Saturday, March 9, 2013

Nagasaki, Uber Cool!

I was not expecting much from Nagasaki.  My knowledge was pretty much limited to the history of the atomic bomb.  However I was not prepared with how hard they tried to entertain us during our visit.

Carolyn and I took a panoramic tour of the city.  It is surrounded by beautiful mountains but at it's heart is its history of the atomic bomb.

There were also several beautiful temples....

Our next stop was Peace Park.  It was a solemn experience when you realize 140,000 people died from the immediate and after effects of the bomb.

This is called the Fountain of Peace......

The actual bomb missed its target by one and a half miles hitting the northern part of the city.  It's destruction was not as great as Hiroshima because the city is surrounded by mountains and blunted the impact. 
However reminders are everywhere.

Here is a portion of a Tori gate that part of which survived.

This tiny house was built for a doctor who survived but found his home destroyed and wife vaporized. His neghbors built him this teeny, tiny structure for he and his children.  He worked to help the people but died of leukemia.  He is known for his never ending prayers offered for world peace.

Carolyn and I went looking for an authentic Japanese meal and totally screwed up.  We couldn't read the buttons on the elevator so ended up in a Chinese restaurant instead.  We were ONLY strangers in the place and I am afraid was not our favorite meal.  I had a plate full of vegetables but it looked a lot better than what Carolyn got which was supposed to be some kind of fish but looked more like chewing gum!!!!  She still shudders every time she thinks about it.

Nagasaki is also the setting for Puccini's Madame Butterfly opera and the city of Nagasaki gave us a special treat.

The mayor came onboard and after presenting a plaque to the ship we had a stunning performance of part of Madame Butterfly.  I was furious with myself when I forgot my camera because the costumes and setting were absolutely stunning not to mention the operatic quality.  I guess it will just have to live in my memory.

Prior to sailing they had these Taiko drummers perform for the sailaway.  For 90 minutes and as the ship pulled away from the dock, these kids pounded away and were absolutely awesome. 



They continually rearrange the drums for different effect and sometimes were accompanied by flutes.  Interestingly only five of the drummers were boys, all the other were young girls.  The ship was thrilled with the send off and it really impressed us all.




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