And so we woke to the sound of silence. I knew immediately that there was something wrong as that irritating mobile phone alarm wasn't getting readied for propulsion across the room! Yes, the inevitable had happened. We had slept in courtesy of the mobile running out of battery during the night! Not to worry; we headed for the next available boat to Miyajima Island and were on the island by 10:40. As you are probably all now aware, there has been a glitch with most of our journeys and this one was no different! On this occasion, it came in the form of the only other white people on the boat who were clearly feeling in need of some chat. A full life story or two later (2 bikers who had riden across Canada, now Japan and soon to ride across Russia) we realised they were nutters and left them to it!
Exploring the island was great as around every corner there was a temple, torii gate or other interesting exhibit (including more deer!). We had looked forward to seeing the famous floating Torii gate for ages as it is widely recognised as one of the most famous sights in the country. You'll imagine then our shock when it was in fact sitting landlocked in the middle of a beach! Like Blackpool, the water had disappeared at low tide leaving the poor gate stranded. This let us walk out to it and take some pictures up close which was every bit as good and also let Louise do some dangling of her toes in the sea.
The shrines were also worth a look, but I later down-graded their classification in my mind to 'time wasting' when I realised that the island was also famous for its chocolate filled sponge cakes! How did I not see that during my research?! 2 sponge cakes later I had fallen in love and am presently munching through the box of 8 I 'imported' to the mainland!
After our return speedboat journey to the modern city of Hiroshima we made our way to the more sombre attractions dedicated to the bomb which was dropped here by the Enola Gay at 8:15 on 6 August 1945. As the first atomic bomb to be dropped it's devastation was incredible and the sight of the A-Bomb dome brought this home immediately. As the only remaining building from this time, the building has been preserved as a reminder of the horror of the event. Very moving. A trip to the Peace Memorial Museum also added to the emotions. Very well done and thought provoking.
As we returned home we savoured some more of the Japanese food. SUB-WAY it is called. Ingenious idea. You ask for a sandwich and they make it for you there and then! A walk round the shops and a new bag purchased, to help us transport our goodies, later and we are off for an early kip. Early start again, if the alarm goes off this time!
L & A
p.s. Thanks to you all for your messages, it's good to hear from home and know you are all well. Keep them coming!!