I’ve been to Italy twice, Spain, and France, but never been to the UK in my life. It’s time to go. The flights have been booked.
I read a couple of guidebooks yesterday and realized there are too many places to visit for 9 days trip. Here are some places that I should go during this journey:
- London – apparently
- Cotswolds – must-see
- Edinburgh – the castles remind me a video game Dragon Quest that I used to play when I was a kid
I am not sure if I have time to go the following places because of the limited time to travel:
- Lake District – I love beautiful natures
- Liverpool – known as the Beatles town
It’s always fun to plan the trip. Hope it goes well.
Saffron Blaze CC BY-SA 3.0
It was raining in Tokyo, but my flight left on the schedule. It departed an afternoon of Monday and flew over the Pacific Ocean and North America for about 12 hours then finally arrived at New York on the afternoon of Monday. This is the first time for me in 15 years to come to New York. I often travel to the West Coast but didn’t have a lot of chances to visit the East Coast probably because I work in the technology sector.
There was some cloud in the sky, but I also see blue sky when I got off the flight. It took some time to figure out how to get off from the airport and take the AirTrain and subway to go to my hotel, which is located outside of Manhattan. I saw the hotels very expensive in Manhattan, so I decided to stay hotel in Woodside. This is not a fancy hotel but good enough to stay a couple of days for sightseeing in New York and my primary purpose, New York Mets ballgame.
This trip is a kind of my dream to go to the United States to watch a ball game by visiting many ballparks. This dream will come true next week.
I booked the flight ticket flying from Tokyo to New York and back from Chicago. I will stay there for about two weeks including the visit to New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Detroit and then Chicago. (Maybe Milwaukee, too.)
My plan is to watch five or six ballgames while I am there. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include my favorite player Ichiro’s Marlins’ game nor other Japanese players like Maeda, Darvish, and Iwakuma, but the primary purpose of this trip is to go to ballparks to feel the atmosphere, history, and culture of MLB ballparks.
I have been to ballparks in the west coast such as San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, and Los Angels, but never in the East Coast and Midwest.
And this trip is not all about baseball. I have some free time to do sightseeing in New York City and Boston maybe in Baltimore. Also, I’m going to rent a car at Philadelphia to drive through Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Detroit.
I did that kind of road trips twice in the United States before. One is to start at San Diego and drive West to the other side of the continent. That was back in 2008.
The second time was even more amazing. I started San Francisco then drove down to grand circle and drove north up to Yellow Stone and the border with Canada. Finally drove down along the West Coast to San Francisco. That was in 2010.
I am so excited to have another trip in the states where I could say my second home country. If we have a chance, Let’s meet somewhere during the journey. Please feel free to ping me.
This post is a diary of Jan 2, 2014
Paid $12 for a hotel to arrange motor bicycle trip to a temples and two tombs in Hue. It wasn’t cheap, but I didn’t feel to negotiate with drivers by myself. Too tired.
Thiên Mụ Pagoda
Tomb of Emperor Tự Đức
My driver took my guidebook and researched during lunch. He had offered additional trip too often even during lunch…
Tomb of Khai Dinh
Tomb of Minh Mang
This is additional trip. Negotiated extra cost and decided to pay $2.50 more to him. I insisted $2 and pretended to go back to the hotel three times, but he didn’t agree… he won.
The first dinner.
The second dinner.
This post is a diary of Jan 1, 2014.
Hanoi to Hue
Traveling by train.
Arrived at Hue.
Square in front of the station. Many motor bicycle drivers stalked me with hope of getting paid by me.
Walked to the center of the city.
This mini hotel was the best in this trip. $20/night.
View from the balcony.
Headed to Imperial city (the Citadel).
Walked to Dong Ba market.
The lady holding her kid needs to walk across the busy street. No traffic light.
Bun Bo Hue
This is a diary of Dec 31, 2013.
Even this small village has ATM.
Went to a market near the bus station.
Looks like a blue bird.
It was freezing cold on this pickup track for three hours from Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang…
The driver got an alive chicken and put on the track on the way.
Hired a track with $19 for round trip to Kuangsi Falls which is 30 km away from Luang Prabang. The speed meter was broken and always pointed 0 km/h.
Got back to LP.
Flew back to Hanoi, Vietnam
Transported by a taxi from Hanoi airport to Hanoi station.
I was sleeping on this bed at the moment of the year 2013 end.
Since I decided to take a boat departing at 9:30, woke up early and went out to take a walk to a cave.
On the way to the cave, a boy appeared and asked me to follow him. So, I followed him.
Ended up to the river, which was not my destination, but very interesting.
This is the cave.
Came back to the street. Breakfast at this small street stand.
Checkens are everywhere.
Going back to Nong Khiaw. One hour by boat.
I started hunting for a stay for this night. Aftere visiting two nice bungalows and knowing they were full, I decided to stay this bamboo bungalow. 40,000 kps (5USD). Nice location and river view, but very cold as outside because air flows through bamboo mesh. Even in the room, I could see my breath. And hot water was not really hot and did not run much as other guest houses I stayed in Laos last two days. I cut my big toe by slipped in the shower room and bleeded. It was the toughest night, but this was a travel.
Traditional cook for lunch.
Rented a bicycle and biked to Patok Cave. Paid 5,000 kps ($1).
View from the cave.
Took a path from the river entrance to the next village.
Biked a couple of miles on the mountain road along the river, I found this pretty school in Ban Had Sao village near Nong Khiaw. I was asked to join soccer game, so played with them for a while.
Dinner at Nong Khiaw Riverside restaurant. Fish laab.