Trip to Iceland: Overview

At the beginning, I would like to thank all of you who assisted me with tips and suggestions for my trip to Iceland  They were extremely helpful in deciding on what to do and see! Thank you!

Now, a little bit about my trip… My husband and I explored Iceland from 3rd to 7th May 2016. 5 days were not nearly enough to see everything what Iceland has to offer, but it was enough to get the sense how wild, pristine and stunningly beautiful this country is.

Skógafoss

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Day 6: From Hakone to Hiroshima

As you might read one of my previous posts, my boyfriend and I spent a night at the Japanese inn in Hakone region. After the morning soak in the onsen, we’ve attended the Japanese breakfast. They served us fish, egg boiled in onsen, rice, miso soup and a bunch of different vegetable in tiny bowls. We tried the dishes, but we didn’t ate much. For our stomachs adapted to western breakfast, this Japanese breakfast was just too heavy.

At shikansen to Hiroshima

We returned to our room, packed our things and checked out. The kind receptionist ordered us a lift to the train station and in half an hour, we were sitting on the train to Odawara. There we caught the shikansen to Hiroshima. The time at this super-fast train flew by and soon we arrived to Hiroshima. There we stopped at the tourist office and grab some maps. Kind lady at the information desk who spoke perfect English also explained us hot to get to our hotel. With her instructions and a map, we found it easily. This time, the we didn’t have to wait for our room, it was already prepared for us. We left our luggage there and went out exploring. Continue reading

Japan. Day 5: Mt Fuji and ryokan experience in Hakone

On the fifth day of our trip to Japan my boyfriend and I left bustling Tokyo for peaceful Hakone, a mountainous area west of Tokyo famous for hot springs and Mt Fuji views.

Lake Ashi & Mt Fuji

In the morning, we bid farewell to Asakusa and successfully navigate our suitcases through the morning rush. At the Tokyo station we’ve boarded shinkansen Kodama to Odawara. There we’ve change super-fast and comfortable shikansen for slow local Hakone-Tozan Line to Hakone Yumoto. We’ve just missed the bus that would take us to our ryokan (Japanese inn) in Tonosawa. Because we would have to wait for another one for quite some time, we decided to take the taxi. After a short ride, we arrived to our accommodation. Again, we arrived too early to check in and our room wasn’t ready yet. We left our luggage in the lobby and went out to explore the area. Continue reading

Japan. Day 4: Cat Cafe & Baseball in Tokyo

The fourth day of our trip to Japan was dedicated to two things my boyfriend and I are passionate about: sports and cats.

Petting time at the Calico cat cafe

My boyfriend is a sports enthusiast. We often visit sports venues and events on our travels. Our trip to Japan wouldn’t be the same without some sports-related activity. Our first pick was to attend sumo, a Japanese wrestling sport. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the tournament, so we had to settle for the plan B: the baseball. Continue reading

Japan. Day 3: Hanging-out with Snow Monkeys

On our third day in Japan, we left Tokyo for a day trip to Jigokudani Monkey Park, a home of the famous snow monkeys. It is located in valley of Yokoyu river in the Japanese Alps, near Nagano. This trip to one of the limited places in Japan where you can observe wild Japanese Macaques (nicknamed Snow Monkeys) in their natural habitat was at my bucket list since I first saw documentary about them years ago. Therefore, Jigokudani was simply a must stop on our trip to Japan.

Jigokudani Monkey

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Japan. Day 2: Exploring Tokyo

Day 2 of our Japan adventure started early in the morning. In Japan sun rises earlier than in Switzerland – already around 4.30 am. The night before we’ve admired the amazing view from our window and we forgot to shut the curtains. Our room was facing east and first rays of sunshine woke us soon after the sunrise. Still a bit jet-lagged, we couldn’t fall asleep anymore. We woke up, got dressed and went to the breakfast. As we expected, hotel offered a broad variety of Japanese and Western dishes. We were not yet ready to try Japanese breakfast, so we’ve grabbed some coffee, bread, croissants, butter, marmalade and some fruits. With our bellies full, we were ready to get out and explore Tokyo.

Night view from our room

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Japan. Day 1: It’s a long way from Zürich to Tokyo

The long-awaited day of our departure to Japan had arrived. Our flight was scheduled at 7:40 so we woke up early in the morning, after just few hours of sleep. We drove to the Zürich airport, where we went through all the airport procedures and stop by at the Lindt store/bar for delicious Lindt hot chocolate. If ever at the Zürich airport and you’re sweet-tooth as I am, you should try it!

Our boarding passes

With our bellies filled, we’ve boarded the plane to Istanbul. The flight was calm and we were pleasantly surprised by Turkish Airlines services. Nice comfortable seats, clean aircraft, friendly cabin crew and a good food. Used of getting just a small snack or a sandwich on our flights across the Europe, we were pleasantly surprised when they served us a warm meal with the proper cutlery and offered us freshly squeezed lemonade and orange juice. Perfect start of our travel! Continue reading