maanantai 7. tammikuuta 2013

polar express

Snowy hello! This happened over a month ago but; we went to Hokkaido! We, meaning me, Andrea, Alazne, Naz, Yasser, Loan, Maxwell, Trygve, Mallory and Will, packed our warmest clothes with us and off we went.
Hokkaido is the northern island of Japan and proved itself to be super beautiful and definately worth seeing! Sure, it took a 12 hour ferry ride there with Loan passing out in the play corner set up for the kids but the magnificent thing of a boat also had a cinema and an onsen. So it was all very jolly travelling. (I also took the ferry for 22 hours on the christmas holidays and must say that this time the only thing having a jolly time was the food in my stomach insisting to come out the less natural way of going up..)

In Hokkaido we made our way to the capital city of Hokkaido, Sapporo. After spending over month or so in Akita without a break or a half, Sapporo was such a nice change. The city was big and busy, the kind of place where you can sense people get off their arses and do things for their own pleasure instead of only for work. Basically a place where people live. As expected we saw the main sights, went to the famous Sapporo brewery to have a drink and had an altogether splendid time together.
After spending a few nights in Sapporo it was time to get on the road again. Renting a minivan and driving to a hot spring village of Noboribetsu through a national park was incredibly nice even with the lethally slippery mountain roads. It was the first time for me to see proper snow in Japan and all I can say is thay I loved it! Spending the past three winter away, I had forgotten how snow for the perisuomalainen in me is like sun to my southern friends. It felt like fluffy balls of energy coming down from the skies. And what better way to enjoy the christmassy weather than sit in a hot spring outside with the girls. Noboribetsu and it's surrounding nature, including the Hell Valley 10 minutes walk from our inn, was breath taking.
All in all, until recently I considered Hokkaido definately as my favorite place in Japan (opinion that changed after our travels during the holidays). Who knows, maybe I'll see it again on a later date, I know there remains lot to be seen in the North. It is funny how I always thought myself as someone who's escaping the north with it's depressing atmosphere but so it seems that wherever I go, the north always hits closest to home with me.

Now to my, and hopefully yours as well since my writing leaves room for improvement, favourite part. Pics!

 The night before we left I got to celebrate my first ever thanksgiving! Guys cooking pasta for some 30 people having dinner together. Special thanks to Niki for putting it all together! Loved it.
 On the train to Sapporo. Loan had returned to life as well! The time for miracles is not over.
 Finally theeere.
 I was not the only one enjoying the snow.
 The asian twins/lovers having a good time at the all you can drink on the first night.
 A drink at the Sapporo brewery. Attractive people, I know.
 The old city hall of Sapporo in a spooky night light! Much less cooler in the inside I might add.
 The winter illumation festival.
 Once again we put the dad behind the wheel.
 A lake with a mountain in the middle of it! THE EXCITEMENT!
 Naz could feel it as well!
 The view on the national park. Made me believe we were in Russia!
 The gang minus two posing. Aww.
 Hell valley with it's natural hot springs.
 Anarchy in the UK, I came way too close to burning my face off.
I heard this is where the Peverell brothers met Death himself.

Amazing trip it was! As I mentioned, we went on another one recently. Stories told and pictures shown as soon as I get hold of them! Now, back to knitting, drinking tea and solving mysteries with Miss Marple. Yes, I am turning 68 this upcoming February.

With my utmost love, Sonja