Adventure, baby!

Travel

Osaka to Koya-San

We shopped in the morning, going completely nuts in stored like Big Camera, which is a 10-story building filled with every kind of electronics you could imagine – for insanely cheap prices.

We then caught a train and cable car up in the mountains to Koya-San, a Buddhist community, for out temple stay evening. After we booked into our temple and were shown our traditional-style room, we walked around town. It was a lot colder up in the mountains, but also really beautiful. We checked out the cemetery, which was huge and filled with ancient trees and headstones covered in moss.

For dinner we ate traditional Buddhist vegetarian food (no meat, no seafood, no onion, no garlic) which included lots of tofu and strange things we couldn’t identify. It was served with great ceremony by two of the monks, who then returned later to lay out our futons.

The only down-side for me was the lack of private bathrooms. There were shared co-ed toilets and a communal bath. I wasn’t adventurous to try this, but Alec did, late at night when there was no-one else around, and he said it was amazing.

Hiroshima

The day was overcast, but with only a short time to fit everything in we decided to catch the train down to Hiroshima. We stopped off at the A-Dome and Peace Park Memorial before catching a train and ferry to Miyajima island. The dreary day meant bad weather for taking pretty photos of the cherry blossoms that were out in full bloom. We did see some crazy scatty deer on the island … they weren’t as cute as Bambi unfortunately.

I’m loving how friendly all of the people here are and even if they can’t speak English they go out of their way to try and communicate. All I can say is “thank you”, and I’m saying it over and over again every five minutes to more strangers who are helping us out.

Food though is hard. Everything is written in Japanese characters and the pictures aren’t clear, so it’s tough finding places to eat thus far. I had hoped to lose weight on this trip, but just not eating full-stop is not what I had in mind!

Sydney to Osaka

After a long-ish flight I arrived in Osaka. Alec was waiting for me at the gate. I had been worried I wouldn’t be able to find him, but all worked out well, and after a month apart we met again on Osaka.

Melbourne Long Weekend – Day 3

We booked into our hotel – the Grand Hotel managed by Sofitel on Spencer/Flinders Sts. It’s perfectly located, near the Google office and right near the shops, water and trams. It’s a really lovely old school hotel, beautifully refurbished with modern amenities. We had a problem with our hot water, but they were extremely helpful so no complaints here!

Alec takes a look from the balcony.


Our awesome room.

Out and about. The giant purse is awesome.

The heritage-listed Shot Tower in the middle of the shopping centre.


Alec takes a break in Fitzroy Gardens.


The museum complex.


Hot Rod show at the museum complex.

Cars with amazing paint jobs.


On a tram!

All aboard!

At the Melbourne Aquarium.

I couldn’t get this guy in focus, but he was super cute.

View of Melbourne from the aquarium.

Alec checks out a strange exhibit.

I don’t remember what this was …

Jellyfish … ewwww.


Blubbery!

Japanese spider crab. Freaky!

Giant happy ray.


The fish viewing room. Cool!

We met Alice and Jamie for dinner at the 100 Mile Cafe. It serves only food that has been sourced within 100 miles.

This bread was yuuuum.





Alec’s entree. No idea what is under that green stuff.

Alice’s seafood spring rolls.

My entree – I don’t remember what it was called, but it was full of vege stuff and had an amazing dressing.

My vege plate.

Alec’s beef.

Jamie’s vege dish.

“I’m not a tree hugger!”


Walking back to the hotel we saw all kinds of cool sculptures lit up around the city.


Melbourne Long Weekend – Day 2

A cruisy day in Ferntree Gully.

The adorable house in the bush where we stayed.

The Davies’ old dog, Chicka – a half-cattle dog, half-dalmation mix.

We did the 1000 step walk in the Dandenongs, which was a beautiful walk down hill (ow my thighs!) through the bush – we saw a wallaby! – followed by about 760 steps back up. Not 1000 steps. Go figure.

The track going up the stairs is also called the Kokoda trail in memory. Along the track are several memorial markers with info about Kokoda. Really interesting stuff and a great idea.

It certainly felt like a long way!


Melbourne Long Weekend – Day 1

Alec and I flew down on Friday night for a long weekend in old Melbourne-town.

We stayed with some friends of his and their kids in Ferntree Gully, in the Dandenong Ranges.

Alec gets attacked by munchkins.

Lookout – that’s Melbourne waaaay in the distance.


Pretty sculpture in the park.


We stopped at Pie In The Sky for lunch.


Spinach, feta and wild rice pie.


Alec’s beef pastie.

Sassafrass lolly shop.


On Phillip Island.

Nobbies.



Watching sunset and waiting for the penguins to show up at Port Phillip Bay.

Penguins! We couldn’t take photos so this is from the wonderful internet. The penguins were awesome – so cute and making the funniest sounds. It was amazing to see them in the wild.

Port Stephens Holiday – Day 3

After a leisurely breakfast, Alec and I checked out of the hotel. We went to lunch at the Inner Light Tea Rooms with Lisa and Alan before heading back to Sydney.

The tea house is on the site of the old light house and has amazing views of the bays.


Lisa and Alan and their root beer spiders.
Magpie on the lookout.
Mmmm quiche.

Tasty scones.


This little fellow caught a worm right at my feet. Having people around didn’t bother him in the slightest.


Port Stephens Holiday – Day 2

We both slept badly, so had a big sleep in, then drove down to Fingal Bay to spend a cruisy day lying on the beach.





By a total co-incidence, Alec’s dad and his wife were staying at the same hotel as us, so we met up with them for dinner that night. After dinner we went down to the marina at Solder’s Point to watch the sun set.