mandag den 23. juli 2007

Thursday Oct. 19 - The Peace Memorial

I spend a few hours around the Peace Memorial Park, where the famous ‘A-bomb Dome’ stands along with a series of more or less ugly minor memorials, for Korean forced labourers etc. Unlike the equally famous cathedral in Dresden, the dome building will not be rebuilt, but shall stand as a reminder of the folly of mankind. It even is one the Unesco list of world heritage sites – an honour Mt. Fuji missed some years ago, because the mountain was all messed up with the litter people had thrown there, while hiking up and down it.

Today’s distance is 200 kilometers on a mix of roads. Unlike what some bike tour reports from over here occasionally claim, the Japanese roads are far from perfect, in part because heavy truck traffic have worn down a lot of the surface. Some mean tunnels (cough!) are included, as is the sight of some petro-chemical plants with their special, almost science fiction-like aesthetics. The lack of space requires these plants to be built taller than they would elsewhere. My rule of thumb says 50 kilometers per hour of riding on European regular roads, based on a few decades of experience. Here it’ll be about 35 per hour, which today includes a quick roadside lunch, an equally quick oil change and two happy cops. I sleep in the very fine, relaxed youth hostel in Shimonoseki.

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