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Category: Kita2019

  • Snowflakes and storms

    The constant rumbling and porcelain flickers across the sky make me wonder if we have dragged the weather of the tropics down with us. Certainly not that of Japan and northern Europe. It’s far too hot and humid for that. It took us until the 11 AM check out time to pack our three weeks… Read more

  • Missing Kita

    The doors are shut at most places except for the odd bar, gaming lounge and the kombinis. Soon the trains will stop too, leaving the tracks and trains free for essential maintenance. But still there are crowds on the streets beneath the bright neon signs, cars cruising by and taxis waiting to take drunk salarymen… Read more

  • Between heaven and earth

    I’m running late, I seem to have forgotten all my Japanese and I’m lost. Well, not exactly lost, but I can’t find the place I’m supposed to meet B and Alex. I found it yesterday my mistake. Repeating that mistake is proving difficult. To cap it all off I can’t seem to get a signal… Read more

  • A sleep in and a castle

    I woke at 10 AM, the other two at 11. That’s how exhausted we were. We decided to go to Himeji, famous for its huge original castle. After eating lunch, also our breakfast, in a small underground restaurant we reached the ticket gates when B realised she’d left her ticket in her jacket at the… Read more

  • KIXed out of HEL

    The display said 7°C. That feels positively balmy compared with the -14°C in Helsinki yesterday. We are back in Osaka and though it’s winter here too there is no trace of snow. Our last morning in Europe is very cold indeed, especially in the park where we watch Alex slide down the hill of snow… Read more

  • Sledging Helsinki

    So, you thought sledging had been banned for Australians. Well, we ain’t in Australia and if we were we couldn’t sledge like this irregardless of the sportsmanship. You could also, of course, call it a sled or a toboggan and avoid any confusion. Depending on where you are from. I should have bought the sled… Read more

  • Santa and the Arctic Circle

    Ho ho ho! Crossing the Arctic Circle we will go. On husky sled and reindeer sleigh, taking us a little way. To Lapland for our Lapphund. Past of line of no sun. Finding Joulupukki in the snow, or Santa to those who know! Rovaniemi sits on the Arctic Circle, or the line of latitude demarcating… Read more

  • Roving to Rovaniemi

    White. Lots of white. White fields, white trees, white rivers flowing into white lakes. White roofs, white cars. Sparkling white, dancing white, clouds of white. Under a bright blue sky, over red buildings and dark green trees. It’s a beautiful day, provided you are somewhere warm. Which we are, sitting inside a train racing northwards… Read more

  • HEL freezes over

    I survived my first overnight cruise! I suspect that I would have felt a lot better about it if not for this cold that has me just wanting to stay in bed. There were a few rougher patches after we left the Swedish archipelago and made our way into the Baltic proper. I say rougher… Read more

  • Palaces, games and a race through the snow

    The engines’ hum lulls us to sleep as the gentle pulsing of waves confuses our balance ever so slightly. If I look out, snowflakes dance by, swirling up, down, around, while a white foamy wake is the only other consistent sight in the inky blackness of night. But now and then the phosphorescent flash of… Read more