Guide Map

View Around the World in 80 (+7) Days! in a larger map

The Yellow Pin is where we currently are, with some delay. Points of interest will also be added as we visit them and lodging ones are already there. Click on blue flight segment lines for flight info and real time tracking (lighter segments are completed). Red Segments have train info and green are for car segments.


It all started with the winning of 2 first class Continental RTW tickets from the American Express Wishlist way back in 2007 equivalently delivered with 560K miles. 6 years later with the merger of United and Continental, topping off the account to 700K miles with credit card offers, and a planned Leave of Absence from work, this trip is actually taking place starting 4/3/2013 and ending 6/28/2013.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Last Sydney Afternoon...

Today was our last day in Sydney and we move further south to
Melbourne tomorrow. We had one of the best and relaxing afternoons
visiting Watsons Bay via ferry and having a fish fry lunch at the
famous Doyle's restaurant on the beach. We walked several kilometers
further along the bays into Rose Bay to catch a different ferry home.
Both these locations seem to be super ritzy areas with amazing seaside
view homes.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Our first post since leaving Tokyo and being in Sydney comes a little late as we have been busy here and also haven't had great internet access. But not to fear we are still trekking and will keep posting our interesting finds.

Getting to Sydney, we were lucky enough to fly BusinessFirst class on Asiana airlines from Tokyo through Seoul. This Korean run airline is by far the best service and food we have had on an airline, and I would highly recommend them if you have a chance to fly them. The seats were also quite comfy and super roomy. They also turn into nice beds for resting. Our only complaint is that the entertainment system is out of date. Here are some pictures from the flight.

Japanese meal with fresh fish and tons of goodies
High-end amenity kits
Korean ginseng salad
Fresh Korean meal

 Korean honey strand sweets (Amazing)!

Lot's of room!

We arrived to Sydney early in the morning the next day, met up with Thierry and Paul, and were rested enough to have a full first day of some sight seeing around the opera house and north Sydney. First impressions here though are that its tough to fall in love with this place being from California by the bay. This place is super similar visually. It is just as pretty and the weather is slightly warmer than California, but its also one of the most expensive cities we've been to, similar to London. Generally we have found a slight attitude and rudeness with some people too. Either they are super freakishly nice or possibly just down right rowdy and rude, most notably from those in service positions. We have not had a bad meal here though as the food had been shockingly more diverse and fresh than we were expecting. We had a huge list of things to see and do here and have been going through them day by day. We have another 3 days and then we head further south in Australia to Melbourne. There are some really cool and crazy creature here as well, even in the city parks alone. We've encountered flying fox bats and lemurs. Here some some pictures from Sydney so far.

The famous opera house
Taking the ferry to Manly Beach

Bandicoots! We had forgotten about these since the old video game "Crash Bandicoot"

Great views from Sydney Harbour National Park by Manly Beach

Cemetery by the sea seen while walking from Coogee to Bondi

The famous Bondi Beach

Monday, April 22, 2013

Goodbye Tokyo..

We've now come to the end of our 2nd stop, Tokyo; and we will move on to Sydney Australia tomorrow. The remaining days here have been just as full and fun as the first. Along with more temples and exploring areas of the city we took a day trip to Nikko which is about 2 hours north by train; 1/2 of which is on the bullet train called the "Shinkansen".  Previously we explored more temples and markets near Asakusa, as well as the Electric City area of Akihabara. Asakusa is by the water and is a bit on the outskirts of the city. It has one of the most visited temples in the city as well as a giant market surrounding it. We briefly saw the temple as it is a tourist zoo, but did manage to get some good eats at the market. Akihabara is a craziness unto itself; a video game and gadget nerd's dream. There are massive arcades, pachinko gambling centers, electronic stores with everything, and video game stores with every game you know of all the way back to the NES, including system variants you've never seen. Nikko as a day trip from Tokyo is a must. Just riding on the super fast bullet train the "Shinkansen" is a treat. Nikko is in the mountains at 3000 ft elevation, and home to a national park and the "World Heritage Shrines and Temples of Nikko". We toured these and they are truly magnificent. The grand scale alone is unbelievable, and the workmanship and design detail are unachievable we think by today's standards. All of this in a setting of trees and mountains.

A tiny slice of a street in Akihabara
How about every GameBoy game you can think of...
A handheld Sega Genesis...

Nikko view of the mountains
Nikko's many gorgeous sites...

Magnificent lunch in Nikko after viewing the temples


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tokyo is spectacular

Day 2 and 3 here have been just as fun as the first, and this place just keeps amazing us. Its the closest I've felt to being in the movie "The 5th Element", for those that have seen it.  We've explored many more parks and gardens, temples, and tourist attractions.  One of the craziest things here is the amount of vending machines on the street. There are at least 2 in every block. They have hot and cold products and Jose is so excited by them that we have probably tried like 10 -15 different things out of them. We never really can tell ahead of time what we are getting, so its like a mystery box. The funniest was a hot can of corn chowder. The city's infrastructure is absolutely incredible and things are so big it just is mind boggling. The nightlife is quite odd in general.  Every night but Friday and Saturday are pretty dead, but these people party very hard on Friday and Saturday nights.  There is also a strange fascination with Mexican food here and it shows up in very odd ways. Also German Potato Salad and Pizza... go figure...  And for those that think Sushi is the Japanese food... nope... we've hardly even seen sushi restaurants.  We love the train/subway system. Its so vast you can just get anywhere you want from anywhere and in multiple ways.

One infamous vending machine

The corn chowder can, corn kernels included...

park gate entrance to the Meiji Shrine, amazing forest park and the shrine sits about a 1/2 mile back into it.

Meiji Shrine

Tokyo Tower - 250m high.  We went to the top viewing deck

The Shrines and Temples are so big this is what they look like from 250m high

We don't know what this building is, but from the Tokyo Tower it looks like a grounded spaceship

We visited the newer Sky Tree Tower Tower in the evening.  Absolutely incredible. Its so futuristic and 450m tall. Many pictures below. It is surrounded by what is called Sky Tree Town which includes a train station, gigantic modern new mall with the most high quality food we've seen in one place (even comparing to Harrod's in London).

Dinner pictured: Fried Tofu Nuggets, Some crazy sushi roll with something fried in it, and ... Taco Rice (this one is mind boggling and hilarious at the same time). Taco seasoned beef, cheese, spicy salsa, mayo, avocado, Doritos, and below a mound of rice and lettuce to mix in.