michael hudson

mr mink

michael hudson

travelling - the lifeblood of human experience. Learn more about Life from the experience of Other Places and Other Peoples.

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka October 29th 2013

Well folks in case you thought I had dropped off the face of the Earth – well no, just went from Turkey to Greece for only a few hours really. Had intended to spend the night on Kos, the 2ndlargest Greek Island not far from Bodrum in Turkey en route to Athens. But the afternoon boat on Sunday was sold out so found a nicer pansyon to spend my final night in, with a sea view no less. Then the 9.15am catamaran on Monday to Kos, where I had almost 12 hours to fill until overnight ferry to Piraeus/Athens at 9.50pm, which I managed. I had a berth in a 3 bed cabin but only 2 of us so quite comfortable – and better than a night sleeping upright as in planes/buses that’s for sure. Now ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Kayseri October 15th 2013

This may well be the very first blogette (it is) and who knows how I will manage any more - let alone "catch up" with what has been. Be grateful for what you get peoples. (written on train) I have been on the train from Ankara to Kayseri in the SE for some 5 hrs now – so better do something other than look out the window at the passing Turkish scenery – rather like a sun burnt country down under as not a lot out there. There are often clumps of poplar trees on river banks, as it is mid-October after all, which have really quite a developed yellow autumnal colour. The stops have been a few whistle stops in the middle of nowhere and 3 or 4 bigger places. Time to summarise Ankara. If ... read more
tea and backgammon
a coffee pounding bear in Ulus
chunka chunka burnin' love

Asia » South Korea » Jeollanam-do » Dolsando June 14th 2013

On my second day in Yeosu took the Planet’s advice and headed down on a local bus to Dolsando the long island to the south now joined by a bridge to the mainland. The Planet had advised of the temple called Hyangiram there at the bottom of the island/end of the bus route. It was very scenic going down for the most part. When you were out of the built up areas it was very green with trees etc and rice paddies and small time agriculture (as in a lot of those mustard greens which are used in the local kimchi). Got to the end of the line (literally) at about 2pm – the bus ride takes about an hour and max fare is about $1. Before hiking up to the temple got some lunch stuff ... read more
Dolsando Hyangiram greens with cat
the Hyangiram temple complex
Dolsando Hyangiram temple

Asia » South Korea » Jeollanam-do » Yeosu June 12th 2013

This was mostly written in the Yeosu bus terminal so I am on my way outa here (to where? You will have to wait and see). Spent two nights in Yeosu cos getting here was such a trial – what could go wrong did go wrong (the trials of travel – one of worst ever but you have to just grin and bear it sometimes). Had got some info at main Busan station just up the road from hotel but I think only the fast KTX services. Was directed by station staff there to go to Bujeon train station (10 mins away on same subway line) for train to Suncheon, change to Yeosu. So far so good there. I got there and had about 8 mins to get a ticket but the old pensioner dear in ... read more
Yeosu Dolsando (island) bridge
Yeosu harbour nite
Yeosu more changing nightlights

Asia » South Korea » Busan » Gwangalli Beach June 11th 2013

This may well be very short (let’s hope so). Had to leave the Hakata hotel to get down to the ferry terminal by around 9am (accdg to them) to collect ticket etc – I had used the phone at the hotel and rung them directly to confirm a booking – seemed the best thing as the boat was pretty chockers as it happens. Had spent the previous evening locating the right bus stand (eventually) so just had to turn up at 8.40am and get the morning commuter jam still a bit. However I was the last person still on the bus after all the workers had jumped off. Checking in was pretty easy, just had to ay – with a fuel surcharge it cost about $150 for virtually a 3 hr trip by jetfoil. I had ... read more
Gwangan bridge meets anti-smoking
Gwangalli the seafood BBQ feast
Gwangalli copper hoods

Asia » Japan » Kumamoto » Kumamoto June 10th 2013

10 June – Kumamoto-Kagoshima Although shamefully in Hakata I really only saw the station building and my hotel, had decided to thrash the rail pass on Monday 10th and go down to the S of Kyushu as had previously seen Beppu, the hot springs capital on the East coast. So just went to the station and got the next shinkansen to Kumamoto (confusing my Japanese syllables, as you do, first asked for Matsumoto, in Central Honshu and wondered why the routing was via Shin Osaka!). Anyway the Kyushu shinkansen, a 700 series, was just as efficient as all the others and took only 45 mins. Once there some ood English help form the info centre and got myself an all day tram ticket for 500Y as I knew I would take 3 @ 150 – better ... read more
Suizenji - Fuji-san closeup
Suizenji - a patient (fishing?) stork
Kumamoto - the kumamon

Asia » Japan » Hiroshima » Hiroshima June 9th 2013

This will be my almost final Japanese blog – and actually written on the JR Beetle jetfoil from Hakata to Busan in Korea on 11 June. I left Kyoto on one shinkansen then had to change to the Sakura Kyoto shinkansen at Shin Osaka. Osaka is so close it is only about 18 mins, then the Sakura is pretty fast to Hakata as minimal stops and about 2 hours. Fortunately coming in (I knew where it was anyway) I saw from the train the green neon of the Green Hotel where I was staying in Hakata. In case you are confused, Fukuoka/Hakata are the same thing – originally two towns but the station is in Hakata so they call it that. Nice to have a hotel so close to the station – in fact the 11thfloor ... read more
Hiroshima tram
Hiroshima the A Dome
Hiroshima A dome with tree fringes

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Amanohashidate June 8th 2013

I had decided that to hell with revisiting Kyoto sites and temples (I was not that struck by the place the first time frankly) I was going to try and cross off another one on my Japanese bucket lists. Namely the scenic area of Amanohashidate. Its about 2 ½ hrs to NW of Kyoto out on the coast. Getting there can be a bit of a trial due to fact that JR can only take you so far then you have to change to a private railway, the wonderfully named KTR (Kita-Kinki Tango railway). I had to the station to check what times connections etc were and lo and behold there was a JR limited express in 2mins. I knew there were only a couple of these a day so jumped on it. I knew that ... read more
Hashidate speedboats
on board my pink speedboat
Hashidate temple monk

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto June 7th 2013

I left Takayama on one of the hourly Hida Express trains down to Nagoya to connect on to Kyoto. The area is famous for the Hida beef – not sure it is those cosseted cows who are supposedly are served beer and have their tummies massaged to provoke fine marbling or not. As I said earlier in my Kanazawa fine dining report, Hida beef cooked rare and served on salad there but the real deal steak was from Shikoku – maybe another case of exotic marketing and regional produce. Anyway the train winds its way thru a very picturesque wooded valley with a number of tunnels. I think Japanese scenery like that is at least as good as anywhere in NZ or Europe. Nagoya is a major shinkansen stop so a bit of a scramble with ... read more
hullo, hullo -Kyoto station
the hugeness of Kyoto Station
Kyoto Agashiyama tram

Asia » Japan » Gifu » Takayama June 6th 2013

I first went to Takayama in 1999 I think on my first trip to Japan with Intrepid. It is picture postcard perfect for a tourist town in all its mini-Kyoto historical houses etc. It was definitely worth visiting again as a stopover on the way to the shinkansen mayhem which awaits me no doubt on the southern coast. The minshuku (guesthouse) I had chosen was close enough to the station that I could find it quite easily. It was not exactly cheap at almost $90 but I think that is Takayama tourist prices and it was not necessarily the flashest place. It had tatami floor mats throughout and in a way what other way could you do Takayama really – even if there is a Best Western there (which was actually likely slightly cheaper) and quite ... read more
Takayama temple in Higashiyama
Takayama temple Higashiyama
my fave drop when in Takayama??

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