Page 7 of golfkat Travel Blog Posts

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Wiltshire » Stonehenge July 4th 2009

I am taking a break from Wimbledon tennis, and the big City with a short, but long 2 hour bus tour down to see ancient Stonehenge, near (two miles west) the city of Amesbury, in Wiltshire, South England. Noted historians tell us that Stonehenge was built in three phases over a period of 1400 years. it is the most outstanding prehistoric monument in the British Isles (I say after St. Andrews, haha), and is a World Heritage Site. Phase 1 (2950-2900 BC) is the earliest portion of the complex, consisting of a circular bank, ditch, and counterscrap bank of about 330 feet in diameter. Just inside the earth bank is a circle of the 56 Aubrey holes that held wooden posts. Phase 1 is attributed to the Windmill people. Phase 2 (2900-2400 BC) indicate timber settings ... read more
U.S. Version

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Wimbledon July 4th 2009

Gangway 210, Row J, Seat 352. That my dear friends, is my seat in Centre Court, Wimbledon, Friday, June 26, 2009. I got to see Novak Djokovich take apart an American named Mardy Fish. It was almost embarrassing rooting for a guy named Mardy,and a last name Fish. But the crowds were clearly rooting for him, as they hate Djok. He is known as a poor sportsman, and uses every bit of the rules to his advantage. This would be frequent potty breaks and "injury" timeouts. I arrived a little later than normal, but it still takes over three hours to do the queue. I met the nicest family from Dallas, the Korineks, and four of their five children. One son, Alex is an aspiring junior player, who may make this show one day. We split ... read more
Another Queue for Centre Court

Back in my running and jogging days, I ran in several editions of the Bay to Breakers Footrace in San Francisco. Back then, the race often experienced record numbers of entrants, and lived up to its name as the world's largest footrace. It begins at the foot of San Francisco Bay, then winds through the streets of the City, through Golden Gate Park, and finally onto the Great Highway and the Pacific Ocean (ie the breakers). The first race, known as the Cross City Race, began in 1912, as a precursor to the world class events planned for the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition. The race was won by Robert Jackson Vlught with a time of 44:10, and only 200 racers. It was in 1986, the Race set a Guinness Book record with 110,000 racers, me ... read more

North America » United States » Washington » Seattle » Bell Town April 26th 2009

Seattle is our favorite American city, and among our favorite in the world. Seattle has it all, great shopping, outstanding food, very walkable, interesting music venues, and some liquid sunshine in between bright, sunny days. It is a town where you can wear most anything in your wardrobe, at one time or another. But bring good walking shoes and a cheap umbrella. We always stay in Belltown, since it is close to our favorite restaurants and downtown shopping. Our current favorite is Hotel Andra at 4th and Virginia. Others on our list include: Inn at the Market, Pensione Nichols, and Inn at Harbor Steps, a fabulous urban bed and breakfast, all on First Avenue. We always take a car from the Seattle airport, from Elias Car Service, the best in town, and quite affordable. Elais is ... read more
New Stadiums

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto March 21st 2009

We took a taxi after breakfast to Morika Tofu Shop on the very outskirts of Kyoto. Our cab driver did not know how to get there. He had to call in to his station to get the coordinates for his modified GPS. Even, then, he said he had never been there. But he did agree that it was the best tofu, in that Morika-san is widely regarded by everybody as the champion tofu maker in all of Japan. So, we engaged in quite a discussion with our taxi cab driver, his broken English, my broken Japanese. And many hand gestures, voice inflections, smiles and laughs. We drove and we drove, ringing up a huge taxi toll as we went along. We moved from dense inner city, to semi suburbia, to almost country. We turned down a ... read more
In Front of Morika Tofu
An Ancient Art

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto March 20th 2009

We signed up for a Friday morning tour of Kyoto, since we have not gone on a bus tour yet on this trip. There are 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto. All are open for public viewing, including the famous Nijo Castle. More than 30 million tourists a year visit Kyoto. Nijo Castle was built in 1603 by Tokugawa. It has very thick outer walls and a moat to defend it. Within the walls, the main buildings are decorated with paintings by Kano Tanyu. Every building contains hidden rooms. The corridors were constructed with nightingale floors, that squeak when walked upon to warn of anyone approaching. Like Manhattan, Kyoto is laid out in a grid pattern, and easy to navigate. The JR Kyoto Station is the main station, and located in the south of the ... read more
The Golden Temple
Beautiful Artwork

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto March 19th 2009

After taking the bullet train from Tokyo to Nagoya, we now embark on our second trip using our Japan Rail pass. The first trip was such an adventure, and made us wish that such travel was available in the United States. The seats and ride were so comfortable. The seats recline in a fashion much better than the airline seats. And an adjustable footrest helps the shorter passengers get comfortable. The windows have a pull down shade for those that want to sleep. People are respectfully quiet, and turn their cell phone ringers to silent. When they talk, they generally speak softly, or move to the back of the car. We also had seats in a no smoking, first class car, with only about 10 people in it. We have just a short ride to Kyoto ... read more
Train Attendants
Better Than Coach

Asia » Japan March 17th 2009

This morning, we are headed to Nagoya-Jo, the Nagoya Castle that Tokugawa ordered to be built for his ninth son on the site of an older castle. It was destroyed in WW2, and replaced in 1959 with a replica . It has a fine museum inside featuring armor, treasures, and histories of the three families. We also will visit the arts and crafts area, since Nagoya is well known for shibori, an elegant form of tie dying, as well as cloisonné, ceramics, and Seki blades (swords, knives, and scissors). We really have not purchased much so far. Since food is relatively our biggest budget item, we are going through yen like water. But we have enjoyed some wonderful, and interesting meals. BTW, the Germans here are by far, more obnoxious than Americans. They are loud, use ... read more
Nagoya Flea Market
Crazy Shopping Mall

Asia » Japan » Tokyo March 15th 2009

Japan's main island, Honshu, is covered by a network of high speed trains connecting Tokyo with most of the island's major cities. These high speed bullet trains are called shinkansen, and operated by Japan Railways (JR). The Tokkaido shinkansen, which we will be using, connects Tokyo to our others visits: Osaka, Kyoto, and Nagoya. This line was inaugurated in 1964 as the first shinkansen line and the world's first high speed train service. At that time, the trains already ran at about 200 km/h. Now, they reach speeds of 300 km/h. We bought shinkansen passes in the states before we left, to help save some money along the way. It was still pricey, but much less than flying or buying tickets piecemeal along the way. There are three basic types of trains: *Nozomi trains stop only ... read more
Always On Time
View of Mt. Fuji from Shinkansen

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Harajuku March 15th 2009

We got to the crazy area of Tokyo known as Harajuku, the teen fashion street and Rodeo Drive combination of Tokyo. As they say here, spendy and trendy. We got off the train and headed down the main street to where the outrageous clothes in the shops were exceeded only by the young teens and twenty somethings in their Sunday best. These kids are the exact opposite of American kids who wear their faded jeans, torn T shirts, and sneakers. These kids must be color blind or just plain crazy. They make Haight Ashbury in SF and Melrose Avenue in LA look like the Salvation Army. Lots of color, plenty of leather boots, mini skirts the size of a bikini bottom, and more redheads than a Lucille Ball fan club. After 6 or so blocks of ... read more
Omotesando Dori
A Bakery on Omotesando

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