Category Archives: Urlaub

Tokyo Tower

The Tokyo Tower, built 1958, is ever since a symbol of Tokyo. Used as a broadcasting tower for radio and TV, it was now replaced (not sure if completely replaced or if it's still sending signals) by the Tokyo Sky Tree, with almost double the height of the Tokyo Tower.

Well, even if I don't climb up the Tokyo Tower that often anymore, I still like the view of it. A few days ago, I went to Roppongi Hills with a friend, where from the top of the Mori Tower you have quite a nice view of the Tokyo Tower. We even had a full moon that night!


View of Tokyo from the Mori Tower.


Same view a few minutes later. You can even see Mount Fuji on the left.


Thats the new Tokyo Sky Tree, which I also like. Went up there last year, a few months after it was built, but it was still very crowded then. Maybe I'll go there again next year.


The Tokyo Tower!


This is the Zōjō-ji temple in front of the Tokyo Tower. I was there a bit too late, usually, it's lighten up in the evening.

Climbing Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is Japans highest mountain. And since I've never been there yet, I thought I might try hiking it. Well, the main climbing season is through July to August, when the weather is mostly good. In this time though, there are a lot of people and the whole mountain seems to be crowded. September seems to be a good month, since the weather is still okay, and there are less people on the mountain. So - looking at the weather forecast, I decided to go there three days ago.

Right, there are 4 different routes. I took the easiest (not the shortest, but the one with most people and huts on the way) and decided to climb during the night, so I'd arrive at the top in the morning.
I took a bus from Shinjuku to the 5th station (halfway up the mountain, there are about 9 stations to the top). The bus was empty except one Japanese guy and two girls from America and Australia. I talked with the girls and we decided to climb the mountain together. We got to the 5th station around 10 p.m., and started walking with our headlights on.

First, it was really easy, but it got quite steep sooner than expected. And then it got foggy. And cold. Really cold.
All guides said that climbing this route took an average of 6 hours and thats exactly what it took for us to get up there. Physically, it was okay, but since we didn't sleep over in a mountain hut, so without adjusting to the thin air, I did notice the lack of oxygen and the last part was really tough on me. In addition, I did underestimate how cold it gets with all the wind, fog and rain. I was freezing when we arrived at the top, lining up to get into a warm hut where we just had time to get something warm to eat. The sun was coming up, and we took some pictures, but since we where all freezing like hell, we were just eager to get back into that warm hut.
As the sun came up, it was all foggy and rainy again, so the view was... well, non-existing. But I coincidently met a friend from Hamburg up there who decided to climb Mount Fuji on the same day.

Well, wet, freezing, surrounded by whiteness, we decided to climb down. The route down was different from the one we came up, and it took about 3-4 hours to get back down.
Yeah. At this point, I just wanted to crawl into bed. Well, arriving at the 5th station, we got some breakfast and jumped into the first bus back.

This was a bit fun, I can proudly say that I've been on Mount Fuji now and it was awesome to be standing above the clouds, which I've never done before.
Sad part is, I didn't see the mountain at all (I came in the dark and next day was just foggy) and the weather up there wasn't that nice (nothing to see, plus I was freezing so bad I wasn't really in the mood to try to get any pictures at all). There is a walk around the crater up there, which I also didn't do because of the weather.

Well, maybe I'll try it again. Definitely not that soon, but maybe somewhere in the future.


The Yoshida Trail is the one we took. It was sometimes a bit difficult to find the right way in the dark.

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A mountain hut around the 7th station.


The menu. Some warm foods and drinks. Getting higher, the prices went up too.


Around the 8th station, where we arrived around 2-3 a.m., all the people who climbed halfway up in the day and stayed in the huts were starting their last part of the climb.


It got crowded suddenly and we were only able to walk very slow. Which was good for me though, because I was feeling the lack of oxygen.


A few minutes before sunrise, when the sky was still clear.


This was awesome, standing here with the clouds beneath you. Still, I just took some quick pictures and ran back into the hut, since I was freezing really bad.


The 'restaurant' up there.


Aaaaand sunrise! Yes, everything went white and it stayed that way.


The path downwards was just a zig-zag course, which was quite fast, but also no fun at all.


After hours of descending, vegetation again!


Places I went lately – India

This will be the last of the 'places I went lately'-posts for the time being. Right now, I'm in Japan and I hope that I will overcome my laziness and upload stuff without that much delay.

So, I went to India this year. January 20th to February 14th. With my father.
India was a completely new experience for me. It was hot, people everywhere, it was load, hectic, dirty, animals mixed into every crowd, a lot of new smells, and - as obvious tourists, there were a lot of people coming up to us, trying to sell something, invite us somewhere, get us to go somewhere or always at train stations - telling us our hotel is full and we should follow this person to a much better hotel.
Honestly, it was exhausting - since I'm not really good at saying no, or what we often had to do - shoo people away. But once you get somewhere and get out of the tourist hotspots, it can be quit nice. Drinking some chai in the morning, watching people hustle by or just enjoying the view, get some nice indian food in a cozy restaurant, or just wandering around some busy streets. It was sometimes weird - in a lot of places, we got constantly bothered, but if you're in smaller villages or places where tourists are rarely seen, you can walk around more freely.

On my Instagram-page, you might already have seen some pictures of things I've eaten there and places I visited. Roughly said, we arrived in Mumbai, then travelled by train (21 train ride for 2 persons for ~7€!) to Jaipur, went to Jaisalmer where we did a 3 day camel safari, drove down to Udaipur and then took the train to Delhi. From there, we visited Agra (with the Taj Mahal), went back to Delhi and flew down to Kochi, where we stayed a few days and then flew back home.


This map shows the route, the numbers are just a indicator for the order of the places we went.

As I said earlier, it was a completely new experience for me. There was a lot of extreme poverty, people living in slums, on the streets - but then there are also some rich Indians. And especially in Mumbai, you can see wealth and poverty side by side.
All together, it was without doubt an incredible experience. There is a lot to see, taste and hear. But also, I'm really glad to be back. There are still places I might want to see there, and maybe I'll visit India again some time, but probably not soon.


Mumbai, taxi. There are a lot of these on the streets, but you'll see the Tuk-Tuk everywhere (pictures further down).

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Mumbai, boats. This was near the Gateway of India, and these balloon-sellers were there too.

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Mumbai. Train tracks. People just throw their trash out of the train, so the tracks are always covered in trash.

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Cows are everywhere. People just ignore them or touch them as walking by. Maybe thats supposed to bring luck. Dhobi Ghat, a lot of the laundry in Mumbai is done here very cheap.


Cows searching for food in the trash.

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These rickshaws are really cheap. And they have to be moved by muscle. Most of the people pulling a rickshaw have to rent these and probably pay most of the money they earn for being able to drive it. At night, you'll see a lot of them pulling out a blanket from under the passenger seat and sleeping in their rickshaws.


This is in Jaipur.

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Jaipur sunset.


The "pink city" Jaipur. Only the inner part of the city is actually red. This was the city palace.




Food. There was a lot of street food (really cheap, but I mostly didn't eat it, because a lot of things would probably ruin my stomach). I thought I'll loose some weight in India, but I actually gained a little. They use a lot more oil than I thought. And they have really sweet sweets.


This is a Tuk-Tuk. They're cheap, they're loud, they'll drive through any road and they're everywhere.


Pigs. Trash.

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Climed a hill by Jaipur to get to some fort on top.


Yeah, it was really hot. But with a nice view.


Food, fried in a lot of oil.


I don't remember what this was. Haven't tried it, I think he just began cooking.


Okay, I've tried a lot of different foods, and I really liked the non-fried bread, like Chapati and Naan, and also the different vegetable "curry" dishes (they don't really have one curry, but a lot of different dishes with vegetables and spices, which we generalize as curry). The masala chai (black tea with a lot of milk, cardamom and sometimes sugar) was good and some of the sweets and lassi were really good.


This is Jaisalmer. It's in the north, near to Pakistan (there was some military present around here) and right by the thar desert.

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Jaisalmer is a nice city, not so crowded, so we had the chance to relax for some days.


These cows grabbed some things from the cart, and got shooed away from the cart-owner.

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Yeah, cows everywhere. They don't belong to anyone, live on the streets and eat the garbage the people are dumping onto the street. They completely ignore humans, cars, everything and don't give a damn, if a Tuk-Tuk misses them by a few centimeters.


In Jaisalmer, we booked a three day camel safari into the desert.


Oh, a lot of kids wanted their pictures taken. Mostly, they looked very seriously into the camera, so I asked them to laugh after a few pictures.

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A camel. Or a dromedary, to be more precisely. My father on his one, the white sack contains food for the animals, above that is his mattress and some eggs for breakfast. My dromedary carried the water.


Had to make our camp around 5 p.m., because it got dark really fast.

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There was always a village somewhere nearby, and kids came visiting us.


Dinner. We had always something with lentils (Daal, in Hindi. Maybe you've seen some daal dishes at your local indian restaurant). I really liked these lentil-dishes.


These came crawling all towards us in the night. Had to get them out of everywhere in the morning.


This is in Udaipur, our next stop.

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The view from Udaipur palace.


This is in Delhi. Delhi is really big, and we went just a little bit into New Delhi (which is the southern part of Delhi). This picture is taken from the Tibetan Refugee Colony in Old Delhi, called Majnu Ka Tilla, where we stayed while in Delhi. I really liked it here, because the Tibetan people were more relaxed and didn't bother us. They weren't as load as the Indians and I felt more comfortable here - it reminded me a bit of Japan. And I really liked the food. Could've just stayed here all the time.
Oh, yeah, this picture is actually behind the camp, already kinda outside the city. I have no idea who's living down there.

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This is way inside Old Delhi. We walked past the big roads and the tourist markets, into small passages where only locals were. Also passed a muslim district, I think. First, it was a bit scary, because we had no idea where we were, and didn't see any other tourists. But the people here just ignored us, following their daily lives - and in the end, it was really relaxing walking around here.


School girls on their way home.


"Horn please". Yeah, everyone used their horns. Even little kids on bikes were constantly ringing their bells, which I found really irritating.


School boys on their way home.

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Tibetan monk in the Tibetan Refugee Colony. Tuk-Tuks outside the colony.




Man sewing outside by the street.


The Taj Mahal as seen from the roof of hotel we didn't stay at, but had dinner in. Oh, yeah, this is in Agra, about 1-2 hours south of Delhi (the hotel is called Shanti Lodge, if you're interested. There are some other hotels/restaurants with a nice view too).

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The Taj Mahal in the morning. We got the first tickets of the day.


In a Tuk-Tuk on our way to the Agra train station back to Delhi. These drove everywhere they could, like on the wrong side of the street. Well, whatever. I survived.


Agra station.

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Agra station. Monkeys everywhere.


Our train arriving after waiting for four hours.

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Oh, this is Kochi. From Delhi, we took a plane down to the south of India. 37° C hot, humid, more fish, ocean.


Chinese fishing nets, this is one of the things Kochi is famous for. We didn't stay long, we even took a flight slightly earlier back home.


Places I went lately – Milan

Wow, we've finally reached 2013! Yes, early this year (January 3rd) a few friends and I went to Milan for a few days.

It was cold, but sunny. We did some touristy stuff, walked around a lot, ate some nice stuff and admired the beautiful buildings. Sadly one of our purses was stolen by some kids.


The main train station.


Milan Cathedral. Or, Duomo di Milano.


I might actually start putting more gifs here, well, lets see.

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Inside the duomo.


Underneath the duomo.

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On top of the duomo. Covered everything now.


Foooood. There was still some kind of christmas or winter market beside the duomo, with a lot of food and other nice stuff.


Some park somewhere.


Jumping. Whee.




This was some canal, I think a part of the city with a lot of bars and clubs or something like that. Still had christmas decorations.

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Inside the Cimitero Monumentale di Milano, a big graveyard in Milan.

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Outside, on the grounds of the graveyard.

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Places I went lately – Japan

Hi. Maybe you've just seen my blog post about New Zealand. Japan was right after that. In fact, I was going to Japan (as I do almost every year) and booked the flight with a stop-over in New Zealand to visit a friend.

So this was also last year, end of September and a bit of October. This time, I was in Tokyo all the time and didn't go anywhere far away. I met a lot of friends, ate a lot and didn't take that many pictures - still, I've got some I'll post here.

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A temple near where my mother lives.

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Same temple including a grave-yard.

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I think the left one is at the Meiji temple in Harajuku. Right picture I took in some park.


This is part of the Sensoji. Big temple in Asakusa with a lot of tourists.


Omikuji at the Sensoji temple. You draw a random one and it tells you your fortune.

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Sensoji temple vs. Tokyu Plaza in Harajuku.


Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower as seen from Odaiba.


I think this is the Fuji TV-Station in Odaiba. Mainly, I just like the picture.

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Tokyo Sky Tree. Open since May 2012 and replacing the Tokyo Tower as a broadcasting tower (I think). 634m high, has a whole shopping mall at the bottom and a lot of people wanting to get to the top. And the view from up there.


People looking down.


Again in Asakusa, this time in the evening. I like Asakusa in summer-evenings, when there are mostly only a few local people strolling around. Near the Sensoji is a street with a lot of small, traditional japanese Izakayas (pubs) where you can enjoy beer and food!


An after-work stroll at the temple.

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Yeah, still here.

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And again. Sensoji. From here, you have also a quite good view on the Tokyo Sky Tree. But then, you can probably see the Sky Tree from anywhere in central Tokyo.


Somewhere... I think this was in the Imperial Garden or somewhere around Tokyo Station.


コロッケ! Japanese croquettes. They are sold in convenience stores and sometimes on the street as snacks. Yummy.


This is the Buddha statue in Kamakura, a bit south of Tokyo.

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Again. With my sister.


Three different kinds of Soba! (buckwheat noodles)


せんべい (Senbei), japanese rice crackers.






Cute statues. This is all still in Kamakura, as the following pictures (until said otherwise). There are a lot of temples and shrines in Kamakura, plus Enoshima (small island connected with a bridge, a lot of visitors and nice for a day-trip) is nearby.


Again, 'Korokke'. This time filled with black sesame paste, very tasty.


Tokyo Disney Sea, with halloween decorations.

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Places I went lately – New Zealand

Okay, this wasn't lately, but almost a year ago.
So, until shortly, Florian was in New Zealand for a year. Last September, as I booked my flight to Japan, I thought I could take a detour through New Zealand, visit him and get a look at a country I heard wonderful things of.

Altogether, I was there for only just over two weeks. Which was far too little time to get to know the country. But still, I met some amazing people, drove around a lot and saw really nice places - and had a lot of fun.

These are a few pictures I took there. It's really difficult selecting just a few pictures out of so many - and I'm not sure at all if I'm happy about what I'm showing you. But these things I still have to learn.

Here's a quick sketch of the route I've taken there. Sadly I didn't make it to the bottom, with it's majestic mountains, glaciers, extreme sports and so on. Maybe I'll get there sometime. I sure would want to.


Click to enlarge. I added some numbers to show in what order I visited these places. I'm not that good in making plans.


Arriving in Wellington, New Zealands capitol and where Florian lived for a year (not sure where this is, it was a few minutes or so before landing).


Sunrise in Wellington.


Arriving at Rangitoto, an island created by the eruption of a undersea volcano in front of Auckland.


Lasertag! (also, we played against a bunch of kids, should have that here in Germany too!)


Hobbiton! The movie-set where parts of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were made.




Some awesome Hobbits I travelled with.


Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland near Rotorua.


Oh, yeah. This is Florian.


Me again, soaked by the rain, some man-induced erupting geyser behind me.


Yay, road-trip!


Pies! Also, they had a lot of great cakes, cookies and bread in the super-markets.


Flying from Wellington to Christchurch.


Stars. As we were heading from Christchurch to Kaikoura, we suddenly noticed how many stars were up there, stopped, and took a look.


Kaikoura fishing trip. Got on the boat at 8 a.m., and fished for 3-4 hours. Got a lot of red rock cod (probably, this is what Google tells me).


And yeah, we got some crayfish as well.


Somewhere, hiking a bit.


Stopped the van for the view. Oh right, from Christchurch on, we rented a camper-van (we were three) and travelled with that. And btw., since New Zealand is famous for its sheep, the white dots down there are sheep.


This was at an old gold-digger town somewhere in the mountains. It had some kind of old-west cowboy flair to it. We even found some (probably) little (really tiny) pieces of gold in the river there!


Arrived at the west coast of the south island.


Sadly, I had to part with Florian and Janina here and take the bus back to Christchurch, since my flight to Japan was due next day. They continued driving south and I still haven't seen the pictures they took down there!


Bus ride to Christchurch through the Arthur's Pass. Beautiful landscapes!


Oh, right. I was there in September. That was my first (and yet only) time on the southern hemisphere. It was still cold and just getting warmer. Really chilly nights. But I had a great deal of fun and I'd definitely go there again, if I get the chance. Next time with more time and hopefully a plan. But still, going on an adventure without a plan still is the most fun!


Vorletzten Sonntag sind Yuriya, Roxani und ich nach Helgoland gefahren.
Vier Stunden mit der Fähre hin, vier Stunden zurück. Drei Stunden Aufenthalt.

Das Wetter war erstaunlich gut, soweit das Auge reichte Wolken, nur über der Insel war es klar.
Also die Zeit genutzt, einmal rumgelaufen, etwas durch die Läden geschlendert, eine Kleinigkeit gegessen, von Möwen angegriffen werden, und zurück aufs Schiff.

Ach ja, auf dem Hinweg hatten wir etwas stärkeren Seegang und so ging das große Kotzen um uns herum los.

Ja, Helgoland ist eine nette kleine Insel, auf der nicht allzu viel los zu sein scheint. In den drei Stunden konnten wir auch nicht wirklich viel machen, und so versuche ich mir zu merken, dass, falls es mich wieder nach Helgoland verschlagen sollte, ich doch eine Nacht in der Jugendherberge verbringen werde, um Sonnenauf- und untergang, sowie die Nachbarsinsel mit Badestrand und Robben, auch erleben zu dürfen.