Larsblog - personal

From Krakow to Lviv

We really wanted to visit Lviv during our 2006 holiday in Ukraine (photos), because of the praise heaped on it in the guidebook, and in travel reports in various newspapers. Getting there from the Crimea would have taken ages, however, given the state of the Ukrainian railways, so we skipped it. Since then we've kept trying to find ways to get there, and eventually we decided to spend a week of holiday on the trip. This meant we could travel in via Krakow, since there are direct flights there from Oslo. ...

Read | 2007-09-19 20:35 | 5 comment(s)

tmphoto

You may have noticed that recently the photos used in this blogs have become links, which they weren't before. I know some readers have clicked on them and thought that this was just a link to a bigger version of the photo, but it's actually a lot more than that. Every photo is a topic in a photo topic map, and the link goes to the topic page for that photo, showing it in context. ...

Read | 2007-09-15 19:08 | 7 comment(s)

Semantic Web School interviews

As part of the promotion of TMRA 2007, Lutz arranged to have some of the speakers interviewed by the Semantic Web School for their August newsletter. It's not the first time I've been interviewed, but it doesn't exactly happen very often, either, so I'm quite happy about this. ...

Read | 2007-08-23 19:31 | 0 comment(s)

Writing Japanese

If speaking and understanding Japanese seems difficult, that's nothing compared to reading and writing it. The Japanese writing system is universally acknowledged to be the world's most complicated writing system, and with good reason. I'll try to give an idea of how it works here, without going too deep. (I don't know enough to take you too deep, anyway.) ...

Read | 2007-07-31 21:53 | 10 comment(s)

Speaking Japanese

Like most other things Japanese, the Japanese language is in a class of its own. It's often compared to Korean, but whether the two are or are not related is disputed. It is also sometimes linked to the Altaic family (consisting of languages such as Turkish and Mongolian), but this is even more disputed. In any case, Japanese is sufficiently different from the languages westerners are used to that composing a simple sentence (like, say, "what is the name of this beer?") requires significant mental effort for the beginner. ...

Read | 2007-07-25 20:39 | 3 comment(s)

What beer is this?

The same thing seems to happen over and over again: finding out what beers a place serves can be very, very tricky, even after you have been served. It really doesn't have to be that hard, but for some bizarre reason it is. So herewith some griping. ...

Read | 2007-07-10 21:50 | 5 comment(s)

Stout on the 45th floor

In the skyscraper district of Shinjuku stands the famous Tokyo city hall. It's a huge modern building surrounding a circular plaza, with two giant towers rising on one side. The tops of the towers are studded with antennas, giving them a strange science-fiction look. At the top in one tower is an observation deck open to the public, and so we picked a day with clear skies to visit the tower and watch the view of the city from the top floor. ...

Read | 2007-06-30 15:57 | 2 comment(s)

Dogo Beer

Dogo is a small onsen (Japanese bath) town near Matsuyama on the island of Shikoku. The town is really centered on the bath house, which is said to be the oldest in Japan, dating back at least to AD 720. We took the tram from our hotel in Matsuyama, and went straight to the bath house. Buying a ticket is a bit tricky, since there are many choices, and the bath procedure is a bit complicated, but the helpful English brochure you get at the entrance explains it all. ...

Read | 2007-06-28 22:23 | 0 comment(s)

Bakushu Club Popeye

That there exists a place on this planet where you can choose between 40 different Japanese microbrewed beers on tap, some of them even real ale on cask, seems too good to be true, but it isn't. Bakushu Club Popeye in Tokyo actually does this. It serves reasonable western food, too, so we spent two entire evenings there, trying out the different beers. ...

Read | 2007-06-26 20:12 | 1 comment(s)

Three Weeks in Japan

Japan was the first country in the far East I visited, way back in 2002. It was just a two-week business trip, but I was completely overwhelmed by the whole experience, and always wanted to come back. In 2004 I was lucky enough to get another trip, this time for a week and a half. However, all these trips did was make me want to see more of Japan than just meeting rooms and hotels, and so when my girlfriend suggested we make Japan our main holiday destination in 2007 I of course accepted immediately.

...

Read | 2007-05-29 23:22 | 1 comment(s)

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