Wednesday, 19 January 2011
The first thing you will see when you get out of the plane is a barren wasteland. Not much green to be seen (that rhymed!) Apparently during the summer, it will be greener but for know...not so much. The climate is in my opinion ideal for any country for that matter. It’s not hot enough that you will sweat to death, but you’ll never need a sweater. It’s bliss basically.
As for travels...we never took them. We were pretty lazy all the way through our vacation. To get anywhere, you had to rent a car. The hotel was basically near a beach in the middle of nowhere. So there was not much to see anyway, and the whole idea of going was to be at ease and enjoy tranquility. The notable things were underwater
Me and my mother went diving the entire week. I’ve never heard of diving in Oman, but it was spectacular. What’s so special about this place is that there’s not much fishing, so the fish can grow big and colourful. Giant sting-rays everywhere and we even spotted the worlds biggest moray-eel. But to be frank it wasn’t all fun and games. Sometimes you just had to be patient and wait for the giant ship to appear in front of you. The ship was quite impressive and to rotor blades were massive. One flaw was that the water wasn’t very clear, so the sight was bad. But with my eyes, it didn’t make much of a difference. It was defiantly worth, and recommend diving to anyone that wants an incredible experience. The freedom you get underwater is indescribable.
As for the people they were genuinely light-hearted. The staff were not arrogant and were willing to help with request and finding solutions to discontent. One interesting thing was that, the amount of foreigners that come here for work was astounding. About a million people from different countries work here. They are mostly from India, Indonesia and the Philippines. They all looked very happy to be working here and that is wonderful. As for people born and raised here, there was not much to be seen of them, but that is probably because of our enclosed area of living. This is the most liberated-muslim country in the world, and it will go well for them in the future, economically and in other ways.
So in conclusion ladies and jelly-spoons...
Oman is not a very good place for touristing and seeing impressive architecture and landmarks, but excellent for just taking a breather and maybe exploring the ocean.
For now I will leave you.
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
- If I won the lottery, ...
Then others will complete your sentence. You complete others' too.
When completing others', make sure you include their beginning.
Travel Article - Tokyo
The first thought that strikes you when you arrive in Tokyo, Japan, is wondering whether you have arrived to the city of toys or not. It is a feeling of being in a whole other world, like a part that you never knew actually existed. As me and my family entered the center of the city I couldn’t place this in any of my own references. The futurism reminds you of a world like the ones in the animated childrens movies. With big neon lights on every facade, the foggy air full of mumble and the glittering airline lights on top of the buildnings like rubins in the night.
It’s hard to describe this overwhelming and colorful city, you will basically have to go there to realize how crazy it is. One of the most remarkable things though, is the cleanliness that is in the city. There are no such things as graffiti to be seen anywhere, no, the city and the people are all very neat.
The first morning in Tokyo I felt a little awkward, the cleanliness made it hard telling if I was indoors or outdoors. Walking down the street and noticing it is so clean you could almost take a nap right there on the pavement, is a very different feeling for a european. Another rather big difference among the japanese people compared to swedes is that everywhere you go in Tokyo you get very well treated and people in general are so polite and helpful.
If you go to Tokyo, make sure you make it to the old Asakusa Temple. Walk along the street leading to the temple and see the small genuine sushi restaurants and lamps made of rice paper that sways with the wind.
Another thing that made a great impression on me was visiting the Yoyogi Park, the big public park in the middle of Tokyo. This is where the new and the old meets. We came across a very traditional wedding with girls dressed in kimonos and ancient wooden clogs and crisp rice paper umbrellas. At the same time, very extremely costumed punk youngsters in platform shoes and masks where hanging around other areas of the park. During a weekend stroll in the park you will also meet young japanese families with their cute kids all dressed up like dolls in colorful kimonos and beautiful details. So many cultural expressions all in one place, and all accomplished in a very thourough and precise way. Whether you are an old antique dealer or a pink haired rocker there is a place for you in Tokyo. Everyone with a creative job or interest in design and architecture or contemporary art will find Tokyo being major source of inspiration. Take the big fashionhouses for an instance, they build their own buildings and give their brand a very strong prescence and expression, which makes shopping a true delight.
You do not see as many high rise buildings in Tokyo as in other major cities. That is partly due to the fact that Tokyo is in a risk zone for earthquakes and all buildings need to be very well built to withstand. Tokyo is a dynamic city that is constantly changing. For example the average life time of Tokyo buildings is pretty short, around 26 years.
This article is now about 600 words long and I feel like I have not even started, there is so much more to tell. I do hope you all see the magnetism and affection of this city and understand me when I say that Tokyo is definitely a place to return to. Not only am I myself looking forward to the next trip to Tokyo, my body and mind does too. Cause never have I felt so healthy and good as I did when I was in Tokyo.
Last summer we went to Crete (as so many summers before). Being in Greece is my definition of the word ”relaxing”. It is like a dream, and not just because it is wonderful and amazing (because I assure you it is), it is literally like a dream; the colors are almost fuzzy because they are so light and neutral and everything is so different from Sweden that it almost seems unreal. The older I get, the more I appreciate being there and the more I want to discover! It is not enough with just bathing and tanning. Last summer I went cycling in the mountains with my mother. It was a sight that was not of this world. The mountains, the olive- lemon- and orange trees, the enormous blue sea and sky. You could not even see the horizon, it was just a huge, light blue mass. The feeling you get when you stand there on the top of a mountain and look out over all this cannot be described. It is total freedom.
The nights were amazing as well. In fact, they were even better than the days. The Greek nights are so different from the Swedish ones; it is as warm as if it was the hottest of summer days and as dark as in the darkest winter night. It is a fantastic feeling. Some nights I went out with my newfound friends that I had met at the hotel and played some volleyball with, but mostly I went to idyllic Greek restaurants with my family. Our favorite restaurant is in a beautiful garden at the bottom of a mountain, where you sit surrounded by white roses and the most exquisite, exotic flowers that I do not know the name of. I wish I did, though.
At first, I thought it was weird that all the staff recognized us, but now, years later it would have been weird of they did not. The owner of the restaurant is probably the happiest man I have ever seen. The people who serves are his two daughters husbands, his son and two of his best friends. His daughters, his wife, his sons wife and his mother (who by the way is about 90 years old!?) are, from my research, the best cooks in the world. Their moussaka is reason enough to take the first flight you can get on to Crete. The owner’s grandchildren are the cutest girls I have ever seen, they are twins, and he carries them around, showing them off to every guest at the restaurant, wherever he goes (while he smiles like he is the happiest man on earth). To be greeted with a recognizing and extremely happy: ”Hello! We where just wondering when you would show up!”, Raki, watermelon and smalltalk, as if we were members in the family, looking up at the stars in the sky and hearing the distant sound of waves; that is how relaxing it will ever get.
I am always reminded how much i love Southern Florida every time I take a step outside the doors of the West Palm Beach Airport. A wave of humid air hits you as you lay your eyes on tall and beautiful palm trees. The sky’s color has a warm tone that matches the ocean. Florida, the “Sunshine State”, is located in the south-east of America and has the most southern point of the continental U.S. The semi-tropical climate offers hot rainy summers, warm winters. Florida only has one downside, which is the threat of tropical storms and hurricanes during the late summer. Apart from that, all parts of Florida have something to offer.
The Eastern Coast of Florida has very nice beaches all along the Coast of the Atlantic Ocean with some decent surf, perfect for eager beginners. Cities in the East tend to be commercialized for tourism as they offer several high rise hotels, restaurants, night clubs tourist attractions and entertainment such as Walt Disney World, the largest amusement park on earth, the Sea World and Universal Studios. The Western Coast is very different from the Eastern Coast. The beaches on the Mexican Gulf are shallower, with less surf, warmer waters and are more family friendly. It is a perfect place for the tourist that is up for relaxing on the beach and/or having a good time with your family in the water.
Although the coast’s contribute all of the amazing things, the central part of Florida is the most popular destination for tourists. It consists of tropical jungle and the famous National Park of swamplands, The Everglades. It contains a vast ocean of wet grasslands and millions of tiny “islands”. Wildlife, such as birds, snakes and alligators live in this tropical forest
The most memorizing experience I have from Florida is a three day trip to the Kennedy Space Center from the summer of ’08. Even though you are not a space geek, just like me, you will leave impressed and inspired. Experience the ATX (Astronaut Training Experience) Program and you will be shocked. You will spend time on one of the launch pads, go on a walk-through of the lab-facilities and factories. You will have the opportunity to eat dinner with an astronaut, and if you time your’ trip right, you might be lucky enough to watch a space ship launch.
I will never tire of going to Florida, as I experience something new every year. As mentioned, it is the perfect place for the relaxed family, businessman looking for some distress, a group of friends wanting to go clubbing, anyone.
The city of romance and freshly baked croissants. Or perhaps, the city of something completely different. For me, I suppose Paris is the city of inspiration. For me, Paris is magical.
I’ve been to Paris three times, but only two of them were real trips spent in Paris. The third one was just a fast stop near the Eiffel Tower for a picture before we continued our trip to the countryside where out friends live, but that’s another story. I don’t know if it’s the language, the architecture or the culture that makes me so fascinated and almost, I know it sounds dorky, enchanted when visiting Paris. Both times I arrived to Paris were at dark which meant that the whole city was glowing and shining and the big, round, glass lamps on the roadsides reflected their warm light in both small pools of water such as the majestic River Seine, floating through the city. This made quite an impression on me, the first time only nine years old, and maybe my fascination for this city remained the same, cause I still am. Fascinated.
As in the article we read before writing, I find the details of a journey to be quite more special than the gigantic tourist-traps. Of course, Paris wouldn’t be Paris without the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower but listening to the lovely language, having an interesting chat with a Frenchman or just a walk through one of the parks is just as fabulous I believe.
I think you can guess that Paris is one of my absolute favorite cities, but I think that anybody can enjoy the city since it offers experiences for every personality. If you like art and history, visiting museums (Le Louvre etc) and monuments won’t be a difficulty to do. If you like architecture and odd, unique buildings Paris is kind of a mekka where just walking around in the city is quite a sightseeing. For those who are more interested in gossiping in cafés, eating well and enjoying a show or opera, there are several historical, beautiful theaters (L’Opera as well as the famous Moulin Rouge) and restaurants (La Cupole, which has fantastic art) worth visiting. And of course, for those who like to party and dance all night long in nightclubs (I would guess the younger generations), they won’t get disappointed with Paris. So, as you see there are loads of ways to ”design” your visit here and of course a bit of everything might be a perfect combination as well. And just to mention yet another good thing about Paris, though it has so much to offer, it’s not an extremely big city which means that you can experience Paris in a couple of days if you want, or a couple of weeks. It’s completely up to you and your taste of traveling.
As you can see, so far I’ve only stuffed you full with praise about Paris, and I wouldn’t say it’s a city where everything is perfect. In fact I will give you some tips about Paris which I think could be useful and make your stay even more pleasant. I mean, the city is quite a spectacle but you shouldn’t forget there is also a civilization who lives there and appreciating them and their culture is at least as important as appreciating the city. So here are a few things to keep in mind while visiting Paris:
- As in every situation, be respectful and open for other cultures. I can assure you that the Parisians will treat you much kinder if you try speaking their language for example. It doesn’t necessarily have to be correct but giving it a try definitely is estimated.
- Bring a map! Not only one of the city, also bring one for the subway. It will save you so much time instead of trying to read the map in the ceiling of a crowded train.
- Give tip. I can assure you, the grumping and the ”ce n’est pas possible!” will stop if you give the taxi-driver an extra coin or two, or just a smile and a simple ”Salut!”.
- And at last, always add an extra 30 minutes to everything. In Paris, time isn’t so relevant. If they say ten minutes, it will surely take about 30. Just keep that in mind and there will hopefully be no misunderstandings or stressful transports.
So, now I’ve given you a small guide of Paris (seen from my point of view) and hopefully some help! Otherwise, maybe a fun reading experience. Anyway I hope your next or first trip to Paris will be absolutely splendid!
Monday, 17 January 2011
I was five years old when my mom and dad decided that we would travel the world. And off we were. Our trip lasted 6 months. From Australia to Bali, to Fiji and Aruba. Yes. Every place we visited was amazing. But Antigua was by far, my favorite. Sure, I was five and you may think I do not remember much. But honestly, I do. I do not only remember the clear turquoise water and the colorful fish. I remember the rough tennis lessons at 10 am every morning and the breakfast buffet that drove me insane. I may not have been the healthiest kid around but I could not resist chocolate pancakes and those sugar croissants. But I suppose the tennis lessons made up for the not so healthy meal every morning.
Antigua was our last destination planned out before packing our bags and getting on a plane back home. The plane rides was the least favorite thing about the trip. Since I was only five and being overly energetic as a child, my patience didn't last long on a 10 hour flight. But luckily, we had been spending time on an island called Aruba for 2 weeks, which is only a 90 minutes flight from Antigua. So after checking in all our bags we were off again. Unfortunately, we had to change flights on an island by the name St. Martin. This time, we were sitting in a much smaller airplane with only 8 seats. I remember landing on a beach when we finally reached Antigua. Sand was blowing everywhere caused by the airplane engines.
We stayed for 10 days and I made some friends at the hotel. Me and my sister went snorkeling in the water with life vests and saw lots of fish. I can still remember the iche feeling on your skin every time I got out of the ocean water. Thats why I preferred the pool even though there were no colorful fish in there. The residents in town were very kind people and so was the nice lady who braided small braids with beads at the end of my hair on the beach. She and I became good pals.
If I ever get the chance to travel the world, one of the places I will visit is definitely Antigua, not only for the delicious chocolate pancakes, but for the island itself. Looking at pictures today, it really was a paradise.
It was a little bit sad leaving Antigua after such a wonderful stay. But I did not think about it much. I was more excited about the next place we were going to. Home.
St Anton am Arlberg.
St Anton is an Alpine village in Austria. It is situated in a western zone of Austria called Tyrol. St Anton is also called the ”ski paradise”. That is pretty much what it is. If you don’t like skiing, you should not go to St Anton. Here me and my family, which contains of my dad, my mom and my big brother Victor, moved for 6 months. And yes, we do like skiing. Well, I didn't when we first got there. Just the thought of moving there for 6 moths, leaving my friends and dog behind me in Sweden made me nauseous. But this cute and charming ski resort changed my mind completely.
Traveling to St Anton could be done in several ways. You could go by airplane from Stockholm to Munich or Zurich and then rent a car or take the train to St Anton am Arlberg. It is possible to drive all the way too but it takes a wile and is really exhausting. So I would definitely recommend the airplane way...
The skiing, as I said before, is the main occasion of visiting St Anton. Therefore it is a very high pace in the piste and because of that it may not be the best place for beginners on skis. However there is a lot of other things to do in St Anton. They have a wonderful local swimming pool area with a sauna world. Here I spent a lot of time. It is really nice to stretch out your legs and use some other muscles than the ones used when skiing. The shopping is not that bad either, even I like it and I do not like ”just what ever” my dad always says.
The restaurants in the area is good. Mainly austrian dishes like Wiener Schnitzel and Apfelstrudel but also a fine selection of international dishes. A really cute and charming museum in the piste which serves delicious food. This is a "must go place" when visiting St Anton!
The wether is... a bit unpredictable. Sometimes sunny, which is a lovely ski wether. But unfortunately that do not happen everyday. It is for the most time cloudy and snowing. The temperature is low but it doesn't feel that cold. Compered to Sweden the wether isn’t as raw in St Anton as in our latitudes.
I sincerely recommend this place! Mostly for the skiing but also for the surroundings. The atmosphere in this village is delightful and I can assure you that you will feel the same tie to this village as I do!
There is only a two hour difference between Zanzibar and Sweden, something wich makes the trip a whole lot easier since you don't have to turn the entire day around. However when we first arrived we were all very tired, not just only from the flight but also from the one and a half hour drive on unmade road. And belive me when I say unmade road, there were 1,5 meter deep wholes in the "road" filled with water. No ordinary car could last on those roads more then a week. It is still a mystery for me of how we managed to get to the hotel. But I guess it's what they say TIA (This Is Africa). But don't get me wrong, I love it.
We stayed at a small hotel in a village by the beach, the views were nothing less but stunning. The turquoise water, the palm trees, the finly ground sand and ofcourse, the hammocks. However this is not what made Zanzibar so special to me. The thing that made Zanzibar so fantastic to me is the genuineness of the society and the people, the people are all so very friendly and kindhearted.
The night of the second day I decided to find a place to play football. After a five minute walk I found it. The field consisted of washstands as goalposts and a rope as the crossbar. Somehow I asked them to play even though I didn't speak the langauge, but again, it's what they say, football is the language that everyone speaks and I couldn't agree more. We played there every day at five a clock until seven when it was praying time.
The next day when I walked into the village, everyone stared shouting something. I looked around to see why when I realized they were shouting my name! I had become one of them, for the next week I socialized with the people in the village. And we became very good friends. We did all sorts of stuff and they even brought me home to their houses. When we left the last day I have me "best friend" my football shoes as a thank you.
Unfortunatly there are cons aswell. The food and the service was terrible. You order a coke and fifteen minutes later you get a beer. You note the misstake, but there was no idea since thewaitor/waitress were stoned! (TIA) :p. The chefs were probably high too since the food tasted awfull and all of us got food poisned.
Nonetheless Zanzibar is a wonderfull place, trust me.
After a week we took the one hour drive down to Stonetown, the "capital" of Zanzibar. It looked like Stonetown hadn't changed since the conoliaismen. The houses were all very old, but beautiful nonetheless. We hired a "local" guide, ofcourse high, but good anyway. He guided us through Stonetown and showed us everything including the house where legendary singer Freddie Mecury was born.
Finally, Zanzibar is, as mentioned, a wonderful place and I strongly recomend you to go there if you want adventure and genuinity.
TIA bro. Peace out.
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Respond to others, politely. Your predictions can be: personal, political, national, global, environmental, sporting or even about entertainment.