Hiroshima

August 6, 1945

“When you arrive in Hiroshima you can look around and for 25 and perhaps 30 square miles you can see hardly a building. It gives you an empty feeling in the stomach to see such man-made devastation.” – Wilfred Burchett

75 years ago, on this day, the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped by a US bomber over the city of Hiroshima.

8:15 AM

The time was 8:15 a.m., as recorded by this watch that remained still once the explosion reached the ground.

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Peles Castle

Peles Castle

Peles Castle (Peleş) is one of the most beautiful castles in Europe located in the Carpathian Mountains, near Sinaia, Romania.

Peles Castle won the 2015 Travellers’ Choice Award by TripAdvisor.

Commissioned by King Carol I in 1873 and completed in 1883, the castle served as the summer residence of the Romanian royal family until 1947.

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The wonder of Angkor Wat

Memories of the Past

In a previous life, perhaps I was living in Asia since the connection to this continent is so strong.

After the “shock of arrival” to Asia via Hong Kong in 2003, I started exploring this amazing land – starting with China and ending in Thailand: Macau, Japan, Nepal, Tibet, India, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.

Each country brings memories of adventure and discovery, friendship and love.

In Cambodia is Angkor Wat – truly impressive, a masterpiece from the past.

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Pokhara Phewa Lake

The Place

Pokhara is a beautiful, quiet lakeside town in Nepal, where – if you are adventurous – you can try to live the hippie life as in the past, even if for few ephemeral moments.

“Pokhara is so beautiful that you will experience a myriad of unforgettable moments. You will never be able to get enough of Pokhara.” –  Avijeet Das

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Annapurna

One of my most memorable trips was trekking the Annapurna Mountains, in Nepal, back in 2010.

From Kathmandu I flew to Pokhara with a small Yeti Airlines airplane, together with Ang CeCi Sherpa – the daughter of Everest climber and guide, A. D. Sherpa.

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Yubu Jima Island

Yubu Jima (由布島) Island

With a circumference of only 2.15 kilometers, Yubu Jima is the smallest island in the Yaeyama Archipelago, Okinawa. The entire island is a subtropical garden, with more than 100 varieties of trees!

On the island are 43 water buffaloes, 23 carts, 23 people and 17 households (2010, yubujima.com).

The island is accessible by water buffalo cart from Iriomote Jima.

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Niagara Falls - Polar Vortex

One of the harshest and coldest winters in Canada was the winter of 2013/14 – with a Christmas ice storm that downed trees and hydro lines, cutting power to half million people – and a series of polar vortexes. The polar vortex from the beginning  of January froze the Niagara River and the two smaller waterfalls, creating an unusual winter landscape.

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Kabukicho RED Light District

The “Sleepless Town” (眠らない街)

“Tokyo’s hidden erotic wonderland is open for business.” – National Geographic

When I arrived first time at the Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, I was lost. 3.64 million passengers pass through the world’s busiest transport hub each day, more than the population of Toronto! Once you find your way out (from over 200 exits), you may head to the famous red light district of Tokyo, Kabukichō – the “Sleepless Town”.

Kabukichō (歌舞伎町)

Your first clue that you are in the area is when you are seeing well dressed young Japanese men with very long hair. You will find them at the main entrances to the Kabukichō red light district, every day and night.

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