2018-05-19 – US Route 66 Day 3

Today we drove 156 miles from St. Louis, Illinois to St. Robert, Missouri. We ended up staying at Studio Z, a pretty swanky chic hotel in St. Robert for only $60 per night. We ended up having a beer in the bar and chatting with the woman running the hotel. We saw the following sights today:

  • Chain of Rocks Bridge, Illinois
  • St. Louis Arch, St. Louis
  • Ted Drewes Frozen Custurd, St. Louis
  • Musuem of Transport, St. Louis
  • Assured Automotive, Eureka
  • Hot / Cold Towers, St. Clair
  • Meramec Caverns, Stanton
  • Circle Inn Malt Shop, Bourbon
  • Bourbon Water Towers, Bourbon
  • Mural in Cuba, Cuba
  • Missouri Hick BBQ, Cuba. Dad had St. Louis Ribs with Mustard Potato Salad and Baked Beans. I had a Brisket Sandwich with Salad.
  • Wagon Wheel Motel, Cuba
  • World’s 2nd Largest Rocking Chari, Fanning
  • Mule Trading Post, St. James.
  • Stonehenge Replica, Rolla

IMGL4325IMGL4335IMGL4351IMGL4388IMGL4397IMGL4399IMGL4408IMGL4417IMGL4423IMGL4453IMGL4457IMGL4464IMGL4476IMGL4485IMGL4497IMGL4506IMGL4547IMGL4564IMGL4572IMGL4578IMGL4593IMGL4687IMGL4699IMGL4724IMGL4734IMGL4743IMGL4749IMGL4752IMGL4776IMGL4780IMGL4785IMGL4788IMGL4790IMGL4793IMGL5104

2018-03-18 – Montserrat & Barcelona

Today I woke up at 7:00am with the help of my alarm clock. Since it was the weekend the only breakfast place that was open near me was McDonald’s so I walked there and had an Egg McMuffin for breakfast before catching the metro and regional train to Montserrat. I arrived in Montserrat at around 10:00am.
Montserrat, whose name means ‘serrated mountain’, is ideally located to play an important role in the cultural and spiritual life of Catalonia. The Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey was built on Montserrat in 880AD. Having survived two fires, and the Spanish Civil War, the basilica still stands strong, and is currently undergoing restoration as i write this.
When in Montserrat I visited the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey as well as taking the funicular up to the top of the mountain to overlook the entire Montserrat complex, as well as complete a small hike.
2018-03-18 Barcelona 0992018-03-18 Barcelona 1002018-03-18 Barcelona 1042018-03-18 Barcelona 1072018-03-18 Barcelona 1092018-03-18 Barcelona 1122018-03-18 Barcelona 1202018-03-18 Barcelona 1212018-03-18 Barcelona 1222018-03-18 Barcelona 1232018-03-18 Barcelona 1262018-03-18 Barcelona 1272018-03-18 Barcelona 1282018-03-18 Barcelona 1292018-03-18 Barcelona 1302018-03-18 Barcelona 1312018-03-18 Barcelona 132
I returned to Barcelona at approximately 3:00pm, and scoped out some food since I was hungry. I noticed a Japanese restaurant called Takumi Ramen Restausant while walking yesterday so I decided to visit there for lunch. I had a spicy chicken ramen dish with vegetables, and it was delicious!
IMG_6719
After finishing a late lunch I took a number 24 bus to Park Güell. The park was another one of Gaüdi’s masterpieces. It’s a total shame that it never got finished.
Eusebi Güell and Antoni Gaudí conceived this park and housing complex in 1900. They imagined an organized grouping of high-quality homes, decked out with all the latest technological advancements to ensure maximum comfort, finished off with an artistic touch.
The park was built between 1900 and 1914 and was officially opened as a public park in 1926 after Gaüdi died and the project was deemed as a failure due to lack of transportation and amenities to the main city, as well as lack of oversight and funds.
2018-03-18 Barcelona 1392018-03-18 Barcelona 1402018-03-18 Barcelona 1412018-03-18 Barcelona 1422018-03-18 Barcelona 1432018-03-18 Barcelona 1442018-03-18 Barcelona 1452018-03-18 Barcelona 1462018-03-18 Barcelona 1472018-03-18 Barcelona 1482018-03-18 Barcelona 1572018-03-18 Barcelona 1592018-03-18 Barcelona 168
After visiting the park I decided to walk around town to discover more architecture including Gaüdi pieces of work such as Casa Calvet before stopping to have a chicken and brie baguette for dinner.
2018-03-18 Barcelona 1352018-03-18 Barcelona 1762018-03-18 Barcelona 1772018-03-18 Barcelona 1782018-03-18 Barcelona 1822018-03-18 Barcelona 1872018-03-18 Barcelona 1882018-03-18 Barcelona 190
After dinner I went back to my hotel at around 8:00pm and prepared for bed as I was fairly tired. Tomorrow is my last day of my trip and includes a trip to Sagrada Familia before hopping on a flight back to Paris.

 

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

2018-03-12 – Mont Saint-Michel

Today I went to see Mont Saint-Michel. I woke up at 6:00am. I took the Metro to Montparnasse Station to catch the 7:40am TGV to Rennes. Upon arriving in Rennes I transferred to a coach which took me to Mont Saint-Michele. I explored around the complex, including the Abbey, which was absolutely incredible. When I arrived it was raining fairly heavily and was very windy, but by the time I left the skies were blue and the sun was shining. It was great being able to see the contrast between the morning and afternoon!
2018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 012018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 632018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 022018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 032018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 042018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 062018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 092018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 122018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 132018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 162018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 172018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 212018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 222018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 232018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 252018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 282018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 292018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 322018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 352018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 402018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 432018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 442018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 452018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 492018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 522018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 562018-03-12 Mont Saint Michel 59
I had a baguette with egg, chicken and cheese, as well as a beer for lunch at a small café at the base of the abbey. I took the 2:05pm bus back to the train station where I purchased a train ticket back to Paris in the 3:45pm train. I had some difficulty with my TD Aeroplan credit card yet again, so I’ll have to look into getting a different card when I return. It rarely works when I travel even though I’ve told TD I travel a lot and they should know that. It worked this morning for a coffee on the train, but apparently a train ticket is a fraudulent purchase…
When I arrived back in Paris I picked up some took the Metro back to my hotel. I had to pickup some Band-Aids on the way because I noticed my toes were rubbing together quite badly due to the fact I’ve been walking so much the past few days. When I got back I showered and tapped up my toes with Band-Aids.
I went out for dinner to Las du’ Falafel and had a lamb Shawarma, which was delicious! I head back to my hotel again and fell asleep around 9:00pm because I was so tired.
IMG_6349

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Thailand – Day 4 – Death Railway & Hellfire Pass

Today I woke up at 4:00am because my internal clock is still messed up. I laid in bed listening to music and talked with a friend over the small amount of cell coverage I had.

Breakfast was at 7:00am, and included two eggs, four slices of toast, 1/4 of a pineapple, two slices of tomatoes, potatoes, a slice of ham, and coffee. The staff were very friendly.

While waiting for my 8:00am long bag back to the pier on the main land I saw an elephant in the water. The kitchen staff grabbed some food and went over to it and starting feeding it pineapples and watermelons. I asked if I could feed them to the elephants and they gave me some scraps. I got another hotel guest to take a video of me feeding the elephant, and I even got an elephie (elephant selfie).

I boarded the 8:00am long boat back to the pier on the main land where I met up with the same driver as yesterday. He drove me to the Hellfire Pass Death Railway museum. I walked through the museum exhibit and then walked through Hellfire Pass. The place was very somber and I learned a lot about the sacrifices and horrible conditions the workers had to go through. The Death Railway was built during the Second World War. To sum it up quickly 60000 prisoners of war and about 200000 labourers built this Railway from Thailand to Burma for the Japanese during the Second World War. They had horrible living conditions, almost no food, almost no sleep, and were beat. 20 percent of the people ended up dying. If you want to read more about it you can here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma_Railway

After visiting the Hellfire Pass museum my driver came and picked me up and took me to the train station where I had some green Thai curry for lunch before boarding the train to Kanchanaburi.

When I arrived in Kanchanaburi I walked around the town a bit before heading to my Hotel, the Felix River Kwai Hotel. The hot is very beautiful and sits right on the river embankment overlooking the famous Kwai River Bridge. The hotel is almost completely empty so I was able to sit and drink beer watching the sunset at the “Bar by the River” all by myself until an Australian couple joined about an hour later. I took some long exposure shots and some time-lapse videos. I even got to watch two Thai people do some welding without any PPE equipment and dangling precariously close to the river!

After watching the sunset I walked across the bridge to a restaurant called the Floating Raft. I ordered something that resembled Red Thai Curry but I regretted it afterwards. It tasted and smelled like garbage and made me feel unwell. My friend Kirsty told me it was probably durian, which now to me makes sense as it has the smell, look and texture of durian. I decided I will try a different restaurant tomorrow evening.

Check back soon for my next blog post, where I will be going to an Elephant Sanctuary to bathe elephants and cuddle with them.

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Japan – Kyoto

The next stop on my Japan trip was Kyoto. I took a high speed train from Nagoya to Kyoto, which took only a few hours. I was overwhelmed by the amount of things I wanted to see in Kyoto, since I only had a few days there, so I started viewing immediately after leaving the train station. I went to Toji, where there was hundreds of golden buddha statues. The view was beyond spectacular, but out of respect for the culture I didn’t take any photos as it is considered to suck the soul from the statue, or something like that.

2017-06-25 Japan 487

After visiting Toji I took the local metro, and walked to the place I was staying at, called the Uraraka Guest House. I thought it would be ready by 3pm, but it wasn’t, so I dropped off most of my stuff, and walked over to Nijo Castle in the Nakagyo ward. This castle was really neat and was completely surrounded by a moat! The castle was built in 1679, and was actually used all the way until 1939! Some of the buildings have suffered from multiple fires and typhoons.

2017-06-25 Japan 4892017-06-25 Japan 4902017-06-25 Japan 492

After visiting the castle I went back to the guest house to relax for a bit before heading out for the evening, where I spent my time in Gion district, which was phenomenal. There was so many amazing beautiful sights, geisha’s, amazing ramen, beautiful gardens, and a tiny little back street called Kiya-machi Dori. Picture’s don’t even do this place justice!

2017-06-25 Japan 4972017-06-25 Japan 5032017-06-25 Japan 5052017-06-25 Japan 5062017-06-25 Japan 5072017-06-25 Japan 5102017-06-25 Japan 5132017-06-25 Japan 5152017-06-25 Japan 5162017-06-25 Japan 521

The next day I visited the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, which was actually just a 30 minute train ride from the city, but technically still part of the city. This place was breathtaking, I’ve never seen this many bamboo trees before, and certainly none this tall. I experimented with my camera a bit to get the shot I was looking for. After walking through the forest (which is actually quite small), I stumbled on this beautiful riverfront, where I saw locals doing Cormorant fishing. Cormorant fishing is a traditional fishing method where trained cormorants are used to fish in the rivers. This tradition dates back to 960 AD!!!

2017-06-25 Japan 5392017-06-25 Japan 5472017-06-25 Japan 5502017-06-25 Japan 5512017-06-25 Japan 581

Later on in the evening I met up with two friends who also happened to be visiting from Calgary, Haley and her boyfriend. We spent the evening walking the Gion district and had some delicious ramen!

2017-06-25 Japan 5262017-06-25 Japan 5272017-06-25 Japan 5362017-06-25 Japan 580

The next day was a very special one for me. I got to see so many beautiful shrines, beautiful architecture, and eat delicious food during the day, but my highlight was going to the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine to watch the sunset from the top of Mt. Inari. This site has over 10,000 Torrii gates, all painted orange. This place is beyond breathtaking. I felt very spiritual to be there.

2017-06-25 Japan 5552017-06-25 Japan 5962017-06-25 Japan 5992017-06-25 Japan 6052017-06-25 Japan 5632017-06-25 Japan 5702017-06-25 Japan 578_luminar

Stay tuned for my next post, where I travel onwards to Osaka!

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Japan – Nagano, Matsumoto, and Nagoya

The next stops on my Japan trip were Nagano (for one night), Matsumoto Castle, and Nagoya. I stayed in Nagano for the evening after visiting the Jigokudani Monkey Park. I stayed in a very swanky hotel right at the Nagano train station. I had quite a bit of work to do that evening and I wanted to be close to the train station for the next day. I did a time-lapse video of the sunset and was pretty impressed how it turned out.

2017-06-25 Japan iPhone 0772017-06-25 Japan iPhone 0782017-06-25 Japan iPhone 0792017-06-25 Japan iPhone 0812017-06-25 Japan iPhone 0822017-06-25 Japan iPhone 083

The next day I boarded a train towards Nagoya but made a stop in Matsumoto. Matsumoto is one of Japan’s top four castles to visit, and during this trip I visited all four! Masumoto is unique because it’s a black castle, also known as the “crow castle”. The amount of engineering detail that went into the castle is breathtaking. They accounted for everything that you could possibly conceive, even earthquakes. Not bad for late 1500’s engineering! The castle still stands to this day, surviving multiple earthquakes, and World War 2. Over the years the castle was ruled by the 23 lords of Matsumoto representing six different daimyō families.

2017-06-25 Japan 3412017-06-25 Japan 3502017-06-25 Japan 3532017-06-25 Japan 354

After soaking up this magnificent castle I continued on my journey to Nagoya. My two favorite things about Nagoya was the Toyota Museum, and the MAGLEV museum. I actually learned that Toyota is one of the largest manufacturer’s of the automatic loom; apparently they started out as a textile machine company. Nagoya impressed me in some aspects, but disappointed me in other aspects. I was disappointed about the dirtiness of the city, and overall grungy feel to the city. It felt like the Las Vegas of Japan in a way.

2017-06-25 Japan 3602017-06-25 Japan 3622017-06-25 Japan 3632017-06-25 Japan 3642017-06-25 Japan 3682017-06-25 Japan 3712017-06-25 Japan 3732017-06-25 Japan 3772017-06-25 Japan 3792017-06-25 Japan 3842017-06-25 Japan 3852017-06-25 Japan 3912017-06-25 Japan 3922017-06-25 Japan 3932017-06-25 Japan 3942017-06-25 Japan 4262017-06-25 Japan 4272017-06-25 Japan 4312017-06-25 Japan 4362017-06-25 Japan 4422017-06-25 Japan 4522017-06-25 Japan 4532017-06-25 Japan 4592017-06-25 Japan 4762017-06-25 Japan 481

The next stop in my trip was Kyoto, one of my favorite stops of the entire trip. Stay tuned!

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Japan – Mt. Fuji & Jigokudani Monkey Park!!!

Welcome back! In this installment of my trip to Japan you’ll get to explore my side trip to Mt. Fuji and the wonderful place I visited called Jigokudani Monkey Park! Before leaving Tokyo I took a day trip to the town surrounding Mt. Fuji called Lake Kawaguchi. I rented a battery powered bicycle and toured the small town. Mt. Fuji was playing shy this day so I wasn’t able to see much of it.

2017-06-25 Japan 2372017-06-25 Japan 2392017-06-25 Japan 2422017-06-25 Japan 2432017-06-25 Japan 2462017-06-25 Japan 2502017-06-25 Japan 2532017-06-25 Japan 2572017-06-25 Japan 2632017-06-25 Japan 2712017-06-25 Japan 2722017-06-25 Japan 2752017-06-25 Japan 280

After leaving Tokyo I took a high speed Shinkansen train (only 320kph… no big deal right?) to Nagano, where I transferred to a lower speed local train to the small town of Shibu. Shibu was a bustling resort town back in its days, but has seen better days. It’s a ghost town these days, but is home to the Jigokudani Monkey Park! After a one hour trek from the train station to the monkey park I spent a few hours literally hanging out with the Japanese macaque! They would come right up to me, including the babies, which were only a few months old. This was the most memorable day of my trip by far. Take a look for yourself! Stay tuned for the next installment of my Japan trip; Nagano, and Matsumoto!!!

2017-06-25 Japan 2982017-06-25 Japan 2992017-06-25 Japan 3012017-06-25 Japan 3022017-06-25 Japan 3032017-06-25 Japan 3082017-06-25 Japan 3182017-06-25 Japan 3252017-06-25 Japan 3292017-06-25 Japan 3302017-06-25 Japan 3342017-06-25 Japan 337

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here