Hi, I’m Urška and I’m a crazy cat lady. I also love to travel. Wherever in the world I meet feline creature I try to befriend it or at least take a picture of it. No wonder there are plenty of cat photos in my photo library. Here below are some of those pictures of the cuties I’ve met and photographed on my travels:
Eleventh day of our trip to Japan in spring 2015, my husband and I went to a visit Himeji and Osaka. Early in the morning we left our hotel in Kyoto and boarded the fast shikansen train to Himeji.
The reason we traveled to Himeji was the castle Himeji-jo – one of twelve original Japanese castles that hasn’t been damaged or destroyed in the wars or in natural disasters. It is actually pretty remarkable that the castle is still standing. During World War II the Himeji town was completely destroyed by the allies, but the castle remained intact. Luckily the bomb that landed on the roof failed to detonate. As it is still in its original shape and because is considered to be the finest example of the classic Japanese feudal period architecture it has been inscribed to UNESCO World Heritage list. Continue reading
On our tenth day in Japan, we left Kyoto for a day-trip to Nara, the first permanent capital of Japan famous for its temples, shrines and deers.
The year is slowly coming to an end. Looking back, the memories of 2015 brings smile on my face. Although I’ve faced some difficult moments, was 2015 a year I will never forget. I got married to love of my life, I’ve travelled and explored new unknown places and revisited some of the places I already visited, and last but not least, I’ve started writing Slovenian Girl Abroad blog.
Let’s do a quick recap of 2015:
- I’ve visited two new countries: Japan and Netherlands, biding goodbye to 2015 with total count of 24 visited countries.
- I’ve stepped at the Asian continent for the first time.
On our second day in Kyoto, my husband and I woke up to a warm sunny day – perfect day for cycling. We went to the cycle rental shop nearby main train station we’ve spotted the day before and rented two bikes with which we explored Kyoto.
Kyoto served as Japan’s capital and the emperor’s residence from 794 until 1868 when the capital functions were transferred to Tokyo. For centuries was the centre of politics and culture. Many of historical buildings, temples and shrines were build during this period – so many, Kyoto is now also known as “City of Ten Tousand Shrines”. Seventeen of those buildings are now inscribed to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. My husband and I decided to visit two of them: Kinkaku-ji and Ryōan-ji.
On our eighth day in Japan, we left Hiroshima and travelled to Kyoto, a former capital of imperial Japan. Travelling between both cities by super fast, clean and comfortable bullet train – shikansen was again a pleasure.
After arrival in Kyoto, we found our hotel, checked-in, left our luggage in our room and went out exploring. We decided to go to the to Arashiyama, a lovely district at the western outskirts of the town where the famous bamboo grove and some of Kyoto’s most popular temples can be found. Continue reading
Sunsets are magical time of the day when the evening sky shines in the most amazing colours. I witnessed many stunning sunsets, but was able to capture just a few of them on my photos. Here are some of those photos:
On our second day in Hiroshima my boyfriend and I left our hotel to get some breakfast. We found lovely Danish bakery Andersen. We bought some pastries and sandwiches and took them with to the Peace Memorial Park. We found a bench with a view to the A-bomb Dome and ate our breakfast there. With our bellies full, we moved towards the Peace Memorial Museum. On our way there two Japanese students approached us and asked us to help them fulfil their English class assignment. They had to approach the tourists and ask them some questions in order to practice their English skills. We agreed to help them. We answered their questions and took photos with the them, then we bid goodbye and continue our walk towards the Peace Memorial Museum.
The Peace Memorial Museum is a museum dedicated to the WW2 atomic bombing of Hiroshima. After paying the symbolic admission fee of 50 JPY per person, we’ve entered the exhibition area. Continue reading
As you might read one of my previous posts, my boyfriend and I spent a night at the Japanese inn in Hakone region. After the morning soak in the onsen, we’ve attended the Japanese breakfast. They served us fish, egg boiled in onsen, rice, miso soup and a bunch of different vegetable in tiny bowls. We tried the dishes, but we didn’t ate much. For our stomachs adapted to western diet was this Japanese breakfast just too heavy .
We returned to our room, packed our things and checked out. The kind receptionist ordered us a lift to the train station and in half an hour, we were sitting on the train to Odawara. There we caught the shikansen to Hiroshima. The time at this super-fast train flew by and soon we arrived to our destination. Upon arrival, we stopped at the tourist office and grab some maps. Kind lady at the information desk who spoke perfect English also explained us hot to get to our hotel. With her instructions and a map, we found it without any problems. This time, the we didn’t have to wait for our room, it was already prepared for us. We left our luggage there and went out exploring. Continue reading
On the fifth day of our trip to Japan my boyfriend and I left bustling Tokyo for peaceful Hakone, a mountainous area west of Tokyo famous for hot springs and Mt Fuji views.
In the morning, we bid farewell to Asakusa and successfully navigate our suitcases through the morning rush. At the Tokyo station we’ve boarded shinkansen Kodama to Odawara. There we’ve change super-fast and comfortable shikansen for slow local Hakone-Tozan Line to Hakone Yumoto. We’ve just missed the bus that would take us to our ryokan (Japanese inn) in Tonosawa. Because we would have to wait for another one for quite some time, we decided to take the taxi. After a short ride, we arrived to our accommodation. Again, we arrived too early to check in and our room wasn’t ready yet. We left our luggage in the lobby and went out to explore the area. Continue reading
Every year UNESCO World Heritage Committee gather to discuss the world heritage. One of their tasks is to discuss cultural and natural sites of outstanding universal value submitted by the state parties. If those sites meet one or more of 10 criteria they can be included on the World Heritage List. This year UNESCO World Heritage met for its 39th session in Bonn, Germany. Out of the 36 sites that were examined this year, 24 sites from Mexico, Italy, Korea, Jordan, France, Denmark, Iran, Turkey, Uruguay, Mongolia, Israel, Norway, Saudi Arabia, USA, Singapore, Japan, Germany, UK, China and Jamaica were granted world heritage status, increasing the total number of world heritage sites to 1,031. Up to date, I had a chance to visit 41 of them. Here is my pick of 10 sites (in random order) I liked the best: Continue reading
The fourth day of our trip to Japan was dedicated to two things my boyfriend and I are passionate about: sports and cats.
My boyfriend is a sports enthusiast. We often visit sports venues and events on our travels. Our trip to Japan wouldn’t be the same without some sports-related activity. Our first pick was to attend sumo, a Japanese wrestling sport. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the tournament, so we had to settle for the plan B: the baseball. Continue reading
On our third day in Japan, we left Tokyo for a day trip to Jigokudani Monkey Park, a home of the famous snow monkeys. It is located in valley of Yokoyu river in the Japanese Alps, near Nagano. This trip to one of the limited places in Japan where you can observe wild Japanese Macaques (nicknamed Snow Monkeys) in their natural habitat was at my bucket list since I first saw documentary about them years ago. Therefore, Jigokudani was simply a must stop on our trip to Japan.
Day 2 of our Japan adventure started early in the morning. In Japan sun rises earlier than in Switzerland – already around 4.30 am. The night before we’ve admired the amazing view from our window and we forgot to shut the curtains. Our room was facing east and first rays of sunshine woke us soon after the sunrise. Still a bit jet-lagged, we couldn’t fall asleep anymore. We woke up, got dressed and went to the breakfast. As we expected, hotel offered a broad variety of Japanese and Western dishes. We were not yet ready to try Japanese breakfast, so we’ve grabbed some coffee, bread, croissants, butter, marmalade and some fruits. With our bellies full, we were ready to get out and explore Tokyo.
The long-awaited day of our departure to Japan had arrived. Our flight was scheduled at 7:40 so we woke up early in the morning, after just few hours of sleep. We drove to the Zürich airport, where we went through all the airport procedures and stop by at the Lindt store/bar for delicious Lindt hot chocolate. If ever at the Zürich airport and you’re sweet-tooth as I am, you should try it!
With our bellies filled, we’ve boarded the plane to Istanbul. The flight was calm and we were pleasantly surprised by Turkish Airlines services. Nice comfortable seats, clean aircraft, friendly cabin crew and a good food. Used of getting just a small snack or a sandwich on our flights across the Europe, we were pleasantly surprised when they served us a warm meal with the proper cutlery and offered us freshly squeezed lemonade and orange juice. Perfect start of our travel! Continue reading