Tag Archives: travel

Beautiful Canada

Enough said….. I have been camping in this natural wonder of the World for the last week, and it have given me Streptococcus, an unknown virus,  and a case of  acute bronchitis. But is still makes it all worth it when you get rewarded with such views after a short hike.

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-Ray

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Hustle and bustle on the Transsibirian Railway

One of the more fascinating things about the transmongolian railway is all the activity on the small railway stations along the route. Here is all business, and you can get the supply you need for your onwards travel. For example fresh fish supplied by the locals. A lovely piece of Russian rural culture.

-Ray

Travelling to Japan? Here’s What You Need to Know About Etiquette

This is a collaborative post written by Jordan Greene.

Owing to their isolation from the world until the past few centuries, Japan has developed a very different culture to most other nations. Here’s a guide on how to avoid making a social faux pas when in the land of the rising sun.

Don’t worry about a tip

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Waiter (photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sebr/)

Ah, the age-old debate of how much to tip a waiter. Is 10 or 15% the right amount? Whatever the case, it’s not a quandary you need concern yourself with in Japan.

It’s not ‘rude’ to tip, but it’s practically unheard of and will likely result in “the restaurant staff chasing you down in order to give back any money left behind.”

A simple “thank you” (gochiosama deshita) is enough to appease your waiting staff after a delicious meal, so don’t bother flashing the Yen.

Take your shoes off inside

Cleanliness is next to godliness – which is something the Japanese preach in abundance. Special “Genkan” areas are set up between the doorway and the man body of the house to give visitors the chance to remove their shoes before heading inside.

Once in the Genkan it’s not appropriate to touch the surface you walked in on with your un-shoed foot, and it’s also polite to point your shoes towards the door after you’ve removed them.

Refiling your glass

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Drinks (photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dw/)

It might be second nature to most people, but in Japan it’s actually bad luck and bad manners to reach over and refill a glass you’re drinking from if you’re with company.

Thankfully, owing to this being intricately linked in the Japanese psyche, people notice when someone is without a drink very quickly and will be prompt to top it up for you.

Luckily this just applies to drinking in public or with another person and not when you’re on your own (otherwise life could be very hard).

Blowing your nose

This is probably one of the more commonly-known social errors Westerners carry out in Japan, but we thought we’d cover it anyway.

The Japanese aren’t too keen on the noise it makes, or the fact you’re blasting germs through the air.

Sometimes clearing your nasal passage just has to be done, however – so here’s a guide on how to do it properly without causing outrage amongst the locals.

Talking on the phone on a train

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Train (photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dakiny/)

Quite frankly I wish this was a little more hammered-home here too. The Japanese have it right when they look down on people chatting away inside the confines of a train carriage.

Nobody wants or needs to hear your personal conversation – and not only that, but just one half of it. Chatting loudly and reacting to a person nobody else can here is just unnerving.

If you get caught doing this on a train or bus in Japan you’re likely to be shot several dark looks for good measure.

If you’re planning a trip to Japan at some point, make sure you avoid making these errors in etiquette. While they might seem trivial to you, they could have a huge impact on how you’re perceived by the locals.

Sources:

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/japan/travel-tips-and-articles/77764

https://www.1cover.com.au/secret-traveller/offending-people-overseas/

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2040.html

http://www.wikihow.com/Blow-Your-Nose-in-Japan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_Yo8KDV_sE

http://www.fodors.com/news/customs-and-eti-3-3990

 

Beautiful Lake Baikal and Listvyanka

I have spent the day today exploring Lake Baikal and Listvyanka, and there are such great places.

The town of Listvyanka is located around the lake, and have a tourist focus.

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Lots of activity going around, maybe the most busy part is the market where the barbecue runs high, smoking different meats and fish. Mostly collected locally.

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And the boats are going all the time, and the harbour is full of them.  Some are fishing, and some are catering to tourists that wants to get the know the famous lake a little closer.

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So of course I had to do the same and get a look of the city and the spectacular surroundings from the lake itself.

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As a little after note, I can mention that I am currently in my hotel in Listvyanka writing this since I will not have Internet untill I reach Mongolia in a couple of more days on the train. But the town will not let you go easily, 50 metres from my hotel window there is a wedding party, and oh boy, can these Siberians party. So I guess . I will have more time to write about my trip so far, and edit some more of my images.

-Ray

 

 

 

 

 

Transmongolian railway

I have been on the transmongolian railway for the last four days. Moving from Moscow to Irkutsk or more precisely a beautiful little village outside Lake Baikal. More pictures to come. The train ride is quite epic, but I have to admit , it  do require some effort. Still it is just a brilliant travel between such a large country and different scenery and villages and people.  Many short stops on the way, and lots and lots of people to meet. Quite brilliant. Tomorrow it is onwards towards Mongolia. So more updates to come soon.

Image is shot at sunset yesterday, somewhere over the  Taiga.

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-Ray

Final preparation done for my Antarctica trip

In a little less than two days I am starting the first leg of my trip. I am going to leave my hometown in Northern Norway, and go down to Oslo, to work for a couple of days before my adventure starts. And I have been waiting for this. Half a year in planning, a cancelled trip from G Adventures, but the Norwegian travel agent “Hvitserk“, saved the day with  a trip thru Polarquest , or One Ocean Expeditions , so I will manage to get myself to Antarctica this year after all.  I have made my bags ready, tested my gear over the last year, and made lists of everything that I will bring.

I have also been working out hard, and feel good and well prepared for the upcoming adventure. I think I have thought thru everything I can prepare for, so all the remains is to sit back for the next couple of days, and start the long journey, first to Oslo, then to Buenos Aires, then onwards and downwards to Ushuaia, and finally the voyage to the Antarctic continent.

So like this Albatross I met some years ago outside Galapagos. It is about time to spread the wings and fly.

More to come .

 

-Ray

Podcast: This week in Travel and Photography

This week it is my thoughts on:

  • Upcoming trip to Australia
  • The most versatile lens in my setup … The Canon 24 – 70 L lens
  • The Sigma 150 – 600 Sport lens
  • Transport of Drone

As mentioned in the section of the Sigma 150 – 600, here you will find the image in full resolution regarding the lens performing on 600mm wide open

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(opens when you click on it)

Hope you enjoy

-Ray

Podcast of the week : Upcoming trip to Australia and photo tips

This week I tell a little bit about my upcoming new years trip to Australia and Tasmania. I try to connect the dots over to photography, and what gear I am considering to bring together with some street photography tips.

Hope you enjoy

-Ray