Posts tagged ‘city’
USA – New York, New York
New Yorker are ‘children of excitement’ as I will call them from now on. They like morning TV, stars, talking about stars, police with machine guns (at least they don’t mind them), fast food and flags – especially stars and stripes (what better way to describe the flag?). Despite the feeling that half of the cars were taxis and the other half emergency vehicles the city felt quite clean and save. New York is quite a big apple with over eight million people. In some parts it seems like most of them are tourists and the rest policemen – but honestly, NY was a great experience without any troubles.
There are thousand things to see: Central park, Times square, Staten Island, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn bridge, Rockefeller centre, Empire State building, Flatiron building, Guggenheim museum (among hundred others), Chrysler building, Battery park, Grand Central station, the whole financial district and many more..
I tried the NY hot dog, but in my opinion it tastes kind of artificial and can’t possibly compete with one from Vienna. The soft ice cream and pretzels were surprisingly good though.
But risk a look at: Times square, Manhatten as seen from the Staten Island ferry, Chrysler and Empire State building from the top of the Rockefeller centre at night time, and Brooklyn bridge – over to Brooklyn – just before sunset..
After a week I crossed the Atlantic ocean over to Ireland, Dublin where I stayed till yesterday.
Canada – Ontario and Quebéc
Toronto is the biggest city in Canada with something like 5.5 million people all around the area. I stayed right in downtown, with lots of people, skyscrapers and a nice little lake nearby. Although, it is the smallest of the five big lakes, lake Ontario would cover about half of Switzerland. Except of one really bad thunderstorm during an hot evening there weren’t any annoyances. I went around markets, Chinatown, the university, docks, parks and museums. On my last day in Toronto, I went to practice a little climbing and jumping in a Parkour training court, called the Monkey Vault, I found somewhere north-west in the city.
On the next day, I was off to Montréal. Quebéc seemed to me mostly French, so it was quite different for me. Somebody told me that it’s far less French than it used to be. Mainly, because English is just the language when you want to make it in any job here, but I’m not so sure. It seems like the people were proud of their strange (as told by several French guys) quebecian French.
After my stop in Montréal I took the bus back to Ontario, where I’m currently stopping in the country’s capital named (who knows?) Ottawa.
Canada – Vancouver
Before I hit the road – or better the canadian mountains – I want to give you a small summary of the last six months of travelling:
– half a year, 26 weeks (from 2009-01-16 to 2009-07-17 – 183 days)
– Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, USA (Hawaii, Washington), Canada
– diving, snorkeling, kayaking, swimming, surfing, hiking, running, climbing
– by plane, bus, car, boat, hitchhiking, train, walking
– best breakfast: Seattle (fruits), Fiji (just everything on Beachcomber island)
– best shower: New Zealand (after days in the wild), Vancouver (just good)
– best sleep: New Zealand (in my tent in the bush and at the French Ridge Hut)
– best rocks: New Zealand (at Castle Hill), Australian blue mountains
– best food: sushi in Tokyo, fish and chips on Steward Island
I haven’t been stolen anything and lost only one t-shirt and that to the sharks while on a diving trip in Fiji. Unfortunately it was my Come-To-Pay shirt (sorry, Arvid) – you might know it from a lot of famous jump pictures.
About Canada.. I wasn’t fully healthy when I crossed over to Vancouver. Still, after a few questions at the Canadian border, everything was done. The green US passport paper (everybody makes such a big fuzz about it, cause it makes it hard to enter the States when you forget to return it after leaving) the bus driver just ripped out, after I asked about it. She told me she’ll throw it in the box at the US border on her way back – she does that all the time – aaalright.
I came across a lot of homeless people and street dealers when I walked from the bus to the hostel in Vancouver. Then on one corner an older woman in a car stopped and offered me a chicken dinner, because she bought two for one. Oh, strange Vancouver. Due to feeling not a hundred percent fit, I didn’t do much the first few days. I explored the city and went on a day tour but that’s basically all. (I saw fish again – yes, I like stating and keywording ‘fish’)
Around Capilano park, Burrard and Lions Gate bridge and Granville island..
Today, I made my way over to Calgary. I learned about distances in Canada. It was a 15-hour bus drive through awesome Canadian landscapes. I lost an hour by crossing a time zone. Tomorrow, I’ll start a 20-day camping trip through the Rockies, Banff, Lake Luise and back to the West over Vancouver Island.
Uh, before I forget.. I did an update on my domain and account. Take a look at almost.plain.at. There you’ll find a selection of my best photos in various categories (you’ll need to click them, to get to the actual gallery). Thanks a lot for keeping my plain.at account Viktor!
Update (Australia – Byron Bay)
The power in the place here is down again. Water is almost everywhere; some of it made it’s way even into my little, cosy tent. The weather forecast shows storms and rains all over the east coast at least for the next few days. I think that’s a good time to leave this place. Well, at least to the next bigger city – although I’m getting quite used to the idea of heading over to Fiji soon. So, up to Brisbane is the plan for tomorrow.
Even though the bad conditions kept me from surfing, doing some walks and enjoying the beach, I like this small, laid back hippie town.
Update (New Zealand – Auckland)
I’ve reached Auckland. Another straining flight within a journey from about 1500 on the 31st to 1800 on the 1st of February. Again, I didn’t really sleep on the plane and neither the night before the flight. I will stay probably till Saturday or Sunday in the city. Not so much to see things, but more to get stuff for hiking and living while being a bit further away from civilisation.
Just for anyone who might be interested, my cost for 15 days in Japan (except the flight) was about 700,- Euro. This included staying in hostels and self-made food one day, while going out to eat – although never really fancy – the other. That’s far from the fear of an all expensive Japan.
Nevertheless, it’s going to be much cheaper from now on.
I’m going to write something at the end of the week. Afterwards, I’ll be taking some time off civilisation. Then it’s going to be just the road, my backpack and me. I’m crazy looking forward to that.
Japan – Narita, Tokyo
Forget everything you’ve heard – it’s all different anyway. Well, maybe not everything but a lot. Reality is like realising that the black box of an airplane isn’t black at all. Actually, I didn’t see one myself, but that’s what you learn when you’re caught in a plane – for eight hours.
So what about Japan? The people aren’t that small. Now, they are a bit smaller than average, which is enough that you might find stairs, toilet rooms and things that hang from temple ceilings a little small or low designed. In general you might say Tokyo is a bit into extremes. Many people are either running to get somewhere or knocked out and sleeping in their subway seats or in cars on the side of the street. What’s quite interesting is, even with the extreme fashion tendencies of the young generation it’s easy to stand out with blue jeans and a light gray and red winter jacket.
Winter is probably a good season to avoid masses of tourists. Still, now in January Japan seems a bit sad, missing it’s colours and cherry blossoms and that stuff – apart from the plastic thingies you can find everywhere.
Tokyo is big with a population of over 12 million. Nevertheless, it’s rather hard to get lost. There are city maps and subway stations at every other corner. The hard part is to find a specific place because of their building signing system. Also there are various subway and inner railway companies which makes route and cost estimations a little more difficult.
Anyway, Tokyo is a city built for many, many people. Small places to eat are everywhere. Small machines where you can buy pre tempered coffee and cold drinks ubiquitous. At every other corner there are police cabins and it generally seems like they found perfection for a full employment scheme. ‘Alright-and-attention-shouter’ for reversing commercial vehicles, ‘bicycle-closer-side-by-side-positioner’, ‘people-by-passing-waver’ at one-man construction sides.
What’s not to be missed:
– Asakusa temple and market; big shopping malls around Kanda
– Tokyo City Hall, and the view from the 45th floor
– Sumo, when you’re there around tournament time
– and, of course a lot of temples, shrines, parks, trees..
Next stop: Kyoto tomorrow morning.
Pictures flashed in front of me. I had seen this face before. His face. These frightful but fascinating eyes seemed like there was no life beyond their long lost colours. Empty and without any expression they gazed at mine. The only fear I could have found in the reflexions within his eyes. Reality faded. I was lost.
Nervous. I had to make it in time. The name of the street was not on the map. A grey folder glided through my fingers, slipping slowly along the roof of the silver car I stepped out seconds ago. It fell to the slobbery ground freeing the files from inside to the outside world. After awaking out of confusion, I looked up from the map directly into a men with dark sunglasses wearing an even darker coat. He collected the stranded files and returned the folder without speaking any word. Then he hastily went away. This was the first time we met.
A restaurant; another meeting place in a nameless city. After pushing myself tiredly out of the rental car, I got almost knocked over. I hardly prevented myself from falling by catching the car door which was still open. Only for a moment his face was right there. I could see the acceptance of his own doom. There was no fear, but greater tiredness than one mind could probably bear. He was holding a gun in his left hand. It was him. This was the second time. It began to snow.
Sorry, he said.
This was my final thought!