Our new site, come follow.

We’re so sorry for having been too quiet lately. There is a good explanation to that.

We have just bought our own domain, and hence our blog has been moved. So if you want to follow and keep up with us, we would love you to join us on our new site www.sisterexplorers.com. There are already some new adventures planned and brewing. We hope that you will join us on our new site.

All the best,

Emma and Michelle

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The beauty of Bath – just walk around

Due to a series of unfortunate and fortunate events i ended up back in Bath. Ryanair changed the time of my flight so I wouldn’t make it, and I had to buy a new one. Luckily I have great friends, and ended up staying with Jess and her parents. So I found myself back in Bath.

The entire city of Bath is named a ‘World heritage site’ by UNESCO, and is worth a visit. I spent almost two whole days just walking around and experiencing Bath. Getting almost lost a couple of times, which is of course the best way to explore (as long as you don’t stay lost).

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Spend some time walking around and looking at the buildings. Look up and see the details and history in them. Of course this includes seeing the crescents and the circus, which is part of the architectural style that is still present. While the royal crescent is the famous one that tourists see, try to explore and see if you can find others. I went past the Landsdown crescent too, which takes you a bit further up. Bath is like a bowl with the center in the middle, which makes it easy to find your way back. Walking up the edges gives you some view over the city, you can walk up along the edge or take a busride up. I didn’t make it that far. Instead I walked through the Royal Victoria Park and Botanical Gardens in my search of other crescents, since the sun was out.

Explore the many streets of the city, where you can find snippets of the past for you to enjoy. You can find several cafés where you can enjoy high tea. After walking around, it is the perfect way to take a break and enjoy some more of what Bath has to offer. You can go enjoy it at the Pumprooms where you socialized in olden times, or one of the smaller cafés. There’s plenty of places to choose from.

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Walking along some of these streets I found a sweetshop, like the time of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was almost like stepping back in time and a pleasant surprise to stumble upon. It is this ability of Bath to take you back in time without ever leaving you behind, that is part of its charme. Choose some sweets from the big jars behind the counter and enjoy them in the bustle of life outside.

Also take time to just walk along the river (cross pulteney bridge) and enjoy the life along them.

/Em

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Bath Assembly Rooms

Alright, so I may be a little bit of a Jane Austen fan and I just had to go visit the Bath Assembly Rooms. I don’t know what I expected when I went, but I ended up spending a fair amount of time in there. It is free to go in, though you can pay to visit the Fashion Museum which is there too. After having gone through once, I found out you can get a audio guide for free and did the Whole thing one more time.

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I went into the Ball room and just sat down on one of the chairs along the walls and just soaked it in. This is where the dancing took place, and the musicians where sitting up on a balcony. The windows where up high so that no one could look in from outside, giving some sense of privacy. There would be dress balls once a week. I could almost imagine the place filled with people like discribed in ‘Northanger Abbey’, and music and talk filling the air. People lining up to dance in the middle of the room below the five chandeliers. First slow and more serious dancing early in the evening, the young waiting for the clock to strike 8 o’clock and the music and dancing became more lively. The room must have felt very warm, though it was winter outside.

Walking on the very floors where once dancing feet flew over. It lead my onwards to the Great Octagon room with a great chandelier in the middel. The Great octagon chandelier is the largest in the building with 48 arms. It has a funny story connected to it. It was not there when the Assembly Rooms opened in 1771. One of the five chandeliers in the Ball room fell during a dance when the place had just opened. It almost hit someone. For safety reasons all five chandeliers where taken down, and new where made instead. These original five chandeliers where then used to make the great octagon chandelier. In the beginning this room was also the card room, where those less inclined to dancing could play cards. However an additional room, which is also the café today, was made as card room to avoid disturbance. As the Octagon room became the room that linked the three other rooms. On Sundays  it wouldn’t be used as a card room, as there was no gambling on Sundays.

The Tea room is slightly smaller than the Ball room. During the season, it would be packed with people at 9 in the eve, as everyone took a break from cards and dancing. As the name indicate, it was there that tea was served, which was of course accompanied by music from the balcony above. Just because you didn’t dance, didn’t mean the music stopped. If you look at the walls you will noticed that the upper part of the stone walls have got a pink-ish tinge. This happened during WW2, when the Assembly Rooms where hit, not a 100% sure by what, and went on fire. Since the walls where stone it didn’t burn down to the ground, but it did leave its mark in the colour of pink.

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I spent much more time than most probably would, but if you are interested in history you should make your way there. If you have read some English literature, you may even have heard them mentioned. It makes it fun to actually seem them for yourself. I finished my little trip into the Assembly Rooms by having a cup of coffee in the cafe, which is in the ‘new’ card room.

/Em

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Afternoon Bath

So a few weeks ago I found myself visiting England again, this time because I was going to my graduation. For that same reason my parents where along too. Arriving in the morning, we drove towards Bath. We had come straight from the Stansted airport, and only had some hours to spend in Bath before we had continue on to find the place we were staying for the night. Knowing you only have a few hours in a place like Bath, can feel like dilemma. How do you choose what to do?

We decided to start out with going to the Roman baths, knowing that we would spend most of our time there. The Roman baths wouldn’t be something we could see somewhere else, like cathedrals and old English towns.

We bought our tickets and was given an audio guide and then set free to walk around the Roman baths. If you don’t feel like listening to the standard guide, you can always choose to listen to Bill Bryson’s comments and knowledge about his visit to the place. If you like his books, this may just be something for you. He will make you sit and ponder over a strange face (one of his favourite parts), that reminded me of a sun. You could also listen to some of the children’s guides (in English, French and German), where you are introduced to characters from the time of the Roman baths and hear about their life and ways of the place.

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Walking around you get to see the main pool from the balcony walk, and then led onwards to hear about place and history. Not everything remains of it glory days, but you can see models of what it looked like. The Roman baths had a multitude of purposes. It was a place to be social, to do business, for your health, and a place to worship. Around the main pool on the balcony walk you can see sculptures. They include names such as Ceasar, but also some less Roman. Walking through the exhibition, it shows the mix of background and culture. What I found interesting was these notes found, that was given to some kind of God. The tell of a crime and ask for the person who did it to be punished in a certain way. Some are rather harsh for minor crimes. They seem almost petty in todays eyes, but are entertaining to read.

You get to see the source of the spring as it enters and flows through the place. There are the pools for men and women respectively, the cold pool to take a quick dip, benches where you can discuss some business. It is also possible to have a drink of the spring, which should be good for your health according to the time of the Roman baths. Though I don’t have the gout, I felt that I had to try a cup. Warm, with something like a metallic taste, it wasn’t really that great to be honest. Of course if you drank it for your health, it wasn’t that bad. There were also guided tours down by the pools, but we missed one and didn’t have time to wait for the next one. I’m sure we would have learned more about life in that time, if we had been on the tour.

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After having had tea and cake at one of the cafés near the Roman baths, we walked to the Circus. Seeing the Circus was almost like seeing something from an Austen book, at least the way I had it pictured. Though there were cars, I could imagine carriages doing the round to collect someone, and then head of towards some other part. Time was unfortunately not our friend, which so often is the case. We had to go back and continue onwards down the coast.

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Having set the GPS to Burnham-on-Sea we started driving. Instead of taking us on the motorway, we were happily surprised to suddenly find ourselves surrounded by high cliffs. We were driving through Cheddar Gorge, and stopped to get out and take a few photos. I could probably have stayed for hours crawling around and taking photos, but we did have somewhere to be. We were too late, and the tours into one of the caves had already closed. Taking a last glance around, we continued. It was alright, it was still a great surprise to find ourselves there. Sometimes you get surprised in a good way, when you take a different route than you had intended.

/Em

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Taking a bite of the Big Apple: 5 days in NYC

With only 4 whole days in New York City, we knew that we would only get to experience a fraction of what it had to offer. You know how you travel and you want to see everything, but then you just end up in being in such a hurry you didn’t get to enjoy it? Well, we were arriving with a ‘we’ll see how much we get to see/do’ attitude. It was already something just being in the Big Apple and feeling the buzzing atmosphere.

Day 1: We arrived in the middle of the afternoon and had to spend some time finding our way to our hotel (a luxury we allowed ourselves at the end of our almost 2 month trip, though it was in the cheaper end). This wasn’t made easier that my subway ticket didn’t want to work, however we made it in the end. After having gotten our things to our room, we decided to walk to Central Park and have a look around. I loved the park almost from the moment we entered. It almost felt like an escape, though you were constantly reminded that you were in the middle of a big city. The surrounding buildings you could see rise up, the bustle of people in the park and the street performers, were all sneaking in and reminding you that you had not left the big city. However, this fusion of city and nature seems only fitting for Central Park. We then had dinner at one of the burger places down the street from where we were staying, before getting some rest.

Day 2: Our first whole day in NYC, we put on some good shoes and set out to explore Manhattan. With a map in hand we started our sightseeing on foot from near Central Park where we were staying. We were soon surrounded by the colourful light at Times square, which is an interesting place. Teeming with tourist and traffic, it is surrounded by the iconic adds. You also find those people dressed up as various characters trying to get tourists to take photos with them, in the hope of earning some money. Some are dressed up really good, but others just look weird and slightly scary. As we went onwards leaving the good and badly dressed characters behind, we suddenly found the Grand Central Station, which we had to go in and explore too. Taking a few photos we were surprised by the number of armed guards or police that we saw. We will probably never get use to that. While the main hall is impressive, what was interesting was going down one level and discovering a food court and shops. This place that makes you forget that you are actually in a big station. You don’t notice the flow of people coming and going in the same way. Coming back outside we then eyed the Chrysler building and walked on to see the Empire State building. We decided not to go up and see the view from the top, but just took a few photos and strolled on. We had seen the iconic buildings and that was enough, we still had a lot to explore. Buying a sandwich at a kiosk, we sat down in Madison Square garden to have lunch and do a little people-watching. NYC does have a great diversity in that aspect, and the way they use the parks is interesting. We sat next to a pair that seemed to be having something like an interview/informal career advice meet-up. Strolling onwards through Washington Square garden, we found the One World Trade Center in our attempt to find the 9/11 Memorial. We got momentarily lost finding ourselves inside the Center, confused about how we got around it to the actual memorial. The Center wasn’t completely finished yet, so we had to backtrack and go out. We did find the memorial and looked at the names, while the water fell down into the middle of them. It’s a strange place. While it seems like people genuinely come there to remember and pay their respect, it also seems like a stop on the sightseeing tour where people just get their picture taken there and continue on. We didn’t stay long, and didn’t feel the need to have our photo taken there. It seemed a bit out of place for us. We walked on enjoying that the spring weather was starting to show, until we ended up in the finance district and Wall St. We walked down Wall st. and was surprised at how small it was, compared to how it’s talked about. Soon Brooklyn Bridge was in sight and we realised we had to go away from the water a bit, to find somewhere to get onto the actual bridge. We were soon on the bridge along with many others. It does give you a nice skyline view of Manhattan and you can make out some of the important buildings rising up over the rest. We walked halfway across, before we turned around heading back. We were ready for dinner and still had to walk all the way back. We made it through Times Square on the way back, now that it was getting dark. It is interesting to see the difference, and how it looks much better in the evening than during the day.

Day 3: So of course we had wanted to go and see the Statue of Liberty, since it is one of those iconic things to see in NYC. However, a couple of days before we arrived in NYC, we found out that tickets to get up where booked way in advance. Several weeks, meaning that was not going to happen. That is the downside of not planning far ahead, that you find yourself in these situations. We weren’t too bothered by it, we would just be saving the money it would cost. Instead we took the Staten Island Ferry, seeing NYC and the Statue of Liberty from the water. The ferry is free, so we thought we might get on the water for a little while. It was a rather grey day, but we sat outside on the ferry, making sure we were on the side facing the statue. Of course you don’t get that close, but it was enough to take a few photos with her in the background, and some of the city. Having been on the go for so long with hardly any days of just relaxing, we decided to take the ferry back and go watch a film. Exploring Staten Island will have to wait for another time.

Day 4: Since we were meeting up with some family for lunch, we decided just to have a relaxing day. There was no point in rushing. Instead we had a sleep in and located on a map where we were meeting. We meet up at Rosa Mexicano near the Licoln Center for lunch, and we can definitely recommend it. The best was when we had a starter of crisps and guacamole. They stood and made the guacamole for you right there by your table, checking how spicy you wanted it. We were big fans. Some hours later we said goodbye and heading for Central Park. It was packing with people. Maybe it was because it was the first weekend with sunny weather, or it may just always be packed in the weekend. We explored more of the park, saw people of roller skates and bikes, some playing baseball, and tons of people lying around on the grass and relaxing. There were also some entertaining street performers that we watched while eating our ice cream.

Day 5: Our last day before we were going to pack and head home. Being in the US we felt like we had to see a sports game of some sort. Of course a very american sport. Experiencing the atmosphere of that. Turns out that there weren’t too much yet, since we were early. But we did find that the Mets were playing the Miami Marlins, and decided to get tickets for the game. We have never seen baseball and don’t really know the rules, but assumed that it was something like rounders we played as kids. We came early to Citi Fields, but people were already linen up and waiting for the doors to open. Most of them showing their support in their outfit, we felt a little touristy with nothing on. So when we got in, we ended up buying Mets t-shirts, so that we fitted in with the crowd. If you are going to do it, you might as well do it right. As the game started we slowly got the hang of it, and it didn’t get much better than the Mets winning. It just made the experience so much better, with the atmosphere of happy fans leaving the stadium.

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Beyond Boston: day trip to Rockport

We took a day trip out to Rockport that is located north of Boston. It’s a little fishing town that now more seems to be an artisan town. Stroll along the main street and you will find little shops, many of them have paintings and other creative things to buy. Take in the fresh air and the atmosphere. There is a relaxed and calm atmosphere there, like no one is in a hurry. A nice break when you’ve been in the big city. We strolled around taking photos of the fishing boats, gazing through the windows of the little shops and enjoyed the fresh air. We went into the shop ‘Fudgery’ to get some fudge for the drive home. In the shop we found out that Rockport is also the location where some of the filming of ‘the Proposal’ took place. Actually showing Sandra Bulluck in the film walk by the shop.

When had lunch at one of the restaurants, before we headed on to Halibut Point State Park to go for a little walk. This was the first weekend where it had started to show signs of spring, after a very cold and snowy winter. We could still see patches of snow that hadn’t melted yet. We went to the lake which still had ice covering most of it, and looked at it and the sea behind it. It is a really lovely view and also rather interesting. Looking at the lake and the sea behind it. Following one of the paths we walked down to the rocks and sat and looked at the sea leaping up the rocks. I did also take a moment to look at the rockpools for any interesting animals, but didn’t find any. It is a really nice place to go for a walk and take in the ocean breeze, if you find yourself in the area.

We ended the day back in Boston with lobster and corn on the cob, as proper New England food. Allowing me to try lobster for the first time. Let me just add, that while it is nice, I don’t know what the fuss is all about. I’ve always heard it hyped up to be this amazing food, but it is not mind-blowing. Though I do see the appeal of having to work for your food and getting the need to break something out of the system.

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Exploring Boston and some of its museums

Visiting Boston for just about a week, we had kept our plans loose about what we were going to see. We wanted to see some family too, and also like to not be too tied down by plans. Of course we had researched a little about what there was to see, and what we would find interesting. Doing the Boston Freedom Trail took us through a fair bit of the city and showed us many sites of interest along the way. It made sure we had seen some of the important buildings and places that are almost a ‘must-see’. So where to go and what to see after that?

On the day we arrived we had taken the megabus down from NYC after having spent part of the night at the airport. We didn’t want to do too much, as we were still tired and also feeling the jet lag a little bit (having arrived from Japan). So we decided on just doing one thing that day, which was the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of History and Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital. We both love science and one of us is going to be a med student, so of course this place was intriguing and it was free. You don’t need to be really into medicine or science to come by. You can read about some of the medical history connected to Mass General Hospital, and how this area has advance. It’s all divided into topics such as; the evolution of health care. You can view old instruments that don’t look too pleasant, and get a demonstration to the newest technology used both in teaching and diagnosing. If you want to visit a different kind of museum this is the place. While you’re in the area, you can also go to the Ether Dome where the first successful public surgery using anesthetic took place. Read more here.

Of course our trip also included going to the Cambridge area and walking through Harvard Campus. The sun was actually out, making everything look a little nicer. It also included going over to the John Harvard statue and rubbing his left shoe like a tourist, thinking it is a student tradition hoping to give you brains. Luckily, we’re not planning on that event to get us through uni. We then went past the Natural History Museum at Harvard, which is a smaller yet interesting one. You can learn about climate change, look at all the mammals and how big and small some are, or explore the variation in butterflies and beetles. Just remember to make time to take a look at their shop, where you can find things like some creepy crawly lollipops.

We can also highly recommend to walk around in the Cambridge area and soak up the atmosphere. The mix of students and tourists. Some great restaurants and shops where you can buy your Harvard hoodie or cup, and funny and quirky little shops.

Something that is definitely worth a visit and probably not something you would necessarily stumble upon is the Mapparium. It is located at the Mary Baker Eddy Library and is a 3-storey sphere depicting what the world looked like in 1935. You can visit and get a guided tour walking over the bridge inside it. You will get to experience an audio and light show talking about how ideas have moved and changed the world. It is worth a visit to stand inside the colourful globe, though you are not allowed to take photos due to copyright. The tour inside is about 20min, and will also give you a moment to whisper along the edge. Due to how it is built sound travels (so even your whisper is heard loud and clear, so don’t while the guide talks), which means you can stand at each end of the bridge and whisper along the edge and hear it. You can also stand in the middle and it will feel like a surround sound. If you want to read more about it or see a few photos, you can go to their website here.

During our stay in Boston we also visited the Museum of Fine Arts. The museum was too big for us to go through everything, since 2h saturated us. We can appreciate art, but some is probably lost on us too. We did enjoy the time we spent there. We started by walking around looking at the art of the ancient world, but soon found ourselves looking at some of the temporary exhibitions. Having just arrived from Japan, it was interesting to find the Hokusai exhibition at MFA. Seeing depictions of temples we had seen in Japan. Also the photography exhibit showing the aftermath of the great east Japan earthquake that happened in 2011 was intriguing. Though the exhibition we probably enjoyed the most was that of posters from world war 1. You can read here, what exhibits are currently there.

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Follow the red bricked line

One of our days in Boston we spent following the red bricked/painted line, that guided us through the Boston Freedom Trail.

The 2.5 mile (approx 4km) trail starts in Boston Commons, the oldest public park in the USA. It then leads you through Boston past 16 historically significant sites, ending at USS Constitution also known as ‘Old Ironsides’. It is easy to follow, as the red line leads you through it all and guides you past all the sites.

We chose to walk the trail ourselves, and not do one of the guided tours. If you consider this make sure that you have a guide book or the internet, to tell you want you see along the way. Without it you would likely just walk past several sites and not notice the little special things. We just took our guidebook as companion, which gave us a brief outline of the different sites. We did also eavesdrop a little on one of the guided tours when we passed it.

Not knowing much about American history, we did learn a little of that along the way. However, we probably missed some pointers on the trip from lack of knowledge. We did see the tombs of John Hancock and Samuel Adams in the Granary Burying Grounds, whom we learned were important figures in Boston history and the Decleration of Independence. We found ourselves at the site of the Boston Massacre which we had never heard about, but learned happened in 1770 and resulted in 5 people dead. Notice the plack on the ground by the Boston Latin School, which has the alphabet around it. Take the time to go into the Old North Church and see how families had their own little cubicle that they could personlise with a chair or some blankets. We continued the walk, where we also saw the bulletholes from vengeful Brits on Captain Daniel Malcolm’s tomb at Copp’s Hill Burying Grounds. You will end up at the USS Constitution, where you can go for a visit. You get to go around inside, and their will be marines around that will do a talk every now and then for those interested. We learned about where the term ‘jarhead’ came from and what ‘gossip’ is called on board.

The red line will take you through Boston’s Little Italy, which is a lovely area too. We stopped for lunch at one of the restaurants there and had an amazing pizza.

If you find yourself in Boston, consider doing the tour one of the first days. It will take you around to see different areas, and help you get aquainted with the city. There are also other stops a bit off the trail that could be worth exploring, as well as other trails to follow (though not lined out this easily).

If you are interested in reading more about the official trail and booking tours, you can go to their site here.

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8 experiences we had in Japan

Japan is definitely an interesting place to go, and a place that still awaits loads for us to explore in the future. People were always extremely friendly, even if their English was limited. Since we didn’t stay at a hostel, we also got an insight into how people live in Japan. We definitely also had interesting experiences and things we noticed along the way. Here are a few of them.

1- We tried sake. The first evening, Masako’s parents dished out little tasters of various japanese food. I can’t remember the name of any of it, but I remember there was cheese, spicy mackerel, fried eel sushi, and some kind of vegetables too. Along with it we had sake. Apparently you can have warm or cold sake, and we got to try the warm one. Not sure what to expect, but it was nice. Milder than some of the schnaps that you drink in Denmark at least.

2 – Techie toilets in Japan. Don’t know about you, but we have always heard about those fancy techie toilets in Japan. So of course this was also something we were curious about. The first time I stepped into a toilet and saw all the buttons, I felt confused. You’re just staring at the buttons thinking “but I just want to flush”. Then I realised that you can flush like the toilet back home. We soon got an idea of the different buttons, though of course not all toilets are alike. We enjoyed the heat in the toilet seat (okay, the first time it was a bit strange), especially early in the morning when it was still a bit chilly. We also noticed that public toilets had a button that you could press for sound, of course we tried this. It made a water sound (varied a bit), that probably was meant to drown the noise you made on the toilet. This background water noise in public toilets goes for the squat one too. I was surprised when I suddenly heard the water sound. It had a sensor, that started the noise. That was the top, a high-tech primitive toilet !

3 – Dinner for breakfast. We usual eat cereal or bread for breakfast. It was something suddenly eating hot meals. We’ve had hotdogs, pizza, rice and curry for breakfast, though also toast and eggs a few time. We also tried some of their desserts, including one with some bean paste. Fruit and vegetables is not something they eat in the same quantity that we’re used to, but we still got some. Of course we used chopsticks when eating most of the time. Their chopsticks are better than the ones we have at home, for getting hold of rice.

4 – Japanese TV. Japanese TV is like nothing we have experienced before. Shows with loads of funny youtube videos, game shows, or news, they all seem to have the writing in neon-colours. All the TV we saw also seemed to include comments/expressions by guests. They also have a show were they hang out in the airport and talk to people arriving. Wanting to know why they’re in Japan and where they’re from. They then follow some of these people around on their journey. One of the times it was two Danish guys, and they followed them as they travelling around, randomly finding a page in their guidebook and going there.

5 – Green tea everything. Green tea seems to be the tea to drink. If you go to get sushi, you will automatically also be able to get green tea. We started almost every morning with green tea or coffee. Just like you could buy all kinds of things with cherry blossom flavour (which we mentioned in a previous post), the same went for green tea. It almost seemed like there was no limit. Ice cream, chocolate (such as kitkat bars) and baked goods. We tried a lot of them, but we would probably stick to the tea, or maybe the ice cream too.

6 – Selfies the japanese way. So it is not just selfies, but photos in general. Doing the peace-sign while taking photos seems to be a big thing in Japan. Though it is not just the young people who do it. We were at the Big Buddha in Kamakura where a family were taking a photo together. Even the grandmother did it. We saw little kids do it. It seems like it is the way, so of course we also took some photos doing peace-sign while we were in the country.

7 – Wrapped in scarfs. While we tend to just use those little scarfs more as a fashion accessory than anything else, japanese actually use them in a practical and creative manner. We saw on numerous occasions how one was used to wrap a couple of books or lunch-pack so it was easier to carry. They can even be really creative about it and have very cute ones, which we saw in a shop.

8 – Deciphering maps. We were surprised walking around Tokyo, how some signs and maps are only written in Japanese signs. We were walking around Tokyo, and sometimes bumping into maps over the part of the city we were in. We would use these to figure out where we were sometimes, like we’ve done in other cities when travelling. However, here they often tended to be only in Japanese signs. Maybe a bit naively, we thought it would be more tourist-minded, since it is a big city. We did tend to have written down in both Japanese and English where we were going. It allowed us to look at the maps and compare signs until we found the right place. We also soon memorized what signs to look for to find our stop on the metro.

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Going Disney crazy…!

During the first week, when Masako had arrived in Denmark to stay with us for the year, we had talked about Disney. We’re also great fan of the disney films. So she said that she would take us to Disneyland, if we ever visited her. So as our stay was nearing it’s end, we decided to go.

As we’ve mentioned earlier we are not morning people, but we found ourselves up and ready to leave by 5.15 am. We were going to take the bus from Yokohama to Disneyland. Masako was already gone, having left earlier to stand in queue for the bus. Her uncle were giving us a lift to the bus. We arrived at the busstop and found Masako at the very front, which ensured that we got a seat on the first bus. Unlike busses at home, the bus had so you could clap down a seat in the middle of the bus all the way down. Giving extra seats.

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At 7am we arrived at Disneyland, and found to our amasement that there was already long queues along the many entrances. The doors wouldn’t open before 9am, and here we were already! However, it seems the Japanese have planned it all out. It was like they had their Disney gear with them. Disney hats/ears, bags, t-shirts and keysrings with disney. Disney themed mats to sit on and towels. A lot of people also seemed to dress up for it, and some spent the time in the queue on that too. Wearing matching outfits, matching outfits in each their colour, or dressed up with a wig and everything. It was amazing!

The minutes ticked by and suddenly the entrances were open, and everyone pushed their way through. We have been to Disneyland Paris, Universal studios in Singapore, Orlando and LA, and not experienced anything like this. The moment we were through, EVERYONE RAN. All staff seemed to just stand with signs saying not to run and tell people not to. And everyone ran. We refused to run. We haven’t reach that level yet. Checking online and using Masako’s knowledge, we planned which ride to get fast ride tickets for first.

It was a great day. The sun was out and it was really warm. We did rides and had photos with characters. A thing we noticed is that it is not only the main characters that you see walking around, but also some of the lesser famous characters. We saw Cinderella and Pluto, but also the mice from Cinderella and the seven Dwarfs. We ate flavoured popcorn and watched the Easter parade. We didn’t just see Pinocchio, but also Gepeto, Jiminy Cricket, and the two bad guys that trick Pinocchio.

We may not be kids anymore, but we still had a great time. Though we didn’t try all the rides and weren’t too bothered about that. It was just as fun just walking around in the sun and look at everyone. As I say, the Japanese seem to go all out, when they go to Disneyland. When we got tired we left to go to a hotel we had booked for the night in Tokyo.

Next morning we were up early again and ready for the second half of our Disney experience. We were going to DisneySea, which is the only one there exist. Again we were at the entrance a lot earlier than they opened. Today there were a lot less. Rain was drizzling down and it was chilly, and it was back to normal days (the previous day had been Easter monday). Again the doors opened and people still ran. We saw a girl slip and almost fell, but that didn’t stop her running. With so few people in the park and waiting time nothing compared to normal, most fasttrack tickets wasn’t worth it.

Worldtrip

If you’ve been to Disneyland somewhere else, you might consider DisneySea instead. It’s a bit different, though we were told it was more for the teens and up, compared to Disneyland. I don’t know if that’s true, they are just different. Both have some very calm rides and also some with a bit speed.

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