Author Archives: Ben Douglas

Day 24 – Chefchaouen

Up
shower
depressed about losing bag
2 dreams about recovering it
breakfast
walked around
up to top of hill and good view from city wall
started raining so went back
booked hotel 2 more nights
FOUND BAG!
just left it on the other side of the room and roommates found it
waited for rain to pass
went out
walked around again
square
started raining again
lunch chicken couscous
met tim again
walked around town again
went up to cemetery and “ruined” mosque
view
walked back
tea and coffee
agreed to meet later or next morning
went back to hostel
rain
socialized with roommates
graffiti guy
sleep early


Day 22 – Granada to Ronda

Up
Laundry situation
Had to wait for that
went out
Morning Tapas
beers and free tapas at knight place
pretty good food
back, picked up laundry
went to train station with tim
Train to Ronda
said cya to tim
walked from station to hostel
amazing view from porch
very nice kid managing the place
headed out
went to bridge
walked around
went down pathway
lots of photos
Can’t remember lunch…
Lunch (Tapas)
bought Cheese and cake
Wine
ate on hostel porch with view of bridge
went to dinner across the street
lots of tapas, pretty good
finished the day, sleep
Postcards


Day 21 – Granada

Woke up way too early and headed to the bus station. Got the bus along with other tourists and we headed up the windy road towards the Alhambra ticket office. When we got there the line was already very very long.

met couple, south africa and italy
can’t remember names
got coffee
waited for a long time
finally got tickets for the afternoon
split up
anthony and i walked back down
explored the cathedral area
tourist market area
water fountain
coffee and croissant, funny guy tried to charge me too much
walked around back streets
walked back up to the alhambra area
went into carmen garden place
very pleasant garden
walked up and over hill with olive trees
walked to viewpoint and took some photos
came back towards the castle and had lunch in the cheapest place we could find
horrible food
brought out my pizza first, i almost finished it before they brought out anthony’s food
met up with couple again
explored the alhambra
first the generalife
and then the alhambra
very nicely decorated…
intricate design work
started to rain a bit
said goodbye to couple
finished touring the place, getting a bit miserable because of the rain
walked back to the hostel through the rain
went to grocery store and got dinner
made spaghetti with Tim
very cheap
drank a whole bunch of wine
went to flamenco
walked fast and made it just before they started
really interesting, but different than my experience in 2007 in madrid
Afterwards headed back and then to bed


Day 20 – Cordoba to Granada

Got up at a good hour
Had breakfast
Found out where the Barclays ATM was
Packed and headed out
Anthony forgot something so he had to go back and get it, that was ok since we were ahead on time
Stopped at the ATM on the way to the station
Almost at the station when we saw a clock…
It was strange since it looked like a pretty important clock, but according to our time it was running an hour ahead
That’s when we realized we had spent the past two days in Spain on a completely different time zone, thinking it was an hour behind, which is why Anthony was rejected from breakfast
So we ended up being 30 minutes late for a train that we were going to be 30 minutes early to
Anyhow, since we missed the train we found a bus that was leaving not too much later
Sat around, had some lunch, walked around some park area in the north of the city
Finally got on the bus
Made our way to Granada
Beautiful countryside, filled with green and olive trees
Really fantastic cities on the way. Maybe it was a good thing we took the bus.
Got into Granada
Got conned into buying a map for a Euro
Took the bus to our hostel
Really amazing nice place, friendly woman who was managing the desk
Gave us a good map and explained exactly where to go and what to do
Learned that we had to reserve tickets for the Alhambra, so put it on our to do list
It was a bit cloudy but we headed out anyway
Walked up the hill
Started raining so we purchased cheap umbrellas
Since we couldn’t reserve tickets decided to get up early and do it the next day
walked up to the st nicolas viewpoint
Very cloudy view of the castle
Not so great
Lots of tourists
Tried to find nearby tapas
found an amazing place
Had Fried Eggplant, made like french fries and doused in honey. it was absolutely amazing
and the other food was also good.
Walked around the hill area
Tried to get up to a lookout point
Found a great place
Stayed there for a while watching the sun set over Granada
Got some great photos
Even a rainbow
Walked over to the flamenco club area
They couldn’t take us that night so we made reservations for the next day
Went back to the hostel
Decided instead of going out we would take advantage of their kitchen and make some pasta
Met our friend Tim from Florida
Went and got spaghetti
Made spaghetti and wine
Somehow afterwards I think … did we do something? I can’t remember


Day 19 – Cordoba

Got up and got breakfast
Anthony came down at 9, but they said breakfast was closed, weird, it was supposed to close at 10
Anyhow, got some directions, headed out
went to tourist information center, they weren’t helpful at all
Walked around jewish quarter a bit
Synagogue
Walked around old city a bit
Went to the Inquisition museum, which was full of all sorts of torture devices. And as much as I wanted to think about it in a historical context, I couldn’t help think about how people these days use these devices as sexual fetishes
Went to main church/mosque area
Some religious ceremony in progress
Watched
Weird lulav like shakers and people with olive branches
Priests walking to the gateway, saying some words, making some blessings, then walked back
We weren’t allowed in the church, didn’t know why, guy was really mean
He let other people in but not us? Why? I have no idea… That got me really pissed off
I didn’t like cordoba
Went to the jardinez de alcazar
walked around the gardens, it was nice and pleasant but to go up to the towers was excruciatingly painful because of so many people we had to wait for going up and down narrow stairs
Got some nice shots of flowers
Roman bridge
Couldn’t get to the waterwheel
Walked around more
Went to the San Francisco area
Then found the Roman Pillars
Behind a lot of construction and fences, not interesting
Went to the roman bath house, even more unimpressive and somewhat neglected too
Went to the main square and decided to wait for the Semana Santa festival
Got ice cream
The festival was not really a festival…
it wasn’t even a parade
it was a procession. Really solemn faces. In KKK like hoods
Religious floats being carried
Between them there were bands and kids in KKK costumes holding giant candles
It was… really boring
Across the way there was a beautiful woman who I snuck glances at, but she turned out to be married with a kid.
Stayed there for three hours
Left, but almost impossible to get back because the procession was throughout the city
Once we got back to the main church there were all sorts of people hanging out
We found a churro cart
DELICIOUS churros with chocolate sauce
Ended the day


Day 18 – Lagos to Cordoba

Got up early
Raining
Walked through the rain to get to the bus station
Gave map to these guys just getting there
Waited at the bus station, very tired, a bit hungover
The bus ride was very pleasant. Fell in and out of consciousness
Nice cities that we passed by
Bus to Seville
Got off bus, had difficulty finding directions to the train station
got on another bus
Made the train
Got into the station
Walked from the station down the park to the hostel
Checked in. HI so kind of sterile…
But had a nice view
Got some “Lunch” whatever that means
Went out and walked around
Checked out the cathedral area
Overcast
Went to square and got Oxtail, which was delicious (Anthony had paella)
went to the supermarket and got some supplies
Went to get frozen yogurt at Smooy
Saw a few processions around
Nice sunset
Went out to see some Semana Santa ceremony
Very religious, not festive at all
People singing and some woman shouting in Spanish
Band playing, kids being disrespectful
After a while we left
Walked down to the Roman Bridge
very nice looking at night
We were tired so went back to the hostel and slept


Day 17 – Lagos Day 4

On our fourth day in Lagos we relaxed
Walked around town
Saw more interesting graffiti
For lunch had some very greasy piri piri chicken. It was very good
At it in the park
Back to the hostel
Went out to get pizza at Luigi’s
It was great
Met a guy who had a place in Chefchaouen
He had natty dreds and a dog who he fed pizza
Decided to investigate it
Back
Hung out in kitchen area
Rory and his friend acted obnoxious
Decided to go out
went around to different bars
Anthony went back early
I decided to stay out
Drank quite a lot but not so much
Cute girl but she had a boyfriend
After a long exhausting night came back


Day 16 – Lagos Day 3

Decided to go explore the abandoned houses on the hills
got breakfast/lunch at cafe odeon
wrap, and some kind of shake (beer shake?)
went back to hill area
started down path
surprisingly well traveled and easy to get to abandoned houses
went from house to house
taking photos
found shotgun shells
some good graffiti, some bad
very chill dog guard, but didn’t see him until i was right next to him
blue place
went to every place
surprised by some kind of animal
walk along the cliffs
came back
stopped at supermarket for soap, crackers, etc
went back for pasteis
hung out at the hostel
I think i tried taking a nap
A little bit of rain
went back out and had chinese for dinner
pretty damn good chinese food
back to hostel and of course can’t remember the night, but probably drank


Day 15 – Lagos Day 2

Up
slight hangover
out for pastry and bought postcards/sandals (pastries at really good bakery)
short trip to beach
back
returned to beach with journal
filled in expenses and a bit of the log
walked around beach combing a bit
found amazing shell
shortly after lost it
searched for a long long time for it
couldn’t find it
oh well
sat around
explored area over wall
very cheap soup and bread lunch
back to the hostel
had indian food for dinner
can’t remember too much more about the night


Day 14 – Lagos Day 1

Started the day with a pleasant breakfast and then hiking
Hiked along the entire trail of beaches in Lagos
abandoned small house
hiked all around “secret” trails
many photos
stopped for lunch (hamburger)
residential area
doown and up beach
along cliffs
back to hostel
made sea-mobile
played music
chilled
bbq
port
hung out
Australians playing Kings Cup
went down to beach and had small bonfire but it was too windy


Day 13 – Porto to Lagos

Checked out
walked around
breakfast near main plaza
bought port/water
sat in small square
moved to shadier place
lunch at place run by just one guy
took a while to get served and check but it was alright
then to hostel
picked up stuff
train station
Campanha
to Lagos
long train ride
girl with glittery disco ball shirt
snacks
Tunes
nowhere to buy tickets and no platform indication
followed other people
Australians
Lagos
very bad directions
very lost
finally got there with help of police and map
sleep


Day 12 – Porto Day 2

Breakfast behind hostel
playing Queen
Headed to caves
Amazing view from bridge
walked across, up to hill, more photos
Walked down a bit toward port distilleries
Walked into Taylors, looked good enough
Waited for next tour while sipping port
Really relaxing room, very good port
Fuzzy chicken
Old books
Tent ceiling
Took tour, fascinating
Very enjoyable
They didn’t ship to the states so we tried to figure out who sold them
Went down to the riverside
Ate some tripe for lunch, not that good. I didn’t like the texture
Took photos
Signed up for the Sandeman tour
Waited
Tour was a lot more commercial
Had to pay
Much larger, corporate company
When had tasting, clearly wasn’t as good as Taylors, and cost a bit more in fact
Left, heading back to hostel
Bought tickets to Tunes
Withdrew money from “Deutsche Bank” (operated by another bank but after complaining to BofA they rescinded charge)
Also bought tickets online for bus from Lagos to Cordoba
Went back to famous Francesinha place but it was closed :(((
Walked around and eventually got fish for dinner. Or was it? Anthony had fish, I had something I don’t remember.
Great sunset


Day 11 – Porto Day 1

Went to famous bookstore
not so impressive, but still quite nice
crowded with tourists
Breakfast near main square
pasteis and coffee
Walked down to riverside
very nice, beautiful old buildings
motorcycle race?
walked down riverside
passed by fashion show, decided to check it out later
continued walking
walked up to weird building park, dome with portholes around it
school fields of education exhibit inside, people demonstrating different cool things in their fields
went to oddly shaped music museum, comet thing
skate punks
sat around
walked back to riverside
brief trip into trolley museum but didn’t actually go in
went to fashion show
managed to sneak our way in, very cool
waited around looking at weirdly dressed people
I was definitely not dressed for the occasion, somewhat amusing, cheap clothes
went in
saw the shoes show
fascinating
finished, hung around a little and then left
walked back to the hotel
went out trying to find famous francesinha, when we got there we were just too late to get in
got directions to two other famous places, went there
played the wait list line for the two restaurants, settled on which ever we got in first
delicious again
walked back to our area
ice cream
ice cream defeated derrick
back to the hostel
went out to bar area, chaotic, walked around but didn’t get anything. insane
hung out with derrick until he needed to leave


Day 10 – Lisbon to Porto

Up and headed to Belem
Got instructions on how to get there
walked to train station, bought tickets
got on trolley to Belem
went to Pasteis de Belem, delicious
walked to first monument (columbus?)
Walked to second monument (castle in water are)
Didn’t go in because didn’t think it was worth it
Walked back to the trolley
Went back to Lisbon
Walked up to the fort/castle
Enjoyed the view, walked around
Like I remembered
had lunch at cafe, terrible, anthony and derrick had some kind of quishe and I had some small pastry
left back to the hostel
picked up bags and headed to train station
long walk but made it
got train to Porto
Nice sunset
Got off at the wrong stop
got back on the train
got to porto
walked to hostel place
first hostel was booked
second hostel (the one we originally wanted to go to) was good
got a top top floor room
bed was wet?
anyhow
headed out for dinner
Francesinha
omg amazing, changed our lives
went for wine and dessert in main plaza area
funny wine waiter guy
back and to sleep


Day 9 – Lisbon

Decided to go on Sintra tour
free breakfast
headed out with mustachioed guy who looked like a character in a Wes Anderson film
First to Sintra
Castle park
Unfamiliar one
Walked around more outdoors like place
Pretty nice
Lots of nice flowers
Good view of entire area
Walked down to pond
dead frogs and geese
Castle was disney like
to the van
lunch in main downtown area
pastries
cherry shots with chocolate
beer
playing around with taking photos
then to other park mansion
familiar one
took others on tour
nice and familiar
really great to go back there…
afterwards returned
went to western most part of continental europe
lighthouse
feeling a little down for some reason
great colors of things
windy
went back
beach
ice cream
another stop just to hang out
and then back to the hostel
dinner at seafood place in backstreets
coffee place again


Day 8 – Night train, Flight to Lisbon

Arrived in Madrid
Went to the station cafe and stayed there the whole time waiting for our plane
Talked to Jodi, played Polish Poker
She left for Toledo
We went to the airport
Got to the station
Bought some kinder candy
Toys!
Left for Lisbon
arrived
Met girls from Virginia
Got bus
long bus ride
cool graffiti of guy reaching through building
Arrived at Travellers
Really great welcome
Met up with girls
went out for lunch
Walked around
cool graffiti
Main square
Sunset
back
Participated in keg
Lots of drinking
Went out for dinner
Got coffee and worst cake in the world from guy at cafe near church
Had a wonderful day
Left toy dog with purse for guy
back to hostel
sleep


Day 7 – Girona, Figueres, Night train to Madrid

breakfast at the hostel
left bags at the hostel
walked around girona some more
some more photos
train to figueres
walked from station to dali museum area following other tourists
through market
stopped at local coffee shop
really good coffee
chess sets but no one playing
dali museum
way too many people, and way too much eurotrash
disrespectful kids
some really cool art, some really odd art
jewelry museum next
walked around
found a really great place for food
decorated a lot
went back to train
got next train back to girona
had lots of time
went to cinema museum
pretty cool things on display, including dick tracy’s hat, TMNT mask, and Leto’s robe from the Dune movie
walked more around Girona getting more photos
Really windy and cold
got our bags
Sat in a chocolate store drinking chocolate and beers
got some tapas there
got more tapas elsewhere
got on night train to madrid
shared compartment with some African man
I couldn’t really understand him that well
kind of uncomfortable but I was used to it, Derrick and Anthony weren’t
Met Jodi from Oregon
talked to her in the food car
had some toast
after talking to jodi for forever, went to bed


Day 6 – Barcelona to Girona

Breakfast at La Pallaresa, the place the bartenderess recommended
pretty good crema catalunya
took the metro to Barcelonita
Saw place where my bag was stolen and phone booth I used to phone police
Walked down the beach
Saw fish statue
Got metro back to room
Got bags and went to marketplace
walked around marketplace
got sandwiches
good photos
train station
got on train to girona
Girona
walked to tourist information
went to nearby hostel and it was fine
put our stuff down and went back out
walked around the streets of the old town
walked to wall of city
tons of kids
good view
walked up to top of some tower
people carrying dog down the stairs
sadly hilarious
really amazing view with light rays on the city
walked down to the main cathedral
we were really hungry so made that our next priority
bridge photos
found a nice place and had three amazing dishes for a quite reasonable price
very friendly waiter (gay?)
then got gelato
walked around a bit more
went back to the hostel
chilled
went back out
anthony got a new jacket at some fashion store
girls who were raising money for red cross talked to us
told me I was like frodo
hilarious
magic fountain! not
went to wine and cheese restaurant
great cheese of all varieties, okay wine
really hungry late at night so got shwarma next door also
creepy guy watching television in the hostel
played ping pong and cards
no one else was really social in the hostel


Day 5 – Barcelona Day 1

Got up late
Shower
Breakfast at cafe
bad croissant
metro
vending supermarket
Sagrada Cathedral
Walked to hospital
Tapas lunch – anchovies, octopi, etc –
Gaudii Park
metro to Paral-lel
Wrong stop
Walked to Magic fountain
Only Fri-Sat
sat around
Metro back
put stuff down
headed out to dinner
couldn’t find place
walked in huge circle
found right where we started the circle
Taverna Basca Irati
Guinness
Walked around finding other bar
Bar next door to plan
nice bar lady owner gave us recommendations for crema catalan


Day 4 – Plane to Barcelona

Plane got to LHR late
Had to change tickets
Got the 2:05 flight
Wifi search and Ham sandwich – tasted like depression
used computer store for internet
tired
got on plane
slept most of the way
got off plane
wifi search
info
converted money
shuttle (totally did not think about a bus or train)
got to place
Rosa
left note for Anthony
walked around
finally got wifi
Plaza Rieal
Apartment
Derrick
Paella and Sangria
walked arund
back
sleep
loud parties outside (st patricks?)


Day 2 – DC Day 1

Slow getting up
Teaism breakfast
Salmon made me feel bad
Out to meet chriss but first… something?
Went to Chris’ mom’s house
Met up
Chat
Headed out
Abandoned place
Troubled children place
Books and papers everywhere
Mattresses
Peeling paint
Drooping roofs
Amazing abandoned stuff
Laundry place
Briefcase factory
Holding cells
Stolen vehicles
Got late
Ledo’s pizza and met Tess
Good times
back to hotel
Good times again
But a little aggravated
Couldn’t sleep well
Bogart


Day 1 – Flight to DC

Got off plane
Met Camille
Checked in at 4
Zoo
walked around
apes
gorillas
Have you accepted Bill Nye into your life?
Horseshoe crab stuck between a rock and a hard place
Parking Fee
(writing journal with another pen)
Food
Burger place, margherita
Couldn’t finish food
went to Great Falls
hiked path
Big waterfalls
went a way
To hotel
Checked in


Day 60 – Miyajima and Iwakuni

woke up and had a buffet breakfast
went to cable car up mountain
great view
beautiful prehistoric forest
monkeys!
walked a kilometer to a temple with a fire that supposedly hasn’t gone out in few centuries
hashimoto really had a work out
walked back
went back down gondola
left miyajima
got on train for iwakuni
took bus to big bridge
got a really meh lunch at a nearby hotel
went over bridge
three humps on the bridge
went to white snake museum, shiro hebi
shiro neko
went up another cable car
walked to castle
this castle was a little bit more interesting than hirosaki’s
bigger museum
had pictures of all the castles in japan, they all looked pretty much the same
got to the top and it had a great view of the area
went back down
took a taxi to the shinkansen station
took the shikansen back to osaka
shogo insisted he pay for a hotel for me
apa hotel
checked in and said goodbye, arranged to meet later
i wanted to go out and maybe go to a bar, but couldn’t find a cheap one
got some ramen (really just getting a bowl to eat my other ramen, but it was cheaper to buy some more ramen in a bowl than to buy a bowl)
back to hotel, ate two bowls of ramen, sake, beer, and roll of cookies


Day 60 – Hiroshima and Miyajima

went to shikansen shin-osaka station to meet hashimoto
got on shikansen, veeeery fast, faster than the others
arrived in hiroshima
put luggage in lockers
took taxi to main museum
walked around the museum, very serious, very sad
they had some models of people walking around with skin melting, and it was very graphic
after museum walked around the area, seeing the various memorial statues
saw large dome building that had remained standing
while viewing, i thought a lot about how the city was a very unique situation in terms of sociology
it is kind of the newest, and last city in the world
most everyone who was there had moved there, filling in a void
not really any place like that since the west
anyhow
went to get okonomiyaki
absolutely delicious and fantastic food, kind of like an advanced omelet
went to somewhere…
station, picked up baggage, took train to miyajima
ferry
dropped things off at hotel
then went to see the floating tori
saw a small museum
walked around
ice cream
then went back to the hotel
relaxed
had dinner
dinner was another traditional japanese dinner, fantastic
after that
went to taiko drum show, cool part with neon lit demon masks
i was picked out as the only foreigner in the audience
got a rice paddle?
after the show put on yukata
went out with geta shoes and walked around the torch lit area with shogo
tori was lit up
went back to the hotel
went to my room
went through bag picking out unnecessary weight
went to sleep


Day 59 – Osaka – Ramen and Observatory

got up and gareth had to check out, but i told him I was going to the ramen museum and he wanted to go with me
tried to make a reservation but telephone cut out because pay phone that didn’t show me how much time was left
went out, got some food at a convenience store because couldn’t find supermarket
got on train to osaka station
got on hankyu takarazaku line to ikeda
got off train
100 yen shop for a little bit
got to museum
took pictures of ourselves with momofuke statue
went into museum
found out workshop was full
woman came after us to tell us it wasn’t full, so we put our names down
went through museum with english guides
it was incredibly awesome
tons of ramen boxes
really hilarious video with colonel sanders looking momofuke guy and the english dub voice was a southern accent
similar to the heiniken experience but without the moving chairs
saw space ramen (Space Ram)
saw the tasting room
went upstairs to the workshop
made the ramen
flour and egg
folded and pressed
put it through machine to press it
fold fold fold ten times
then put it through the machine to thin it out
then put it through the machine to cut it into strings, while cutting it with a scissors
then it was steam cooked
then we added some flavoring
then we put it into a fryer
ramen onsen
lots of oil
we think everyone is robots
then we got to decorate our ramen bags
mine was a godzilla
then we put them into the bags
done!
we even got to keep our bandanas! that was cool
went down to tasting room and had a lot of different foods
then we went to the other workshop station, less intricate
decorated cup
ramen punch (nandeyone!)
then left museum
went back to osaka station
wanted to go to the observatory tower for gareth to take pictures
walked towards it, found a cool spot that saw the tower
stayed there a while
he took a time lapse photography
i was running out of batteries
switched
stupid 100 yen shop batteries didn’t do crap
went to observatory
had to jump the fence
then went up building
at the top we tried to figure out the best spot to take pictures
by the way we were wearing our bandanas which got a lot of attention
gareth set up and we spent a long time there
met a malaysian guy
we finished taking the time lapse photography
went to get a beer and some dinner with malaysian guy
had a good time
helped gareth find his bus (a little difficult)
we all parted
then i went back to the hotel


Day 58 – Nara

got up to meet hashimoto at the station again
went to the wrong B1
anyhow, met up with shogo-san and masako-san
we took the train to nara
got in a taxi and took that around again
raining
went to… twin pagoda temple
daibutsu, huge buddha
gigantic temple, largest wooden structure in the world
lots of deer, they knew “thank you”, fed them crackers
lots of school children again
very old old temple, with interesting small stone graves
hit long sounding bell
went to a really interesting traditional japanese lunch in a grove
very beautiful
lots of great food
nandeyone!
okini!
mido
went to a few more places
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!fill in!
temple on hill, went up on the roof where they have a festival where they pour embers off of the roof

After done with Nara, we went back to Osaka
went out to dinner at a mini bbq place
tons of small little foods
great taste
after dinner we separated and i went back to the hotel
met Gareth, guy from england who had been traveling for past 5 months
he was very cool
bought beers together and talked for a while
he fell asleep, i went out because i wasn’t tired just yet
went to nearby place to drink
old man and i “talked”
okonomiyaki?
then went back to the hotel and slept


Day 57 – Kyoto

got up to meet shogo at the station at 10
went to kyoto
we got into a taxi
for the whole day we took the taxi all around kyoto
saw all the different major temples
started with the biggest temple in all the world (supposedly?)
then the golden temple on the water
lots of tourists, so again kind of ruined the experience
went to the mizu temple
famous stream that people were drinking from, but i didn’t want it
picked up the lost sole (shoe sole)
and the mushi temple with crickets
went to a wonderful soba lunch at a great japanese restaurant
went to some other places
rock garden (not very zenful because of the tourists)
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! fill in?
then after finished sightseeing, we went back to the station
separated and went back to hotel
dinner… was… what?
no one there that night
relaxed and watched japanese tv


Day 56 – Osaka

arrived in Osaka by bus
went to the hotel
checked in and dropped off my bags
got map and circled things
went out
tried walking to the castle via nippombashi as to get tickets for bunrako theater
got tired so took subway
the bunrako theater was closed until november, so no puppet theater
walked around dotombori because it was close
accidentally went into love hotel district
santa claus hotel
takoyaki, bleh
got onto JR train
went to osaka castle
walked to the castle, it was huge
didn’t go in because I didn’t want to pay, besides the castle was more impressive to look at from the outside
walked back to JR station
took train to kobe
cheaper to stop at osaka station?
got to kobe fairly early
picked up a piece of bread to eat and walked around
went to post office and sent a postcard to maryann, but it cost more than I was anticipating because I taped it
went to art exhibit
really cool
3d shadow
mirror with lights room
strange exhibits set up in freight containers
festival with colors flying everywhere, confetti with fans
tunnel with light up squigglie things
very cool
then went to hotel to meet hashimoto san
he was wearing a cowboy hat, which is kind of the type of person he is
he was really a great funny guy, i can see why my grandfather became friends with him
we planned out the next few days and then got a buffet dinner
loaded up my plate with all sorts of different japanese foods
very tasty
then we parted and I went back to the hotel
met yet another guy from north carolina and a guy from england
chatted for just a little while then went to sleep


Day 55 – Kanazawa

Got up
packed
“checked out”
went along river to downtown area
walked around downtown for a while
relaxed in park
man exchanged snacks with me
bird pooped on head
went to temple via car
did the meditation
australian monk
all sorts of thoughts
tried fighting them off
but they were all interesting
awareness
what not
meditation like death
not for me
left in car
went to cd store briefly
back to hostel
had tea with people
then updated journal
sat around pongyi with the guys there
talked with ojisan, he got me a small tea pot
woman with kimonos
got on bus
went to osaka


Day 54 – Kanazawa

got up, but stayed in bed sleeping in
got up, got some coffee
planned day
instead of going to onsen
headed out
walked along quiet nice river
went into samurai houses district
old merchant house
walked a bit more through the samurai district
went to an international festival
got naan and pearl milk tea and saw some taiko drumming
went to 21st century modern art museum
really cool stuff
big festive quilt, looked different in personality from either side
pool illusion
then went to omicho again
got some unagi
went back to the hostel
stored it in the refrigerator
then went to the post office
sent off some souveniers
walked up the city to another district with old houses
tried to get to the confectionary museum but no one was there
went to the tawaraya candy store
tried some stuff
very different tasting candy
bought some lollipops
went back to the hostel
relaxed
went to the supermarket
got some kind of stir fry
came back to the hostel
cooked with rice
wrote a bit in my journal
misaki showed me how to do zasen meditation
went to the public bath
came back
went to bed


Day 53 – Kanazawa

arrive by bus
locker
walked
garden
beautiful
planned out path
tree crutches
tree coming off the ground
how many people worked there? so meticulous
postcard
hacking at tree stump
castle
construction
forest
rain
leech on ground
left
raining
went to hostel
booked room
left
checked things at tourist information spot
got bread and some weird apple pie thing
got bus ticket
got stuff from locker
stored stuff at hostel
went out on bus
geisha district
interesting to see
didn’t find shima so meh
next stop
hakuza
just a bathroom?
got on bus
went to around the art gallery for lunch
bought sandwiches
then went to myoryuji temple for ninja stuff
reservation actually only was a 5 minute wait
cool secret traps, hidden stairways, suicide room, 7 floors in 3
after that
went to omi-cho market
saw unagi there
tempted
instead got fried potato thing
and sashimi
came back to hostel and ate the sashimi
relaxed a bit
wrote in journal
checked mail
talked with hostel owner
had dinner with people at the hostel
was going to go to public bath but it was late so decided not to
shower
went to bed and slept very well


Day 52 – Wrap Up and to Kanazawa

packed
downstairs
met with ______
went to kabukiza
saw two shows
amazing
dancing tweezers and hair
spider demon
then to yasakuni shrine
then to tokyo dome city
then to tokyo station to figure out bus things
hard times
then back to the hostel
then out for gyoza
100 yen shop last stop
then to bus ticket station
then to shinjuku
then to bus terminal
little confusion but alright
then got on bus
drinks!


Day 50 – Another Lazy Day

Made a list of simple things
for breakfast i went out to get myself some bacon and orange juice, and i came back to make it
Sent some postcards and got my shoes at the other hostel
i made my lunch, which was grilled cheese sandwiches
decided to do laundry later
for dinner wanted to go out and get things
then went out and got dinner with phaedron… where?
oh yes, we went out with a british girl vetenarian
went to get sushi in a place
then came back and had a few beers in the hostel bar
got a pitcher with phaedron
walked around with people, to 100 yen shop
made bacon and had last of the grilled cheese
got pretty tired and went to bed