Sunday, 25 May 2014

Palm Springs ...Germany?

Finally I can get back to my camera which I haven't touched in a long time.... And Palm Springs is my model. 

Although I am still not sure that I am actually in America, I very much feel like I have landed in Germany! The people I am around, must be distant cousin from the fatherland. 

The famous pool / drop your towel early morning ritual, is very much happening here and boy, it starts early!

Anything works in the fearce competition to score the best loungers at the pool and you have to be brutal and cannot make friends. People get up early to leave the towel and the useless prop on the lounger to mark their territory. 

Props used (enjoying the sun while you are not!) are ranging from 1 flip flop (the other one is lost) a plastic cup, an empty brown bag to the friend, you know, the one brave (read: dumb) enough to get up at 7.30 and wait around for hours. 

 I have also seen a Louis Vuitton bag but I am guessing its a fake. 

Thanks God I am jet lagged so I can be a witness of this ritual, oh and dont worry I have grabbed myself a lounger, I am half German after all :-) 

Friday, 14 February 2014

A train trip around Japan

Nothing beats a good road trip... And a train trip in Japan was the ultimate dream for me. I mean, it's the land of Hello Kitty! 

Osaka and Kyoto are only three hours from Tokyo with the Shinkansen. 
Kyoto was incredible, packed with temples, shrines, side streets, girls and boys in gorgeous kimonos....and Osaka, a short 15 minutes from Kyoto, was covered with snow, Osaka castle looked amazing in this weather. 

Back in Tokyo, we woke up with the city all in white. Nothing really can get any better than this, except we are leaving tomorrow morning. 
We are secretly hoping for another snow storm during the night and to be stuck in Japan for another week. 

I might quickly go to a temple and see if I can have a word with a nice God and maybe he can help me with the weather...
Wish me luck! Arigato 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A day in Kamakura

It has been snowing a lot in Tokyo the night we arrived and the temperature is really bitter cold today. Obviously, with that in mind, I got so cold yesterday when I took a little day trip out of Tokyo that I am now in bed with a bit of a cold! Typical! 

Nicknamed "little Kyoto" Kamakura is 1 hour south from Tokyo on the JR line. It's a quiet seaside town, tucked away from the craziness of Tokyo. It has plenty of temples and shrines to fill your day. Kamakura fells so peaceful and tranquil compared to the hustle of Tokyo and it has plenty of lovely traditional side streets to wander and get completely lost, something that is recurrent since I have arrived.  There were so many things to do in such a small spaces of time that I decided to visit three of the main attractions, the Tsurugaoko Hachimangu shrine, the big Buddha and the Hase-Dera temple. 

After a few hours,l I left the temples and shrines and dived in a tiny restaurant which had a menu only in Japanese with a few appealing photos and did the usual "point on the nicest writing and hope for something good to come out". The only word I understand from the lady in the restaurant, who spoke as much English as I Japanese, was "udon" so that was ok with me and crossed my fingers for something good and so far, that's all it's been here, really good! 

Hello Kitties in Tokyo


Many people could argue that there are thousands of things to do in Tokyo and visiting a coffee shop with 35 cats is not on top of that list but it was definitely on top of mine! Tokyo is not just the land of the rising sun, it's the land of the sacred cat.... 
I spent my morning at Calico Cat coffee, the concept is easy, it's a coffee shop with 35 cats that you can pet and play with... i.e heaven in my books! 
Now if cats aren't your thing, there is also a coffee shop with rabbits running around and another one with owls... But that will be for another time!