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!


What the heck. Since I'm not producing any worthy content at the moment, I might just put my food in here.

That said, with my rather tight budget right now, I'm kinda always just making rice with something. So you might've read that I bought some mackerels this morning. For dinner, I made me Takikomi-Gohan (炊き込みご飯).
This is just japanese rice cooked with stuff. Vegetables, mushrooms, meat, fish. There are some established variations in the japanese cuisine, but you could also just be creative.

So I've made it with mackerel, which I first fried with butter and soy-sauce (and a hint of ginger. I love ginger). As you can see, I've also put in some carrots and something green (I like it colorful).
After cooking, just mix everything (yeah, destroy the fish) and voila, done.
Since there was enough flavor in the fish, I didn't put extra seasoning into the rice.