Norway, October 2011 — Collection of Stories

A collection of 10 stories on the trip we did 12-19 October 2011, covering Oslo, Bergen and Tromso, and of course everything in between. Highlights were the scenic Bergen Railway, the fjords, the Arctic, and chasing the elusive Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights.

The Arctic City of Tromsø & the Northern Lights

A visit to Tromsø in far north Norway, 350km past the Arctic Circle. Interesting city, just a mere 2000km south of the North Pole — same latitude as Northern Siberia and Alaska, yet very modern and liveable. At the same latitude in the south, this city would have been on Antarctica. Polar explorer Roald Amundsen prepared his expeditions here. Highlight is the hunt for the elusive Aurora Borealis. 15-17 October 2011.

Historical Port of Otaru, Hokkaido

A day trip by train from Sapporo on a cold snowy day, to the beautiful historical port city of Otaru. A stroll along the famous Sakaimichi Street and Canals. 08 December 2011.

Sapporo White Illumination

Evening arrival in Sapporo from Hakodate, and we promptly have dinner at an eatery near the JR Sapporo Station. Followed by a slippery walk on ice to the famed Odori Park to witness the spectacular Sapporo White Illumination. 07 December 2011.

Emirates Airbus A380 Official Welcome at KLIA

Official ceremony to mark the commencement of daily Airbus A380 flights between KUL and DXB by Emirates. A tour of the impressive plane is also included. Aircraft is A6-EDE. 12 January 2012.

Snowy Hakodate in Hokkaido

On a cold snowy day, we explored the interesting bits of Hakodate, a city of 280,000 people. First Japanese port to open to foreigners, in 1854. A beautiful seaside city set on a promontory, founded 15th century, it has many historical sites. 07 December 2011.

Utsunomiya-Hakodate Train Journey and a Big Christmas Tree

Day-long 770km train rides from Utsunomiya (Honshu) to Hakodate (Hokkaido), via the 58km-long Seikan Tunnel underneath the Tsugaru Strait. Hakodate welcomes us with a Big Christmas Tree, a gift from Sister City Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada. 06 December 2011.

The Tokugawa Ieyasu Shrine in Nikko, Japan

A visit to the shrine or mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, which ruled Japan for more than 250 years between 17th and 19th century. A UNESCO World Heritage Site. 05 December 2011.