Monday, April 9, 2007

Saturday` s Schedule

Friday night I met the other members of the Snowboarders Community in a Club here in Aomori to celebrate the 06/07 Snowboarding Season and to watch the DVD we made on Hakkoda. While snowboarding at Hakkoda one of the snowboarders taped us while sliding, flying, hitting the trees, eating snow falling and crashing. We had a lot of fun laughing about each other. One of us left for Tokyo on Sunday to study. He will be there for quit a long time but he promised that he will visit us often and of course be here next year for the 07/08 Season. We partied until 1 o` clock in the morning and we switched clubs until 3 a.m.
On Sunday I walked up at 7:30 and prepared for a new day. I had to work from 5 o` clock in the afternoon, but before that I had a lot to do. I know a few things about snowboarding, but about skiing- zero. One of my friends promised me that he will teach me how to ski so today we went to Hakkoda. It was my second time to step into skies at Hakkoda. We slided a few times by the chair lifts and then decided to climb the mountain and slide on the 5 km course. A little scared but I got on the Gondola.

Last Powder

On top the temperature was almost 2 degrees Celsius and the snow starting to melt- very wet. We headed for the Forest Course, put the skies on and started to go downhill. I realised that the same slopes that I was so fast on when snowboarding were so steep on skies. As I am not so good at skiing the wet snow made it so hard to curve. The feelings that I had when started snowboarding came back now while skiing. I got so familiar with the snowboard and the sensation of having my both legs tide up to it. While on ski my legs felt like going on different directions and sometimes spreding too much- it felt like making gymnastics. I am so bad at skiing. Once it took me about 10 minutes to put my skies back on after falling. Then I realised that I was trying to put my left foot into the right ski. I was sweating so bad trying to fix the skies and it felt so long before I had to restart to ski. I was on my way to swear out loud when I finally made it. When the steep part of the course ended I began to curve and even slide normally. It was such a relief. By the time we were downhill my muscles were hurting so bad. That was the last run for Saturday and decided to come back another to practice ski. Never realised that it might be so difficult to ski normally considering that I used to snowboard for a while. You have to try it too. If you had please tell me how it was and where should I pay attention.

Before heading down town we decided to take a walk up to Towada. On the way to Towada starting from April teh Gold Line Route is opened. This year` s amount of snow was smaller than last year but the Hakkoda Walls are still big. Last year the walls of snow on both sides of the road were 9( nine) metres tall. This year there were only 6 metres of snow that guided us to Tsuta Onsen.

Hakkoda Walk

After 4 hours of struggling with my legs to stand on the skies and visiting the Hakkoda walls, we ariived at Tsuta Onsen. The hot water, the smell of wet wood and the strong air relaxed my muscles. I almost fell asleep on the floor. On the right side of the bath there is a portion of the floor, where the hot water is going out of the bath, on which you can rest- even sleep. The floor is hot so if you fall asleep for a litlle longer no worries.

Tsuta Onsen

Tsuta Onsen

On out way back to town my friend fell asleep into the car but I couldn` t stand not to stop the car and take a few more picture of Hakkoda. In this photo you can see the back side of the mountain, the side that I get to see once a year.


Hakkoda Snow Walls

After taking a few more pictures I didn` t stop until we arrived in town. It was three o` clock, so I had some time to have lunch and drive my friend back home before starting work. We went to eat at the same restaurant where I am working and I had a Spicy Miso Ramen with Gyoza.

Ramen Shop

After taking my friend back home I returned to the Restaurant. It was 4:15 and I said that it might be good to rest for a while so I made myself confortable into the car and closed my eyes... It was 4:45 when the alarm woke me up. It was after midnight when I arrived back home and after taking a bath I stumbled into bed.

Wishing you a nice week!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Short Review

March has been a pretty busy mounth and because I haven` t been writting on my blog for a while, I decided to shortly describe my happenings. A few days ago, I was asked by a Y360 friend what am I doing beside snowboarding? I first I thought that she likes the winter landscapes on my blog, but thinking about it I realised that my blog, starting from December last year turned into a winter blog, even the often keywords on it are powder, snowboard, winter and so on. Ok, I admit I wasn` t that sincere with you and I` ll try to expand my horizons in my blog.

As you all may know, the World Women's Curling Championship 2007 Aomori Japan has been hosted in Aomori City between March the 17th- 25th. I was tried to do my best by helping the organisers and the competitors by working as a volunteer interpreter. I was asked to work in three different locations: The Arena, where the games took place and two other different locations- hotels that were hosting the Media Representatives and the Competitors. It has been a pleasure to work at this Championship I had the occasion to talk with many people on different subjects. The presence of the foreign competitors gave me the occasion to exercise my foreign language skills that are quite... rusted, I have to admit. While trying to translate the first language that was coming in my mind was...japanese, not Romanian, not English and not even Italian. Am I growing Old???

It all ended before I realised but I have many good memories, a few photos with the competitors and ... many gaps in my known foreign languages.

World Women's Curling Championship 2007 Aomori Japan

Project "M" is called the worked that me and my friend Mark are trying to put together since December last year. Recently we visited Shiko Munakata ` s Museum to improve our knowledge in his personality and his work. I waited for a few months to "meet" him, and visiting his museum was just what I needed. We also had the chance to watch him work- a video of his life is broadcasting while the visiting hours.

Japanese Garden

Ok, enough work, here comes the fun part. A few days I went to this Yakitori restaurant and I ate a litlle of everything. It wasn` t my first time to eat Yakitori but it seems that the Yakitori made in a Yakitori restaurant are more delicious. It my sound stupid, but I thought that all the Yakitori are the same everywhere. Well, I was wrong. The smell of the charcoal, the crusty meat and the variety of the menu is worth all the cholesterol.


And of course, I have been to Hakkoda on Saturday. The smell of spring is present here too, but luckily, the old snow of 290 cm was covered by a new " white carpet" of 5 cm. It was enough for me and another 10 friends to go up the mountain. The sky was clouded and that temperature was 1 degree below zero on top and 4 degrees plus at the bottom of the mountain. Before going to work I got up on the gondola as many times as I could- 6 times I think.

Surfing on Powder

I left for work at 3:30, raised my body temperature into an onsen and arrived at 4:35. Just in time and ready to make some Ramen. It seems that the snowboarding season for the 06/07 is over but the ski season is just starting for me. I forgot to tell you that I took my first ski lessons of ski last week and I quite enjoy it. It needs some time and practice to slide as a normal skier though.

Last run

Wishing you a nice spring!