After arriving at the Akari international hostel on Friday afternoon I was shown to my dorm room on the fourth floor. Now, I’m usually alright with stairs. I’ve climbed the 820 to Chomeiji temple in Omihachiman, I even took the stairs up the Eiffel Tower once. But it seems that after 5 and a half days of riding those 3 flights tipped me over the edge. My calves suddenly felt tighter than Rick Waller’s trousers after Christmas dinner. I flopped onto the tatami in the lounge and fell asleep in front of the Sumo.
I then spent the evening with a nice young chap named Harry from the south of England. He seemed inspired by my journey and I hope he can fulfill his travel ambitions in the future. Although, he might want to think twice about making a half crippled cyclist run across town to catch the last cable car to the most romantic spot in town for a 5 minute photo op, next time.
Saturday and Sunday were spent relaxing and enjoying some quality food and some quality time with my girlfriend, Christine. The peace park (平和公園) is much smaller than its counterpart in Hiroshima but the statue for peace evoked the emotions it is there to evoke.
One hand points to the sky as reminder of the devastation wreaked while one is flat and outstretched to signify a peaceful future. The eyes are closed in remembrance and the countenance is sombre. One leg is folded under as if in meditation while the other is poised ready to act in the defence of humanity.
The accompanying museum is as desperately moving as you’d expect with accounts of survivors, especially the children, being particularly heart-wrenching.
The harbour front has a Mediterranean feel and the Western style buildings on Holland hill and the in the Glover Garden helped me visualize Nagasaki in its international trading prime.
Dejima, originally a man-made island on the bay to which Dutch traders were confined during the Edo period and has now been reconstructed as it was at the turn of the 19th century, will be my last stop tomorrow before heading to Kumamoto.
I’m looking forward to getting back on the road but I can hear the wind picking up outside and the forecast says rain.