Results tagged “Washing” from Eurasia 2012

Pretty good day today (although still didn't sleep too well - too hot).

After breakfast had a bit of a slow start getting out the door. Had to plan what we were going to do first.

I waited outside the hotel with our bags (we didn't really feel like carrying my broken bag all the way to the car rental place). And then the sweetie arrived and off we went.

Fortunately this trip, not only do they drive on the correct side of the road, but we got an automatic, and the blinkers are on the correct side!! Yayy for Japanese cars :) (London in 2010 had the correct side of the road, but a manual and backwards blinkers).

So pretty much just headed straight out of Sapporo (after getting a coffee for the sweetie at a Scottish Restaurant we passed). Decided to go via quieter roads rather than expressways.

Except Hokkaido has ridiculously low speed limits. Roads that would be 60, 70, 80 in Australia were all 50, or maybe 40. It was impossibly slow, and we were pissing off the locals, who were all passing us any chance they could. After ages doing this we gave up and drove more to conditions (but still slower than the locals!). I suppose their limits are for when the conditions are bad, which is sure to be much of the year, or to reduce the number of wildlife accidents. But this was the middle of a clear sunny day. Whatevs.

So basically just drove slowly to Furano. Stopped at a dam on the way. Because I like dams.

Had more Scottish Restaurant for a late lunch, then went and checked into the hotel. Crazy design to the room. The bathroom has a big glass window next to the bed, with a blind on the outside! Weird as!

We headed straight out again, deciding to drive up into the mountains.

Drove up towards Tokachidake springs.

The "lavendar road" would sure be pretty in a month's time. But for now it was just green.

Saw a few foxes around the place. Nat would have loved them heh :)

At Tokachidake springs got out and walked up a trail a bit (I was a bit worried about getting eaten by a bear). There was still snow around!

Drove around a bit more, ending up at Bogakudai for a nice lookout (although looking straight into the late afternoon sun).

Then down the hill to the "Blue Pond" which is a famous tourist attaction in the area. The parking lot and one-way paths testify to that. But when I got there I was very disappointed. The "pond" appears to have been created by the damming of a creek, flooding the area and killing a bunch of trees. There's no flow through the pond so it's a stagnent pool full of dead trees. Yuk. OK so yes the water is a pretty blue (in the right light, sadly we were there a little too late in the day), so if you look at the right angle you can see live trees and not the stagnent muck, it's not too bad. If you want pretty blue lakes, go to Canada.

Then back to the hotel (and stopped at another dam).

Had dinner at the hotel. I had some wagyu beef which was *awesome* and the freshest, nicest asparagus I've ever had!

And finally we stayed up *very* late doing our washing (last load of the trip though - yayy!!)


Distance covered on the GPS: 205 km
Steps walked: 6936
Photos on the Canon: 278
Photos on the Sony: 15
Photos on the Video: ?
Videos: ?

Well that was a long day. Starting like three days ago (it's 9:24am Tuesday local time by the time I'm blogging this).

So woke up quite early (as you do) and got myself ready. Was down at breakfast slightly before it started at 7am, but they let me in anyway. Fairly simple breakfast and was done by about 7:20. Went and grabbed my stuff and checked out and headed for the station. Thought I'd make the 7:40 train, but actually things went smoothly at the station and I got the 7:32. Very short trip to the airport, went on a longish walk to the terminal, checked in quickly, then sat around bored for nearly an hour. Oh well :)

First flight was on an A319. Back row on the right, row of three seats to myself. Nice view of Denmark before it got a bit cloudy over Europe.

At Zurich had a short gap between flights - enough to download the GPS and give it a bit of a quick charge.

Second flight on an A330, second back row on the right, two seats to myself. Nearly twelve hour flight, but probably one of the least stressful long haul flights I've ever been on. Having room to spread out, being able to get up whenever I pleased, being able to fidget in peace.. was just awesome. Plus it never got dark. We left at 1pm but it never got night. When it was supposed to be night we were so far north that the sun was coming over the north pole :) Very very cool. I watched four movies - I Heart Huckabees, The Bridges of Madison County, I Robot and The Vow.

Had a super long wait in immigration in Tokyo. They must have had a few planes come in at once because the hall was completely full and we had to wait an hour to get through :( Fortunately I was with this nice Danish guy (who had been diagonally in front of me on both flights!) so we were chatting about stuff while we waited. He travels to Japan a lot because he has a Japanese girlfriend.

Went downstairs to get my JR pass then hopped on the NEX into Shinagawa then a shinkansen to Osaka. Shiny wasn't being very shiny. Dozed a little but didn't really sleep.

At Osaka station, after a little bit of fuss, found the sweetie!!!!!!!!!!!!! Epic awesome :):):):)

Grabbed a McPork for lunch and ate it as we walked down to the hotel, getting there a bit after 2pm.

So yeah, shower, resting, "catching up", beer from the hotel vending machines, it was a lovely afternoon.

Headed out to get some dinner - went to the little ramen place we went to during the heatwave last time we were here.

Turns out this hotel does have a laundry (yayy!) so put our washing on. But it took over two hours and it was already late. I was falling alseep and completely non-functional, so the sweetie very nicely collected the washing when it was done.


Distance covered on the GPS: 10494 km
Steps walked: 10453
Photos on the Canon: 56
Photos on the Sony: 201
Videos: 0
DKK Spent: ?
Yen Spent: 150 plus whatever the sweetie spent


Had a bit of a sleepin this morning. Sort of. Really it was just a slow start. I'd originally been planning to go find this bridge - http://www.neatorama.com/2011/12/03/the-twist-bridge/ - but it was all going to be too much effort.

So instead I talked to the sweetie and read news feeds and eventually headed off to go to The Hague.

2.50 for a tram from The Hague HS to the MC Escher museum! This museum/gallery is housed in an old royal palace! Which is very beautiful all by itself, including a whole heap of newer chandeliers in various shapes. The ground floor had some of MC Escher's early work, the middle floor his later work, and the upper floor some fun with optical illusions.

Then I decided to see if I could make to Rotterdam to catch the 14:15 Kinderdijk cruise. It was about 12:40. hmm.

Firstly I walked by the little lake in the middle of the Hague. Then hopped on a tram, but made a mistake with the numbers, and assumed it went to the station. But it didn't. So got off after one stop and had to wait for a tram that *did* go to the station. The long way :/ Gah. So got to the station and didn't have to wait too long for a train. Got into Rotterdam and then had to go find the Metro. But they're doing all these station works and signs for the Metro dried up :( Gah. Finally found it and then was trying to figure out tickets. But the machines were all in Dutch. So went to the info desk and they said probably just catch a tram, they're upstairs. So up I went, but they were doing work on the tram lines so there were no trams. Just a sign in Dutch saying something about where they were going from. But I couldn't read it and didn't know really where I was or where they were talking about. Gah. So went back down and said halp, and he told me how much it would be for a two hour disposable chip card (3.50). So went to the machines and figured out they had a touch screen which could be chosen in English. Yay! So got my ticket and raced down to the train. Two minute wait so not so bad. Got to Leuvehaven and then had to race down to the river. It was 14:03 at this point. Saw a sign for the cruise so was racing down and saw the boat so headed for that. But then I had to go back to buy a ticket! Gah! But it all worked out in the end and made it with a couple of minutes to spare! Phew!

So the cruise was very peaceful and relaxing. Met a couple from Australia (Debbie and Gary) who were living in England. So sat with them and chatted the whole way.

When we got to Kinderdijk we went up to the shop and they had bikes for hire! 2.50/hour! So we all hired a bike! Best. Idea. Ever. So we biked up the canals and looked at the windmills and all the gooses. Very very cool.

Got back to the boat quite hot from lots of cycling.

Continued chatting all the way back to Rotterdam. A lovely afternoon.

Got off and walked up to see the "cube" houses. They were pretty cool.

Then I thought I walk through the markets. But everything was being dismantled. In fact apart from cafes nothing was open, it being after 6pm. So kept walking, following the crowds and eventually the signs to the Centraal station.

And back to Amsterdam.

Got back and did my washing - it takes *forever* to wash and dry. Got some falafel and salad from the place downstairs and ate it in my room. This hotel/laundry are certainly conveniently placed! A very late night again :(


Distance covered on the GPS: 211.3 km
Steps walked: 15594
Photos on the Canon: 194
Photos on the Sony: 122
Videos: 3
EUR Spent: ?

Another fairly quiet day today.

Another 5:30 wakeup to be off the boat at 7am.

First up was a minibus ride to the unfinished obelisk (ha, I accidently typed obelix there, must be those years of reading Asterix ;) ). That was pretty cool, and amazing that they never used the granite for anything else. Leaving the place you're channelled through an arcade of vendors that all step in your path and say "come look, no hassle".. umm, dude, you're hassling me now! They just don't get this. So I pretty much bolted through and didn't look at anything. Buttheads.

Then back in the minibus to a motorboat to go to the temples of Philae. These structures were actually partially submerged by the first Aswan dam, and were going to be completely submerged by its extension. So they moved it all to an island, but they had to rearrange a few things to get it all to fit on the island.

The flies were particularly bad when we got off the boat to wait for the minibus. Quite bothersome really.

So back to the big boat with a little time before lunch. I ate way too much meat at lunch, that is still fermenting in my stomach hours later :(

Watched as they cast off from Aswan.

Sat up on the top deck for a while, but some Germans kept smoking upwind from us, so gave up on that and retired to my cabin for the afternoon. Didn't really do anything apart from play games on my phone and rest (couldn't even sleep :( ).

Sunset was viewed from my cabin tonight. I thought about going up on deck and having a drink, but in the end just did my washing. Yay. Still, that should be the last lot of handwashing I have to do in a long time, probably a couple of weeks. Yay for knowing where the laundromat is in Earl's Court! (let's hope it's still operational heh)

For dinner I just had some soup and some salad and a bit of dessert.

While eating we arrived in Edfu.

In Aswan my window faced the dock which was a little boring. During the cruise I just got the hot afternoon sun so couldn't open the blind. When we arrived in Edfu we pulled up with the other side of the ship facing the dock, so I thought I'd have a nice morning view of the Nile. Yeah right. Another ship has pulled up parallel to us and my view is of the next ship :( The next window is literally a metre away from mine :(

I couldn't stay awake for the Egyptian "party" downstairs. It was meant to be dressup. Yeah right. Hrmmm.

Going to bed.

After I clear the bowels. Multiple times. Hope this is done by tomorrow morning :(


Distance covered on the GPS: 138.1 km
Steps walked: 9004
Photos on the Canon: 180
Photos on the Sony: 29
Videos: 4
EGP Spent: 6

So I did something today that I think I've only ever done once before in my life - watch the sunrise and the sunset on the same day!

So our wakeup call this morning was at 4:15am.

!!

Yes, apparently there *is* a 4:15 in the morning.. who knew!

We were off the boat at 4:45 to walk around to the temples of Abu Simbel.

This was the best idea ever (the orginal itinerary has you going there at like three in the afternoon - when it's crazy hot and the lighting is all wrong). So we were sitting in front of the temples as the sun rose which was way cool. Had a look inside both temples. It's just amazing the amount of work that went into not only the original creation of the monuments, but also to move them to higher ground when the lake started filling up behind Aswan High Dam. The larger temple has not only the main passage, but also a series of little side rooms. We had the place almost entirely to ourselves. There was just one other couple that came and went.

So we had a couple of hours there, and were back on the boat a little before seven.

Cast off from our mooring and motored around to see the temples from the lake which was great as well. People on coach trips from Aswan were arriving as we left. They had to get up at like 2am or something silly to make it down for the early morning. Craziness!

Then we had breakfast - buffet style.

And then I attempted to get a little more sleep. Not sure how successful I was.

Our next stop was Qasr Ibrim. Although we didn't actually get off the boat, just had a look at the fortress and then moved on.

Lunch was off a menu again. Very swishy.

After lunch I washed three tshirts, then we stopped at Amada to see the temples. It was *hot* here! Got to the beach on lighters and saw the Amada temple. This temple they brought up the hill in one piece by reinforcing it and separating it from the bedrock and dragging the whole thing up the hill on railway tracks.

Also saw the smaller Derr temple and Pennut's tomb. Sadly a good chunk of the wall carvings in the tomb had been stolen in the 1960s after it was moved so there's great gouges in the walls where the carvings had been taken :(

Did a bit of computer stuff before afternoon tea, then I had a swim in the pool on the top deck. It's a bit of a silly shaped pool, either too deep or too shallow, but it was certainly refreshing!

Got out and watched the sunset. And then walked across to the other side of the boat and saw the moonrise! (well it had already risen) I think it's a perigee full moon tomorrow night. Must remember to try and see it.

Before dinner there were cocktails - there was a tequila sunrise, and a whiskey sour (I had that one - it was really nice), and a couple of non-alcoholic ones.

Dinner was a buffet of Egyptian food, which was pretty good.

Then back to the room to do photo and blog stuff.


Distance covered on the GPS: 149 km
Steps walked: 12333 (6000 before 7am!)
Photos on the Canon: 220
Photos on the Sony: 20
Videos: 11
EGP Spent: 23

So my day started at 4:50am when the parents switched their lights on.

!?!?!

Fortunately I think I got a little more sleep, but got up at 6am.

Our first stop was actually at the hotel - the "Jesus Boat" museum - which houses a two thousand year old boat they found buried in the mud on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus Boat Museum
Jesus Boat Museum

Two thousand year old boat found in the mud
Two thousand year old boat found in the mud

Model of what they thought the boat might look like
Model of what they thought the boat might look like

Gate at the Jesus Boat Museum
Gate at the Jesus Boat Museum

Next up we headed north and went to the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter. From wikipedia: "According to tradition this is the spot where Jesus is said to have laid out a breakfast of bread and fish for the Apostles, and told Peter to "Feed my sheep" after the miraculous catch, the third time he appeared to them after his resurrection." Whether these were the exact locations or not who knows, but we were defintely close. Pretty awesome.

Beach on the Sea of Galilee - Jesus probably walked on this beach at some point!
Beach on the Sea of Galilee - Jesus probably walked on this beach at some point!

Bruce talking about the sea and the feeding of the five thousand just across the water
Bruce talking about the sea and the feeding of the five thousand just across the water

Church of the Primacy of St Peter
Church of the Primacy of St Peter

Inside the Church of the Primacy of St Peter
Inside the Church of the Primacy of St Peter

Then we went a little further north and hopped on a boat for a little cruise on the lake. Was a lovely experience and great to be on the lake and see some of the sights from a different perspective.

At Kfar Nahum heading down to catch a boat
At Kfar Nahum heading down to catch a boat

Capernaum from the boat
Capernaum from the boat

Capernaum from the boat
Capernaum from the boat

Mount Arbel and western side of the sea
Mount Arbel and western side of the sea

Looking towards the Church of the Primacy of St Peter
Looking towards the Church of the Primacy of St Peter

Potential location of the sermon on the mount
Potential location of "the sermon on the mount"

Me and Cutie on the Sea of Galilee
Me and Cutie on the Sea of Galilee
Photo by Mum

Another tour boat on the Sea of Galilee
Another tour boat on the Sea of Galilee

The boat we took
The boat we took

Next it was time to battle hoardes of tourists to see Capernaum. I was totally surprised that Capernaum is a ruin town. I somehow imagined it would be like Nazareth and a big town by now. Turns out it was destroyed by an earthquake in 746 and never rebuilt. But this made it cooler, because you could actually see some of the original streets and buildings. The synagogue there was dated quite a bit later, but even so, there's a good chance it was built on the same location, which meant we walked where Jesus once walked! Unfortunately there were too many crowds to ponder the significance of this, and we didn't spend much time there :(

Capernaum
Capernaum

Capernaum
Capernaum

Capernaum
Capernaum

Synagogue in Capernaum
Synagogue in Capernaum

Synagogue Capernaum
Synagogue Capernaum

Lunch was at "St Peter's Restaurant" a short distance away, and we sat on the deck with a great view of the lake. Had some yummy fish and the place had tonnes of salads. I'm still amazed by all the fresh food and salads in this country. It's awesome! I'm probably eating too much, but I'm certainly eating very healthily!

Sea of Galilee from our lunch spot - St Peter's Restaurant
Sea of Galilee from our lunch spot - St Peter's Restaurant

Kingfisher fishing in the Sea of Galilee
Kingfisher fishing in the Sea of Galilee

Next stop was another ruin town - Korazim - with another cool synagogue and buildings. In contrast to everywhere else, we had this place entirely to ourselves which was nice.

Northern edge of the sea on the road to Korazim
Northern edge of the sea on the road to Korazim

Korazim
Korazim

Korazim
Korazim

Korazim
Korazim

Korazim
Korazim

Korazim
Korazim

Korazim
Korazim

Korazim
Korazim

Korazim
Korazim

Lizard at Korazim
Lizard at Korazim

Then up to the Church of the Beatitudes. This is a possible location of "the sermon on the mount", also a location that Jesus was likely to have been at some point in his life. Very cool. Although us Aussies are taking over - eucalypt trees are everywhere in Israel and this location was no different.

Church of the Beatitudes
Church of the Beatitudes

Church of the Beatitudes
Church of the Beatitudes

Possible location of the Sermon on the Mount.  Complete with gum tree.
Possible location of the Sermon on the Mount. Complete with gum tree.

Possible location of the Sermon on the Mount
Possible location of the Sermon on the Mount

Looking across to Jordan from the Church of the Beatitudes
Looking across to Jordan from the Church of the Beatitudes

Our tour was joined by the tour guide's brother and his wife for a couple of days
Our tour was joined by the tour guide's brother and his wife for a couple of days

It was back to the hotel at this point, but we didn't stay long, we headed out again shortly after to walk around the kibbutz this place is part of. Was quite surprised to see a small dairy farm with a bunch of calves. So cute!

Entrance to a bunker at the kibbutz where we stayed
Entrance to a bunker at the kibbutz where we stayed

Calf on the kibbutz
Calf on the kibbutz

Cattle shed on the kibbutz
Cattle shed on the kibbutz

Did a bit more washing before using the internet for a while.

Kebab meat for dinner with more salad. I'm going to miss all the wonderful salads here when we leave.

Distance covered on the GPS: 49.9km
Steps walked: 13774
Photos on the Canon: 495
Photos on the Sony: 21
Videos: 20

Well my day started at 6am when I had a light suddenly shone in my face. Woke up to see dad walking out the door.

?!?!?

As it turns out he'd accidently knocked the switch with his shoulder on his way out and didn't notice. But still. #grunt

Got up around 6:30.

Snuck in a little internet before breakfast (huge as always).

Drove through Cana but didn't stop there.

Heading south from Ginosar, looking towards Mount Arbel
Heading south from Ginosar, looking towards Mount Arbel (on the left)

Cana
Cana

Our first stop of the day was Zippori, which is a roman town they've been excavating over the past few years. It was a pretty awesome place with some stunning mosaics. Did get frustrated again at the pace. Spent the first half an hour there basically just listening to talks, which don't get me wrong are interesting and all, but I want to *see* stuff as well. They were initially talking about only spending half an hour there and not seeing the theatre and crusade fortress, but fortunately we did get to see all those as well.

Main street in Zippori
Main street in Zippori

Excavations in Zippori
Excavations in Zippori

Mosaics<br>Photo by Dad
Mosaics
Photo by Dad

Mosaics
Mosaics

Mosaics
Mosaics

Mosaics
Mosaics

Mosaics
Mosaics

Mosaics
Mosaics

Zippori
Zippori

Zippori
Zippori

Theatre in Zippori
Theatre in Zippori

Crusades fortress in Zippori
Crusades fortress in Zippori

They recycled stone wherever possible - here's a sarcophagus built into the foundations of the fortress
They recycled stone wherever possible - here's a sarcophagus built into the foundations of the fortress

View of excavations from the fortress
View of excavations from the fortress

Looking towards Nazareth from the fortress
Looking towards Nazareth from the fortress

Mosaic in the fortress
Mosaic in the fortress

Mosaic in the fortress
Mosaic in the fortress

Just down the hill from there was the Zippori water system, which was a reservoir attached to a spring, with some tunnels as well. Walked through the reservoir and then the tunnel which was completely dark (good thing I took my torch) so that was a lot of fun.

Zippori water reservoirs and plumbing
Zippori water reservoirs and plumbing

Inside the Zippori water system
Inside the Zippori water system

Me in the Zippori water system
Me in the Zippori water system
Photo by Mum

Next stop was Nazareth. Drove past Mary's Well, but didn't stop.

Mary's Well
Mary's Well

Had lunch at "Holy Land Restaurant". Again, good but altogether too much food.

Manhole cover
Manhole cover

Inside the Holy Land Restaurant where we had lunch<br>Photo by Dad
Inside the Holy Land Restaurant where we had lunch
Photo by Dad

Then walked to Custodia Di Terra Santa/Basilica of the Annunciation, which is this big modern church built atop of what has traditionally been known as "Mary's House".

Basilica of The Annunciation
Basilica of The Annunciation

Basilica of The Annunciation<br>Photo by Dad
Basilica of The Annunciation
Photo by Dad

Inside the Basilica of The Annunciation<br>Photo by Dad
Inside the Basilica of The Annunciation
Photo by Dad

Basilica of The Annunciation
Basilica of The Annunciation

Basilica of The Annunciation
Basilica of The Annunciation

Roof of the Basilica of The Annunciation
Roof of the Basilica of The Annunciation

Basilica of The Annunciation
Basilica of The Annunciation

Basilica of The Annunciation
Basilica of The Annunciation

Ancient street excavations under the basilica
Ancient street excavations under the basilica

More walking, this time to "The Synagogue Church" which, according to tradition (hmmm), was where Jesus preached in Luke 4. Whether it actually was or not, it was pretty awesome being in the town that Jesus grew up, and seeing the hills around that he was nearly pushed off.

Walking through street markets in Nazareth
Walking through street markets in Nazareth

The Synagogue Church<br>Photo by Dad
The Synagogue Church
Photo by Dad

The last stop of the day was to the top of Mount Arbel which has some pretty cool cliffs and some awesome views of the Sea of Galilee. We'd only just made it to the top when very suddenly a change came through and we were nearly blown off the top! It suddenly made very real the story of the storm on the Sea. We'll be going on the sea tomorrow, hope the weather is better!

View off Mount Arbel
View off Mount Arbel

Cliffs of Mount Arbel
Cliffs of Mount Arbel

Ginosar from Mount Arbel
Ginosar from Mount Arbel

Mum and tree on top of Mount Arbel
Mum and tree on top of Mount Arbel

Coming down Mount Arbel
Coming down Mount Arbel

Passing Sea Level in Tiberias
Passing Sea Level in Tiberias

Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee

Washed a few tshirts (it seems I only have five tshirts, I could have sworn I had a few more, that'll learn me to listen to people that told me to take stuff out #grunt) then did computery stuff before dinner. Apparently there was goat as one of the dishes - go figure!

From 6pm tonight til 6pm tomorrow is Holocaust Remembrance Day here.

Distance covered on the GPS: 115.8km
Steps walked: 15173
Photos on the Canon: 505
Photos on the Sony: 55
Videos: 21
USD spent: 1
NIS spent: 23