I reserved (although not yet purchased) a flight to Osaka from Shanghai Pudong for the 7th of July. So, barring a reservation issue I have ten days left in China with today my final day of work in the education field (for the foreseeable future, at least).
I have developed a vague idea of what I’ll be up to in Japan and my various adventures in the land of the rising sun are going to last from July 7th to July 18th, upon which I shall set sail from Toyama, Japan on this little boat bound for Vladivostok, Russia.
While in Japan I plan on visiting Kyoto, then move up to Tokyo and perhaps climb Mt. Fuji. From Tokyo I hope to navigate the Japanese Alps via what is known as the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route – a bus, train, cable car and hiking tag team through some spectacular (I’m hoping) mountain countryside. This path will spit me out directly in Toyama, the departure harbor of Vladivostok bound used-car ferries.
*on an nostalgic note, the area of the alpine route was the region I was hoping to live in when I was considering Japan as my initial ESL destination of choice back when I was just finishing up my undergrad at UVic.
The Russian plans are also currently vague, but currently include finding a decent hotel in Vladivostok to register with (apparently this place suffers from a serious lack of affordable and useful accommodations) and find someone kind enough to write down train dates and times for me so I’m able to purchase a ticket at the station. Direct tickets to Moscow are almost impossible to get at this late date, but I’m planning to train hop my way – getting off at various stations along the route. I will definitely be getting off at Irkutsk (Lake Baikal) and perhaps Yekaterinburg and quite possible some smaller locations (not because I want to, but it is likely that I’ll be forced to given the ticket situation). Moscow is worthy of a few days and then on to St. Petersburg from which I plan to make my way to Europe via the Baltics (because they don’t require a transit visa like Belarus – and I don’t have enough passport pages for another visa).
Absolutely no idea what I’m going to do after that…although I have invitations to both Denmark and Ireland.
Then it is to Toronto and then onto new things in Kingston, Ontario – although I don’t have a place to live yet.
I had my mobile stolen in Shanghai. With only two weeks left in country it was kind of a bummer to lose all my numbers and be forced to get another mobile. I picked up a rather nice 2nd had Nokia 7260 for about 400RMB. A 2004 model, but essentially brand new – can use in Canada but it doesn’t have blue tooth…another annoying feature is its inability to switch between Chinese and English when writing a text message. But I suppose I won’t be needing that feature in Canada.