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Bucket List

  • Experience colder than single digit Fahrenheit. Ideally be able to throw boiling water and see it turn to snow/ice.
  • Experience a good roiling storm.
  • Roller coasters are fun. A little spendy. Don't want to wait in lines though, unless I'm with someone.
    • Busch Gardens was recommended as a more decorative roller coaster area, but I don't mind Six Flags on a parking lot either.

Yosemite

Can take YARTS from Merced/Fresno/ few other places to Yosemite and hostels outside. Take bus back to hostel, rinse and repeat for a few days.

Whether to fly into Fresno for $500 non-stop round trip or just fly into Oakland for $200 round trip nonstop and drive/take train to Merced and take YARTS.

Interesting.

Japan

To Do!

Figure out transportation to south Japan. Fly out of Fukuoaka to Seoul? Seoul to Tokyo.

  • Booking via Peach looks good. One Baggage fee is $12. Leave hiking poles in Tokyo area? Hmm…

Figure out what to bring home (snacks) for work.

Logan

Kyoto

He had an excellent time visiting the shrines and climbing mountains. Old and not Christian but interesting.

  • Lots of shrines
  • It’s the cultural capital, and used to be the actual capital.
  • West side of Kyoto has lots of mountains and trails and water.
  • Sen bong tori, path
  • Orange gates on way to mountain
  • Bamboo grove

Nagoya

Where Toyota is

Nagasaki

  • Iojima is the island that traders came to.
  • Lots of old Christian churches founded there.

Culture

Cool intro series (although war based). Supernova in the East, by Dan Carlin

  • Japan didn't really want to get into war, but was sliding towards it.
  • They had 1/20th of the resources of the US. Bombing Pearl Harbor and immediately taking over eastern side of Pacific was the only hope they had of getting an armistice.
    • Normally they would announce war a little bit ahead of time. “Don't kill a sleeping ——-, wake them up first then kill them”
    • Unfortunately this didn't happen, which made the Americans even more mad. Churchill was “glad” Japan attacked the US, because it meant Britain would be saved from Germany and the Axis. America had way more ability to create war resources. 10X everyone else.

Stuff

Kiyoko's grandma is in Nagasaki. Can take train (Kamone) to Fukuoka airport for $50 and 3 hours. fly from nearby Fukuoaka airport over to Seoul cheaply ($60). Or take a flight, which is even more time and $250.

Toyota factory tour in Nagoya (2 hour shinkansen ride from Tokyo). Read a cool article on Takaoka #2. https://www.thedrive.com/tech/26955/inside-toyotas-takaoka-2-line-the-most-flexible-line-in-the-world

$500 if you do round-trip to Tokyo through LAX. Man…cheap.

October 1 through October 21-ish preliminarily.

Tokyo

Mt Fuji

Earlier I saw you looking for pant recommendations for Fuji. When you get to Japan look for stores called Hard Off. Sometimes they'll have something else before the Off part like Book Off. Basically they are second hand stores and usually they have great stuff for cheap. You can probably find pants and things there.

Fuji isn't that hard. Its just a long slog to the top. Going down is the worst. When your quads are screaming try going backwards. You'll look ridiculous but it works. Last time I did that and lots of people were taking the cue and did likewise.

The best hike in the area by far is Kitadake. Look into it. Its an overnighter. There are two hut options. They'll have everything you'll need like food, water, and even a sleeping bag. The views from Kitadake are amazing. Fuji is cool because its Fuji but it doesnt even come close to Kitadake.

Definitely bring a puffy to Fuji. Its cold up there. They have food and beer up there too. Enjoy!

Offseason train schedule: https://www.japan-guide.com/bus/fuji.html

Climb Mt. Fuji on shoestring budget: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g298102-d321024-r228191721-Mount_Fuji-Chubu.html

More work to do

Hostel

USA destinations

Apparently Consign Furniture in Spokane is worth going to again, says Grandpa.

Glenn went to Disneyland with family. Nice to see your kids enjoying it, even if you're grimacing at $9 corn dogs and $450-$600 to stay at the Grand Californian (the nicest resort hotel at Disneyland). Also as adults it's fun. Kelly agrees.

Housing

Airbnb is pretty cheap housing too. Almost preferable to a hotel / hostel for 1 person, definitely for 2+ people.

  • Fill out thy profile. Maybe copy from couchsurfing profile? Include wiki and facebook page. Will fix/diagnose computers for free :-)
  • Leave a review.

If you buy a camper, it's around $40 a month for a year long contract that gets you into a lot of trailer parks.

Immigration

Immigration to US can be sped up using Global Entry. $100 one time fee.

Laundry

I like using sinks over a waterproof laundry bag. And…I like just spending 30 minutes and getting laundry quickly out of the way while listening to something.

https://travel.stackexchange.com/a/18658

This might seem obvious to some, and completely out of the question to others, but it's what I do:

Wash your laundry before going to a new hotel. I do it in the hotel sink at night before going to bed, and by morning my clothes are usually completely dry. Of course, this can depend a lot on your clothing, and the material from which they are made. I make a point to travel with quick-drying clothes, and a travel clothes line to make this task easier.

Traveling this way also makes it easier to travel lighter, as you can carry fewer items of clothing, as you can always do laundry on demand, rather than waiting until the end of your journey, or when laundry facilities are available.

Another option, don't like as much

Can put dirty laundry alongside your clean laundry in same “one bag” travel cubes by enclosing the dirty in…several layers of shopping bags, will minimize permeability over time. However, if not completely dry (can use clothesline), will cause mold if left for a few days

Zip lock bags are relatively water tight but not air tight. All flexible packaging has a OTR (Oxygen Transmission Rate) and MVTR (Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate) specification. The transmission rates of the compounds (aromatic, in this case) through the plastic barrier are directly proportional to the size of the compound in conjunction with the type of plastic barrier. PET (Polyethylene) has much better OTR values than OPP (Oriented Polypropylene) but more inferior MVTR rates.

Cheap flights

So, occasionally there will be flight deals. See the repeated entries on Japan in “The Points Guy”: https://www.google.com/search?q=site:https://thepointsguy.com/deals/+japan&safe=active&ei=Ig3RXMPyMIeJ-gTty6eIAQ&start=10&sa=N&ved=0ahUKEwjDi8H1zYjiAhWHhJ4KHe3lCREQ8NMDCIUB&biw=1422&bih=711

  • So I'm going to wait until 60 days beforehand to book and keep my Google Flights email updates at the ready.
    • Hopefully the nonstop round trip won't change from $900. Too bad one-way nonstop is $600.

Somehow a round trip from PDX to Tokyo is $500 (one stop in LAX), but going from LAX to Tokyo round trip is $650? And one way from LAX to Tokyo is also $650?

Award Hacker for points hacking. https://www.awardhacker.com

Also maybe All The Flight Deals

Great GUI for flexible date travel: http://google.com/flights/explore

  • Other tools seem to only do +/- 3 days.
  • Need to pick a specific airport for this GUI to show up when you press the date menu:

Ryanair

Mostly in Europe, and you can't find them on other websites. Book two months in advance and on flexible days and you can get RyanAir flights for 1/3 to 1/2 of other flights and they're direct! Downsides:

  • Your schedule is etched in stone at that point, unless they will give you a refund? Not sure…
  • There was a hard plastic ridge on the top of the seat that was right at my head. Otherwise the leather was fine. Maybe use a shirt as padding…

Strategy for next time

Can pack a little lighter. Less toothpaste and more shampoo.

  • Wait, why use shampoo? I understand showering to some extent, but not really either.
  • Don't buy things like eggs/butter unless you really plan on finishing them. Muesli / oatmeal and bread is good enough. Also, don't have to boil muesli, you can just have it with milk?!

Checklist

One bag checklist: https://www.onebag.com/list.html, maybe Doomsday Prepping for less crazy folk: http://lcamtuf.coredump.cx/prep/, doomsday_prepping_for_less_crazy_folk.pdf

  • Put key lock on phone, encryption not really necessary. Can get 3G GSM on Nexus 5 North American version. See what cheap phones there are in Poland, but it'd be good insurance to have a data / phone plan for emergency uber ride.
    • Put lastpass on phone?
  • Chromebook for light battery-powered all-day plane/train computing as well as portable phone battery charger.
    • Still not sure though. Seems annoying to take care of and make sure it's safe.
  • Set up beneficiaries for … who?
  • Make physical copies of passport and important papers (visas), and have a picture for good measure. Save on phone/Dropbox.
  • Earbuds w/ microphone for calls. Make sure that it sounds good, especially compared to laptop microphone. Bring a backup.
  • Are the flight dates right
  • Tell credit cards / debit cards you are traveling.
  • Passport, minimal credit cards, Oregon ID. Emergency 4-5 days of money in case you need to transfer money from U.S. and the debit card doesn't work. 1% transaction fee. Store in middle of backpack. Bring combo lock?
  • Earmuffs so you can listen to things in peace, but also earplugs for sleeping at night comfortably (muffs are bulky).
  • 1 athletic shorts, 1 non athletic shorts.
  • Hurley nice shirt, 2 nicer one-layer shirt. Buying a reversible shirt would be good too, 2 styles in one! Maybe buy one or two there if styles are different? Like that spanish guy at CMU.
    • Wow, he recommends long sleeve linen or equivalent light-colored shirt, more than t-shirts and shorts. See what is at a goodwill in Poland or something. See what it's like in Poland…
  • Deodorant, brushing toiletries. Less toothpaste, more shampoo.
  • Package or two of fancy detergent to remove smells easier. Extra ziploc bags for anything.
  • Belt
  • Robust pair of decathlon sandals (my personal preference). $15. NH100, Arpenaz 50.
  • Sunscreen
  • 4 pairs of underwear, 3 pairs of socks
  • Utensils: Metal (airport security w/ carryon), Spork (too annoying for me to use), Chipotle plasticware! Free, good looking, and robust.
  • Remove lighter from camping bag. Sweet, TSA is ok with them.
  • Target sealable plastic container with spork/knife, just in case nothing is at dorms. But, you can just buy/borrow it when you're there too.
    • Otherwise shopping bags for carrying food is just fine. No fine cuisine here…
  • Pre-load laptop or phone with some reading / videos / programming / thoughts. OpenCV camera shake tracking thing?
  • No contacts (just glasses) in 3rd world countries? Might want to get a slightly better prescription before leaving
  • Waterproof your backpack by lining with garbage bag?
  • Velcro on pockets w/ important things in them so you can hear pickpockets opening them.

Phone SIM

Cezary recommended one with white text on a blue background. PLAY.

International Calls with Google Voice

For some reason my laptop audio/mic is acting weird, so using Google Voice from home phone. Call GV number, wait for voicemail, then press *. Type in your pin, and follow the instructions to dial internationally.

Visitors office is + 48 58 347 28 28, but housing has one of the following suffixes and closes by 4pm Poland time: 2547 2286 1518

San Francisco / Bay Area

  • Decathlon (other sandals, try out bikes). Go to Emeryville store, as it's bigger.
  • Kickstart?
  • Exploratorium. The Tech Museum of Innovation too?
  • Computer history museum? Mack recommended it
  • That fast IT training place. What was it called? You wrote it down in the wiki under learning I think
  • Roller Coaster (California Great America)? or go to the LA one (Magic Mountain). In the winter the crowds will be less. But you'll have less sunlight too. Maybe they still stay open late.
    • Also should ride on the scariest part. Front or extreme back? On deja vu it was definitely the back :-) Or was it the front? :-)

General Tips

Bla bla car

Use cash euros when possible, otherwise use axis or hdfc travel card from centrum online

Cheap to take train overnight, don't need to buy lodging

Ryan air is cheaper

Get walking guide for friendlier cities like amsterdam

Greet people in the local language

Couch surfing might be preferable for meeting native people, although the hostel host will be somewhat native too.

Just don't think international travelers are the native people.

Hostel vs Couch Surfing

Hostel is great for finding people to sightsee with.

However, couch surfing lets you meet locals easier and discuss those things at night.

Hostel is not that expensive for 1 person. $10-20/night, hardly can beat it, unless you have a family.

2017 Poland / Eastern Europe Trip

I would like to visit a concentration camp and a city <with bikes> in the Netherlands.

Bus and transportation mapping service for Poland (jakdojade.pl)

Gdansk

Wikitravel looks really nice! http://wikitravel.org/en/Gda%C5%84sk

  • Looks like only SKM train goes to Gdansk Glowny

210 or N3 (night) train is needed, 4 PLN. Going from Port Lotniczy “lotkneecheh” (airport) to Gdansk Technical University dorm, nearby Wrzeszcz PKP station, or “vzesch peh keh peh”.

Dorms numbers: https://pg.edu.pl/osiedle-studenckie/contact

Look into getting a Gdańsk – Sopot – Gdynia Plus tourist card. Free bus and access / discounts to museums, but only 72h increments, not 1.5 weeks.

Downtown main station is “dvorznek guvneh”, or Dworzec Główny.

Grocery stores

  • Higher end is piotr and pawel. Lower is Biedronka or Lidl.
Sylvia

Muzeum Solidarity, Katowice (amber museum), Moriecki Church, Zuriew by ottowe river

(bike to) Oliwo cathedral, organ, sopot, gdynia maybe, westerplatte

http://pierogarnia-mandu.pl/ (dumplings)

http://www.tlustakaczka.pl/ (duck dish, with duck soup)

Visit Hel, and kiteboard along there. Can probably rent kite, board, and lifejacket there.

Maciej recommends Helbork Castle (30 miles drive), start of WWII http://www.muzeum1939.pl/en/home-page and Westerplatte: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westerplatte (do next time)

Travel to Warsaw/Krakow using Pendolino? Nice and not much more money.

Warsaw

Maciej also liked the Warsaw rising museum: (1944) http://www.1944.pl/en.

Royal Castle, National Gallery, Petec kultury

Wawel castle

Krakow

Hostel I liked was City Hostel Krakow, older people and boring but good condition. Woodpecker hostel was hopping but underneath a nightclub.

Wieliczka Salt mine

Auschwitz (book in advance)

Hike around zakopane on Sunday (2 hours transit each way). Salt mine on Monday maybe (only takes 3 hours, but is close by), but need to work too.

S1 goes from airport (krakow lotnisko) to downtown (krakow glowny). Last trains at 11:48PM and 12:18AM, otherwise take Uber or bus (902) or something.

Bright and early 7AM to make sure you get to Auschwitz.

You booked Luneta Warszawska hostel.

Doris recommends:

Main square and whole downtown area, Wawel castle and the Wawelski dragon, Walk next to Vistula river called bulwary, Jewish part of the city called Kazimierz, Capital of communism in Cracow called Nowa Huta, Wieliczka salt mine

Sylvia recommends

http://www.akademikigdansk.pl/en/home

Hostel gdansk in old town

Germany

Flights

$130 krakow to munich, 4 hour total flight. $130-160 frankfurt to amsterdam, 1.25 hour flight.

$160 krakow to prague
$130 prague to munich
$100 prague to frankfurt

$30 3 hour train from Munich to Frankfurt (but leaves in middle of day…).

I think Ryanair is sold out for the month of August. Need to book ahead of time next time!

Munich

Pick up a clothesline (Wäscheleine) at Globetrotter equipment downtown, maybe a flat sink stopper or using cloth tape too. Floss will work, kinda, but things might sink under weight and the hooks keep the laundry in place.

Train map: http://www.mvv-muenchen.de/fileadmin/media/Dateien/plaene/pdf/netz17April_DB_Englisch.pdf

S1 or S8 trains go to Munchen Hauptbahnhof.

Train to Neubiberg is S7 and stays in the same zone but crosses 4 rings. Maybe buy Isarcard for 4 rings for 1 week. Or Just ask :-) http://www.mvv-muenchen.de/fileadmin/media/Dateien/0_Startseite/MVV_Handout_fuer_Touristen_en_161104.pdf

Frankfurt

Book an overnight hostel. Can probably leave stuff locked there during traveling.

Amsterdam

Need to get a train ticket still. Taking flight. Faster-ish.

Can get wifi at library for a year if you pay 12 euro. https://www.oba.nl/oba/english/memberships-and-rates.html

Get to Amsterdam Central Station, there's a train that leaves often.

To get to the hotel (Euphemia Old City Canal) from the airport, take the train to central station in Amsterdam and from there take tram # 16 or # 24, get off on the 5th stop - Weteringcircuit. You are now on Vijzelgracht, turn around and walk back a bit. The Fokke Simonzstraat is on your right hand side.

PAY WITH CASH at hostel at least

Check out NEMO (and roof thing) on Sunday. 10am to 5:30pm

Biking

Great option, gets you “seeing” stuff downtown a lot faster. Especially in Munich apparently, you can ride down the Rhine.

  • However, likely I won't just be looking at the outside of things, but going inside too. So walking distance + bus / public transportation is probably fine
  • Consider a guided bike tour?
  • $15-25 a day is cheap??? Maybe it is…I would think buying a folding one, fixing it up slightly, and taking it with you is cheaper/easier. We shall see…

Polish

Word Pronunciation Meaning
dzien dobry Good morning
cześć “cheisch” Hello
dobrahnotz same Good night

German

Crazy crazy

Cezary

Recommends visiting Krakow (southern poland) for more festive scene than Gdansk. Also visiting Prague as none of their buildings were bombed to smithereens by the Germans as they surrendered early.

Also liked Barcelona, Spain, as the museum (Louvre) is biggest in the world and yady yady.

home/travel.txt · Last modified: 2019/08/23 09:33 by admin