tor

S&S World tour

719 posts in this topic

Thanks Mr M. Looks like a grand trip. tor's looking well as is the polish princess. Although quite shaggy nowadays. I do believe I recognise some of those venues. (At least the ones we visited early evening)  :) I actually did a french cooking course to try to recreate the french vanilla slice I bought from Isekan in Tokyo. Alas sugar hasn't left my own diet. The Japanese have a remarkable ability to produce facsimiles of everything which is good in the world. I like that and I would happily return and I may yet get the chance. 

 

I couldn't get the lean2016 link to work though?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck SC. I'm sure you'll land on your feet with more coin in your pocket.

 

As for me - I should start a thread about "Decreasing your wage". I have decided to take a slightly lower paying job in London. It gets me closer to my sons who live there already.

 

At my age, this is kind of a travelling the world while having a local job. It will be fun to discover London. My wife desperately wants to move back to Australia, but we both want to stay close to our kids here for now.

 

The retirement plan is to be able to spend time in both Australia and Europe every year. We just have to work out that little detail of being able to afford housing in two different parts of the world...

 

When do you start the new gig? Love to meet up for a pint. Probably mid April, but we're flexible.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When do you start the new gig? Love to meet up for a pint. Probably mid April, but we're flexible.  :)

 

It would be great to catch up!

 

I will start my new job in early May but will perhaps be around sometime next month too for finding a place to rent.

 

Let's keep in touch via PM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Day 4 (Sat) - Family Time in Nagoya

 

I checked out of Hotel de Tor in the morning to catch up with my mother who was in Japan on business. Our dates matched up such that we could spend a day together in Nagoya. We walked the streets and when we felt like taking a break we stopped at a Nordic style cafe. I don't know what made it Nordic style, other than they served an iced coffee when a hot coffee was ordered. We checked into the Marriott (similar size to Tor's place), then in the evening headed back to Sakae.

 

b33949472462970.jpg 3e8e14472462987.jpg 4cd36e472462999.jpg

 

I figured I'd take my mother to the Tiger Bar for tebasaki and then off for dinner. As I was trying to ask for the cheque I had some difficulties in translation, so a lady from the bar came over to assist (she was drinking with a guy). Turns out she spoke English well as she used to live in Florida. I gave her a toy koala in gratitude which led to further conversation about her scuba diving adventures off the coast of Queensland.

 

I then asked if they could recommend a good restaurant nearby. They showed us the restaurants in a back alley behind the Tiger Bar, then we all decided to go across the road and have dinner together! We went to a place called Showa Shokoda - or something like that, everything was in Japanese. It was a dingy place upstairs but seemed to be quite popular.

 

f0ca63472463006.jpg 43570e472463024.jpg cf7964472463012.jpg

 

Turns out we met quite an active couple (not married), she loved active sports and he was a mountaineer - previously summiting a 7000+ metre peak in the Himalaya and topped Mount Fuji five times. All in all a great night out, great food and great company!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's amazing when travelling how receptive one is to meeting people. I not sure that I would dine with complete strangers on the spur of the moment at any other time?  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SC you know Perth is on the way to Europe.

 

Alas, the planes to Europe don't actually land in Perth on the way. Then again I have 4 months and have always been keen on visiting Margaret River...  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alas, the planes to Europe don't actually land in Perth on the way. Then again I have 4 months and have always been keen on visiting Margaret River...  

 

Perth -> Singapore -> Europe :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perth -> Singapore -> Europe :-)

 

Hehe. I should clarify that none of the flights that i'll be on land in Perth. Unless I buy a round the world ticket.  :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hehe. I should clarify that none of the flights that i'll be on land in Perth. Unless I buy a round the world ticket.  :ph34r:

Round-the-world tickets are awesome!

 

I used to buy Star Alliance RTW tickets basically every year when I was young and free. Great value if you want to visit lots of places, I used to spend heaps of time working out how far I could stretch 29,000 miles, 34,000 miles, etc. IIRC you're on a higher booking class as well so may end up with premium economy seats. Once or maybe twice I received a complimentary upgrade to business class (as a gold member - with Air Canada it was 35,000 miles/year).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was advised by my travel agent that round the world fares with any flexibility are "out of fashion". This has left me with a choice of of fares that involve penalties when changes are made to bookings where dates have to be locked in. Alternatively, I can book a one way to Paris take care of the rest from there. I'm annoyed that flexibility in travel seems to have disappeared. 

 

Anyway, the itinerary proposed by said agent involves two stops in Helsinki. Finn air apparently. Has anyone ever been to Helsinki? Is it worth a stopover?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations and all the best of luck.

With your new freedom from the public service does this mean you will now be less refrained in spouting your opinions on public forums?  :shocking:

 

My department has seen fit to invoke national security grounds to suppress industrial action. So the short answer is no.  :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was advised by my travel agent that round the world fares with any flexibility are "out of fashion". This has left me with a choice of of fares that involve penalties when changes are made to bookings where dates have to be locked in. Alternatively, I can book a one way to Paris take care of the rest from there. I'm annoyed that flexibility in travel seems to have disappeared. 

 

Anyway, the itinerary proposed by said agent involves two stops in Helsinki. Finn air apparently. Has anyone ever been to Helsinki? Is it worth a stopover?

I went there for a day 25 years ago. I seem to recall it was pretty. I was drunk though. Would do it again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went there for a day 25 years ago. I seem to recall it was pretty. I was drunk though. Would do it again.

 

Really? You would be drunk again?

 

Helsinki is pretty and looks like a typical Nordic city. Perhaps a bit dull. Finns have a reputation for drinking a lot, though. Maybe that is the greatest form of entertainment available?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was drunk though.

 

Surprised considering how expensive alcohol is in Scandinavia, or at least used to be 30+ years ago!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was on my way back from Russia. Vodka was free there, grabbed souvenirs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

{Moderation: Moved the posts relating to travel from Increasing your wage to a more suitable thread... If anyone has any objections let me know.}

 

I have dumped the round the world fare in favour of booking individual fares. I just didn't want to be locked in to a schedule. So first leg is Paris via a few days in Singapore. 

 

The trouble with doing this seems to be that to enter the US you need to get a visa waiver (esta). To get this you need to have an address where you are staying which means you need to lock in accommodation and therefore dates anyway.

 

Then there is the travel insurance that require you to have a return ticket to Oz prior to the policy being activated. (This is peculiar to the policy attached to my credit card). Even so if I have to purchase the exact same insurance to avoid this limitation it's an extra grand. :unsure:  It's annoying as I wanted to keep the itinerary in Europe as free as possible. So if the weather is sh*te in the UK for example, I can go to Spain instead... 

 

The authorities want you on rails. Independent travel is expensive.

 

Also, why are flights from London -> NY way more expensive when booked thru an Australian web site? :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did individual fares an got travel insurance for the first year (you can get it for up to a year I believe) which covered the states and everywhere else. It actually worked as well, 2 months after it expired I put in the claim for Ewa's leg when skiing and we were in slovakia (not part of the planned trip) and they actually paid out, I was surprised.

 

For the waiver program in the states it is weird, you apply online but get no confirmation or anything, If you are a dirty ex commie like the Polish Princesss you get a 10 yyr visa (online) which allows something stupid like 9 months a year there)

 

For return tickets we mostly just sign a paper saying we will get one when we get around to it. We sign it at the airport and it adds time to checkin but has always worked. Otherwise just buy a fully refundable ticket at the desk (which I did before I knew about the signing thing)..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After an exhaustive investigation (all 5 hours) of the merits of the auto credit card policy versus the flight centre policy the only difference seems to be that extreme sports aren't covered. I'm not covered for bungy, canyoning, riding a motorcycle or driving hire cars off road. TBH I parted ways with X sports last year so I'm not overly concerned. 

 

It's cost me but I have my cover for the entire trip by obtaining an end date via booking return flights. I still have a 3 week period in the Schengen area with which I can do as I wish.  :)

 

I have my first approval from the US that I can show up at least. The final decision is made by some Hank Rollins looking border guard depending on whether we fit the criteria. I have high hopes. 

 

I'm more than surprised that the insurers paid out on Ewas leg. Somewhat of a minor miracle. We should have them sainted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well look on the bright side, they let me in :)

 

Getting Ewa's payout was just an exercise in seeing how screwed the world was, I had some free time finally and decided to jump their hoops. Honestly it was harder to psych myself up to try than the actual process was. I spent maybe an hour doing paperwork and got a refund for ou hotel, ski passes, medical fees and everything. All pro rata'ed but the payout was more than the insurance cost.

 

I was in a funk for a week about that, at first I always hate it when the world is actually better than I expect. Then I get happy again and blunder forth into new adventures confident that the world is there to look after my dumb arse.

 

Currently we are in Tokyo. We went to the All Japan jukendo team competition last year as spectators. This year we were entered as a team. I think the first white kiddies to get that (admittedly slightly dubious) honour - last year two ladies entered, both had bones broken - this year an incompetent white Lady entered, plus me. Our captain was a guy from Toyota, they are the strongest civilian team and he wasn't good enough to get on their real team. He is way better than us.

 

Unfortunately we had the two big quakes down south and all the military have been mobilised for rescue operations so the tournament has been cancelled. We are currently in tokyo as tourists and drunk.

 

On the bright side, drunk, plus less broken bones at the moment than we might have had (I have a cracked ankle from sumo the other week and Ewa might have a cracked rib, we're not sure yet). Could have been way worse :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
this year an incompetent white Lady entered, plus me.

 

 

 

I hope the missus doesn't read this blog. :)

 

I recommend the following bar in Shinjuku:

 

http://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1304/A130401/13035443/dtlmap/

 

It's one floor up (2nd floor) on the right side of the stairs. Went there with a friend.

 

If you go to the bar in the Gracery hotel you can get up close with Godzilla and order a Godzilla cake. I haven't got around to posting my post-Nagoya adventures yet. The robot restaurant is nearby too (though I didn't go to it).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am actually somewhat surprisingly good at fighting. I was obviously going to lose first round but I intended to make it a hard loss (and therefore much more chance of injury to me hehehe).

 

My most recent fight for jukendo:

 

I start on the right and don't have the red ribbon. He is 6th dan. Was a good match but at the moment I can only last that level of energy for a couple of minutes. Hence the absolute humiliation at the end :) My jukendo sensei is almost 80 and only weighs some 70 kg so I am not allowed to practice full bore body crashes with him but he has convinced an air force sensei to train me on saturdays in "being a big brutal bastard". I expect that by next years teams I ought to be good enough to make it out of the first round against mere civilians.

 

Unfortunately we are now back in Nagoya, we'll be back in tokyo in a few months so will bookmark the bar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My sister has just then sent me some photos of the DMZ at the 38th parallel (Panmunjom)

These puppies are almost live. Things are still tense apparently. But I do dig the NK guys sunglasses...

 

 

IMG_4124_zpsxds70s6q.jpg

 

IMG_4110_zpsebs8dxbh.jpg

 

IMG_4128_zpsilpnegjt.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now