My Very First Beach Day this Summer – Creta Maris, Crete, Greece

I was trying to do some research before the trip to Crete to ensure I would be able to arrive at the conference venue on time and have an appropriate place to stay for a nice rest (Hotels in Crete). However, as this was my first time going there, I was not familiar with the names of the places, nor the transportation options available.  I found it very difficult to comprehend the information collected online.  Not until I was there in person I started to realize that the same place could be referred to very differently.  For example, Chania, the second largest city of Crete, is presented as Χανιά (Greek), Canea (Venetian) or Hanya (Ottoman Turkish).  No wonder it took me so long to get myself up to speed with the map of Crete.

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During this trip, I spent most of the time in Hersonissos, a beautiful traditional touristic village and port. Most of my friends stayed at Creta Maris Beach Resort, which balanced between convenience reaching the convention venue and access to the beautiful beach.

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Like the rest of Crete, the convention centre was just as quaint with an antique construction style. This old-fashioned and relaxing environment gave me a very relaxing and peaceful feeling – highly recommended for retreat or a quiet break.

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Read more or book: Hotels in Hersonissos


希臘克里特島的消暑勝地 — 克雷塔馬里斯海灘渡假村

因為要參加一個國際聲學會議,我到了美麗的希臘小島克里特島。為了能準時到達會場和尋找合適的落腳點(克里特島酒店),出發前我在網上做了點資料搜集,可是因為我從未到過克里特島,所以對島上的地名和交通選擇都十分陌生,覺得網上的資料很難明。直到我去到當地,才發現同一個地名有不同寫法,例如島上第二大城市干尼亞,英文名是Chania,希臘文是Χανιά,威尼斯語是Canea,還有鄂圖曼土耳其語叫Hanya,竟有好幾個看來各不相干的名字,難怪我花上好些時間才看明白克里特的地圖。

這次我大部分時間都待在赫索尼索斯,一個歷史悠久的美麗村落和海港。我的朋友們住在克雷塔馬里斯海灘渡假村,離會議場地和沙灘很近,十分方便。

這次會議在克雷塔馬里斯會議中心舉行,會議中心是典型克里特島古色古香的建築風格,環境十分平靜舒適,絕對是放鬆和散心的好地方。

更多相關資訊︰赫索尼索斯酒店

A Casual Sound Walk at Kawazu Seven Waterfalls in Izu

During my stay in Izu, I made time for the stunning Kawazu Seven Waterfalls (河津七滝). Located in the mountains above the onsen town Kawazu, the site was of natural scenic beauty. But this time it was more than a feast for the eyes; it was also one for the ears. I was taking a soundwalk along the 1 km long trail past the waterfalls.

A soundwalk is a walk one takes focusing on the sounds of the surroundings. As different from what we usually do, in a soundwalk we pay more attention to what we hear, experiencing the environment through sounds rather than sight. And how a scene sounds like is known as a soundscape. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) also released standards on the measurement and management of soundscape. So this time, I was feeling the soundscape of the Kawazu Seven Waterfalls with what I heard. It was a nice and relaxing walk. When I closed my eyes and listened: it was a symphony of water splashing, gurgling, rushing, gliding through and hurtling against rocks.

Along the trail, we also came across statues from the story of The Izu Dancer by Kawabata Yasunari, Japanese sculptures, a suspension bridge… All made pleasant additions to the walk. If you visit Izu, the Kawazu Seven Waterfalls is a must-go!


日本伊豆之行(下)︰在河津七滝聲音漫步

這次伊豆之行我特意抽時間遊歷美麗的河津七滝,慕名而至,滿載而歸。七滝即七瀑布,位於温泉之鄉河津附近的山上。瀑布與瀑布之間是一條約一公里長的小徑,沿途風景迷人,讓人心曠神怡,但這次不止是一場視覺盛宴,更是聽覺享受,因為此行我不單是郊遊看風景,而是聲音漫步(soundwalk)。

平日我們習慣以視覺來感受外界,甚少依賴聽覺來感受,但視象與聲音都是組成我們記憶和感覺的部分,很難分割開來,聲音漫步讓我們專注聆聽周圍,以聲音感受環境。透過聲音來感受和描述的環境被稱為聲景(Soundscape),國際標準化組織(International Organization for Standardization)近年亦為量度和管理聲景訂立國際標準,可見聲景研究和設計漸趨重要。這次七滝中連接瀑布與瀑布間的小徑是很好的聲音步行路線,沿途有不同特色的聲景。把七滝風光盡收眼底,閉起眼,又是另一番感受︰一場水流的交響樂遠遠近近響起,是水或濺起,或潺潺流動,或穿過或激打石頭的聲音……

沿途還遇見「伊豆的舞娘」裏主角的雕像、日式傳統雕塑、吊橋等等,為途人增添不少驚喜,留下美好回憶。假如你到河津,七滝之景絕對不可錯過!

Greetings from Izu

I am not a fan of driving, particularly overseas.  However, if planning to visit the countryside with multiple stops, I find it more convenient to drive when travelling in Japan, in particular to the countryside when you have multiple stops. Driving in Japan is a pleasure. The toll roads are very nice with service areas and wider roads. The highways in Japan (國道) are equally good and there’s no need to pay tolls. What’s so good about the highways is that they have roadside stations (道の駅), where you can shop for local specialties. The bonus we got this time was the sunshine.

We were on our way to Izu – the onsen village. As there were so many things to see in Izu, I decided to stay in the middle of Izu, where I could decide which part or direction to go. The hotel I stayed in was Izu Marriott Hotel Shuzenji, located up in the hill. We could see Mount Fuji from the room and had in-room onsen. It was pretty chilly though…

I highly recommend this hotel if you look for a quiet night because there are not many restaurants in the neighbourhood. Just a reminder that the room service finishes at 10pm!


日本伊豆之行(上)︰看到富士山美景的室內温泉酒店

如果你在日本近郊旅行,又有好幾個目的地,駕車是比較方便的選擇,加上在日本駕駛是相當愉快的經歷,例如收費高速公路路面寛敞,沿途設有服務區,有餐廳、洗手間、販賣部等等,十分方便。一般國道(國道)同樣方便,除了不用繳費外,亦設有道之驛(道の駅),是與高速公路服務區類似的休憩區,其中商店還賣當地特產。最高興的是,這趟旅程陽光普照,風景怡人。

我們這次是到温泉勝地伊豆。因為伊豆有太多值得看的地方,我決定落腳在伊豆中部,方便我前往不同地方。這次我住在位於山上的伊豆修善寺萬豪酒店 (Izu Marriott Hotel Shuzenji),從温泉房間更可望見富士山,雖然有點冷……

如果你想安靜度過一晚,伊豆修善寺萬豪酒店會是不錯的選擇,因為附近沒有太多酒店。另外温馨提示︰酒店的客房服務在每晚十點結束!

First time to Guam

The past weekend I had a brief getaway with families and friends attending a wedding ceremony at the heavenly Guam, a US island to the west of Pacific Ocean, somewhere between the Philippines and Hawaii. As you can imagine, like Hawaii, Guam is known for its beautiful weather, tropical beaches and an indigenous culture.   Please do expect occasional showers, though.

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As we made our booking separately and had different preferences, the gang was not staying in the same hotel.  We were staying in:

They are all nice and beautiful.

Mobility on the island is easy and convenient.  We were glad that we rented a car that made shopping easy, and allowed us to survive from the occasional yet heavy rain showers.

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In fact, as we’d decided to rent a car before our trip, we started researching which car rental companies had their counters inside the airport. But we could not find too much information about it.  I thus purposely took some photos while I was there and would like to share them here.  They have Hertz, Budget, Avis, National, Nissan and Dollar Rent-a-Car counters plus some others located inside the terminal.

At night we saw a nice performance with brisky music played with the guitar and ukulele. I enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere and nice songs sung by a sonorous voice.

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 第一次關島之旅

這個周末我和家人朋友在異國風情的關島出席了一個婚禮,有個愉快的假期。關島是個美國小島,位於西太平洋,在菲律賓和夏威夷之間。關島跟夏威夷有點像,都是陽光普照的好天氣(間中驟雨),有美麗的熱帶海灘和獨特的原住民文化。

我們一行人分開預訂住宿,因為不同個人喜好,分別住在以下酒店中︰

三間酒店都很不錯,環境舒適,服務很好。

島上的交通簡單方便。我們租了車,十分方便購物,又無懼突如其來的驟雨。

我們在出發前已決定租車,本打算預先查看哪些出租車公司在機場有服務櫃位,但在網上一直找不到有用的資料,所以到達機場時特意拍了照片,在此分享。好幾家出租車公司如赫茲Hertz、巴吉Budge、安維斯Avis、國家National、日產Nissan和達樂Dollar等等,都在機場有服務櫃位。

晚上我們看了場音樂表演,結他和烏克麗麗的輕快節奏加上雄厚柔和的歌聲,滿滿的關島風情,就此度過了一個愉悅的晚上。