii) 教練應用概念 ;
(iv) 拉丁舞, 每一節的講師都帶出一些實用的理論, 我對最後一節的講師, 德國的前世界業餘拉丁舞冠軍Ralf Mueller 的講解特別欣賞, 尤其是他說一個好裁判需要 "Devoted", 意思為不應衹視評分為一種普通工作, 要全情投入, 不斷留意、更新資訊及舞圈動態, 我十分同意及佩服他的真知灼見。
原本有兩對香港選手跟我們一起往馬德里比賽, 我們需要照顧他們8-9/1/11兩天的比賽, 但他們取消行程, 我們偷得浮生半日閒, 由原本安排兩天旅遊變為四天, 節錄如下 :
8/1/11 離酒店不遠有一座馬德里最大型的商場, 我們就在那裏消磨了大半天, 發現原來大部份商店都在7/1/11開始大減價 !
9/1/11 早上往Sunday Open Market (近地鐵La Latina站)趁熱鬧, 這個市集跟其他歐洲及南美國家一樣都人山人海, 貨物五花八門, 林林總總, 遊完Sunday Market後在市區一帶行街, 主要圍繞幾個大地鐵站Sol, Opera, Callao, Gran Via等等。
10/1/11 参加09.15時出發的一日團 (每人89歐羅), 遊覽了Avila和Segovia兩個城市, 在遊覽途中突下大雨, 幸有一對西班牙團友恩愛夫婦(當天是他們四十三週年結婚紀念日)借我們雨傘, 才不用淋病! 晚上六時遊覽完畢回到市區。
11/1/11 過往幾天都遇着下雨, 正担心我們計劃最後一天優閒購物天是否需要更改, 但老天爺憐憫, 竟然整天陽光普照, 温度適中, 滿載而歸!
12/1/11 乘酒店坐08.00時免費穿梭巴士到達馬德里機場, check in 時我才發現我的銀包遺留在酒店房間的保險箱, 尚幸 "飛的"來回酒店取回銀包未延誤我10.40 hrs 的班機, 抹一把汗!
13/1/11 在中轉站多哈停留六小時才飛返香港, 1410 hrs 到達, 整個旅程可說十分美滿, 少少遺憾是未能參觀鬥牛 !

陳航行

*a西班牙第一次主辦IDSF講座
*b持有IDSF國際裁判執照, 需每兩年參加一次IDSF在不同國家所舉辦的裁判講座

第八十五屆黑池舞蹈節 (27/5 - 4/6/10)

今年英航罷工開始日期巧合地正是黑池舞蹈節的開始, 對很多賽手、捧場客做成不便, 有些甚至迫不得已取消此行程, 意大利、俄羅斯的IDSF屬會繼大英錦標賽後繼續杯葛黑池錦標賽, 數字统計比去年少了三百多對業餘選手, 職業選手則沒有受到影響。

The 85th Blackpool Dance Festival (27 May – 4 June 2010)

The Blackpool Dance Festival 2010 met in coincident with the strike of the British Airways, causing much hindrance to some competitors and spectators, some of whom even cancelled their trip to Blackpool. The Italian and Russian dancers under the affiliated dance associations of IDSF continued on their boycott following the United Kingdom Championships. Statistics indicated that there was a decrease of approximately 300 amateur competitors from last year. Yet the number of professional competitors remained unchanged.

因受到英國航空公司的罷工潮影響,前往黑池的香港遊客經常乘搭的航班(由希斯路前往曼徹斯特)受到嚴重影響,我很欣慰能夠帶領十對選手及時趕到黑池。到目前為止, 選手的人數創下了我歷年來最高的記錄。
Among the mist of boycott and the impact of British Airway's strike (which seriously affected the most frequently booked flights from Heathrow to Manchester for Hong Kong visitors to Blackpool), I am pleased to have been able to enter 10 couples from Hong Kong, by far my best record as team leader for the past few years !

起立歡呼
在公開業餘標準舞(3/6)頒獎禮上, 第一的意大利選手及第四名的俄羅斯選手, 因不理國家舞總禁令,堅持參賽, 所以在頒獎時觀眾罕有地全體起立歡呼拍掌。
Applause
During the prize presentation ceremony of the Amateur Ballroom (3 June), standing ovations were given to the Italian and Russian competitors who was the champions and the fourth place respectively. They insisted on partaking neglecting the boycott imposed by their dance associations.

轉職重生
俄羅斯的Evgeny Smagin 在業餘拉丁舞組曾去到第三名, 自與舊舞伴拆伙跟 Polina Kazachenko拍檔後成績一落千丈, 在今屆黑池大賽他們轉跳職業, 脫胎換骨, 勇奪職業新星拉丁(28/5)冠軍, 闖進公開職業拉丁組(2/6)第十一名 。
Revitalized as Professionals
Evgeny Smagin of Russia, who was at his best ranked 3rd in World Amateur Latin, had suffered a disastrous decline after separating from his ex-partner and teamed up with Polina Kazachenko. He thoroughly re-molded himself in this year's Blackpool for his debut in Professional Rank & won the Professional Rising Star Latin (28 May), as well as made 11th ranking in the Open Professional Latin (2 June).

國際隊際職業邀請賽 新元素
(29/5)美國隊蟬聯冠軍, 英國季軍, 首次引入歐洲隊、亞洲隊兩洲際聯隊分别獲得亞、殿軍, 每年最引人入勝的入場儀式歷史性地、無聲無息地取消了!
New Element – Invitation International Team Match
(29/5) Two continental teams, the European & the Asian Teams were invited for the first time, being position 2nd and 4th ultimately. Team USA won for two successive years; Team England was 3rd. The traditional entrance ceremony for each team disappeared historically and silently!

中國最佳
何艟 / 單菁 勇奪業新星標準舞亞軍(30/5)及廿一歲以下標準舞冠軍(1/6), 大紅大紫 !
陸寧 / 張丁芳 公開職業拉丁組(2/6)第十二名, 再度突破。
The Best for Chinese Teams
He Chong and Shan Jing ranked 2nd in Rising Star Amateur Ballroom (30 May) and won Under 21 Ballroom (1 June), they really grabbed the spotlight in this year's Blackpool !
Lu Ning and Zhang Ding Fang's 12th Place in the Open Professional Latin (2 June) was another break-through for their dancing career.

香港選手創佳績
今年港隊參賽人數比上屆多, 最令人鼓舞的當然是參加壯年標準舞組(28/5)的袁成均、劉淑儀組合, 他們首次一起參加黑池比賽便歷史性地進入第五輪, 名次第十五, 下一屆將成為這組別的種子選手, 劉淑儀人稱 "何太", 我賽後訪問何太感受, 她說要多謝家人及丈夫的支持, 並希望她的個案可以作為其他香港人的借鏡, 多參與這項有益身心的跳舞活動, 只要不斷努力再努力, 就必定能突破自己 !
以下我特別點名稱讚三對今年比去年成績好的香港選手 (不包括首次參加者) :
梁煒棠、馬玉雲, 吳子賢、馬慶苗, 林宇、陳文靜
Excellent results from Hong Kong couples
More Hong Kong couples entered this year’s Blackpool than last year's. The most encouraging news for Hong Kong definitely came from the first time participation together for Yuan Cheng Jun and Lau Suk Yee in Blackpool. They made the Fifth Round and ranked the 15th place in the Senior Ballroom Championships (28 May). They will exempt from the first round in next year's same Championships. I talked to Mrs. Ho (the name people usually called Lau Suk Yee) afterwards. She expressed her heartfelt thanks for the support of her husband and family members, and hoped that she could motivate more Hong Kong people to join in this healthy activity. She further added that everyone could excel oneself through continual efforts!
I hereby complimented the following 3 HK couples who had better results than last year (first time participants were not included) :
Raymond Leung & Judy Ma, Peter Ng & Ma Hing Miu, Kelvin Lam & Christine Chan

花絮
- 在業餘拉丁第二圈資格賽(1/6) 56號選手在跳森巴舞時踏到其中一位裁判John Byrnes, 令John整個人彈開
- 公開職業拉丁(2/6)第一圈下午開賽前發現冬季花園的地庫水浸, 整座建築物關閉搶修, 幸好整座建築物很快便能回復原狀, 只令開賽時間稍為延遲, 當我行經冬季花園側面入口準備入內參觀第二圈賽事時, 見到馬來西亞職業拉丁選手楊中偉在門口抽煙 (他和舞伴剛跳完第一圈不久), 當時還有廿分鐘便進行第二圈賽事, 我叫他趕快入場準備 (他們在28/5的職業新星拉丁未能進入第二圈), 結果他們能晉級第二圈, 並能及時出場!
Interesting incidents
- Amateur Latin 2nd Qualifying Round (1 June) one of the adjudicators John Byrnes was stepped by Couple No.56 when they were dancing Samba. John skipped and hopped
- The basement of Winter Gardens was flooded prior to the commencement of Open Professional Latin (2 June) 1st Round. The whole building was blocked for urgent works which luckily did not last long only slightly delayed the starting time of the 1st Round. When I walked through the side entrance of Winter Gardens and wanted to watch the 2nd Round, I met the young man Yong Chun Wai from Malaysia (Yong just finished 1st Round with his partner Yeap Yen Chin). I asked Yong why he was still there smoking as the 2nd Round were to start in 20 minutes (they did not make the 2nd Round in Professional Rising Star on 28 May). He listened to me and rushed back to the venue. Eventually Yong and Yeap made the 2nd Round and managed to dance in time!

訪問四位資深而極具權威的黑池裁判
/6)我很榮幸能夠出席一個午餐聚會,在眾多嘉賓之中有四位世界著名的黑池裁判,分別為Michael Stylianos & Lorna Lee, Robert & Barbara Grover。事實上,在此之前我已跟過他們上課。籍此機會探討有關意大利和俄羅斯的IDSF屬會對今年黑池舞蹈節進行杯葛的看法。他們共同的觀念是:每一位出色的舞蹈員都應該擁有在黑池比賽的機會以作為測試他們個人的舞蹈能力。而世界上所有的舞蹈團體都應該盡力維持彼此間良好的關係,並一同向這目標邁進。中國選手們以精湛的舞藝及對大會的大力的支持,使今年的黑池舞蹈節更大放光彩而獲得他們四位的高度讚揚, 尤其是廿一歲以下標準舞組,有超過三十對的選手能夠進入此項賽事。這個訪問向世界舞圈帶出一個團結互助的重要信息。
Interviewing four experienced Blackpool adjudicators
I was fortunate enough to attend a lunch gathering.(3 June) in Blackpool. Among the guests there were four World renowned Blackpool adjudicators, namely Michael Stylianos & Lorna Lee, Robert & Barbara Grover. Actually they all had given lessons to me before. I grabbed this opportunity to seek their views on the boycott of this year's Blackpool Festival by IDSF Italy & Russia. Their main concept was the same that every good dancer should have the chance to dance in Blackpool as an ultimate test for their dancing abilities. Any dance umbrella all over the World should work hard under diplomatic relationships to achieve this theme. They praised the team from China was really lightening Blackpool with their great support of couples and their depth of talent, especially in the Under 21 Ballroom event with over 30 couples' entries. The interview revealed important messages of Fraternity with Authority to the Dance World.

陳航行黑池現場直擊報導
On the Spot Report by Lawrence Chan in Blackpool

Lawrence Chan's discussion with George Yip, President of Hong Kong DanceSport Association on 9 February 09

Mr George Yip was briefed of the following points regarding the email from Shawn Tay to Lawrence Chan on 6/2/09 and the answers from Lawrence to Shawn :

(Shawn) : the attendance at the congress by you in Lithuania is unofficial
Lawrence : I found the information from IDSF website and it was written that the applicants could send the Application Forms directly to the Organizer, only notifying the National Body. I did fax to HKDSA my Application Forms for the Congress in Lithuania but nobody from HKDSA answered me, so I followed the guidelines in the website to submit the Forms directly to the Organizer.

(Shawn) : with support IDSF movement in Asia particularly in Hong Kong
Lawrence : (a) On 14/12/03, Macau organized IDSF championships, they wanted to find a top couple to perform. I helped them to find Paul Green & Alexander Gisher and brought them to Macau personally at my own expense even though they did not invite me to judge! (b) On 17-18/7/04, I was invited to judge in Thailand by Sittichai Preyadara (over the phone). I purchased my air ticket together with one Open Amateur Latin couple. Later Sittichai called me again saying that he could not allow me to judge because I did not have IDSF Licence. I still went to support the IDSF event in Bangkok and brought the couple! (c) On 7/1/07 I had my knee operation 10 days before, I still accepted the invitation of HKDSA to adjudicate ; (d) On 13/1/08 (the day was fixed by my student), I helped my student to organize a competition in Tin Shui Wai , while on the same day, HKDSA organized their competition in Tai Kok Tusi, I took the initiative to co-operate with Mr George Yip to arrange the timing of both competitions so that the couples can have time to travel and take part in both events ; (e) On 9/3/08, My wife & I both attended (as normal guests only, not as judges) the event organized by HKDSA in the far end of the venue near HK Airport

(Shawn) going into all the unregistered events you have judged and argue whether or not you are aware of it
Lawrence : I did not know and was not informed of any competitions that I should not go with only one exception of Allan Tan's competition about three years ago. Actually for that banned competition, I only knew on the day I flew to Singapore when I checked with IDSF Website randomly. I never checked ADSF Website up to the moment I met George Yip on 9/2/09

Shawn's suggestions to Lawrence :
1. met up with HKDSA and discuss about future cooperation.
Lawrence : fulfilled on 9/2/09

2. do not resolve to offensive open politics with use of local media or press which is often the preferred way of some silly professionals in Hong Kong. Bad news for DanceSport hurts everyone in the business.
Lawrence : I did not mean to hurt DanceSport, quite the opposite, I did not want any malicious people using the name of Olympics to take advantage. Bearing in mind my previous background of Police Commercial Crime Bureau and ICAC, I was trained to combat the crime of deceptions and corruptions.

3. Go through the proper channel to get what you want and need. For your case contact the HKDSA first before you get to the next level. We will no longer tolerate a bypass in protocol as this is bad for sports and organizational work.
Lawrence : I must admit that I am a person of over-highly efficiency. I send messages fast and want to have response fast. I have always sent my requests to HKDSA before I get to higher level. Sometimes, I have not received any response from HKDSA, then I was too anxious to get the reply and send to higher level directly. However, sometimes, I just took it easy and never brought my request any further, e.g. I sent a letter to HKDSA regarding the event on 1/7/07 at Queen Elizabeth Stadium, they never replied to me and I did not take any further request.

4. stop approaching IDSF member bodies for advertising of their events in the magazine of your competition as that will be wrong and misleading for them to do so.
Lawrence : I have been doing the jobs of promoting DanceSport by the way of persuading swopping advertisements of Programme Magazines for overseas competitions and Hong Kong competitions over the past 10 years or so. I do not specifically aim for IDSF or WDC events!

No further correspondence and communication are exahnged between George Yip and Lawrence Chan or Shawn Tay and Lawrnece Chan

2/2006 古巴之旅

政府政策

政治 : 共產國家, 總統卡斯特羅在位已47年, 首都夏灣拿

夏灣拿 : 主要分為Vieja舊市街, Centro Habana市中心及Vedado新市街, Centro Habana有一個中國城Bario Chino, 但內裏沒有中國人!

貨幣 : 古巴一直沿用古巴披索為貨幣, 在1995年開放政策, 容許美金為貨幣, 在2000年開始, 推出新貨幣“古巴兌換披索”(CUC), 1CUC兌換24古巴披索 (約等於港幣$9), 到2004年政府全面禁用美金, 將市場分為古巴披索及CUC兩種貨幣, 前者衹售賣低劣貨品, 大部份店鋪都用CUC, 如用美金兌換CUC會加收附加費。

治安 : 政府請很多很多警察, 付出很高人工 (大概600 - 700古巴披索), 所以到處都見到警察在街上認真地執行職務, 有時亦會與民同樂, 對遊客來說非常有安全感, 但另一方面對遊客帶來不便是由2004年開始政府全面禁用美金, 而所有地方簽信用咭都要加11.114%稅!

市容 : 一般街道與建築物都很殘舊污糟, 類似越南

交通 : 除了正式的Taxi之外, 還有黃色球形外殼的CoCo Taxi及各式的古老汽車車頭放有Taxi字機樣的Taxi, 正式Taxi的咪錶起錶為1CUC (也有少部份最新款的起錶為1.2CUC), 每一跳錶由0.1CUC至0.23CUC不等, 至於其他的士就由司機開價 ; 遊客不適宜搭巴士, 因為一定塞到滿 ; 另外在遊客區有單車及馬車可供選擇 ; 還有本地人很流行企在路邊或路中心揮手搭順風車(以年輕女性居多)。

教育 : 5歲開始入讀六年Primary School, 升上三年Junior High School, 再上三年High School, 經考試及格就可入University讀五年

宗教 : 主要為非洲教及天主教

機場 : 在入境後取行李時就可兌換CUC, 離境時要預備25CUC離境稅, 由機場乘的士往市中心衹需三十至四十分鐘(的士費20至25CUC)

時差 : 早英國四小時, 早香港十二小時

節日 : 1959年1月1日為古巴政府成立, 所以每年1月1日都會慶祝Revolution Day, 自1998年天主教教宗探訪古巴後, 古巴才開始慶祝聖誕節。

食物:

古巴菜水準不俗, 所有餐廳的侍應都穿整齊禮服, 服務亦很週到, 美中不足是在舊市中心的四週衛生環境較差, 如坐在餐廳露天餐枱, 一邊用膳, 一邊要掃鳥蠅, 個人特別介紹位於舊市街大教堂廣坊後面的Dominica 餐廳與別不同, 非常清潔整齊, 聘用的四人樂隊其中一男一女是盲人, 但無礙他們邊唱邊奏的一流水準

飲品–三種特色飲品包括Mojito (材料包括 : Rum 3 Years, Sugar, Lemon, Juice, Sparkling Water), Daiquiri (材料包括: Rum 3 Years, lemon Juice, Sugar, Marrasquino) 及Pina Colada tropical (椰子森林), 前兩者因著名小說家, “老人與海”的作者海明威曾在這裏居住, 他喜歡飲這兩種飲品 (2 至2.5 CUC一杯不等)而流行, 後者最正宗及可口的祇在某些店鋪才可飲到 (2.5 CUC一杯) ; Bucanero 是全國最流行的啤酒

天氣 : 夏天五月至十月, 冬天十一月至四月, 冬天溫度約攝氏22-28度, 夏天可高達攝氏40度。

沙灘 : 首都夏灣拿最美麗的沙灘位於Playas del Este, 碧海、藍天、清澈晶瑩的海水、幼滑的細沙 ; 而位於夏灣拿以東約兩個小時車程是渡假勝地Veradero, 全市多間酒店都是相連沙灘,

音樂與舞蹈:

古巴人的音樂細胞及舞蹈天份與熱愛, 是我們慕名而往的原因之一, 記載於1948年兩位當代拉丁舞始祖Doris Lavelle 與Pierre Zurcher Margolle感到當時流行的拉丁舞沒有根, 專程往古巴發掘拉丁舞的真正節奏帶返英國, 我們亦為了抑慕兩位前輩的壯志, 東施效顰, 毅然飛往這Salsa, Rumba, Cha Cha Cha的發源地。

29/1/06大年初一我們到達古巴首都夏灣拿, 心情興奮莫名!往後的一星期我們去到每一個角落都聽到悠揚悅耳或節奏强勁的拉丁音樂, 有時是播放CD, 有時是現場樂隊 (由三、四人至七、八人不等), 根本無從分辨, 因為任何一處的街頭巷尾或餐廳、夜總會的樂隊演奏與歌藝的音質都跟CD一樣, 令我們大開眼界, 他們都有自己的CD, 演奏完畢會向觀眾或食客兜售自己的CD或收取小費。我們聽到很多曾經多年來被世界各地拉丁舞比賽或表演者採用的音樂, 令我們再度淘醉 ; 另外我們參觀過四場cabaret, 兩場是表演後連舞會時間, 其中譽滿世界的“Tropicana ” cabaret當然不能錯過, 票價頗為昂貴由65 CUC至85 CUC, 而且規矩頗多 - 不准穿牛仔褲、帶相機及攝錄機入場要收費, 每場表演都包括歌星演唱、樂隊演奏、拉斯維加斯式熱舞及雙人拉丁舞 ; 去過夏灣拿最聞名的Disco式的music house, 位於Centro Habana的Casa de la Musica, 我們是參加下午時段 (16.00-20.00時), 大舞臺小舞池及四週酒吧, 大約超過三百人, 真不敢想像晚上時段(22.00-03.00時)的人流!

舞藝方面則頗為失望, 雖然街頭巷尾見到年紀少如三、四歲, 大到七、八十歲都能很有節奏地跟著音樂郁動身體, 但可能是我們無緣份吧, 見到的Salsa真正高手不多過五、六人 (他們有些是沒有固定舞伴), 但參觀表演則有驚喜發現, 部份的雙人舞編排與身體動作, 依稀可以辨認出與近年某前世界職業拉丁舞冠軍所訓練的頂尖拉丁舞選手相似, 我很懐疑他是否亦曾到古巴取經! 總括來說古巴舞蹈就好像未經雕琢的寶石一樣, 看起來熱鬧而自由, 但落到我們拉丁舞大師手中, 變成細膩、精彩、圓滑, 發出驚人風彩!

民風 :

古巴人除了在音樂與舞蹈方面充滿天份之外, 日常生活亦創意無限, 例如 :

  • 大街小巷都佈滿售賣印象畫的店鋪、攤位, 畫工精美, 題材大胆、多變
  • 手工藝品非常別緻, 亦能廢物利用, 舊汽水罐、刀叉都成為材料
  • Bella Costa Hotel的全包入住套餐
  • Melia Cohiba Hotel的專用電梯通往酒店泳池

語言 : 識英文的人比例偏低, 西班牙語最普遍

4/2/06最後一晚在夏灣拿, 首次碰到大風雨, 好像憂傷我們即將離開, 5/2/06下午陽光再現, 在不捨的心情下與古巴道別!


5/2007 脫胎換骨

我自小一直感到自卑的就是我的双手生得非常細小無力 , 搬抬少少物件都會覺得很辛苦 , 也會被取笑我的手像女孩子 , 這是我畢業後投身警隊的主要原因之一 , 但學堂的訓練也沒有令我的手型及臂力有什麼特別改變 !

除此之外 , 我小時候很害怕做兩件事 : 一是在讀書時去聖堂跪下祈禱 , 一是去舊式公廁 “ 辦大事 ” ; 前者會令我的膝蓋刺痛 , 後者要蹲下來 , 我的大腿、小腿會酸痛 , 踏入社會做事後 , 已沒有再去聖堂 , 舊式公廁亦漸被淘汰 , 所以我一直都沒有為意以上的痛症 !

一九八六年我開始投入拉丁舞比賽訓練 , 當時拉丁舞賽手的要求祇是身體靈活就可以 ( 所以我オ有信心參與 !), 但數年後 , 拉丁舞比賽的動作開始革命性的蛻變 , 尤其是男性的動作 : 有雜技式的難度動作、有半抬舉式的動作 - 彎腰、壓腿、跪地、支撐女生凌空轉動等等無所不用其極 , 身體的柔韌性、臂力、腿力缺一不可。 假如我開始練拉丁舞時料道有如此突破性發展 , 我可能一早已放棄了 !

去年年中我開始感覺膝蓋持續痛楚 , 經過多個專科西醫的診治 , 他們的結論是我

的膝蓋半月板碎烈或移位 , 導致軟骨嚴重磨損 , 應該是多年前受極大撞擊所造

成 , 他們都異口同聲驚嘆 , 我怎能以跳舞為職業 , 最後我在 28/12/06 做了膝蓋軟

骨手術 , 其實在我做手術之前及之後 , 都有很多朋友、學生叫我不用做手術 , 以

中醫的方法去醫治 , 無論誰對誰錯 , 我現欲借這件我親身感受的事件向大家帶出

一個訊息:

[ 如果跳拉丁舞得到正確的訓練 , 加上對老師的百分百信任 ( 選擇適當的老師是

一門高深的學問 ), 自己練舞時刻苦、耐勞、有恆心 , 要抱有一個不斷戰勝自己

的正確心態 , 便可以化腐朽為神奇 ! ]

我自己就是一個活生生的實例 , 我自小體能、體力、運動天份都差強人意 , 但跳

拉丁舞令我脫胎換骨 , 多年來各位老師在教我各式各款的抬舉及難度動作時 , 竟

然大部份我都能一一做得到 , 他們的指令好像魔法一樣 , 亦恍似令我進入摧眠

狀態 , 我回想起來也覺匪夷所思 ! 印像中大概從一九九五年起我每次表演 , 或

比賽表演舞時都或多或少會加入這些元素 , 令我和太太的表演多年來都很受觀

眾歡迎 , 亦令我自己多年來得到無數的榮譽及資歷。

假如我當年沒有選擇跳拉丁舞 , 我可能在十多年前就需要做膝蓋手術 , 我可能永

遠不會知自己可以很輕易舉起我太太、屈膝在地跟著音樂旋律扭動身身體 !

陳航行


我的回歸十年

十年前香港回歸祖國 , 我卻經歷到一件可能是我一生中最欣慰的事 , 就是我獲 [ 廉政公署 ] 晉升為調查主任 , 其實當我參加升級試時已盟去意 , 因我知道舞蹈オ是我的至愛 , 早已立心辭去官職投身跳舞 , 但又想考驗一下自己的能力 ! 可能是沒有壓力吧 , 我竟然在沒有什麼準備下而能順利通過兩次面試獲晉升 , 為了報答 [ 廉政公署 ] 的知遇之恩 , 我打消辭職的念頭 , 可是我對舞蹈的熱愛愈來愈濃冽 , 內心感到歉疚 , 我不能繼續 “ 身在曹營心在漢 ”, 一九九九年我決定離開我的恩人 - 廉政公署 , 全身投入我的跳舞事業。

我慶幸我能果斷地放棄大好仕途以達成我的理想 , 並不是因為舞蹈為我帶來往後多姿多采的生活或令人羡慕、尊敬的榮譽與地位 , 而是她令我認識到一些真正的朋友及遭遇到一些難忘的場面。請跟我分享以下的回憶 :

二零零一年我和太太飛往邁阿密參加 “ 美國公開賽 ”, 絕對是我人生中的奇緣 : ( 一 ) 我們在賽前先往紐約上課 , 並曾在世貿中心前拍照留念 , 九一一事件前一天オ由紐約離開美國 , 返港後立即見到新聞報導簡直觸目驚心 , 體會到何謂世事難料 ! ( 二 ) 在美國公開賽期間我們認識了一對西班牙選手 , 衹是萍水相逢 , 2003 年我們去西班牙比賽 , 他們兩人雖已是西班牙標準舞冠軍 ,, 仍犧牲工作、練習的時間 , 往機場接送我們、 陪伴担當我們的導遊、介紹老師給我們學法明高舞蹈、幫我們在上課時翻譯、 帶我們晚膳不肯收我們錢等等 , “ 得人因果千年記 ”, 其後我欲邀請他們來港比賽、表演 , 但他們因傷不能來 , 不久更跟他們斷絕了音訊 ! ( 三 ) 適逢 2001 年 “ 世界職業拉丁舞表演舞錦標賽 ” 由該屆美國公開賽承辦 , 這個項目由每對參賽者自備音樂 , 編舞自由度較大 , 可加入不同舞蹈、音樂元素及難度、抬舉動作 , 決賽中有幾對名氣與實力都非常强的選手在陣 , 結果都一一敗在一對寂寂無名的斯洛文尼亞選手 Sergej Milicija & Katja Klep, 衹要你親身經歷現場觀眾的反應 , 就知道賽果不是爆汵 ; 我一生參觀體育舞蹈比賽或表演無數次 , 從來未感受過類似該次那麽激壯及熱烈的觀眾反應 , 所有觀眾都使出渾身解數來表示對 Sergej & Katja 的讚嘆 - 歡呼、拍掌、吹哨、搖坐椅、踏地板等無所不用其極 , 這次經歷令我明白怎樣オ是真正的冠軍。

2004 年我邀請 Sergej 來港 ( 女的已經退出舞圈 ) 傳授他的冠軍舞給我和太太 , 他 一口應承 , 我們知道我們實無可能演譯這皇者之舞的神髓 , 但曾經跳過已無憾 ! 同年五月我們飛往斯洛文尼亞探訪 Sergej, 見識到原來這個小國有如仙境般美麗 , 激發起我繼續探索附近的新獨立國家 , 2005 年立陶宛有一個體育舞蹈講座 , 我便毅然報名參加 , 竟給我遇見跳舞以來最感動的場面 , 就是一對輪椅舞世界拉丁舞冠軍的示範 , 我看到他們精彩的演出 , 頓覺天外有天 , 心情百感交集、熱淚盈眶 , 不枉此生 !

陳航行


『芬蘭、英國 心跳加速之旅』

22/1/09零晨出發, 與太太高玉文一起踏進『過山車』式的艱苦難忘有趣的十三日, 首先由香港乘英航飛往倫敦, 在倫敦轉機往芬蘭首都Helsinki, 然後再由Helsinki乘芬蘭航空往芬蘭的著名城市Tampere, 在 Helsinki等候上機時, 不知為何延誤了三十分鐘, 到上了機不久機長宣佈要開始機身清雪才可起飛, 又要在機內等候四十五分鐘, 我不明白為何不在上機前進行!  好不容易在晚上十時到達Tampere, 竟發現寄艙行李沒有寄到Tampere, 尚幸在翌日(23/1/09)當值裁判之前行李及時出現, 否然我可能要破天荒穿牛仔褲任裁判!

首次去到芬蘭担任三天的裁判,  最令我開心及興奮莫過於千里迢迢跟我前往Tampere比賽的許錦華、蔣永齡能取得震撼的成績, 在第一天的壯年標準三項(35歲以上) 及第三天IDSF 壯年標準(45歲以上) 兩組都能勇奪亞軍 , 為香港人爭光!  其實第二天IDSF 壯年標準(35歲以上)組他們都應該入到決賽, 他們在半準決賽時不知道ISDF每隻舞要更換選手組合, 在跳少了一隻的情況下祇能取得第十五名, 無緣進入準決賽,  當天賽事繁密, 要分兩個場地同時舉行比賽, 他們跳半準決賽時我正在另一邊場地當裁判, 無法提醒他們!  但他們其實沒有損失, 因當晚有三位裁判分別主動向我提及他們誤組的情況, 更向我分析他們跳法的優点及缺点, 使他們上了寶貴的一課!

芬蘭一年裏祇有約三個月時間可以見到陽光普照, 芬蘭人大部份時間都在冰天雪地中生活, 自然地雪上運動非常普遍, 但近年體育舞蹈這室內運動逐漸興起, 全賴前芬蘭職業標準舞冠軍Sami & Karita Yli-Piipari兩位的帶動, 在芬蘭創辦Tampere Winter Dance Festival (冬季舞蹈節) , 令芬蘭體育舞蹈的參加人數及水準不斷提升,  今年是第三屆冬季舞蹈節, 無論參加賽手的質與量都超越前兩屆, 剛於22/1/09在大英錦標賽奪得公開業餘標準舞冠軍的德國代表Benedetto Ferruggia & Claudia Koehler也立即飛到Tampere參加25/1/09的第三屆冬季舞蹈節IDSF公開標準舞賽事, 因大風雪的關係, 這個組別118對報了名的選手祇有七十多對出賽, 在大熱的 Benedetto & Claudia輕易取勝, 接受頒獎後整個舞蹈節就完滿結束。

26/1/09在Tampere放鬆了一天, 27/1/09便專誠飛往英國跟Marcus & Karen Hilton MBE上課, 這一程旅程非常暢順, 很快便到達租住的地方安頓下來, 因28/1/09才開始上課, 無聊間翻閱數碼相機內的照片, 竟然大意地取消了所有儲存的相片, 包括為許、蔣拍攝在Tampere領獎及比賽的珍貴相片!  心想不知怎樣向他們交待, 第二天我和太太上完Marcus & Karen課後便立即訪尋補救的方法, 皇天不負苦心人, 我們找到一晒相店幫我們將洗去的相片還原, 不禁讚嘆一句科技的偉大! 

上課雖然辛苦, 但非常享受Marcus & Karen循循善誘及健談風趣的教法, 眨眼間1/2/09便要踏上歸程, 也是另一個苦難的開始, 去到希斯路機場才發現我和太太所訂的BA31 (起飛時間20.25時) 取消了, 我們被安排乘坐BA27 (起飛時間21.55時), 原本沒有大不了, 但當入閘時因有其中一道門有故障, 所以乘客被延遲上機, 這時已開始下雪, 到所有乘客都上了機, 機長又宣佈這時需要機身清雪, 所以又要延遲起機, 我再次不明白為什麽不能早些進行機身清雪 ! 但這時雪越下越大, 如是者機長宣佈了幾次延遲起機, 最後大約零晨兩時, 才宣佈航機當天不能再起飛, 要安排入住酒店一晚, 翌晚安排同一班機反港, 擾攘多時終於在零晨四時入住機場附近的Premier Inn,  在該僻遠的酒店住了一日, 期間跟據酒店大堂貼出的告示, 致電BA熱線查詢最新BA航班情況,  得到的答覆竟是當晚所有返港的BA航機都已取消,  如要返港需要翌晨再訂機位, 仿如晴天霹靂!  不幸中之大幸, 我們遇到一對香港夫婦及一位英國人, 遭遇跟我們一樣, 在他們的陪同下, 一行五人鼓起勇氣出希斯路機場看個究竟, 去到機場發覺我們所乘的BA27沒有取消, 我們順利辦理登機手續, 慶幸沒有相信BA的熱線! 但惡夢尚未完, 該班機又再一次延遲起飛, 今次的理由匪夷所思 – 未有足夠的機組人員, 已接觸有關人員, 但需等候他們從全國各地歸隊, 乘客開始鼓噪, 與BA職員發生爭拗。  最後足足等了四小時才在起飛返港, 這個心跳加速之旅總算大團圓結局!

陳航行


世界文化遺產 "Wielczka鹽礦" 又一精彩難忘之旅

[ 鹽礦內、地底下135米舉行拉丁舞、標準舞比賽 ]  是吸引我千里迢迢再飛去波蘭担任裁判的原因, 第一屆波蘭師生冠軍賽於18/10/09在波蘭十四至十七世紀的首都Krakow市舉行, 這次是波蘭首次試辦師生賽, 場地為離Krakow市東南15公里的Wielczka市鹽礦內 , 主辦者本來與美國一著名師生賽主辦人傾好帶大隊遠赴波蘭比賽及旅遊, 但最後告吹, 所以師生賽參賽人數冷清, 祇安排在下午與其他小朋友賽事一起完成。 相反地晚上的嘉年華晚會比賽卻非常精彩及成功, 全場爆滿, 氣氛熾烈,  比賽項目包括青、少年拉丁舞、標準舞決賽, 全國職業標準舞表演舞選拔賽, 及重頭戲全國職業拉丁賽選拔賽, 去年在同一地点舉行同一選拔賽, 祇有三對參加, 今年雖然有去年的亞軍Sergey Surkov & Melia改為代表俄羅斯, 但仍有八對參加, 當中包括現任世界及黑池職業拉丁舞冠軍Michael Malistowski & Joanna Leunis, 2009年黑池職業新星拉丁亞軍、季軍等在陣, 令整個選拔賽星光閃爍, 全歐洲除了俄羅斯,之外, 沒有一個國家職業選拔賽有此高水準的質與量, 波蘭職業舞蹈總會應引以為傲, 我身為這選拔賽的唯一外國裁判也與有榮焉 !

Krakow被譽為波蘭最美麗的城市, 亦是歷史名城, 資料顯示有多個值得一遊的景點及名勝, 所以破天荒逗留了整整五天遊覧, 我對這決定沒有後悔, 因每天的行程都使我充滿驚喜及讚嘆!
15/10 - 晚上出機場前新聞報道波蘭大風雪, 令首都華沙機場曾一度停電, 尚幸我的行程是經慕尼黑轉機往Krakow, 不經華沙。
16/10 - 順利到達Krakow 機場, 入往Wielczka市Hotel Salin, 離鹽礦五分鐘行程, 立即到鹽礦的找換店兌換波蘭幣Zloty (1歐羅 兌 4.18 Zloty), 然後乘車往舊城區遊覧及預訂未來數天的遊覧團, 舊城廣場四週建築物古色古香, 極具特色, 是歐洲數一數二的大廣場。
17/10 - 跟團往Zakopane & the Tatra Mountains, 位於波蘭接壤斯洛伐克的邊境, 是一個適合登山及冬季滑雪的渡假小鎮, 沿途見兩傍都是雪景, 導遊先生說他帶團多年都是第一次見到十月的樹上鋪滿雪!
18/10 - 下午開始在鹽礦地底內的Ballroom担任裁判, 直至晚上九時完結, 但因祇有四部升降機將四百賓客 (這個人數是鹽礦規限的容量)從地底送上地面, 需要排隊!  回到酒店後大會在地下餐廳設有Farewell Dinner, 一嚐地道的Volka及食物。
19/10  - 跟團往Auschwitz / Birkenau Concentration Camos, 此營為二次世界大戰時期納粹德軍囚禁及殺戮戰俘 (大部份為猶太人) 的地方, 是世界最著名的納粹戰俘營, 參觀後令人有不寒而慄之感, 亦對這段殘酷的歷史有所認識。
20/10 - 早上參加鹽礦的導遊團 (這地方是不能自由行的), 這個鹽礦被列為世界文化遺產, 精彩絕倫, 最深度為327米, 遊客祇能去到135米, 即Ballroom的層面, 開放供遊客參觀的祇佔總面積的百分之一, 鹽礦內精雕細刻的裝飾大部份是鹽礦多年來在工餘時間打造而成, 其中包括有世界最大的地底教堂St Kinga, 54米長、10米闊、12米高。  下午再到舊城區參觀 Wawel Castle, 舊城廣場向南步行十分鐘便到, 城堡建於十世紀, 十六世紀重建, 建築式樣是各個時代的混合式, 城堡山脚近河邊處有一條會噴火的金屬龍模型, 有一段典故。
21/10  - 參加Dunajec River Rafting 團, 之前曾問過因落雪關係所有木筏團都取消, 但尚幸天氣及時回春, 令木筏團能夠恢復, 因是季尾 (每年1/11至翌年31/3都會休團), 祇有我們四個人乘坐可載十二人的木筏, 加上導遊及兩個船夫, 整個航程15公里享盡醉人的湖光山色, 加上有各種雀鳥伴航, 令人心曠神怡, 忘掉一切煩惱, 人間何世!

我奇怪香港竟然沒有旅行社辦團來這城市! 起程回港的一天(22/10)我們找到一個原因 : - 我們原本乘坐10.55時班機由Krakow飛往法蘭克褔, 但該班機因機場大霧約於11.30時宣佈取消 (可以在12.00時開始陽光普照!), 令我們錯過了原本接駁由法蘭克褔返港的班機, 我們被廹排了四個小時隊才能改乘另一航空公司往維也納, 再轉往法蘭克褔, 由法蘭克褔飛迪拜, 最後由迪拜返港!  天意弄人抑或天賦鍛煉和考驗, 我和太太今年已兩度在歐洲因天氣問題被滯留延遲返港!

陳航行