Top 10 unforgettable places (by Elsa)

Now that the dust starts to settle, I start to see more clearly the places that have marked me the most. When it comes to the order of them I ranked the list the first time on the plane back to Stavanger but since then whenever I rank them again they switch places sometimes. But I still include the same ones in my top 10 and they have one thing in common: given the chance I would definitely go back in an instant.

Cape Town – definitely a wonderful surprise. From the mountains, to the white sand and blue water beaches, to the wine farms and delicious tastings, this was an amazing place to be. Add the chance to be at the most southern point in Africa (part of the old glory days from Portugal), the view from the Table Mountain, the V&A waterfont and the beautiful African penguins and this is a difficult combination to beat!

San Francisco – I always thought I would like SF and it did not disappoint. The European feel of the city, the outgoing people, the great weather and the views around the bay are the things I miss the most, together with the cute sea lions 🙂 Continue reading

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Kyoto – Culture and Traditions

For long I wanted to witness firsthand the Japanese culture, especially the old one when Samurais were part of their society. In the Japanese culture everything is done with a meaning and it’s easy to understand this just by walking around in Kyoto. People bow to say “hello”, “thank you” and “goodbye” even if they do not know the person. Several times I looked directly to people and they smiled and made a bow, and I, embracing their culture, did the same.

Before we came to Kyoto we stayed 1 night in Tokyo and we noticed the culture there, but in Kyoto it seems that the older or more traditional aspects of the Japanese culture are more present everywhere.

We planned to stay the first night in a Capsule Hotel, the “9 Hours”, but when we got there we found out that the luggage was going to stay in the hotel lobby without any locks or any kind of security. Don’t get me wrong, we think that Japan, or at least Kyoto and Tokyo are very safe. But our luggage is the only thing we have on this trip so we could not risk it, we decided to stay in a normal (Japanese normal) hotel, so no capsule experience unfortunately. But one of the Japanese normal hotels was a ryokan.

CIMG4973 IMG_4738 Continue reading