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FRANCE -11/8- AT THE STAION..

(2010-01-31)
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Chantilly is located the north of Paris and 50 minutes by train.
As usual…
I couldn’t find a track for Chantilly….
At the north Station of Paris, I looked for the track to Chantilly and finally found it.
But a train at the track didn’t seem going to Chantilly.
Luckily, I found an information center at that track.
And a man was sitting at that information center.

If you have been to France before, you can understand how rare it is.
It is really hard to find a guy who I ask about something.
Ito-chan can understand what I mean…

I showed him a memo and said I wanted to go to Chantilly.
He said this track was not the one which you wanted to go to, and told me the right track number, and finally I could find my train.
I needed more than 30 minutes to find it.

There weren’t many people on the train.
A sister showed me a memo, and asked me if this train go to ‘this place’.
I thought even if she was French, it was hard to find the right train.

I arrived at Chantilly.
I checked out a time table and headed to a castle.

According to my guide book, this area was dangerous, so if you were a lady, it would be better to get on a taxi.
However, there was no taxi at the station.
A woman was walking in front of me.
She seemed a tourist and she seemed like to head to the castle, so I followed her.
The street didn’t seem dangerous.
I said it was the street, but it was an open space.
Many families were enjoying their holiday.

First, I found a horse place.
What is a ‘horse place’?
I will explain afterwards.

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FRANCE -11/7,8- HOTEL ERMITAGE

(2010-01-30)
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I stayed at Hotel Ermitage.
I found this hotel on my guide book.
I had to stay alone, so I wanted to stay at a comfortable hotel.
First, I looked at other hotels, but they were very expensive.
This hotel was inexpensive and seemed really cute, so I decided to stay this hotel.

A bad point was that they didn’t accept a credit card and reservation by e-mail.
So, I sent a fax sheet and traveler’s check.
I needed many steps to book this hotel but it was worth to staying.

It was a really cute hotel.
Door knobs, doors, walls, a bed. Everything was cute.
And hotel guys were polite, too.
A woman and her son owned this hotel and both of them were good guys.
They helped my a lot while I stayed there. I wanted to say thank you to them.

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On the 7th.
I ate breakfast at the room. It was one of their services.
I asked them the dinner at that night. They recommended one of good restaurants, and booked.
I left the hotel and headed to Shantilly.



FRANCE -11/7- GO TO THE HOTEL

(2010-01-29)
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I got on the tour bus and got back to Paris.
I had to get on about 4 or 5 hours.
I was thinking about the next day’s plan.
We stopped at a rest area and I bought a sandwich for dinner.

Paris was congested.
After I saw Eiffel Tower, I needed much time.
I could see the Statue of Liberty at Seine.

We arrived at the tour company.
Afterwards, I got on another small bus.
Some customers also got on the same bus.
The driver dropped off each customer at hotel and my turn was the last.

I thought the driver definitely would bring me to the wrong hotel and I was right.
I mean…the hotel where a driver pick me up and the hotel where a driver drop me off are the different.
I told the tour company about it importunately.

But the driver didn’t know about it.
It sounds like bad, doesn’t it?

I think so.
It was a bad sign.
But I enjoyed driving and talking.
I talked with my terrible French.
It was a big fun for me.

And the driver was really polite. I like him.
When we arrived at the hotel, there was no space where he stopped the car.
He drove about more 100 meters, brought my luggage, and rang the door bell, and introduced me to a hotel man.
I regret that I hadn’t given him a tip.

It was too late, so I took a bath, and slept soon.


FRANCE -11/7- MONT-ST MICHEL

(2010-01-28)
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Mont-St-Michel wasn’t too big.
A good point of tour is a tour guide explains about important points.
The tour guide told me about some items and some constructions.
It was easy to find differences between each construction.
Some of them were Gothic and some of them were Romanesque.
I could see the surface of the rock. This rock was used as a wall at a part of this construction.
It was really interesting.
They didn’t have enough heating system, and only one room had a fireplace, so every people wanted to come to this room.
I could imagine the feelings of ancient people.
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After we looked around the Mont-St-Michel, we were free.
I looked around this village.
I had nothing to do, so I just walked around this rock.
The main street was flooded by tourists, but back street was silent.
I saw the sky, the sea, and the coast. The view was beautiful.
It is rare to see such a big sky in Japan, so I felt like I was Andy of ‘The Shawshank Redemption’.
I went back to the main street, and then, it hailed suddenly.
I escaped to one of souvenirs shop.
I’ve already bought many souvenirs, so I just waited for leaving off the hail.
The hail left off suddenly again.
I went to coast.

The coast was muddy and slippy.
As you probably know, at the time of high tide, Mont-St-Michal is surrounded by the sea.
I felt like I could enjoy digging clams.
I wanted to take off my shoes and walk around there, but I also knew it was silly.

Afterwards, I took many pictures of Mont-St-Michal and sky.
I found a rainbow.
I thought I was lucky.

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FRANCE -11/7- THE WORST LUNCH

(2010-01-27)
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The number of tourists of this tour was less than 20.
Almost all of them were Japanese…
Only two people were from another country.

The distance from Paris to Mont-St-Michel is 4 or 5 hours by bus.
It sounds like too long.
However I was really tired, so when I woke up, the bus almost arrived at Mont-St-Michel.

We had lunch at the restaurant close to Mont-St-Michel.
I could see Mont-St-Michel from windows.

But…

The meal there was terrible.
The foods in France were always good…
But, this one was…
I have never eaten such a terrible food in France-NO, in my life-.
I was really disappointed.
I was really sad to eat it.
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Mont-St-Michel has a long history.
The first construction was in 708. It was built as a monastery.
According to my guide book, one night, Michael told a bishop to build a shrine on this rock.
First he didn’t believe it, but Michael repeated several times.
So, he built a chapel on the rock.
Afterwards, some constructions added it, and used it as a military base, a prison, a shrine, etc.

That big rock was covered with tourists.
It is like ‘Okage Yokocho’ in Ise.
The outside of Mont-St-Michel was rough and it was an alien construction to the earth.

But many tourists pulled back me to the real world.
I was disappointed again…

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FRANCE -11/7- MONT-ST-MICHEL-1-

(2010-01-26)
On the 7th.

In the morning, I said good-bye to Ito-chan and Mike-san.
They would get back to the United States and I would join in a tour to Mont-St-Michel.

When I part from them, I always feel very sad.
But this time, I had no chance to feel sad…
Because I would stay there alone and I was really nervous.

In the morning, I went to buy bread with Ito-chan.
According to Mike-san and Ito-chan, there was a really good bakery near the hotel.
I bought two breads for breakfast.

A driver came to pick me and my luggage up and drove to the tour starting point.
I waited there about 30 minutes.
A tour guide paged my name and I brought my luggage to a bus.

I was surprised the tour guide could speak Japanese.


I have to explain about it.

When I was planning, I had two ideas to visit Mont-St-Michel.
1.getting there by train and bus.
2.joining a tour.
A good point of ‘2’ is I am free and I have enough time to stay at Mont-St-Michel.
A good point of ‘1’ is I won’t have to worry about a train or a bus.

I had to choose one of them but I couldn’t.
Because I was worry about the arrival time at Paris.
I probably would arrive at Paris around 9 or 10 P.M. and it sounded like really dangerous.

My sister’s teacher had visited France before I visited.
And her husband was threatened in Paris.
That area was the same area where I stayed alone in Paris.
That’s why I didn’t want to check in the hotel late.

I was thinking about another idea.
And I found a tour which picked me up at the hotel.
It was a little expensive but safer, so I chose this tour.
The bad point of this tour was owned by American company.

So, I thought a tour guide couldn’t speak Japanese.

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FRANCE -11-6- NIGHT LOUVRE

(2010-01-25)
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While I was in France, I often saw amazing drinks.
Too much fresh cream is put on a drink…

I wanted to drink it, and finally I could drink it!!!
Oh no…
I will get lots of weights if I eat it everyday…
But I was really happy. Eating it was one of my dreams.
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We walked along again.
We walked along Seine River.
As I have already said, Seine River was beautiful and romantic.
It was really cold but walking along the river was a big fun for me.

We visited Louvre.
We didn’t enter the museum.
I just wanted to see the night pyramid.
It was fantastic!!
I could see lights and clear pyramid.
It didn’t seem as the one when I had seen under the daylight.
Cold air and dark night brought me a special world.
It was right for our last night.
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We ate dinner at the restaurant.
I didn’t remember the name of the restaurant.
This is the one which I ordered.
Their shrimps were good. But their sauce was the best!!!
I thought I could eat everything with this sauce.
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I wanted to eat dessert but they didn’t have a good one.
We went back to our hotel and ate dessert at the Italian restaurant close to the hotel.
It was really sweet and flavor was OK.
However, I decided to eat one more time at another café.
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FRANCE -11/6- CATACOMBES

(2010-01-24)
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Afterwards, we went to Catacombes.
It was a rock quarry at Roman era.
When all of cemeteries in Paris were renovated, all of bodies who didn’t have their relatives were gathered here.

While we stayed in France, Mike-san never said he would like to visit somewhere.
Except only this Catacombe.

I wasn’t interested in Catacombe strongly.
But on the other hand, I knew I couldn’t visit there alone.
I heard there were 6billion bodies in Catacombe, it was scary….

BUT….

Catacombe was closed….

Mike-san was disappointed.
I was disappointed, too…

Sightseeing spots in France are something wrong.
Many spots were doing no business.
Picasso museum, Catacombe, the horse museum, visitor’s centers, etc…
They have to work harder…

We lost our way.
We had no idea, so we just walked around this area.
But Paris was really beautiful. So, even only walked around, it was a big fun for us.
We headed to Jardin du Luxembourg, which was a park.
The street to get there was also beautiful.
I could see many statues, which seemed to have a long history.

At the park, we went to see the Statue of Liberty.
The most famous one is New York’s one. It was presented by French people at America’s 100-anniversary.
But there are many Statue of Liberty in France, and it was one of them.

It nestled in deep in a park.

It was small.
It seemed like a toy and I felt like I could put it in my room.

We also went to see a puppet theater.
I like this kind of show.
I knew they didn’t have a show on that day but we only went to see the theater.
Even if I saw only its outside, I could expect that French people loved this show.

I don’t remember what we did next.
We just walked around Paris and took a break at a café.


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FRANCE -11/6- OPERA HOUSE

(2010-01-23)
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I wanted to write about Louvre, but I skip it.
If I started to write about it, my report of visiting France will never finish.
If you are interested in it, please click the following address.
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%AB%E3%83%BC%E3%83%96%E3%83%AB%E7%BE%8E%E8%A1%93%E9%A4%A8
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louvre

I had to run to the station because I didn’t have enough time until the wait time with Ito-chan and Mike-san.
I wanted to eat lunch before I would meet them but I couldn’t.
I chose Louvre instead of lunch.

When I arrived at the Opera house, they were waiting at the entrance.
Ito-chan wore a colorful jacket, so I could find them easily.

The Opera House was built in 1875 by Napoleon III.
They needed for 15 years to build it.
It is an opera theater but it seems like a palace.
It is huge and it is decorated by many carvings, pictures, and many places were covered with gold.
So, many spaces of this building are NOT a theater.
They are stares, a lobby, a library, etc…

It was an amazing construction.
But I felt it was something wrong.
It is just a theater. Did they really need such gorgeous decorations??

We bought tickets at the entrance.
Mike-san found a ticket machine, so I bought my ticket there.
When I entered, a woman at the entrance prevented me.
I showed my ticket, but she hadn’t known the ticket of the ticket machine.
Mike-san explained about it, so I could enter.
I thought I had to buy the ticket one more time.
I don’t know how the Opera House was like.
I want to say the same thing one more time.
It is a theater. It is not a palace or a castle.
But it seems like a palace.
Of course, I love this kind of decoration but it is too much…
It is something wrong…

Anyway, we looked around the Opera house.
I like their library. It is the one what I want to get.
We could see the inside of the theater a little.
It was just my image of the opera theater. I saw this scene on movies.
There is a picture painted by Chagall on a ceiling.
Only the picture wasn’t like the Opera house.

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FRANCE -11/6- LOVRE-2-

(2010-01-22)
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The Mona Lisa was special…
The other paintings were treated as paintings which painted by high school students, but the Mona Lisa was treated as a national treasure.

And although the Mona Lisa was too small, we couldn’t see it near it.
I felt like I saw it on the third class seat of a theater.

Afterwards, I looked around the museum.
I didn’t have enough time, so I tried to see the famous pictures.

As you probably know, Louvre is huge….
It is said that you need more than one week to see the whole arts.
However, I had only a few hours….

One good thing was that some of pictures were huge, too.
One size seemed like 8-tatami-mat size.
So if you don’t see them carefully, you won’t need too much time.

Even if some pictures were huge, the time to see them that I had was too short.
I ran around the museum.
They had amazing collections of ceramics but I had to skip to see them.
If I started to see them, I wouldn’t be able to go to the next sightseeing spot where Ito-chan and Mike-san would be waiting.

I wanted to eat lunch before I met Ito-chan and Mike-san but I didn’t have time….
I stayed at the museum just barely before the deadline.

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FRANCE -11/6- LOUVRE

(2010-01-21)
On the 6 th.
I went to Louvre museum in the morning.
Louvre was used to use as a storehouse of art works.
In 16th century, it was renovated, and then used as a palace.
After France Revolution, all arts opened to public.

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When I arrived at the museum, it hasn’t been opened yet.
I waited for its opening, but it wasn’t open at the opening time.
Nobody told me the reason why.
About 10 minutes later, a woman put a memo on a board.
I couldn’t read French but they wrote down the reason.
I still waited about 10 or 20 minutes, and then finally they opened the museum.

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A woman at the entrance wasn’t polite.
I prefer Orsay, a woman at the entrance said, ‘Welcome to our museum’.
(She probably said , ‘bonne visite’.)
But the woman at Louvre was a typical bureaucratic person.
I don’t like her.

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The museum was huger than I expected.
There are several floors and buildings. It is like a labyrinth…
First, I went to see the most famous picture, Mona Lisa.
Before I got there, I saw ‘Victory of Samothrace’.
It seemed like a symbol of the museum.
It was put on the center of the foot place and seemed like protecting the museum.
It was powerful and beautiful.
I remembered a character of Devil Man.
It was really cool!!!

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If you want to see Mona Lisa, you should follow the sign.
I will never miss Mona Lisa.
Before I got there, I saw uncountable pictures.
Some of them were famous pictures and some of them were not famous but painted by famous painters.
I didn’t have enough time, so I stopped at and stared at only my favorite pictures.


FRANCE -11/5- ORSAY

(2010-01-20)
Musee d’Orsay was built in 1900 and used to be used as a station.
In 1986, it was renovated, and their history as a museum started at that time.
They have many famous paintings, which you probably have seen them on your art text books.
There are three stories. I decided to see from the first floor.
I said ‘there are three stories’, but it is a little wrong.
The first floor sometimes becomes the second floor, so I sometimes lost my way.

The paintings that they have are interesting, but I prefer their carvings.
Retest carvings are sometimes really hard to understand for me, but they were just interesting.
I took some pictures, so I will show you some of them.

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At the museum, I met Ito-chan.
She said Mike-san had gone to another museum, and he would come to this museum afterwards.

We went to different ways, and I looked at paintings again.

They have Degas, Gogh, Renoir, etc.

Any pictures can draw in many people in Japan.
If I want to see those pictures in Japan, I have to wait for more than one hour.

By the way, recently I watch T.V. program, ‘Trade Japan’, every week.
The concept of the program is that how to describe our Japanese culture in English.
According to the program, Japan hadn’t had the word of ‘art(芸術)’.
European art is just an art.
But Japanese arts were not only ‘art’ but also ‘something which could be used’.
For example, Ukiyoe was an advertisement or illustrations of books, or carvings were for temples.

That’s why, those arts are fresh in my eye.

Ito-chan and I went back to the hotel afterwards.
I didn’t see Mike-san at the museum.
We stopped at a supermarket and bought salad and a sandwich for dinner.

I touched many arts on this day, so I was really happy….

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FRANCE -11/5- A TOUR BUS

(2010-01-19)
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I ate lunch close to the museum.
I ate a sandwich and tea.
At the restaurant, I planed what I would do next.
I wanted to visit Orsay museum but it was a little early to go there.

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So, I decided to get on a sight seeing bus.
If you go to Paris, you can see many double-decker buses.
It is a sight seeing bus.
The fee is 24Euro, a little expensive, but you can use the ticket for two days.
I got on the bus at Musee d’ORSAY. Afterward it sent to north, passed Opera house, went along AVENUE des CHAMPS ELYSEES, ran around ARC DE TRIOMPHE, went back AVENUE des CHAMPS ELYSEES, headed to TROCADERO, TOUR EIFFEL.
I got off the bus at Tour Eiffel.

The streets in Paris were too rough, so I couldn’t take good pictures.
It was raining, but I sat on roof seat because the view from the roof was better than the view from the inside of the bus.
They gave me an ear phone.
They have earphone jack and channels, and each channel has each language.
This system is really convenient.
I really enjoyed this tour.
I think I can be a tour guide of Paris.

By the way, this bus goes to CHAMP DE MARS, MUSSE DU LOUVRE, NOTRE DAM.
It is not so expensive. I think.

Anyway, I got off at Eiffel towr, got on a train, and finally I arrived at MUSEE D’OLRSAY.

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FRANCE -11/5- RODIN MUSEUM

(2010-01-18)
I was really happy to be surrounded by such beautiful stuff.
I thought they had only made in this area but they had other products, Wedgwood or Meissen.
If you want to see more pictures, please let me know.
I shot plenty of DVDs..

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I left there and headed to Rodin museum.
I am not his fan but any people who had visited Paris said that the best museum in Paris was Picasso and the second was Rodin, so I decided to go to.

When I got there, it was raining.
I went through the entrance and saw a garden.

I could understand the reason why people recommended this museum.
They have a beautiful garden!!!
And some of his works are put in the garden.
The garden is not too gorgeous.
It is like a personal (big) garden, so I thought if I had a picnic here, it might be fun.
His works were sometimes powerful and sometimes funny.
Of course, I saw his famous gate which had ‘The Thinker(考える人).
It was a little scary.

Afterwards, I went to the inside of museum.
I was really surprised because his works were not like the ones that I had known.

My image of his works is a muscular man, but they made many cute girls.
I really like them.
He made many heads of women and one of them really looked like my mother.
I said hello to her.

I was deeply impressed by his works, so I bought a guide book at a museum shop.
The guys at the shop were really friendly.
We talked about his work a little.
I was happy to talk with them.
In addition to, a man at the entrance was also kind.
I had a big bag and an umbrella, and then he took the umbrella and put it into a vinyl bag.
So my impression of this museum is really good.

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FRANCE -11/5- SEVERES GALLERY

(2010-01-17)
There are the pictures I took in Severs museum.
Please enjoy them.

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FRANCE -11/5- MUSSE DU SEVRES

(2010-01-16)
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On the 4th.
We moved to another hotel because, as I have already said, Ito-chan disliked Hotel Central.
I don’t remember the name of the hotel.
This hotel was much cleaner than Hotel Central but tiny.
The good thing is they have a big bath tab.

Today’s plan was free.
So, I visited Sevres museum.
Sevres is the name of the town and famous of ceramics.
I see them at antique shops or European ceramic shops.
When I saw it at the first time, I lost a word because of its dark blue.
It was like jewelry. The blue is not one color. I can see many blues in the plate, and those colors make a good harmony.
It sometimes seem like a blue sky, sometimes seems like the ocean.
There is no another color but the blue is enough to show it elegant.

One more surprising thing is the price.
A small cup is more than 200million yen.
It is too hard to count the number of ZERO.

Anyway, I got on a subway and left Paris.
I got off at Pont de Sevres.
I crossed the bridge, so I could find the museum soon.
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FRANCE -11/4/- MONSIEUR LAPIN!!

(2010-01-15)
We went back to Paris and visited Cimetrere du Montparnasse.
I don’t know why but Mike-san wanted to visit a cemetery…
The cemetery wasn’t like Japanese cemetery.
Japanese cemetery was dark but French cemetery was bright.
Size of graves are bigger than Japanese’s ones.
There were many flowers on one of the graves.
A guy has just passed away. He was around 20years old.
I don’t know him but I felt really sad.

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We went to eat dinner, Monsieur Lapin.
One thing I really wanted to do in France was to eat a rabbit.
Monsieur Lapin’s spatiality is a rabbit; you probably expected by its name.
Mike-san didn’t want to this restaurant but finally he gave in to going to this restaurant.

It was a really cute restaurant.
There are many rabbit stuffs in the restaurant.
It was really crowded. I booked the table a few days ago.
I think we were lucky. It seemed like our table was the last one on that day.

This time I took pictures of menu, so I can tell you what I ate.
But I couldn’t take pictures of my dish…
I ordered ‘crispy flied Bergundy snail’, ‘Crispy rabbit pie’, and ‘Hot suffle’.

All dishes were really good!!!
Especially ‘Crispy rabbit pie’.
It was rich. There were mushrooms and fruits in the pie.
The pie was crispy and also rich. My teeth will never forget that texture.
Their suffle was good, too. It was moist, hot, and sweet.
My tongue will never forget its flover.
Ah….
I wanna go to that restaurant one more time…

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AT A SUPER MRKET


FRANCE -11/4- MARIE'S HOUSE

(2010-01-14)
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It was far from the main palace.
She loves her second house and met her lovers in this house.
This one is simpler than the main palace.
I was thinking about the feelings of Marie’s.
I think she always felt lonely.
But I cannot understand exactly.
I am not as rich as her.
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We had lunch at Versailles.
How wonderful it was!!!
I felt like I was the Queen!!!

The restaurant was a little crowded, so we had to wait for about 20 minutes.
I ordered only a bowl of soup because I should eat special dinner at night.
Ito-chan’s macaroon was excellent!!
I don’t usually like a macaroon because it is dry.
But the macaroon here was moist and soft. I like it.

The dish was excellent but their order wasn’t so good.
They forgot and misunderstood Ito-chan’s salad, and there was a bun in Mike-san’s wine.
I was sorry.
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FRANCE -11/4- VERSAIILES

(2010-01-13)
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Anyway, it was a good sign for us.
If it was on-season, we wouldn’t be able to see the palace. I would see only people.

The place was huge. There are too many rooms in the palace.
We walked thought each room but I didn’t know where I was.
Afterwards I bought a guide book written in Japanese. It was really helpful. They introduce about each room and each interior in the rooms.
I wanted to get it at the entrance.

Versailles was built in 17th century.

It was needed for 50 years to build the palace, but it was almost built for the first 20 yeas.
Louis XIV loved this palace and the garden.
He used to work in Paris but he decided to move to this palace in 1682, and he had lived there for 30 years until he died.

We got on a tram and went to a second house of Marie.
The roads in Versailles were really rough.
I tried to shoot views from the tram but I couldn’t.
It was raining.
And it was too cold….
I was really sad…

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FRANCE -11/4- CHATEAU DE VERSAILLES

(2010-01-12)
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On the 4th.
We went to Chateau de Versailles.
Versailles was not far from Paris, only 10 or 20 minutes by train.

The road from the station to the palace was beautiful.
The very wide and the straight road links to the palace.
I can see the power of Louis from this huge road.

We ate breakfast at a café close to the palace.
A woman has eaten breakfast there and I wanted to order the same one.
But I couldn’t order it. There was a large language barrier in front of me…
Anyway, we had coffee and bread.
A waitress coughed. It was really really terrible.
I felt I had a cold, too.
The guy who had a terrible cold shouldn’t work at a food shop.
Everybody doesn’t feel happy…
Anyway, the breads were good as usual.
The breads in French are always good.

We headed to the palace.
I saw many buildings before getting there and some of them seemed like a ‘palace’.
France is a very historical place.

Finally, we got to the Versailles!!
It was gorgeous.
My eyes forgot to blink and my mouth forgot to close.
All of them seemed made of gold.
And I could see many signs of Louis XIV.
I felt it was really pity.
People who have power have repeated the same things thousands of times.
They waste money of citizen. If they thought about their citizen seriously…

The palace wasn’t crowded than I thought.
The reason that Ito-chan and Mike-san had bought the ‘museum passes’ was we had expected that we would need much time to buy tickets.
But I think we could buy the tickets without waiting.
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FRANCE -11/3- READY FOR TOMORROW

(2010-01-11)
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When we arrived at the station, it was already really dark.
We had reserved ticket at 20:02 but we could get on the earlier one.
We tried to re-book but we couldn’t use ticket machine well.

The train was crowded but we could find seats.

By the way, do you remember the story I have already talked about.
When I got on a train the other day, some guys had taken our seats.

This time, I understood the reason why.
This our case was the same as that case.
We took seats without reserved tickets. So if the guy who had a reserved ticket came to my seat, I had to leave the seat.
There is no case in Japanese Shinkansen, but it is really common in France.

It was still raining.
After we arrived at Paris, Ito-chan and Mike-san went to buy museum passes, and I got back to the hotel.
I bought sandwich at the station. The Sandwiches in France are always really good.


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FRANCE -11/3- THE CASTLE TOUR GUYS

(2010-01-10)
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I want to talk about this tour.
There are some tours to visit old castle area and I chose one of them.
The reason was, as I have already said, they had a tour to Cheverny.

I don’t know if you know about it, but many small companies are controlled by only one person.
For example, when I visited Kangaroo Island, a man was driving a car, explained about the island, cooked lunch, and flied a small air plane.
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I thought this tour was the same type.
A man accepted the tour and drove a car. But he didn’t go to the insides of the castles.
He explained about the castles in the car.
I was a bit disappointed. And I thought entrance fees were included into the tour price but we had to pay entrance fees.

7 guys joined this tour. Three of them were, of course, us, Ito-chan, Mike-san, and I.
A tour conductor said that he would pick up four guests and they were one group.

There were three rows in the car. The first one was driving seat row, and the second and third ones were for guests.
First, we took the second row seats but the tour guy said four guys would get on the car, so I moved to the next seat of the driver.

Afterwards, four guests got on the car but they were not a group.
They were a boy, a girl, and a couple.
A boy seemed like a Japanese or Chinese. He spoke not only Japanese but also English. Mike-san said that his English was perfect. But his Japanese was also perfect.
He said he might get a job at winery.
The girl was from California. Mike-san and Ito-chan said that she was a typical California girl. She had visited several castles. And she bought some bottles of wine. I thought she had a lot of energy. I don’t want to buy a heavy bottle in middle of trip.
The couple seemed like Japanese or Chinese. The man spoke Japanese but the woman spoke Chinese.

This tour was really tight. The castles were far from the station than I thought.
It was a winter schedule, so the castles closed early. We had to be hurry up always. If you visit this area, it is better to visit in summer and stay at a hotel around this area.
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FRANCE -11/3- CHEVERNY CASTLE

(2010-01-09)
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Next we visited Cheverny castle.
This castle is smaller than Chambord.
It was built in 1500 but the building which has been still alive is only one part of the castle.

From 1624 to 1640, Henri Hurault and his wife started to rebuild the castle.
However, the castle was too big, so they couldn’t see the whole castle.
It is the same as Chambord.

Their daughter, Montglas, completed the interior decoration of the castle.

Surprisingly, their descendants have still lived in this castle.
I think the castle is pleased at it.

The inside of the castle was really beautiful.
It was more wonderful than I expected.
The first floor, there are a dining room a salon, a room of portraits, a room of tapestries, and library.
Their tapestries are amazing. They are not only great depth but also delicate.
Their furniture is…I have no word to explain it. Their works were wonderful…
I can stay there as long as I see the furniture…
They also have amazing clocks. Some of them is as tall as I.
They seem like they are made of woods and gold.
Even if I saw much gold, it wasn’t vulgar. They were elegant.
I thought my choice was right!

There are personal rooms on the second floor.
Each room isn’t too big.
The interiors of rooms are completely different.
I imagined if I stayed those rooms.
I cannot imagine staying the Emperor house but I can imagine staying at those rooms.
A room of child was really cute.
I shot all rooms by video camera.
If you want to see them, I’m happy to show them.

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FRANCE -11/3- Chambord

(2010-01-08)
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We went back to the station, met a tour conductor again, and got on a minibus.
We were the only customers but he said that he would pick up four guys afterwards.

We would visit two castles, Chambord and Cheverny.
There are many castles in Loire area, so it was too hard to choose the castles which we would visit.
I read a guide book and internet, and finally I chose Cheverny because according to the guide book, they have special furniture and I love beautiful furniture!!!

The distance from the station to Chambord castle was too long. We stopped at once and picked up the other customers.
I don’t remember how long we had got on the bus, but I think it was more than one hour.
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Finally, we arrived at Chambord castle.
It was the biggest castle in this area.
It started to be built in 1519.
King Francis I, he was 25 years old, decided to build it for hunting.
He stayed there only 72 days until he died.
When he died, the castle wasn’t completed.
They needed to build it for 140years.

There are 426 rooms, 282 fireplaces, and 77 staircases.
It is 156meters long and 56 meters high…

There is a famous double spiral staircase.
The interesting thing is that when you stay at one of staircases you can see the guys who stay in the other staircase, but you will never meet them.
So the distance of these staircases is too short and too far.

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According to a guide book, it is said that Leonardo da Vinci helped inspire the project of this castle because the carvings and its design were NOT a work by regular people.

It was huge castle and we didn’t have enough time to look around it.
I don’t remember if I saw all rooms in the castle or not.
It was big and gorgeous but it didn’t seem comfortable.
It is not a home; its symbol of the power.
I have nothing to say about the castle. Please look at the pictures.

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TSURUYA- HACHIMAN

(2010-01-07)
Tsuruya-hachiman is a Japanese sweet shop.
There is a main shop in Yodoyabashi.
They also have a café in the shop.
I wanted to visit there but it is closed at 5:30p.m., so I didn’t have a chance to go to.

2009/12/22
I left the office early and went there.
It was a really normal zenzai but very delicious!!!
I LOVE ZENZAI!!!

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KAGAIROU

(2010-01-06)
KAGAIROU is a traditional Japanese restaurant.
My friend’s brother has been working at this restaurant.
I want to go there but it is very expensive…

They have a branch restaurant in Kintetsu Department Store.
Luckily, I had a chance to visit there.

Traditional Japanese food, as Kaiseki ryori, in Kyoto is normally excellent but Osaka’s ones are …mmmm…..
This restaurant is not better than restaurants in Kyoto.
But if I don’t compare with Kyoto restaurants, it is really good.

These are pictures of foods.
Please enjoy looking at their excellent dish.

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2009/12/20 tombo-dama

(2010-01-05)
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I went to see Tombodama.
Tombo is A dragonfly in English.
According to my e-deco, tombodama is ‘a bead made from colored class around a stainless steel rod’.
It is easier to understand pictures.

I haven’t been interested in Tombodama, but one of my co-workers showed me Tombodama, which she had bought, and it was wonderful.
I have never seen such a amazing tombodama.
You probably will have the same interest if you see pictures of mine.
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2009/12/9 Kougetsu

(2010-01-04)
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This is a Chinese resturant where our section had a end of year party.
This restauant isn't good.
Drinks were too bad.
but foods were OK.

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2009/12/2 IPUDO

(2010-01-03)
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This is my favorite ramen.
I haven't been there for a while.

I have never been disappointed their ramen.
It is 很好吃。

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2009/12/5 A CAFE AT TEMMABASHI

(2010-01-02)
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This is a café which I have wanted to been to.
A month ago, I visited this café.
The reason that I wanted to go to is that they have really cute cups.

I ordered a sandwich and a cup of coffee.
When a lady brought me a cup, I was disappointed because she didn’t use a cute cup.

Afterwards, I asked her about a cup, so she said this cup was bigger, so she usually use this cup.
Next time, I will request a cute cup.
By the way, the coffee was really good.


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てつパパ

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