Friday, September 25, 2009

Silver Week

It has always been an interesting fact that a four day work week often feels just as long or longer than a five day work week. I am pleased to report that this situation does not apply to a two day work week. Having completed my two day work week, I feel like I've been working for...two days. I was pretty tired yesterday, but this was probably due to the fact that I spent my holidays walking and biking.

When I last left you, I had ridden my bike to Noshappu and hadn't quite decided what I was going to do next. Well, I found a few things to do. Monday afternoon, I hopped back on my bike and drove off in the other direction, ostensibly to study Japanese. I pedaled out a couple miles (I think), heading toward Furani Park. I had visited it once before - it had some nice trails and places to sit (plus, someday I am totally going down the giant slide). As I got close to the park, I remembered seeing a sign for a bird house. I decided that this lead was something I wanted to pursue, so when I saw the sign again, I turned left and drove off into unchartered territory. Never fear, I chartered it just for you!

If I hadn't seen the mountains in the distance and known there was the sea just beyond the growing things, I'd have thought I was somewhere completely different.

Pretty soon, I was at the bird house, which is really a lake and a visitors' center. It was very peaceful. I remember seeing it when I first arrived in Wakkanai and wondering if I could visit it. Well, I did! Here is a picture of my lovely new bike visiting the lake:

I like it! It really is fun to almost be driving again. The nice thing about bikes is how quiet the ride is when you are away from traffic. I wish I could listen to my iPod on my bike, but I am pretty sure that is not legal!

Speaking of legalness, it's always interesting to find those things that appear to be universal. I think that one is people being pulled over by the police on long weekends. I have to say I got a small jolt when I heard a police car behind me, but they were not pulling me over, thankfully!

Monday evening I met up with another ALT in town and we grabbed some dinner and ice cream and did some shopping. Then, we decided that we needed to get out of town, so we went to the train station and bought tickets for Asahikawa, the nearest significant city. It's about a 3.5 hour train ride from Wakkanai.

So, early the next morning, I got on my little bike and pedaled across the city. It was too early for the buses or I totally would have caught one. We made it to the train station on time (there is no room for error with trains), and pretty soon, we were off. I love the train ride out of Wakkanai because the scenery is just beautiful.

I'm going to end this post here, because I want to post some pictures from our trip, but they will make this post too long.  So please stay tuned... ;-)


aquamaureen said...

Can't wait to hear more about your outing , and see pictures. Oh . . . if you rode your bike to the train station, what did you do with your bike once you got on the train????

Sharon said...

So jealous of the 2 day work week! You barely get rolling, and you get 2 more days off! Mary and I want to know where you put your bike when you got on the train!

I love the zoo pics. Can't wait to hear more about your week down south...don't you love how south is so relative???