Have you ever been to Portugal? No? You definitely should get that flight ticket and go there, now! It’s one of the cheapest countries in Europe to visit, it has 800 years of history as a nation plus a few other hundreds of culture and heritage. Lisbon, the capital, is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest in Western Europe! Even older than Rome!
The Wild Atlantic Way is an Atlantic route through the coast of Ireland, also the longest coastal touristic route in the world. The reason why it’s called “Wild” is because this rote wasn’t planned to be touristic, nor was changed in any way for that. It is literally a real and unchanged experience through the coast of Ireland.
Unfortunately the blog has been quite inactive, against what I planned last year, but surely I can’t postpone this post! Every year I write the previous’ year review and a few goals for the following year, I’ve been doing this for a few years and here I am again! It’s time to review 2014!
A few months ago I went to Eastbourne to visit some friends that were living there. London is definitely the most visited place in England, even all UK, but this time my destination was the south. Less crowded, more country side, more like “me”.
Not always traveling is for business or tourism, people travel for all unimaginable reasons and one can’t expect the return of such experience. I went to Sweden to visit a close friend, I wasn’t expecting to do much tourism, my goals were set to have a good time with a good friend and everything else would be a bonus. This said, there isn’t much I can share, on a tourist perspective, about Stockholm.
This year I was still undecided where to go next, I gave it a though and the decision was easy to make. I owed some friends of mine a visit for more than a year, this was the right opportunity to pay my debt. That’s how I decided to add another European country to my list of visited countries, Romania.
I’m going to start a new kind of posts, posts where I’ll share how I did pack for Romania and how wise or not I’ve been. Romania was my last trip, I arrived back home last Wednesday, and I think I learned a few things with that trip and how to pack.
Nothing much to say about my last day in Tokyo, just that hangover can be a big mess! I had some plans for the day, and it isn’t pleasant to wake up with no will to do whatsoever when you are 9 hours timezone-away. But well, party is also part of the fun and vacations, nothing to regret!
Lazy day in Tokyo, nothing much to tell unfortunately. After the late night awake, I let myself sleep a bit longer. I left the house and I went to Shinjuku area to buy a new action camera for me, a new toy bought in Japan!
I have a very good bio-rythm, mostly when I am tense or even stressed. It is normal to me waking up a few seconds before the alarm rings, and this time was no exception. I had a train to catch, back to Tokyo!
All the usual stuff, packing, check-out and going to the train station. Since it was raining a lot, I decided to go to Tenma Station. Not the best option, since I had to change twice, but considering that I could avoid a lot of rain through the shopping street, which is under a roof, it wasn’t a hard decision to make.
Osaka Train Station is a nightmare! Huge, crowded and when in stress I took a while to find the correct platform. That was the first change, still in Osaka, I had to do, my goal was Shin-Osaka Station. But being ready and on time, I got to the right place with some time in advance 🙂 I used my trip to write some drafts on my blog, and a bit of relaxing time. The weather was looking really bad outside, perfect day to travel and not feeling bad to be missing great spots outside 😀
After dropping my luggage at Elma’s, I went for some shopping and souvenirs, I spent the afternoon not sightseeing! One thing I realized while in Japan, as a tourist, is that it isn’t easy to find a “souvenir store“, I don’t know why, that was my perception while there! I went to three places that I consider as a nice start for souvenirs, Oriental Baazar, Kiddy Land shop and the Takeshita Street.
The Oriental Baazar was my favorite place, three floors of things to buy, from clay objects to kimonos and yukatas, a lot of traditional Japanese things and not expensive. I bought most of my souvenirs there, the quality there also seems to be quite good, I recommend the place!
About Kiddy Land shop, it is the perfect place to buy toys! Most of them you’ll get the feeling you can buy them everywhere, but that’s not entirely true, some things there I doubt you can find them anywhere outside Japan! I didn’t buy anything there because I didn’t get the japanese thing with the toys there, whoever would get that as a souvenir would not relate that to Japan.
About Takeshita Street, I’ve mentioned that on a post before, it is a narrow street packed with people and stores! A lot to explore over there 🙂 After that I just went back home, I bought my dinner on the way and then I met with my hosts 🙂 Chatting a lot, and going to sleep late, not feeling the jet lag anymore 🙂 Until… Earthquake!!! A small one, but for me was quite strong! Impressive how big brother watches everyone over there, a few seconds later and all tv channels had information about the Earthquake with life-view of the port where they were expecting a tsunami! Nothing happened, but it was an interesting experience! I’ve been in Japan and I felt an earthquake while there 😀
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That feeling that things are getting back to normal, when I wake up at 8am and I know that I finally beat jet lag!! I meant to use this day for the waterfalls, but at the hotel they were quite convincing to avoid any where near the mountains, and mostly if traveling alone… Ok, time to improvise! Osaka is a big city, not much of history left due the Second World War, but for sure they have interesting stuff to see.
The day before the Australian guy recommended to visit the Aquarium, not much of what I would expect to visit when traveling to the other side or the world, but why not? I had a nice breakfast, and I went to the Aquarium that opens at 10am. I spent about 2 up to 3 hours inside, and during that time I took about 240 photos! Well, most of them are garbage, but I hope I can get a few good ones… The problem with these kind of places, is that they are also popular for primary schools to take kids there, and that can be a bit of a big spoiler… Though, also there I met a Scottish girl, I was quite proud that I recognized the accent the moment she spoke to me! After a few years in Ireland I already can get some accents even if they are not strong 😀
I am not sure why, but after the Aquarium I got a huge headache, I ate something around and then I went back to the hotel. Since I was on vacations, I couldn’t let the headache destroy my day, like if the typhoon hadn’t done it yet, so I text the Australian guy I met the day before for some food and drinks later that day. I arrived a while before, so I went to Tennouji area to walk around a bit, the area is quite nice but I didn’t have enough time to explore much, but enough time to get lost while trying to find the train station to Shin Imamiya! Another underground city in Tennouji!
We met, and then we went to Namba, were we ate octopus balls! Delicious thing and really hot too! We passed through Doguyasuji Street, another food/shopping street! Maybe a street food paradise! He had an exam the next day, so we didn’t stay longer, we went to Shinsaibashi Area for a small walk, and then we went both our ways, bot not before grabbing another set of octopus balls to take away! One of the most delicious things I ate in Japan!
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My initial plan for my last day in Koyasan? Wake up really early and go and see the monks praying.
What have I done instead? I woke up really early (for my usual time), and I went to the onsen one last time!
It sounds odd when I tell someone I spend a full afternoon at a graveyard taking photos, more strange when I say that I went to a remote place mostly because of that same graveyard, but yeah, that’s what happened!
After a restless night, people snoring, packing during the night, etc, it was my turn to wake up early and even a few minutes before the alarm went of. I packed everything and I double checked if I hadn’t left anything behind, and back to the train station! It was time to visit Koyasan, in the middle of the mountains!