Archive for November, 2009

The day that never took place

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Okay, my headline is not completely telling the truth but it’s easier.

Yesterday and the day before I was flying from Hilo (Big Island, Hawaii) to Hong Kong. 28 November had started at 3:50 am when I got up. After that I drove to Hilo to return the car and took my first flight from Hilo to Honolulu at 7:19 am. A surprisingly fast check-in was followed by my next flight at 12:02 am to Tokyo where I arrived on the 29 November at 3:46 pm. The last flight left Tokyo at 6:40 pm with direction to Hong Kong. At 10:50 pm the air plane had landed and roughly 1.5 hours later I was in my hotel room. The end of a 27-hour trip.

If you just take the naked numbers (start and end) than 29 November 2009 took never place in my life. Isn’t that scaring?

Big Island – Sorry, we’re closed

Friday, November 27th, 2009

“Sorry, we’re closed” is what I faced quite soon on this island. It started on day 1 when I went to the Volcanoes National Park. At home, I found some nice trails to hike as well as a scenic drive around the craters. As always recommendable, I went to the visitor centre first to get the latest updates. And what did I see: Most of the trails/roads were closed due to toxic gases coming out of one of the craters. So, I had to change all my plans.

But it’s not yet over. Thursday was “Thanksgiving” in the USA. So, most shops and restaurants did close around 5 pm or did not even open. Surprisingly, I could not wash clothes too, although everything is coin-operated…

Maui – From 0 to 3000

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Maui is a small island with only about 130’000 inhabitants. It’s very popular among surfers. But Maui is more than just a surfer’s paradise. It’s also famous for the Haleakala (House of the Sun). Haleakala is a crater with the incredible numbers of 11 km (diameter), 1 km (depth) and 3 km (height of the summit). That’s the world’s largest crater. It’s also home to an observatory.

After a long drive from the coast up to the summit on about 3000 meter above sea level, you get an incredible view. You feel like looking at something an a different planet.

Kauai – The Garden Island

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Kauai is about 100 miles north of  Oahu. Although the island is very close to Oahu, everything looks completely different. As there are lots of plants growing, the island gets a green look.

After two days here, I think it’s really a nice place despite the (heavy) rain showers.

Yesterday, I drove up north and did sightseeing Japanese Style (hop-off, take pictures, hop-on). It’s was quite interesting but not comparable to the views I got today. I went to the Waimea Valley where I wanted to hike a bit. After yesterday’s rain it was still very slippery in some passages. But the views I got were worth all the ‘wounds’. After roughly 5 hours I got back to my car.

LOST

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

After a flight that sucked (we did not get any meal!!!), I’m in Honolulu now for some days. So, I’m in summer now (although they have winter too…).

This morning, I had to get up quite early as I was picked up at 8:10 am near my hotel for a 10 hour-LOST tour. According to our tour guide the tour covered around 40 LOST locations all over Oahu. Therefore, we had to drive around 150 miles. Actually, we saw much more than I expected. We even saw scenes of the upcoming (and final) Season 6.

The coolest information we got from a security guy at the scene: They are going to film at my hotel on Monday and Tuesday. But unfortunately, I have to leave Monday morning. Damn!

As words cannot describe the different scenes we’ve visited, I’ve uploaded some of the scenes like:

  • the home of Hurley’s mom
  • Oxford
  • Penny’s boat (‘Searcher’)
  • Other’s village
  • ‘Sydney Airport’
  • the bar in Australia
  • several beach areas
  • ‘Thailand’
  • ‘Korea’

What I like, what I don’t like and what I’m wondering about

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Today, I will write something about my experiences here in Vancouver.

When I came over here, I thought that the English would sound quite similar to the one spoken in the USA. But quite soon I realised that Canadians speak more like the Brits and they also write words like in British English (e.g. Centre instead of Center or Harbour instead of Harbor). Being more like the Brits makes it easier to understand them.

The Canadians are very friendly persons. But honestly: How many Canadians do live in Vancouver? On the streets you see more Asians…Both the ‘Asians’ and the Canadians have one thing in common: they dress like temperatures would still be up in the twenties. The ‘Asians’ are very present in the food courts too. Every food court has Chinese, Thai or Vietnamese food to offer.

And what is negative here? Actually, there hasn’t been anything worth to note.  Okay, the weather could be better. But it’s November.

How safe do you feel during the flight?

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

The title of this post might sound strange but I want to write about my experiences on my first two flights.

Sunday morning we were sitting in the airplane and the captain was speaking when all electronic devices went off and the emergency lights went on. Fortunately, we had the energy back after some minutes and the captain explained to us what had happened: The ground staff had removed the ground power without noticing the crew. So, we could start our flight to Frankfurt with only some minutes delay.

In Frankfurt, I had to do some sport as I only had 40 minutes till boarding and I did not know how much time I would need to get to the gate. But I made it on time. Just after the boarding had started, the ground staff announced that only groups of  10 are allowed to board as the airplane could not be refueled.  Several minutes we took off. Was there really enough fuel in the tank?

About one hour before landing in Vancouver, a next announcement was made: The crew was searching for a doctor as we had a medical emergency on board. Luckily, the person seemed to survive and the doctor got two bottles of wine (which was actually above the legal limit…).

One hour after the landing, I was already in my hotel room. Actually, it’s more than one room. I have a sleeping room (king size bed), a living room (sofa plu 47 inch flat screen), a bathroom and a kitchen.

As I was quite tired, I decided to go out and walk around a bit. When I came back to the hotel, I was sure that it must be late at night. But it was 5 o’clock. So, I tried to stay awake as long as possible to get into the rhythm but around 9 o’clock I gave up.

Today, I got up quite early. Quite soon it realised that the weather was fine except that it was windy and cold and raining…Nevertheless, I discovered Vancouver by foot. Tonight, I wanna watch a movie in a cinema. It’s called the box. Unfortunately, I don’t get the audio from the trailer, so I don’t know much about the movie.

Packed & checked in

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

It’s less than 24 hours until take-off. So, it’s time for a new post.

Yesterday, I started packing all the things. First, I wanted to take one bag with me only. But I had to change my mind quite soon. As I have to take some winter clothes with me, I need more space. So, I packed my stuff into two bags. This also gives me the possibility to buy things without having to think if the fit into the bag.

Today, I did the online check-in which went very smoothly (not like last time…). Now, I only have to be at the airport on time…