Results tagged “Cable Cars” from Eurasia 2012

Stoopid east facing windows and stoopid sun that gets up at 4am and stoopid blinds that do nothing to keep out the light or heat :( Blah. So it was very hot in our room. So didn't sleep all that well :(

Breakfast was at the hotel. We'd chosen "western" breakfasts the night before (fish and natto for breakfast? no, don't think so). But they brought out all this food. I couldn't get through it! Saved my bread roll and sweet roll for later.

Then we headed up into the mountains again.

Stopped first at the dam at Lake Chubetsu. Cause I like dams. Have I mentioned that? :)

Then into the national park and up to the Asahidake Ropeway.

But first, 500 yen for parking. WTF? When just down the road was a public car park that was free. Grunt. So already feeling ripped off. Then to go up the cable car it's 2800 yen. Each. !! WTF?? I was way pissed off at that point. But we went up anyway and I grumped the whole way :(

Still, it was a fairly nice place at the top. We went up for a wander up into the snow and mud around the walking tracks and saw the little lakes and the fumaroles. Stu definitely enjoyed it. I would have more if hadn't been so badly ripped off. *sigh*

Had some snacks while waiting for a cable car down.

Then we decided to just go to Asahikawa rather than try and do any more mountains.

So got into town and negotiated city streets and got to the hotel ok.

Had a bit of a relax for a little while.

Then we decided to head out to find some dinner. We were going to get ramen (which this place is famous for), but as we were getting ready Stu looked out the window and said "there's a festival" and I'm like "Japanese street food!!!!!" So that's where we went.

It was just in this little park near the river. All around the outer edge of the park, and through the middle were stalls setup selling food and toys. We had some *amazing* food, as well as some average food, and some pretty good food. Love love love Japanese street food :) Not really sure what the festival was for. We asked at the hotel, she said something about the transition between spring and summer. Couldn't find anything online about it, but not really sure what to look for! heh. We were probably the only gaijin there (we certainly didn't see any others).


Distance covered on the GPS: 128.2 km
Steps walked: 10696
Photos on the Canon: 143
Photos on the Sony: 39
Videos: 0

Well today was pretty good until the wheels fell off .....

At 4am the sun was rising and it was pretty bright. At 5am the sun was streaming into the room. Grunt. This country could really use daylight saving!!

Breakfast at the hotel.

Then we hopped on a tram three stops up the road and a short walk to the Hakodate ropeway (cable car). Apparently this is one of the world's top three views at night (after Hong Kong and Naples). Sadly I didn't know this until it was too late. Oh well. Next time.. hrmmm. But even during the day it was pretty nice.

Came back down and wandered past some of the churches.

And the brick warehouses.

And was a little spun out by a plaque showing the height of the 2011 tsunami. Looking around the area you'd never know though.

Continued wandering, back through the morning fish market (it wasn't morning anymore but there were still a few things open).

And finally back to the hotel to pick up our bags.

Hakodate is a pretty user-friendly town. There's maps and signs all over the place, including in the pavement. I won't object if we ever have to come back here :)

Headed to the station. The next train was about an hour away. Couldn't get a reservation (they were all taken). Found some lunch at the station then went to get the train. Luckily we got seats no problems.

The train trip was quite nice. A lot of it was around the water so we had a pretty good view. It reminded me a lot of the day we took a train around the Kii peninsula.

Arrived in Sapporo and was walking to the hotel when one of the wheels fell off my suitcase :(:(:(:( This is going to prove very problematic over the next week :( What is it with me and luggage this trip? First my backpack, now my suitcase :( Blah.

Got to our hotel and checked in. It seems it must be a Chisun rule to have *tiny* rooms, not just an Osaka thing (our Loisir hotel in Hakodate had much more space).

Then wandered out to find dinner. Went to a little soba place hidden inside a building. Was pretty tasty.

Then back here to charge things and figure out what we're going to do on this island..


Distance covered on the GPS: 325.7 km
Steps walked: 11336
Photos on the Canon: 173
Photos on the Sony: 35
Videos: 0

Urrrgghhhh. Today was not a good day. We did see some pretty cool stuff, but lots of stresses too :(

To start with I slept like crap. It was just too hot in the room (and Israel, like Europe, doesn't believe in layers (sheets). It's all or nothing with a blanket). There might have been air conditioning but I didn't feel like fussing about with it in the middle of the night. Woke up at 5:30 to go the toilet and the parents took this as their cue to turn the lights on >:( I think I might have gotten a little bit more sleep.

Then I got rejected at breakfast. Most of the tables only sat four people so I couldn't easily join people. In the end I went and sat by myself on a bigger table, and felt like a nigel, and only got joined near the end.

Went for a little walk after breakfast to photograph the beach and the hotel.

Daniel Hotel, Dead Sea
Daniel Hotel, Dead Sea

View from someone else's room (we got crappy rooms pretty much the entire trip)
View from someone else's room (we got crappy rooms pretty much the entire trip)

Checked out, then headed north back up the shores of the Dead Sea, this time with the light on the canyons.

Our first stop was Masada, which is this super cool fortress built by Herod atop a rocky mountain, and accessed by cable car. It finally fell to the Romans after a lengthy seige. It was another case of hurry up and wait and not enough time to really explore the place. So that was a bit frustrating, but I think we saw the majority of it.

Masada<br>Photo by Dad
Masada
Photo by Dad

Cistern in Masada
Cistern in Masada

Water collection trenches
Water collection trenches

Top of the cable car at Masada
Top of the cable car at Masada

Top of Masada
Top of Masada

Room in Masada.  The black line was the height of the wall when they found it.  They then rebuilt the walls on top<br>Photo by Dad
Room in Masada. The black line was the height of the wall when they found it. They then rebuilt the walls on top
Photo by Dad

Store rooms in Masada
Store rooms in Masada

Tristram's starlings at Masada
Tristram's starlings at Masada

Dead Sea from Masada
Dead Sea from Masada

Top view of Herod's Palace
Top view of Herod's Palace

Roman seige camp
Roman seige camp

Herod's Palace
Herod's Palace

Herod's Palace
Herod's Palace

Herod's Palace
Herod's Palace

Masada<br>Photo by Dad
Masada
Photo by Dad

Dude writing the torah, wrote a blessing for Bruce
Dude writing the torah, wrote a blessing for Bruce

Pigeon roosts
Pigeon roosts

Where the romans attacked from
Where the romans attacked from

Dead Sea from Masada
Dead Sea from Masada

Continued north, back into Palestinian territory to Qumran (unless it was Masada in Palestinian territory, can't remember) where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947. I didn't realise there was an ancient town excavated there as well. But can you guess what happened? That's right, rushed from one point to another with little time to take it in. Fortunately after lunch they gave everyone an hour to go shopping, so Dad and I went back in. This was sooo much better just wandering around at my own pace and exploring stuff.

Hills on the west side of the Dead Sea
Hills on the west side of the Dead Sea

Location of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Location of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Cave where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found
Cave where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found

Location of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Location of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Yeah so lunch at Qumran. Worst experience of the trip so far. Had to battle your way through the shop then hundreds of people all jostling each other to get to the food and the tables. When we found a free table we got told to move. Then as I was trying to take a seat and dump my crap people kept telling me to move up and down the table to let people come or go as they changed their minds and then a heap of others were all trying to push past. I basically lost it. I *hate* crowds like that :(:(:( And the food was pretty average, probably the worst of the trip so far as well. Maybe just because I was too stressed/depressed, although someone else commented as well.

So left there and headed for Jerusalem. And we were there in like half an hour. Bizarre. Especially since everywhere east of Jerusalem is completely arid, but Jerusalem itself is relatively green.

Headed up to the Mount of Olives first up for a nice view of the old city.

Temple mount from the Mount of Olives
Temple mount from the Mount of Olives

The Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock

Eastern (Golden) Gate
Eastern (Golden) Gate

Then started walking down the hill.

Cemetery opposite the city
Cemetery opposite the city

Cemetery opposite the city
Cemetery opposite the city

First stopping in at Dominus Flevit, or the Jesus wept church.

Dominus Flevit
Dominus Flevit

Temple mount from Dominus Flevit
Temple mount from Dominus Flevit

Then at the bottom of the hill in the Garden of Gethsemane to the basilica there.

Ancient olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane<br>Photo by Dad
Ancient olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane
Photo by Dad

Church of All Nations
Church of All Nations

Church of All Nations
Church of All Nations

Church of All Nations
Church of All Nations

East side of the Temple Mount
East side of the Temple Mount

Then we got taken in the coach up to the old temple walls.

Mount of Olives from the east side of the Temple Mount
Mount of Olives from the east side of the Temple Mount

Cemetery opposite the Temple Mount
Cemetery opposite the Temple Mount

South west corner of the Temple Mount showing the remnants of Robinson's Arch
South west corner of the Temple Mount showing the remnants of Robinson's Arch

Went in and through the security check (and apparently there was a bit of a scene because some of the girls went through the men's line).

And there was the Wailing Wall. Went and touched it. And probably got dirty looks from the Jews who apparently resent us gentiles being there.

The Wailing Wall<br>Photo by Dad
The Wailing Wall
Photo by Dad

Prayers in the Wailing Wall<br>Photo by Dad
Prayers in the Wailing Wall
Photo by Dad

Then we got to go underneath the walls through a bunch of tunnels which was way cool.

Western wall tunnels
Western wall tunnels

These massive Herodian ashlar stones support the western wall of the temple<br>Photo by Mum
These massive Herodian ashlar stones support the western wall of the temple
Photo by Mum

Western wall tunnels
Western wall tunnels

Struthion Pool
Struthion Pool

And then to the hotel. Have I ever mentioned how much I *hate* fancy hotels? Internet: $15/day. Laundry facilities: non-existent (except for a massive fee). Sink plug: none. Power points: none spare, had to disconnect lamps and kettles stuck behind a cabinet. Table to work on laptop: none really, but can use one on the side of the room with no electricity nearby. We have a wonderful view .. of the lobby. No elevator to our floor. I'm sleeping on a cot taking up most of the free space in the room. The waiting staff at dinner were pretty useless. I don't know about the food, I was too depressed to even feel like eating much. And I forgot to even document my food, that's how bad a day I was having.

Our hotel - the Mount Zion Hotel
Our hotel - the Mount Zion Hotel

Our hotel room - I got a cot bed
Our hotel room - I got a cot bed

So now I have the aircon trying to cool the room down so I can sleep tonight, and then the parents come in and complain its freezing.

Can I go home now?

Distance covered on the GPS: 128.1km
Steps walked: 17373
Photos on the Canon: 512
Photos on the Sony: 31
Videos: 17
NIS spent: 2

Woke up a couple of times in the night, but eventually slept through til 6:45am.. w00t!

Today we headed south. Drove first through Tiberias, which was easy because it was the Sabbath so nothing was open and no traffic around.

The first stop was Yardenit, an area on the Jordan river just south of the Sea of Galilee. This area has been completely commercialised and is used to perform baptisms. So we get there and are told we can spend half an hour looking around. And I'm like.. you rush us through cool stuff but give us half an hour at a tourist trap? The river was cool and all, but hardly "authentic" (they think Jesus was baptised a lot closer to Jericho, but that whole area is sealed off by the military; plus, the river is completely surrounded by eucalypts which makes it seem like just any other Australian river, not a biblical one). Fortunately Bruce hated the commercialisation of it and got us out of there a little early.

People being baptised in the Jordan River<br>Photo by Dad
People being baptised in the Jordan River
Photo by Dad

Jordan River.  Looks like somewhere in New South Wales.
Jordan River. Looks like somewhere in New South Wales.

Next stop was Bet She'an, a cool old Roman city. We had a few talks at the beginning then we had half an hour to roam ourselves. Could have used a bit (lot) longer but did get to go up the hill so got a bunch of cool photos of the city.

End of the hippodrome in Bet She'an<br>Photo by Dad
End of the hippodrome in Bet She'an
Photo by Dad

Bet She'an park sign.  Notice the bushes of rosemary - this stuff was everywhere!
Bet She'an park sign. Notice the bushes of rosemary - this stuff was everywhere!

Bet She'an<br>Photo by Dad
Bet She'an
Photo by Dad

Bet She'an
Bet She'an

Roman bath house in Bet She'an
Roman bath house in Bet She'an

Toilet block in Bet She'an
Toilet block in Bet She'an

Tree stump on a hill next to the town.  This was put there for the movie Jesus Christ Superstar filmed there in 1973
Tree stump on a hill next to the town. This was put there for the movie Jesus Christ Superstar filmed there in 1973

Main street of Bet She'an
Main street of Bet She'an

Mosaic in Bet She'an
Mosaic in Bet She'an

Collanade in Bet She'an<br>Photo by Dad
Collanade in Bet She'an
Photo by Dad

At the top of Tel Bet She'an
At the top of Tel Bet She'an

Bet She'an from above
Bet She'an from above

Theatre and main street
Theatre and main street

Byzantine Sigma
Byzantine Sigma

Bet She'an<br>Photo by Dad
Bet She'an
Photo by Dad

Bet She'an<br>Photo by Dad
Bet She'an
Photo by Dad

Theatre
Theatre

Theatre
Theatre

Drove through a checkpoint and into the Palestinian territory of the West Bank. Was a little nervous about this actually.

By this point the landscape was a lot more arid, and a lot more like I imagined Israel would be like. By the time we got to Jericho it was *very* arid.

Arid hills in the Jordan valley<br>Photo by Dad
Arid hills in the Jordan valley
Photo by Dad

Looking up the monastery in Jericho
Looking up the monastery in Jericho

Monastery in Jericho
Monastery in Jericho

At Jericho we had lunch at the "Temptation" restaurant (supposedly this is where Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the desert). Really it's just a big tourist trap, with shops attached to the restaurant and kickbacks for the tour operators. Still, the food was pretty good, even if the toilets were a nightmare.

Glassware for sale in Jericho
Glassware for sale in Jericho

Cable car over ancient Jericho<br>Photo by Dad
Cable car over ancient Jericho
Photo by Dad

Elisha Spring Fountain
Elisha Spring Fountain

Peacock jump
Peacock jump

After lunch we took the cable car up the side of the mountain. Had a whole ten minutes at the top which by the time we went for a walk up to see if we could see the monastery gave us really no time at all to enjoy the view, I just got all hot and sweaty (good for the step count though I suppose).

Township from the cable car
Township from the cable car

Going up the cable car
Going up the cable car

Mountainside
Mountainside

Looking back down towards Jericho<br>Photo by Dad
Looking back down towards Jericho
Photo by Dad

Monastery in Jericho
Monastery in Jericho

Came back down and had a wander around the ruins of the old city. The place was made of mudbricks so there's nothing much left, but there is a tower that they think is one of the oldest human constructions still surviving on the planet.

Ancient tower in Jericho - one of the oldest man-made structures in existence
Ancient tower in Jericho - one of the oldest man-made structures in existence

Ancient Jericho
Ancient Jericho

Ancient Jericho
Ancient Jericho

Continued driving south through lots of desert and past the odd random camel just standing around.

Random camel
Random camel

Then it was driving past the Dead Sea on the left and cliffs and canyons of very loose looking rocks on the right. I was vaguely worried we'd be crushed in a rock slide. The Dead Sea sure was pretty though.

Dead Sea
Dead Sea

Dead Sea
Dead Sea

Canal entrance to the southern Dead Sea
Canal entrance to the southern Dead Sea

Dead Sea hotels
Dead Sea hotels

Got to our hotel on the Dead Sea (I was right - the "fancier" the hotel the less likely you are to get free internet - $15/day here. And "fancy" prices for drinks here too - about two and a half times the prices of the last hotel. I used the drink voucher we got, but didn't buy any more).

Our hotel room with nice big bed for me
Our hotel room with nice big bed for me

Of course the first thing we all had to do was go for a swim in the Dead Sea. Which was bizarre and cool and slimy and salty.

So yeah, you totally float much much higher than you do in regular water. It's really hard to describe what it was like. Crazy!

Floating in the Dead Sea<br>Photo by Dad
Floating in the Dead Sea
Photo by Dad

Floating in the Dead Sea<br>Photo by Dad
Floating in the Dead Sea
Photo by Dad

Floating in the Dead Sea
Floating in the Dead Sea

After we'd had enough we headed back to the hotel pools for a more regular swim (although they had a pool with Dead Sea water in it, so had another float there too).

Then washed my hair, had a drink with some of the others, had dinner, downloaded photos and suddenly it's 10pm.. hrmmm..

Hotel pool by night
Hotel pool by night


Distance covered on the GPS: 226.4km (didn't get above sea level all day!)
Steps walked: 15371
Photos on the Canon: 731
Photos on the Sony: 86
Videos: 22
NIS spent: 10