I am a retired doctor with 2 kids, one of whom lives in Australia so travelling to the other side of the world has become second nature. Apart from socialising and gardening, travelling is my favourite hobby. I love travelling with my husband as we have the same likes and dislikes when it comes to food, wine and things to do (apart from sport that is !)

Former TravelPod Member: tizwoz

Joined: October 11th, 2008
From: England lives in Sutton,United Kingdom
Favorite Book: Any fantasy or science fiction
Favorite Movie: Lord of the Rings
Favorite Music: Prefer peace and quiet
Hobbies: Art, Films, Reading, Travelling
Languages: Schoolgirl French
Bucket List: Visit every major art gallery in the world
Profession: Retired Radiologist
Amazing Event: It has all been amazing
Description: optimistic ,friendly

Europe » Poland May 2nd 2019

.Despite our Polish heritage we have never been to Warsaw, but as we were flying Lot air we decided to extend our stop over for a couple of nights. The first thing that struck us is space. There are few high rises and the streets are wide and open. We stayed at the Hotel Bristol, a grand old dame which has housed many famous people in the past such as Picasso and Sophia Loren. It is an elegant place right next door to the Presidential Palace, spacious rooms, very comfortable bed and the best breakfast of the whole holiday. After a long flight from Tokyo we were too tired to do much so strolled into the old town and had a very light meal in an Italian restaurant,,Trattoria Rucola, a busy place with nice food. All ... read more
Stefan by the Bastion
"Do you like my hat?"
Main street before the crowds

Asia » Japan » Tokyo April 29th 2019

10% of Japan's population live in Tokyo with 25% in outer Tokyo. You can imagine how busy it is and what pressure there is on the land . The whole place is a massive city of close together high rises and it is impossible to get an idea of which district you are in. The old city of Edo had a moat which still exists but an express way was built over most of it because they didn't have the land to build it on. There is a massive land reclamation and 1000s of apartments are being built for the 2020 Olympic Village. Our first trip was to the Tokyo Tower which looks just like the Eiffel tower. The guide said the Japanese copy everything and that the only thing they invented was Karaoke! So it ... read more
Tiz trying to look elegant in a rickshaw
Restaurant we had lunch at

Asia » Japan » Shizuoka » Mt Fuji April 27th 2019

As we sailed into Shimizu harbour all we could see was low lying cloud and fog. Despite this we went out in hope. First stop the inevitable shrine. - Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine to be exact. We entered through the Torii gate, purified ourselves with the sacred water, entered the shrine, did our two bows, two claps to waken the gods, offering of money , a wishful prayer and bow out. Got this down to a tee now. This one did have a lovely scared pool with lovely wisteria over it. Then it was back on the bus and a drive past lots of green tea plantations to the Matsubara Pine Grove. These ancient pines are protected and thought to be sacred and I must admit they are lovely trees all sweeping and bending over. ... read more
Torii gate
Azalea walk to shrine
The shrine

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima April 24th 2019

After a night of sailing through the inner Sea of Japan we arrived at a very wet Hiroshima. Having been to the Peace Park before, which is excellent if you come here, we decided to take the ferry across to Miyajima Island. The journey only takes 10 minutes and they are very efficient at loading and unloading. The first thing you see is the large red torii gate which rises up out of the sea. It is bright red to chase away any evil spirits. It was built in 1875 to replace a previous one. Behind it is the large beautiful Itsukushima Shrine which is lovely to walk through. It is guarded by the two lions one open mouthed saying "Aah" as a baby would shout at birth and the other one closed mouthed saying "Mmm" ... read more
Tiz and gate
Aah lion
"Mmm" lion

Asia » South Korea » Jeju April 22nd 2019

Our first stop on this island was at a museum which demonstrated all the cultural things of Korea. Nicely done and mercifully not too long. Loved the grandfather god carved out of volcanic rock for protection. Got one for the bottom of our garden! Not as big as the one in the photo I hasten to add! Later on at the coast we had to use our imagination yet again to see a dragon in a rock. We saw the dragon , a crocodile and a koala! Don't think we were supposed to see all these! Finally a trip to the local market. These are always good as the fresh live fish on show are fascinating as well as the bizarre meats. Back on board we are celebrating Easter with Easter egg display. We missed the ... read more
Stefan and volcanic pizza oven!
Grandfather god
Crocodile maybe??

Asia » Japan » Kagoshima April 21st 2019

Very sunny when the ship docked in Chiran and we drove to the Chiran Peace Museum. This is dedicated to the 1000s of young pilots who gave up their lives at the Battle of Okinawa. The planes were built here and the pilots flew off from here on their final sortie leaving letters to their Mums and family knowing they would not be coming back, very sad, such a waste. It is a peaceful park with a Lantern for each pilot who died and a museum containing personal exhibits as well as remains of the planes themselves which they dragged up from the sea. After this we went to the Samurai Houses in the Fumoto area of Chiran. There is a lovely lane with original Samurai houses on either side , a lot of which are ... read more
A lantern for each pilot
Chiran Peace Park
Mother figure

Asia » Japan April 20th 2019

Hososhima means narrow island. I never realised that Japan is made up of about 7000 islands. We walked through a small town in order to get to the small Myokokuji temple. The houses are close together with no gardens and are quite plain. The temple was very pretty and had its own garden, which was the usual landscape of trees rocks and sand all to be seen from one viewing point.. After this we drove to Cape Hyuga winding up steep roads up the mountain. After a walk through the forest we had lovely views of the coast and also the tall columnar basalt rocks which make up most of Japan. After this we drove to the Omi shrine and were lucky to arrive at the same time as a month old baby was being blessed ... read more
Tall columnar basalt rocks in ravine
coastal view
Entrance to Omi shrine

Asia » Japan » Kochi April 18th 2019

Departure from the ship was very prompt and efficient unlike yesterday. We drove up into the mountains and visited one of the 88 Temples which are on a sort of pilgrimage trail. The Godaisan Chikurinji temple has a guest house with a typical Japanese garden. That is- trees rocks, moss, water and a few bushes , very minimalist but made to relax ones mind and allow contemplation. You take off your shoes and observe the garden from the guest house. A short walk from here is the actual temple which we couldn't go into but could peer through the doorway. It had a wooden roof made of tiny pieces of wood all hand placed with no nails and needed frequently replacing. The surrounding area was really peaceful with the odd shrine and also covered Buddhas. If ... read more
Green cherry blossom - very unusual
Garden viewed from inside guest house
covered Buddhas

Asia » Japan » Osaka April 17th 2019

Osaka was the first port we docked at after leaving Tokyo. A lovely sunny day greeted us as we set off to the Shitennoji temple. As I was wandering around the paintings reflecting the life of Buddha I thought they looked familiar but then we have been in a lot of Buddhist temples. Within the complex there is a tall pagoda which one could climb to the top after taking off your shoes. We realized we had done this before so did not climb it again as I recall the view wasn't that brilliant. Indeed Osaka is not a pretty place. Japan is so full of people that high rises and apartments predominate. We sat for a while on a bench next to an elderly gentleman who took out two small bottles from his bag and ... read more
Shitennoji Temple
Moat round Osaka Castle
Walls of Osaka Castle

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro February 4th 2019

We only had a last afternoon in Rio before the trip home so toured around the city seeing areas we hadn't been to. First we were down town in the main square which was designed by a Frenchman and has a wide boulevard and lovely opera house, library and other French looking buildings. We called in at Colombo's a famous coffee house which is beautifully decorated like the ones in Vienna but the queue was too long so went across the road for a spot of lunch. Then it was on to the St.Therese area which has some lovely old houses as well as lots of little bars and quirky art shops. We saw the old tram come trundling through the area. It had started raining so we ended our touring around at the St.Benedict Monastery ... read more
Colombo coffee house
Old tram
Inside St.Benedicts

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