Berlin Part 13.1: Kebabs, Chocolate and Ouzo

Friday 25 February – Sunday 27 February 2022

Pre-pandemic, I loved a trip to Berlin – in 2018, I went four times. In 2019, I decided to calm it down a little. I only went once and, having been to the Christmas markets for three years in a row, I figured I’d skip them so they’d have some novelty value again when I went back in 2020. Needless to say, that plan didn’t quite work out thanks to a tiny global pandemic. In the end, it ended up being nearly three years before I finally made it back and, having not been in so long, there was only one thing I wanted to do … a nostalgia trip. Continue reading “Berlin Part 13.1: Kebabs, Chocolate and Ouzo”

Chile Part One: Puerto Natales and Torres Del Paine (W Trek Day 1)

Friday 7 February – Saturday 8 February 2020

It took us around 5-6 hours by bus to journey from El Calafate, in Argentina, to Puerto Natales, in Chile. Our journey took us through a small building that constituted the Chilean border, where we had to disembark and go through border control. This involved putting our hand baggage through security scanners but apparently we didn’t need to do the same with our big bags which stayed on the bus – maybe border control were going through these while we queued but if they did then I couldn’t tell. Continue reading “Chile Part One: Puerto Natales and Torres Del Paine (W Trek Day 1)”

Argentina Part Three: Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego & Penguin Island)

Saturday 1 February – Tuesday 4 February 2020 Our next journey was our longest internal flight journey in South America. We were flying from Puerto Iguazu right down south into Patagonia to Ushuaia – the most southerly city in the … Continue reading Argentina Part Three: Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego & Penguin Island)

Argentina Part Two: Puerto Iguazú & Waterfalls

Thursday 30 January – Saturday 1 February 2020

Our airplane touched down in the town of Puerto Iguazú on Thursday evening. As we came out of baggage claim, we spotted a local bus company’s stall with quite the queue in front of it. We figured we’d join and catch the bus into town. We got tickets quickly enough but then did have a bit of a wait until our minibus arrived to collect us (the queue might have moved quick but that did mean there were several people in front of us getting onto the first buses to arrive). Continue reading “Argentina Part Two: Puerto Iguazú & Waterfalls”

Argentina Part One: Buenos Aires

Sunday 26 January – Thursday 30 January 2020

My usual Sunday night sees me in my bed or on my sofa, wearing pyjamas, with either a ridiculously oversized bowl of pasta covered in an entire brick of cheese or some kind of takeaway. The last Sunday in January, however, I forwent my usual routine. This Sunday night saw me in Heathrow airport, dragging a 16kg suitcase behind me. I was embarking on a six week trip to South America. Continue reading “Argentina Part One: Buenos Aires”

Japan Part Six: Back to Tokyo (Part 2)

Sunday 13 October – Tuesday 15 October 2020

The next morning in Tokyo’s Asakusa district, it didn’t feel like there had been a storm at all. The sky was a clear blue and the streets were filled with people once again. Our first stop was Kappabashi Street, where the shops were open again. We wanted to buy some plastic food. Unfortunately we found out these souvenirs would cost actual money. I’d been hoping it would be relatively cheap so, not wanting to spend like £40 on a fake meal (however well done it was), I settled for a token noodle soup magnet instead of a life-sized dish. I couldn’t come away without anything after all. Continue reading “Japan Part Six: Back to Tokyo (Part 2)”

Japan Part Five: Back to Tokyo (Part 1)

Friday 11 October – Saturday 12 October 2019

We arrived back in Tokyo on the Friday night before Typhoon Hagibis was due to hit. We were staying in the APA Hotel Asakusa Tawaramachi Ekimae and considering that we had booked this a while in advance we were pretty lucky on timing. We got to Tokyo the evening before the trains shut down ahead of the storm. We’d debated booking a hotel in Yokohama for the Saturday night so we could stay after the rugby game we had tickets for (England v France – typically one of the few games that got cancelled) but had decided just to go back into Tokyo. If we hadn’t, we would have found ourselves kicked out of the APA Hotel on Storm Day and trying to get to Yokohama with a waning number of trains (if that). As it was, we had a dry hotel room where we could wait out the storm. Continue reading “Japan Part Five: Back to Tokyo (Part 1)”

Japan Part Four: Hiroshima and Himeji

Thursday 10 October 2019

During our time in Osaka, we decided to take a day trip and we had quite an ambitious plan for our day. First, we would be catching a bullet train to Hiroshima. On our trip to Japan, I generally held the position of Tour-Guide-In-Chief. My Dad and brothers were keen explore the country but didn’t really have any particular sites in mind. This worked quite well because – even though I don’t always like being in charge – I had quite the to-do list. Hiroshima, however, was one place that my Dad and brothers were pretty set on, and that wouldn’t be our only stop. Between Osaka and Hiroshima is the city of Himeji, home to a very famous castle, so we planned to stop off there on our way back.

Continue reading “Japan Part Four: Hiroshima and Himeji”

Japan Part Three: Osaka

Tuesday 8 October – Friday 11 October 2019

We arrived in Osaka Station fresh off – not a bullet train – but a Thunderbird. This was less exciting than it sounded. It was an older train but still got us from Kyoto in a pretty quick time. Osaka Station was quite impressive. There was a big shopping mall next to it and we spent a while in the Canterbury sportswear store in there trying to dig out Japanese rugby shirts to wear to the England v France world cup game we had tickets for (any rugby fans reading this will know how that story ends. Stay tuned). Continue reading “Japan Part Three: Osaka”