Still acclimatising to the high altitude, we spend the day exploring spots in the beautiful Leh valley.
Arrival at Leh in northern India and getting our altitude acclimatisation and orientation done. The place is almost 11,000 feet above sea level, and at the risk of altitude sickness.
We end our Kyushu adventure by spending the final nights in Kitakyushu at the top end of the island, staying just next door to the Kokura Station, a major point on the Sanyo Shinkansen line. The plan is to explore this northern tip of Kyushu before returning to Tokyo with the shinkansen.
I have always wanted to visit Nagasaki ever since I learnt in school about the horrific twin atomic bombings of 1945. After visiting Hiroshima, my desire to visit Nagasaki reached an all-time high. Now as I step out of the train at Nagasaki Station, my ambition is almost fulfilled.
Today we are visiting the famous active volcano – Sakurajima – or the ‘Cherry Blossom Island’. Well it used to be an island in the Kagoshima Bay until 1914, when a huge eruption spilled lava down its eastern flank thus joining it to the mainland of Kyushu. Henceforth it become a peninsula in the bay, but the name ‘island’ remains.
Being an avid fan of belching, erupting active volcanoes, the Kyushu volcano of Sakurajima has been on my to-visit list for a while. Being Japan’s most active and one of the world’s most active, I just have to see it. On my recent trip to Japan, I soon found myself making my way from Tokyo, via Kyoto, then all the way to Kagoshima, the city at the western end of Japan’s main islands, right in the shadow of Sakurajima itself.
After the unforgettable Denali experience, we drive from Healy to Nenana, enroute to North Pole, via the George Parks Highway. A stop in Nenana to spot the legendary Alaska Railroad train fails, but the log cabin and Santa Claus House in North Pole delight us! (September 2015)
We are at Denali village, the gateway to the world famous Denali National Park, an American icon. The morning starts with less-than-stellar weather as we make our way to the township at the entrance to this great national park. We are heading deep into the park, and snow is forecast. This should be fun. (September 2015)
Autumn of 2015, and we embark on another epic journey — a self-drive tour of Alaska, doing the Anchorage-Denali-Fairbanks-Glenallen-Seward-Anchorage loop, via Routes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9 (not necessarily in that order) for a total distance of 1700km. This story is the first part of the journey — the very scenic 400km leg from Anchorage to Denali National Park. (September 2015)
A collection of three stories on our visit to Arles in Provence, France, to track locations Vincent van Gogh used for his famous paintings of 1888-1889. (September 2013)