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FRANCE -11/3- A GUIDED TOUR TO OLD CASTELS

(2009-12-31)
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On the 3rd.

This day’s plan was visiting old castles.

We waked up early, as usual, and got on a train to Austerlitz Tours.
We couldn’t find our trains anytime in France but this time we could find our train soon. I don’t know why but I like this station!
We ate breakfast at the station and got on the train.
The distance was 2:20hours.
I wanted to go to a bathroom but all bathrooms in the train were closed…
I checked them several times but they were closed!!!
I was really worried about it because I really wanted to go to bathroom.
I regretted that I hadn’t been to a bathroom at the station…
Afterwards, all bathrooms were available. I don’t know why..


We got off at Tours.
I thought it was something wrong because our train had delayed.
(I can't believe that the train arrives on time???!!)

I was right.
We have gotten off at the wrong station.

We got on a train again.
Luckily, the next train was waiting for us.
Austerlitz Tour was the next stop.
We got off at the next stop and checked in our tour…

We ate lunch near the station.
There were several restaurants around there and I chose the Tai food restaurant.
The reason was really easy.
I wanted to eat noodles!!!!
They had a case for foods. We looked at the inside of the case and chose our foods.
I ate rice noodle, chicken guy, and a spring roll.
I like French foods but I also love Tai food. They were tres tres bon!!!
And the guys at the restaurant were polite. I like this restaurant!!
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FRANCE -11/2- AT NIGHT

(2009-12-30)
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We walked around this area afterwards.
Towns in foreign countries were fresh to my eye.
Any shops, streets, monument;
I was curious about them.
Especially food!! Of course!!!
Every food in France seemed like really delicious.
I saw wonderful sandwiches. I didn’t eat it but looking at it made me happy.
I want to live in Paris and eat delicious food everyday!!!


We saw a tall tower.
I forgot the name of tower but according to Ito-chan’s guide book, a man experimented on gravity at this tower.
The tower was tall but it didn’t seem enough tall for gravity experiment.

We went to a café and took a break, and then got on the boat again.
We got back to Eiffel tower. The view from the boat was completely different from when I have seen them afternoon.
I wanted to go to the outside but it was really cold, so I stayed in the inside.
My video camera didn’t work well in a dark area. I was so sad….

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We got off the boat, took a train, RER, and went to eat dinner.
We have seen many restaurants close to Notre-dome, so we decided to eat dinner around that area.

That area’s specialty seemed like seafood and cheese fondu.
First we went to one restaurant, which had a cat nameboard but Ito-chan and Mike-san didn’t like that restaurant, so we left there soon.

We chose another restaurant.
I ate onion soup and something made of beef.
Ito-chan’s crepe was the biggest crape in the world. I was really surprised.
I was really hungry, so I needed a lot of energy.

I wanted to eat dessert.
I ate dessert close to the hotel.
It wasn’t a special dessert in Paris.
I decided that I would definitely eat ‘that’s Paris’ dessert.

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FRANCE -11/2- CONCIERERIE

(2009-12-29)
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We visited Conciererie next.
I don’t know when it was started building but in 13th century, it was used for a palace.
Afterwards, it was used as a prison and a courthouse.

When we arrived at it, we didn’t have enough time to look around because it was late evening.
On the first floor, there were many strange ornaments.
We looked at them slowly, and then a man gave us an advice.
He said we should see the most important parts first.

We skipped that area and went to see a main part of it.

Conciererie is famous for France Revolution.
Many death-row inmates were waiting for their turns in this building, Marie Antoinette was no exception.
You can see the names of them and Marie’s room(it was a remade), her prayer room, etc.
Mike-san told me that the tiles on the floor were the original, so Marie had been walking on these tiles.
I thought that’s why it gave me goose skin.

This pot was Marie’s.
It was said that Marie drank water with this pot before she headed to her death.
It was pity. I felt sorry for her, her citizens, and this era.
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FRANCE -11/2- NOTRE-DAM

(2009-12-28)
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We got off the boat at Cathedrale Notre-dam.

There are many Notre-dam churches and it was one of them.
The meaning of Notre-dam is ‘our lady’ and this ‘lady’ is the Virgin Mary.
It started to build in 1163 and finished in 1351.
The church has been working, so I felt holy.
I didn’t want to behave like a tourist, like taking pictures too many or talking loudly, so I only looked around there.
They have held an exhibit of treasures. I was interested in it, so we looked at it.
They had many gorgeous treasures.
I thought I could buy a house by one of the treasures.
I saw beautiful crowns, some potteries, clothes, etc…
One thing what I was surprised was that they had a small altar.
It was the same as Japanese houses. In Japan, some houses and companies have their own small altars. People pray for it every day.

There was a lot of beautiful stained glass in the Notre-dam.
It was amazing.
It was a sunny day, so sunlight went through the glass and made shadow.
I felt sorry because we didn’t have to pay to look at it, so I bought a booklet of the Notre-dam. It was helpful.

Mike-san said we could go up stairs. We would like to do it but many people were waiting for going up the stairs.
We gave it up and went to the next sightseeing spot.

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FRANCE -11/2- CREPE LUNCH

(2009-12-27)
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We went to eat crepes.
Ito-chan and Mike-san had checked out some crepe shops when they went to Eiffel tower.
It was a really cold day and I was really hungry, so I followed them.

The streets of Paris were beautiful.
I could see golden falling leaves on streets.
One of my friends said there were many doggy’s poops on the street but I didn’t see them.

We went to a café, and ordered crepes.
Mine was blueberry.
Crepes in Paris are simpler than Japanese ones.
Many Japanese crepes roll up many foods or make decorations with fruits and cream, but it was really close to plain crepe.
Anyway, it was good and my stomach was full.

We got on a boat.
It was the thing which I had to do while I was in Paris.
We saw many boats from Eiffel tower and we took one of them.
There are many boats for tourists but our boat was NOT for tourist.
However, many passengers were tourists.
I think Parisienne don’t get on a boat when they go to work.
The subways in Paris have developed.

The view from the boat was fantastic. We could see many famous buildings.
But the most impressive ones were bridges.
I could see many bridges from the boat, and they weren’t the same as the bridges which I saw from streets.
I mean, of course, they were the same bridges, but they showed me other faces of the bridges.
Many bridges were decorated by carvings, so they were not only bridges but also museums.

By the way, have you ever seen the bridges in Nakanoshima Osaka?
You think I shouldn’t compare with Paris and Nakanoshima, but the bridges in Nakanoshima are also beautiful.
If you have a chance, you may look at carefully.

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FRANCE -11/2- EIFFEL TOWER

(2009-12-26)
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Anyway, I had to decide what I would do next.
Should I chase Ito-chan and Mike-san?
Or just looked around this area(there are many antique shops around there.)

And I decided to go to Eiffel tower. If I didn’t go to Eiffel tower on this day, I would have to make a chance to visit there alone.

I got on a subway again and headed to Eiffel tower.
On the way to the tower, there were many many people.
It is the same as the people who go to Tokyo Tower.
I sometimes stopped and took pictures of Eiffel tower.
Even if the tower was big, I sometimes couldn't see the tower because of other buildings.

When I got there, I was really surprised.
I saw so many people….
I didn’t expect like that because it was a weekday…
I froze.
I stood in an ominous stupor

I stayed at a few minutes, and I realized I had to go up the tower.
The tower has four legs and each leg has an entrance.
I didn’t know which one was good for me, so I chose the shortest line one.
The reason of the line was short was that it didn’t have an elevator.
I don’t dislike walking, so I lined up the end of the shortest one.

I tried to call Ito-chan but I didn’t use my cell phone well.

Just before I buy a ticket, I found Mike-san and Ito-chan.
I was really surprised because I thought they definitely had got on an elevator.

I bought a ticket, walked up steps and got to the first(?) floor.
At the first floor, Ito-chan and Mike-san were waiting for me.

I have nothing to say about Eiffel tower.
It was just a tower. But it was also a symbol of Paris.
So, as long as you see or visit Eiffel power, you might feel happy.
We saw views from the tower.
The good thing was that there were no tall buildings around there, so the view from the tower was good.
It isn't like views from tall buildings in Tokyo or Osaka.
Afterwards, we went up the next floor.
I think the second floor was located in the middle of tower. If you want to go to the top, you should get on the elevator.
But if you want to get on the elevator, you have to wait to get on it.

We didn’t go to the top.
We looked around and took pictures.

There was a souvenir shop, so I went to see it.
The shop was too tiny and many tourists rushed to the shop, so I didn’t buy anything there.

We went down and saw souvenirs at the first floor(luckily, that shop wasn’t crowded. If we knew they had another shop, we wouldn’t have been to the shop at the second floor).

Mike-san seemed happy because he wanted to buy some souvenirs at the second floor but he gave up buying them.

We stayed at the tower for a few hours and left there.

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FRANCE -11/2- PICASSO MUSEUM

(2009-12-25)
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On November 2nd.
This day’s plan was to visit Picasso Museum and east part of Paris.

When we arrived at Chemin Ber sation, which is the closest station to get to Picasso Museum, Mike-san said we might go to Eiffel Tower.
The weather forecast said that it might rain in a week, but this day was really good weather.
There was no cloud and I could only see the blue sky.

I considered about Mike-san’s idea and I decided to visit Picasso Museum.
One reason was that Picasso Museum was located in the east side of Paris and Eiffel Tower was built on the west side of Paris, so I didn’t want to waste the time only getting on a train.
And another reason was that I am a big fan of Picasso, so I didn’t want to miss Picasso Museum.

So, Ito-chan and Mike-san went to Eiffel Tower and I went to Picasso Museum.

Getting Picasso Museum was about 10 minutes on foot.
When I got there, a bunch of people gathered at the entrance and looked at something.

A woman said the museum didn’t open.
Picasso Museum has renovated.
NOOOOO!!!
I couldn’t believe it!!!!
Visiting Picasso Museum was the most important reason of visiting Paris!!!
I was down.
I couldn’t walk.
I just stayed in front of Picasso Museum.
I thought I had to visit Paris one more time.
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FRANCE -11/1- ARC DE TRIOMPHE

(2009-12-24)
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There are several Arc de Triomphes in Paris and Ito-chan and Mike-san had already been to two of them.
The one we went to see was the most famous one.
We got off the closest station of the arch and walked through a tunnel. It was raining heavy, so walking thorough a tunnel was the best way to get to Arc de Triomphe.
We went up steppes and then the Arc de Triompe appeared in front of me.
It wasn’t so tall but it was powerful!
I thought it was thin like a Japanese Torii but the pillar seemed like a square.
Even if it was raining heavy, many tourists gathered there.
I could see a fire under the arch.
The fire was only one soldier who died at the World War I.

As I said the entrance fee was for free.
We went into the arch, and climbed steps.
There were corkscrew staircases in the arch.
Of course, we had to walk.
We couldn’t see the top of the arch; we only see the steps.
It was too hard for me…???.... No. it wasn’t too hard. When I realized I arrived at the first floor of the arch.
There are two stories in the Arch.
They introduced world arches on video tape. They also introduced Japanese Torii.
I wanted to explain that the Torii was not for human, it was a sign for gods.
Anyway, we looked at the first and the second floor, and went to outside.
I didn’t think I could go outside, so I was a little surprised…
The view from the arch was amazing.
The last destination of all streets was the arch. It means when you are at the arch, you stand up the center of Paris!!!
It was still raining, so the cars and streets lights were reflecting on the streets.

We stayed there….I don’t remember, probably 10 or 15 minutes, and leave the arch.
At a souvenir shop, I bought Eiffel tower pasta. I don’t know why I bought it there….

Visiting the ache was the best choice on the first day in Paris.


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FRANCE -11/1- Orangerie museum

(2009-12-23)
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The most famous pictures in the museum are Monet’s ‘Water lily’.
You probably have seen them more than once.
He painted many ‘Water lily’s.
They have 8 ‘Water lily’ paintings and one picture is composed with 12 panels.

Seeing those pictures was overwhelming.

Of course, those sizes were impressive. But I felt the power of Monet.
I remembered Monet’s garden and lapped his garden over his painting.
And I was thinking about his feelings.
Why did he paint too many pictures of his garden?
Why did he love his garden??
I am not he but I feel like I can understand his feeling.

We didn’t have enough time at the museum.
I looked at paintings quickly.
They have some Picasso paintings.
My favorite artist is Picasso, so I spent much time in front of his paintings.

The museum kicked out us.
French museums are really strict.

We had time by going to bed, so we decided to go to see Arc de Triomphe.

According to my guide book, on the first Sunday from October to March, the entrance fee is for free!!!
We got on subway and head to Arc de Triomphe!!


FRANCE -11/1- THAT'S PARIS!!!

(2009-12-22)
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We left there around noon.
We wanted to look around the village but all of the shops weren’t opened because of off season.

We had reserved tickets but we changed our schedule and get on earlier train.
We didn’t change the tickets; we used those tickets because conductors have never checked tickets.
I don’t know why, but this time a conductor came to check the tickets.
I wanted to pretend that I was sleeping, but I showed our tickets.
He didn’t say anything.
I still can’t understand the French train system.

After we ate lunch at an American style restaurant, we went to Orangerie museum.
There are many museums in Paris but they close early.
According to Ito-chan’s guide book, only Orangerie museum opens until 21:00 on Sundays(afterward, we would know this information was wrong…).

We walked up steps of subway, went to outside, and saw a view.

I could find a typical Paris!!!

I could see the Obelisk, the Eiffel tower, and the Arc de Triomphe!!!
It was ‘PARIS’!!!

I was really excited.
Since I arrived at France, I knew I was in a foreign country but I didn’t feel like I was in France.
But now, I am sure, I am in Paris!!!!

We took many many pictures and enjoyed an atmosphere of Paris.
It was the most exciting memory in this trip.

When we got to Orangerie museum, it was almost the end of that day’s business.
We reconsidered if we went to the museum, but when I realized, we were in the museum.
It was a miracle…


FRANCE -11/1- MONET'S HOUSE

(2009-12-21)
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Monet’s house was not far from the bus stop because the village was really small.
The village was really cute as a village in a story for child.

I called it ‘Monet’s house’ but it wasn’t Monet’s house; it was Monet’s garden.
Most of part was occupied by the garden.
It was too late for flower season, so we couldn’t see beautiful flowers; we could only see remnant of summer or autumn.
Even we didn’t see flowers, it was still beautiful.
I could see the same views of his paintings.
I felt like he was sitting on and painting next to me.

It was raining. It was sometimes heavy and sometimes soft.
I just looked at the surface of the pond.

We went into his house afterwards.
It was not too big but, of course, bigger than my father’s house.

Surprisingly, many Ukiyoe were hung on walls.
I know many European painters were influenced by Ukiyoe but I didn’t think too much like that.
They were in a poor state of preservation. They had no color; they seemed black and white.

His house seemed warm and comfortable.
There were many free spaces but not so big.
The views from his house were, of course, beautiful.

By the way, didn’t he like people???
The village was really far from Paris, especially when he was still alive, and the village was really small.
I think he did NOT have enough chance to communicate people.
Did he just want to talk to his family???
I don’t know….

He moved to the house when he was 43 years old, and has stayed there until he died.

He really loved his house and his garden.

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FRANCE -10/31,11/1- MONET'S HOUSE

(2009-12-20)
We got back to the hotel and took a train, transferred to another train at Dijion, and arrived at Paris around 7:30P.M.

We looked for a taxi station but it was really hard to find. We saw a map at the station but the maps in France aren’t polite.
Anyway, we finally found a taxi and went to Central Hotel Paris.

It was messy and dirty…
Ito-chan and Mike-san didn’t like the hotel.
All of us were in a bad mood, but I was tired, so I went to sleep soon…

On the 1st.
Today’s plan was to visit Monet’s house.
As you probably know, Monet is one of the most famous painters in the world.
You must have seen his paintings on an art text book when you were a student.
I wasn’t interested in Monet but Ito-chan wanted to visit his house.
After she recommended his house, I browsed at his web site.
His house was really beautiful. There were a big garden and a pond. Since then, visiting his house was a big fun for me.

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It is located 80 km West from Paris France in the village of Giverny.
We got off at the Veruno station, and got on a bus to Giverny.
It was the last day of the Monet’s house opened in this season, so many tourists got on the same bus. I saw some Japanese.

There was nothing at the Giverny bus stop.
I mean there was no house, no people.
We walked along a path.
The path was covered with many falling leaves. It was really beautiful.
And I also see leaves were falling. It was like snow.
There was a stream.
Falling leaves were flowing with water. Water ran fast because of rain.
I looked at the beautiful water. The water was clear, so I could see the bottom of the stream.
Touching at nature had a healing power.
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FRANCE -10/31- A WINE MARKET

(2009-12-19)
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We were satisfied because we ate delicious sweets.

After sweets, delicious wine was waiting for us.

There is a wine market in the town. Once a year, they hold a world wine market there.

We had to pay entrance fee. I don’t drink too much, so Ito-chan and Mike-san had to drink the wine of my fee.

There is a wine storage at the underground.
It was dark. I don’t want to go there at midnight alone…
They kept many wine bottles. If you love wine, you definitely feel happy only you see those bottles.

There was a narrow corridor. We walked along the corridor and we found wine bottles at some spots.
We stopped at each bottle, and poured out wine into a tasty bowl.
We saw the name and the price of each bottle and criticized the wines.
I could understand the differences between those bottles but I didn’t understand which one was the best.
I think drinking wine at restaurant is the best way to tasting wine.

We didn’t have to drink wine but I couldn’t spit out wine, so I drank too much wine.
It was really dangers…

Ito-chan and Mike-san wanted to buy wine if they had a good one, but they didn’t find a good one.
That was the last sightseeing spot in Beanue.



FRANCE -10/31- THE WINE MUSEUM

(2009-12-18)
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We visited the Wine Museum.
As I said, this area is really famous for wine.
The building was used to use for a house of Duc.Bourgogne.
In the museum, you can see the history of wine, any equipment to making wine, bottles, glasses, etc.
We saw a video tape.
It was interesting. We could see how to make barrels or some equipment with woods.

They have really beautiful glasses and bottles.
They attracted me!!!
I want them!!!
I stared at those glasses like a boy who looked at a plastic model at a toy shop.

We had lunch at café.
Since we went to France, we saw café many times.
But we didn’t have any chance to go to.
There were many café and we took lunch at one of them.

These are cakes which I ordered, a lemon tart and ……
What do you think the green one???
It seems like a Japanese mochi.
I didn’t know what it was, but I ordered it anyway.

It was a cream puff!!
I haven’t expected that it was a cream puff.
Those cakes were really good.
Ito-chan and Mike-san loved my lemon tart.

They said it was the best tart they have ever eaten.

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FRANCE -10/31- HOTEL DIEU

(2009-12-17)
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We went to Beaune town.
They had held a market. Looking around markets was exciting!!
We found a good muffler, so Ito-chan and I bought it for my father.

We visited Hotel Dieu.
It was built in 15th century.
It was called ‘hotel’, but it was a hospital.
It was used for poor people.
The only one condition of people who could stay at the hospital was poor.
So, wealthy people couldn’t stay there.

The administrative costs were donated form wealthy people who owned vineyard.
This system is amazing.
In my image, many wealthy people squeeze money out of poor people. Especially ancient time.

There is a large courtyard and the hospital was built round the courtyard.
The roof is colorful and beautiful. Since I saw this picture on a guide book, I wanted to see it.
We looked around the hospital.
The beds in the hospital are pretty big.
I doubt if all of poor illness people, could stay in the hospital because the number of the beds didn't seem enough for them.

There are many rooms in it.
There is a patient's bedroom, of course, and the chapel, a room for serious illnesses people, a kitchen , a pharmacy, etc.
They also have a garden for medicine.
It is really interesting. In 15th century, there was a guy who thought about poor people.

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FRANCE -10/31- MUSTARD MUSIUM

(2009-12-16)
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At the museum, they taught us the history of mustard.
I was wondering that they had a Japanese earphone guide.
I didn’t think they had it, so I was ready to listen in English.

I thought I could see a factory of mustard, but I couldn’t see it.
They gave us material of mustard and they taught us to make handmade mustard.
I didn’t make it but it was interesting.

We saw equipment for making mustard which they used to use.
And then, they gave us four flavors of mustard.
We tried to find differences of those mustards. I liked one of them, but I forgot which one I liked.
They gave us two small jars of mustards.
I wanted to buy some jars of mustards but they were too heavy.

When we left there, two cats were waiting for next customers.

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FRANCE -10/30,10/31- AT THE RESTAURANT AND THE MUSEUME

(2009-12-15)
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At the restaurant, I ate chicken and pudding.
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Any foods in France are always high level.
But this restaurant was average.
I like Mike-san’s dish.
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Beef was coated with jelly.
It was a little salty, so eating it with wine was really good.

31st Oct0ber.
We had breakfast at the hotel.
They had really good breakfast.
Bread, cheese, boiled egg, coffee, and etc.

We ate breakfast many times in France.
They don’t have special stuff like ham, scrambled eggs, salad….
But they are always really good.
It is because the bread is special!!!
And they have good jam!
My favorite breakfast is the Hotel de l’atelier in Avignon.
However, I like this hotel breakfast, too.
I miss delicious bread for a while!!!

We went to the mustard museum in the morning.
This area is really famous with mustard.
I like visiting museums and I’m interested in how to make mustard.

When we arrived at the museum, there was nobody there.
I thought we were the only customers on that day.
Two cats welcomed us.
They were really cute.
Cats in France are cuter than Japanese cats!!

Afterwards, many customers came to the museum.


FRANCE -10/30- BEAUNE

(2009-12-14)
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The hotel was clean. There was a huge bathtub in the room.
Since we came to France, we haven’t sunk in a bathtub, so we were really happy.

We went to see Beaune town.
They have a sightseeing train, so I wanted to take it.

We could get there only a few minutes from the hotel.

First, we went to an information center and asked about the sightseeing train.
Unfortunately, the train hasn’t worked. It was because of the off-season.
I booked tickets of mustard museum for tomorrow.

The population of Beaune is 22 thousands.
It is famous for wine.
They have held a wine auction once a year, and many wine traders gather.

We just looked around the town.
There were many sweets shops in the town.
We stopped at each shop and stared at beautiful sweets.

We wanted to visit the wine museum but I couldn’t find it.
The roads in France are narrow and complicated.

Anyway, the town was cute, so I didn’t feel boring.
I checked out some sports for tomorrow and went back to the hotel.

We ate dinner near the hotel.
A woman at the hotel recommended this restaurant.

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FRANCE -10/30- GOOD-BYE AVIGNON

(2009-12-13)
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We had to leave Avignon.
I was sad.

In the morning, we went to say good-bye to the village.
We visited some places where we had already visited.
Ito-chan and I went to buy stamps to a post office.
I don’t know why, but a man at the post office gave me too many stamps.
I couldn’t use all of them.
Communication is sometimes really difficult.

We bought cookies at a sweet shop.
We always looked at cookies there. Buying cookies at the shop was the thing which we had to do.
We ate those cookies on the train afterwards.

We got on a taxi and took a train to Lyon.

When we got on the train, some guys had already sat on our seats.
I thought it was double booking.
Afterwards, I would know that they took seats without reservations.

It wasn’t comfortable. The seats were too tiny and many people stood beside me.
I had to stay on my seat on the train.

The train came on time but didn’t arrive at Lyon Station on time.
When we arrived at Lyon, the next train which we wanted to get on has already left.
But another train came soon.

We arrived at Beaun around 3:00P.M.
It seemed really a small city.
I only saw a huge ground from the station.

The hotel was close to the station but we had much luggage, so we took a taxi.
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FREANCE -10/29- A MUSIC BOX

(2009-12-12)
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At the souvenir shop, Ito-chan and Mike-san bought me a music box.
The song of Avignon Bridge made me happy…

We looked around the town again and took a break at café and went back to the hotel.
Even if I lost my camera, visiting Avignon was a good experience.

At night we went to the same restaurant close to the hotel.
The restaurant was crowded, so we had to wait until 9:00p.m.
It was a little late but it was worth waiting.

It was a bit bad day.
I think it is not special to have bad days in my life.


FRANCE -10/29- AVIGNON BRIDGE11

(2009-12-11)
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Afterwards, we looked around the town and finally we got to the bridge!!

There is no one who doesn’t know Avignon Bridge in Japan!!!
It is one of the most famous bridges!!!
Even if they don’t know where Avignon is, everybody knows Avignon Bridge.

It was built in 12th century.
There was 920 m long and 4 m wide.
In 1226, Louis VIII attacked toward Avignon. Three-fourth of the bridge was destroyed.
Afterwards, people in Avignon tried to rebuild even if it was ban.

The scene from the bridge was amazing.
It was early evening. I saw a beautiful river and the sunlight.

By the way, I borrowed an audio guide again.
I had a video camera on my right hand, and a camera and the audio guide on my left hand.
When I tried to take a picture, I dropped my camera. It sank in the water.
The water was really clear, so I could see my camera. But I couldn’t save it…
I was really sad…
That’s why there aren’t many pictures on my blog!!!


FREANCE -10/29- AT AVIGNON

(2009-12-10)
At Avignon, we ate lunch first.
There are many narrow paths there, and we walked those path.
We ate at an Italian restaurant.
In France, it is sometimes hard to find a light meal.
But the volume of the meal of the restaurant was good for me.
I ate zucchini and cheese quiche, Ito-chan ate salmon and spinach quiche, and Mike-san ate lasagna.
I my quiche wasn’t bad but Ito-chan’s quiche was really good.

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There are two spots that any tourists must go to.
The first one is ‘Palais de Papes’.

It was built in the 14th century.
There are more than 20 rooms and all rooms seemed bigger than my apartment(not only my room but also the whole apartment).
The palace was the biggest Gothic palace in all of Europe.

At the entrance, they lent us audio guide for free.
It was really convenient but if I listen to all of the guides, I have to stay there for a week!!!

In the palace, some rooms seemed like church, some rooms seemed like just a hole, and some rooms seemed like a tomb.
I can’t expect that there used to be many people in this palace.
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FRANCE -10/29-Fort Saint-Andre

(2009-12-09)
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We visited Fort Saint-Andre.

According to a leaflet;
Built to affirm the hegemony of the Captain monarchy over its neighbors in Avignon the Fort of Saint-Andre, which is very well preserved, exemplifies the degree of perfection attained by military architecture of the 14th century.
Dominating the Charterhouse of Villeneuve-lez-Avignon it can be considered as an outstanding monument.

You can see it anywhere in Villeneuve-lez-Avignon.
We had to climb a path to get there.
Even if I didn’t bike, I had to exercise everyday.

Some tourists visited there. We looked at the building but we didn’t go to see the inside.

After we saw it, we got back to the hotel.
I was really surprised.
The point where we got at from the fort was just in front of the hotel.

We got back to the hotel, picked up our bags, took a bas, and went to Avignon.

Avignon is located in the south of France.
The population is 88 thousands.
The most flourished period was 14th century. It was called second Roman.
Avignon is enclosed by walls. The total walls are 4.3kilometers.

The town seemed a typical sightseeing spot. It is not the one which I had expected.


FRANCE -10/29- THE THIRD DAY OF CYCLING!!!

(2009-12-08)
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On the 29th.
It was the third day of cycling tour but we changed our plan and decided to look around Avignon.

One reason was we have already gotten on a bike enough.
One reason was we were tired.
And one reason was I wanted to see the Avignon Bridge.

In the morning, Ito-chan and I went to a coin laundry.
While a washing machine worked, we went to see a market.

A market is held twice a week in this area, so it was a big chance for us.

The market was bigger than I thought.
There are four lines of shops in the market(It means there are corridors).
They have many foods as chickens, pork, cheese, sweets, vegetables, fruits, nuts, drink, and etc.
They also have shoes, hats, jewelries, groves, clothes, mats for bed, hardware, cutleries, etc.
We only looked around.
I checked a couple of stuff. We knew we would get back there again with Mike-san, so I was thinking what I would buy.

After we finished laundry and ate breakfast, we went to the market again.
When I went there in the early morning, some of them haven’t opened yet, but that time, all shops opened.

We looked around again.
I found a really cute a one-piece dress and a coat.
They weren’t so expensive.
It wasn’t cold in Avignon but it might be really cold in Paris.
I brought a warm jacket from Japan.
If I knew they had good coats like that, I wouldn’t bring a jacket from Japan….
It was too late.

I saw raw escargots there. I was really curious about it. I had seen cooked escargots before but it was the first time for me to see moving escargots.

When we left there, it was a bit late for the morning market.
So, we missed to buy a couple of things.
I bought 10 sticks of chocolates for souvenirs.
Their shapes were animals, so they were really cute.
(but the flavor was not so good…)


FRANCE -CAVE SAINT MARC-

(2009-12-07)
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We ate dinner at Cave Saint Marc twice.
The owner of the hotel recommended the restaurant and I really loved it.
It is not the one, which is like a first class restaurant.
My image of the restaurant is Izakaya.
A waiter was very polite.
They didn’t have an English menu, but he tried to translate in English even if he wasn’t good at English.
The first night, I ate spicy risotto and the second night I ate a tart.
Both of them are excellent.
But my favorite one is a cheese, which Ito-cha ordered.
I don’t know what it was, but it was baked cheese and honey put on it.
It was really really good!!!
I want to eat it one more time!
Atmosphere of the restaurant was perfect.
I am sorry. I cannot show you the pictures of the restaurant.
But if that restaurant opens in Osaka, I definitely go there once a week!!!


FRANCE -Villeneuve les Avignon-

(2009-12-06)
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Villeneuve les Avignon

We stayed at Villeneuve les Avignon.
It was close to the central Avignon, about 10 minutes by bus.
They have a web site, so if you are interested in it, please click the following address.
http://www.villeneuvelezavignon.fr/index.asp

Before I visit there, I was worried.
It was far from the central Avignon, so I have thought there was nothing around the hotel.
But my expectation was wrong.

It is a small village but you can buy anything there.
The village is really cute and clean. There is no trash on the road.
Many houses seem really old but not dirty.
People spend a lot of time and a lot of money to keep their beautiful village.
They have some good restaurants, and they also have a coin laundry, some sightseeing spots, and the museum.

When I visited Adelaide, I thought I wanted to live in Adelaide after I retired.
And I had the same feeling at the village.
I want to live in Villeneuve les Avignon.
It is a safe, convenient, and heart worming village.


FRANCE -10/28- PONT DU GARD 2

(2009-12-05)
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We crossed the bridge.
There were three stories on the bridge, and the bottom story was available.
I saw a river from the bridge. It was wide and the color of the water was the same as the sky.
The weather was perfect, so I wanted to swim.
Of course, I couldn’t.
It was a winter day even if it was hot.

We wanted to have lunch there but we skipped eating lunch there, and went to another village.

I wanted to eat lunch. But Ito-chan and Mike-san didn’t find a restaurant, which they want to eat lunch.
We passed the village.

I thought I wouldn’t be able to eat lunch.

Then, a steep road appeared suddenly in front of me.
I thought I couldn’t climb the road without lunch.

Luckily, we could find MacDonald’s and an Italian restaurant, so we had lunch at Italian restaurant.

I ate panini. It wasn’t the same panini as I usually eat. It was bigger and simple.
I ate ‘French fry’, too.
The lunch wasn’t ‘French lunch’, but I was satisfied.

Afterwards, we ran and ran and ran, and ran.
We crossed a railway, looked at some bridges, biked along a small path, and looked at beautiful evening sky.

We almost arrived at the hotel.
But we lost our way again.
The end of the trips is always confused.
But finding a right road is another fun in the trip.
We climbed a steep road again, and then I saw a wide river in front of me.
It was magnificent.
It was another fun to climb a steep road.
Only if you climb by yourself, you can get a special feeling.
If you climb by car, you cannot feel like this.

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FRANCE -10/28- PONT DU GARD

(2009-12-04)
The name of the village is Castillon du Gard.
It was also a really cute village.
My legs still remembered about the steep road to get there but my brain forgot soon.
We looked around the village.
A few guys shot a video.
I think that was a promotion film of the village.

We left the village and headed to Point du Gard.
I could see many signs of Pont du Gard, so I expected the goal came soon.

Finally, we arrived at Pont du Gard but there was no bridge there.

It was a typical sightseeing spot, so many people visited there.
I went to a restroom, a souvenir shop, and took a rest.
I was satisfied and I felt like that day had already done.

We followed to tourists and went to see the bridge.

Then, the huge bridge appeared suddenly.

I was really surprised because the bridge was bigger than I thought.

By the way, we wanted to have lunch there but the restaurant has closed.
I was disappointed because a cycling tour conductor recommended the restaurant, and when he explained about the restaurant, I imagined that I ate lunch at the restaurant.
He said desserts were excellent. So, there were many many delicious dessert in my head.
And I was really happy to think about it…
But….it was closed….
I was so sad…

Pont du Gard was built in 19 B.C. (can you believe it?? 2000 years ago!!!).
Rome built a headrace channel to bring water from Uzes to Nimes.
It was about 50kirometers. And Pont du Gard is a part of the headrace channel.
Pont du Gard, its high is 49meters and length is 275meters. The biggest stone is about 6t.
It is amazing, isn’t it?
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FRANCE -10/28- BIKE BIKE BIKE

(2009-12-03)
On the 28th.

That day’s plan was visiting Pont Du Gard, of course, by bike.
The total kilometers were 65.5.

We left hotel earlier than the day before because we would have to bike more.

First, we had to get to Pujaut again.

I wished that the road to Pujaut wasn’t harder than my memory.
Because my legs and brain remembered the steep road…

The road was as hard as I remembered, and my legs said that they didn’t want to work.

However, if you start something, it will finish someday.

We arrived at Pujaut and went through some places.

On the 27th we passed through many villages, but on the 28th we didn’t pass through so many villages.
However we went through a forest.
I think the forest was beautiful… but I had no chance to look at it carefully because passing though the forest was really hard.
‘If I turn around the next corner, a flat road is waiting for me’.
I imagined like this several times, but flat road has never waited for me…

Anyway, we stopped at villages and looked at destination card, and biked again.
We repeated this several times.

We could see a mountain in front of us. I think it wasn’t a mountain, it was a hill.
But I was already really tired, so it seems like a mountain.
We almost arrived at Pont du Gard and I didn’t want to think we would go to that mountain.
But the destination card said I had to visit there….

Finally, I couldn’t ride bike anymore. I got off the bike and walked…
I was so sad.
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KITAZUIEN-2-

(2009-12-02)
These are the foods.
First of all, I want to say is that this is the best Japanese restaurant in Osaka I have ever eaten before.
The tastes of the Japanese restaurants in Osaka are too thick for me. And the dishes are not beautiful like the restaurants in Kyoto.

But their dishes are very beautiful. And tastes are graceful.

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TOFU, MADE OF CORN; IT WAS SWEET

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GROUND EYE OF SCALLOP; THE SOUP WAS CLEAR AND TASTY

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THE NAME OF THIS DISH IS 'JEWEL PLATE'.
IT IS VERY BEAUTIFUL, ISN'T IT??

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BURDOCK ROOT RICE

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THIS IS A DESSERT. THERE ARE MANY FRUIS AND EUROPEAN SWEETS IN THE CUP

What do you think about this foods?
They are very beautiful.
I feel happy as long as I see these beautiful dishes.
It is a little expensive, but if you like Japanese food, you might want to go to this restaurant!


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