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Last Call…

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Africa

It’s been a dream on mine to go Africa. I wanna see the beautiful people of Africa, and of course, the animals.

10. Place where you’d like to go

Paris, France

We didn’t exactly have a lot of time when we were in Paris. I’m grateful for my visit there, but a day and a half in Paris just doesn’t cut it. I would want to explore Paris more.

09. Place you’d like to go back to

Crete, Greece

chania (30)

My girl in Crete was a good one. She took good care of me. I will never forget her.

08. Place where you lived a romantic moment

Italy

07. Place where you lived a memorable moment

Vigan, Philippines

[E]mpanada in Vigan

I would trade any other food I got in exchange of Vigan empanada. I’ve been many places and have tasted many culture food, but Vigan empanada is THE best of them all. We tried a supposedly Vigan empanada in Manila, but it’s just not the same as if you’re to get it exactly in Vigan. I’m craving for Vigan empanda. What I wouldn’t give for my lips to have a meeting with Vigan empanada again.:)

I wonder when we’d get to invent something that would record taste into memory. Ahihihi😀

06. Place where you had a tasty memories

Seville, Spain

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There’s just so much to see and do in Seville, and it’s just so pretty. I had a memorable fun night there too.

05. Place which surprised you

Mykonos, Greece

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My fault for having such a high expectation from our trip to Mykonos. I just don’t see how this place is popular.

04. Place which disappoints you

Iwo Jima, Japan

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We walked and hiked from the air terminal all the way up to Mt. Suribachi for 4 hours, to and back. I was beat. I couldn’t imagine the soldiers braving to go to war and fight, and then imagine them with the physical exhaustion they had to go through.  Mad respect to the servicemen who fought the Battle of Iwo Jima.

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03. Place which touched you

Italy

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I hated my work when I was in Italy. But it was such an awesome country, and I had THE BEST circle of friends.

02. Place where you had fun

Philippines

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I’ve been all kinds of places, but Philippines is the nearest and dearest to my heart.

01. Place you always bring with you

I decided to, for the first time, follow a rule of sticking to just one answer.😉

I was tagged by Living Out The Box and About Her Small World. They both have outstanding responses to this tagged post. I say head over to their posts instead of staying here on mine.

I’ve been wanting to do a post where things are backwards. I finally found one that I can apply that to. I apologize if this makes you dizzy and confused.😀

 

Abukuma Cave in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

I loved our trip to Five-colored Lakes and Abukuma Cave in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

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Our trip to Abukuma Cave was magical and fun!

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It was fun navigating inside the cave because we had to duck, stoop, and hunch down; side-step, and climb up to get through some low and narrow paths.

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It was so adventurous that I felt like Indiana Jones.

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The cave looks absolutely enchanting!

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It reminds me Gyokusendo Cave in Okinawa World.

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There is a certain cave light show spot.

That is the thing with going inside a cave, there’s that sense of exploration and adventure, and wonderment.

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Abukuma Cave is currently the only limestone cave in Japan that is open to public.

Last Call …

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Goshiki-numa, Five-colored Lakes in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

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I went hiking again on a National Park here in Japan. This time it’s Bandai National Park.

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Mount Bandai erupted in 1888 dropping mineral deposits to surrounding waters giving it different colors.

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I’m not sure because it’s really more like two-and-a-half-to-three-and-a-half-colored lakes to me.:)

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But don’t take my word for it as I am color-blind.:)

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And there not only lakes but ponds as well.

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We saw a natural koi pond.

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This one is yellowish, cream, or muddy color.

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The majority of the color is bluish green.

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Love the sound of water flowing when hiking.

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A bit of flowers on the trails.

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This is a very easy hike…

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… with lush greenery all around.

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The end of the trail was when we hit the big lake some boats.

Don’t miss the koi with a heart-shaped marking on its side.

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You may not noticed it, but it was actually raining that day.

It is more suggested to come visit this area during fall when the leaves change its colors as well as the lakes and ponds. It is said that the colors of the lakes and ponds depend on time of the day, the vegetation around, weather, and time of the year.

Last Call …

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My Amazing Race (Part 3?)

Is everybody ready? Alright, let’s get this race started. The world is waiting for you….

On my mark, travel safe, Go!

The Amazing Race is a show originated in the USA where teams (usually a team of two, usually 11 teams) race around the world and do a variety of tasks to get their next “clue”. For more information, visit http://www.cbs.com/shows/amazing_race/ or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Amazing_Race_(U.S._TV_series)

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Noticed the (?) on my title.
The first time I did this, it’s all over the world just like this post. I titled it My Amazing Race – https://thesophomoreslump2.com/2012/03/24/my-amazing-race/
The second time I did this, it’s only places in California
https://thesophomoreslump2.com/2015/02/13/my-amazing-race-in-california/

For this post, I am only including Seasons 20 – 28, that’s to continue the first time I did this.

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Starting Line – Season 27 – Venice Beach, California

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Teams started the race on Venice Beach (in front of picture #2 of this gallery).

Leg 5 – Season 20 – Neuschwanstein Castle – Bavaria, Germany

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The teams received their next clue which told them to “find the inspiration for Sleeping Beautys castle” (the one below, some teams confused it with the castle above).

[N]euschwantein Castle

Leg 5 – Season 26 – Munich, Germany

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Leg 6 – Season 27 – Paris, France

The Pit Stop was on The Arc de Triomphe (seen below).

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Leg 7 – Season 24 – Rome, Italy

One team had to deliver a typewriter to “The Typewriter” (seen below) as part of their Speed Bump.

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Teams had to count how many steps are there up the Spanish Steps (seen below).

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The Pit Stop was on Piazza del Popolo (seen below).

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Leg 8 – Season 22 – Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

Leg 9 – Season 26 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Teams had to maneuver a hot tub-slash-boat through the canals while solving picture puzzles.

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Leg 10 – Season 24 – Sevilla, Spain

Teams visited the Patio de las Doncellas inside Real Alcázar (seen below) to get their next clue.

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Leg 10 to 12 – Season 25 – Manila, Philippines

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On Leg 10, teams had to use a plow attached to a water buffalo (seen below) while searching for their next clue.

Caramoan

Leg 11 -Gotokuji Temple & Shibuya Crossing – Tokyo, Japan

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Teams had to search through a collection of maneki-neko, or beckoning cats (seen below), to find their next clue.

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Teams had to search the Shibuya Scramble Crossing (seen below) for a moving vending machine that held their next clue.

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Leg 12 – Finish Line – Las Vegas, Nevada

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During the roadblock, team members had to take a part of a magic stunt with David Copperfield.

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Finish Line – Santa Barbara, California – Season 28

Last Call …

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This is the third installment of my Special Reports before getting to #400.

K A V A L A

I often wonder what makes a travel destination more popular than another location.

Is it the views?

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Kavala, Greece has one of my top overlooking views I’ve ever been to.

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It is accessible by going up the castle.

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Is it the historical background or importance?

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In Kavala, you can ride a bus to take you to the ancient site of Philippi.

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This is where Brutus was defeated by Mark Antony and Octavian. This Battle of Philippi was triggered after the assassination of Julius Ceasar. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the area of Philippi dates back all the way from prehistoric times (5500 BC).

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We had a dog for a tourist…

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Is it the food?

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Old Aqueduct Kamares

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I don’t have the pictures for it, but there was this Greek place we went to two times out of the two days we were there because they just have one of the best gyros I’ve ever tasted.

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Is it the water?

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Okay, maybe Kavala is not the best when it comes to water destinations, especially against other beach destinations in Greece. But Kavala’s port still offers a picturesque view of the city and the water which makes for a nice, quiet walk around Panagia.

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This view reminds me of the one in Amalfi, Italy.

Is it the charm?

Kavala has got the charm.

Last Call…

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Maybe it’s the geographical location. Kavala isn’t really the most situated location in Greece. Maybe it’s character, or definitive or defining features of a place. Kavala doesn’t really have much on that aspect. Maybe it’s the famous people or media that are influencing a certain travel destination to become popular. I didn’t know about Kavala until I got to Greece. I always hear about Santorini, Athens, and Mykonos. Okay, maybe Kavala isn’t really the best, but I really think that it is way too underrated.

Can you think of at least one underrated city or place you’ve been to?

 

 

 

Horikiri Iris Garden in Tokyo, Japan

This was supposed to be a festival. But I missed all the festival shows and activities because I took a detour elsewhere instead of going straight here. Oh well, I get to visit a flowery flowery place, which I haven’t done in a long time.

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I have to say I’m a little surprise that this garden is in Tokyo.

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Irises look weird to me.

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Well, oddly beautiful, I should say.

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There are other kinds of flowers in the garden as well as along the streets leading to it.

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I’m not sure about this next one. It’s a bit questionable?

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If you’re in Japan during this time of the year, make note of visiting an iris garden or witnessing an iris festival and see if it is right for you. Iris festivals and gardens are all over in Japan, so do your research on which area suits best. The exact location of this garden is Katsushika, one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo.

Last Call…

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Oze Hike

I won the photo contest again!

It’s my header photo which I took from my hike in Kamikochi.

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I didn’t think they’d pick me again given I already won the previous month. I’m even prouder now knowing that the first win wasn’t just a one-time thing.

I probably won’t submit anything this month to give way for other people.

Now, moving on with Oze…

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While Kamikochi is an easy, for nature beauty hike, Oze is a moderate to challenging, nature beauty hike.

Sorry folks, I only had a cellphone for taking pictures.

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We took the Numayama Toge Pass with elevation of 1700 – 1770 meters.

We headed to the marsh areas where we missed the blooming of skunk cabbage.

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It’s still pretty nonetheless.

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Can you see the tiny people?

Then stopped at the visitor’s center to admire Lake Ozenuma and Mt. Hiuchigatake.

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We then tackled a long walk looping around the lake.

And came back again to ascending hike of 1660 – 1770 meters, all the way up the starting point.

Oze National Park is the largest highland marsh in Japan. Oze is part of Gunma Prefecture.

Even though we missed the skunk cabbages and the sky was covered with clouds, it’s still a great way to explore nature’s beauty in Japan. Better this than sitting in my room, or doing my coursework ( Ooops😀 ). Plus, it really is a good leg work-out.😉

Last Call…

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If you hear bells dinging from hikers’ bags, it’s not to annoy you. The bells are to avoid unexpected encounter with a bear during the hike through the dense forest. I told our hike guide that I wouldn’t mind having a meeting with a bear.😀

 

 

 

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