Take my own way

August 10 [Tue], 2010, 7:05
Wished we could walk the way together, it didn't come true.
Best wishes to our future.

2010 Europe travel _ Swiss

February 10 [Wed], 2010, 9:45
31st Jan 2010 – 1st Feb 2010

It was 1week travel to Europe, so that our delegation from work place visited universities in Europe. Our purpose was leaning management of universities, in Zurich, Munich and Delft. I worked for supporting and arranging this travel. I at first thought a travel with 15 co-workers should be very tough.

We first went to Amsterdam Skipole Airport for transit, waiting for 4hs in a schedule.
However, do not forget it is Europe in winter season, even at night. Every flight delayed 1-2hs. At last we arrived at Zurich midnight having been waited for total 6hs.

Zurich city was covered in white. Surprisingly, it is not very often that Zurich has snow.
Our first visiting place was just on the hill near the central station.
I can’t really write what a warm hospitality we had. I was delighted that one person who met in my university last summer remembered me.

We had free time in the afternoon. I was planning to meet a friend living there and who I met in my last summer vacation.
We were just chatting in Starbucks for 3hs! How fast time passed. It is even rare I keep chatting for hours in Japanese.
I found many Swiss people like smoking. They smoke in a café, on the road. I heard Starbucks at first didn’t succeed in Swiss. However now is popular especially women with small children. Actually a mothers gathering was held next to our seats.
When we left there, it was snowing. I was in white on the way back to a hotel.

In this original travel, we arranged everything accordingly, a guide and an interpreter for each place, hotel and dinner. The restaurant was under the church and served “Zurich style” pork cream pasta, and cute ice cream. We also enjoyed Swiss wines.
I walked around the church, tranquil night black and snow white.

Europe travel _ Munich

February 09 [Tue], 2010, 22:21
2nd Feb 2010

We moved from Zurich to Munich by train taking 4hs. The white ground swept away outside windows.
One of colleagues bought a coloured (pink and blue) egg. I found it means a boiled one. She didn’t break an egg though, it should be.

Munich had a fine weather, but wind was frosty.
My last visit was 5years ago, in a summer vacation. Surprisingly I remembered shops and paths in the city. Since it was too cold to keep walking, I just went to Fraumunster, (Mary’s church), New city hall as same as last time.
And I bought mountainous chocolates!

I think every food is salty (or sweet). soup, bread, sausage… It seems not good for their health. It reminded me that I always got rid of salt crystals attached pretzels during my last visit in Germany.
Apple fritter for dessert was delicious but I couldn’t eat even an half. A part of deep fry batter was twice as thick as a sliced apple.

Swiss travel _ Munich 2

February 07 [Sun], 2010, 22:39
3rd Feb 2010

It was raining in the morning. It became warm not to snow.
Our destination to visit was next to the art museums (Old and New). They also had warm welcome to us.

In that evening, we planned to take a flight to Amsterdam. We had only 1 hour for our free time. Then I visited the old museum by myself. It was huge and stored lots of pictures. I spent almost all the rest of time there.

Munich airport was renovated recently.
Supermarket was outside the departure gate. I got final German chocolates there. Inside of the departure gate was also gorgeous. Boarding gates area of Lufthansa offers coffee and tea service. Coffee was very strong. I really worry about German food habit.

It’s just twilight during our flight to Amsterdam.

2009 Fuji travel

September 22 [Tue], 2009, 23:23

19th Sep. (Sat)

I don’t think it’s been 1-2 years since our last meeting.
And it was a first time to travel 3 together.

I came from Tokyo, they came from Osaka, Shiga.
I found it takes 3hs to Mishima by local train. Umm..it’s acceptable, because I woke up early in the morning.

We first went to Gotenba outlet mall because of cloudy weather.
We only could see a silhouette of the Mt. Fuji. Many parking was already full though I felt the place was not so crowded.
We had pizza & pasta, coldstone cream. And enjoyed shopping.

This day, I was only a driver.
A pension was in the foot of Mt. Fuji. I drove through silver grasses plain which was not like Japanese scenery.
And also the Fuji with the approach of dusk was so impressive.

Once we checked in, went to a beer and restaurant mall down the mountain and had Chinese buffet with beers (not for me).
Driving a mountain at night was full of thrills.

It’s been 5years since our study abroad in UK.
I found this time that some of friends move to abroad for marriage, some go back to Tokyo, some keep working and take new step forwards. It stimulated my mind. It should be time to make a decision.

2009 Fuji travel 2

September 21 [Mon], 2009, 0:03
20th Sep. (Sun)

The pension has warm welcome, with private bath at night and in the morning. Breakfast is served at 8am with lovely bakery and fresh milk.
I want to visit there again. It’s so sweet stay.

We headed to the Gotenba 5th stations on Mt. Fuji in the early morning.
People begin their climb from there. It seemed they already started climbing and there was few people there.

It was perfect sky, without any cloud. Strong sunshine and wind hit us.
We just went hiking for 1h and enjoyed great scenery.

Then we headed to Shiraito waterfall. Many people visited there. Yap, it’s fantastic.

It was still 2pm when we arrived at Motosu lake. We drove on a narrow road around the lake. We can see Mt. Fuji which is painted in the 1,000 yen note.

Actually we didn’t decide our travel schedule well in advance. But we are used to travelling and made a perfect travel plan taking account into weather and congestion.

Before our departure to go home, we had sushi, coz it’s Shizuoka.

Swiss Travel -session 1

September 13 [Sun], 2009, 11:53
29th Aug. (Sat) 2009

It's a start to 1week Swiss travel.
Interestingly, I bought Otabe(sweets in Kyoto) in the airport for tea time.

Zurich airport is quite near from city centre. 15mins by train.
Actually a hotel was in a middle, Zurich Oerlinkon.

In Saturday evening, though it's still blight, people spend relaxing time in a park.
Older men was playing chess. You can imagine, tiles on the park make a chess board. Of course, chess pieces are quite big weird scenery isn't it?

Most of shops are closed on Sunday and Saturday evening. Then I rushed to a supermarket to buy water and some fruits and breads.

30th Aug.(Sun)

Zurich 1day walking

Zurich has a quite qualified tram system. These train come very punctually.
First of all we dropped in Lake Zurich. What’s a clear sky.
Then headed to a museum (Kunsthaus Zürich) It stores plenty of 19-20 century arts.
It’s first time to see a wide piece of Water Lilies by Monet. We spend tranquil time in that room.

Next target is ETH (Swiss institute of technology) I’ve heard the scenery from that hill is quite nice. I could’ t skip it.
It’s absolutely fabulous, the view and the building of ETH. It’s like a palace. Imagine I would go to such a gorgeous palace for study.

Between two cathedrals Grossmünster and Fraumünster, a man was playing baroque with a sort of accordion. It was exactly fit with a medieval city.

Dinner was in an outside restaurant with vegetable BBQ.

Swiss travel -session2

September 12 [Sat], 2009, 19:14
31st Aug. (Mon)

Perfect sky welcomed our departure to Zermatt. Train went through Middle Swiss near Lucern, It’s first time to get 1st class train. We can have much space and quiet time.

We had 2hs free time in Andermatt to wait a train. It’s lovely town people enjoying their summer. Little girls greeted me even I couldn’t understand they said. It’s so sweet. But the ropeway going to a view point was closed in lunch. Isn’t it bit long lunch time…
Anyway just walking was satisfying. I also got unique wine glasses of Glacier Express.

It’s one of our purpose, the Glacier Express. Actually we cannot see any glacier along this rail though, it’s famous of showing great panoramic view. 1st class coach are occupied with middle aged people. Because this mountain train was bouncing, I felt a bit sickness. But overall, it’s nice experience.

Zermatt is small and like the clappers with travelers. The hotel is very classic but well renovated. I think I can live there for years. Matterhorn welcomes us through a window.
Late afternoon was a good for walking around. Dinner was a Fondu Chinoise. It seems popular in this country. Last day was a vegetarian day but this day is for meats. I had much beef and chicken. A wood stove warmed dinner time.

Swiss travel -session3

September 12 [Sat], 2009, 8:20
1st Sep. (Tue)

This morning also had a clear sky. But I thought mountain weather should be changeable.
We first climbed to Gornergrat by train. It’s a 3,000m view point. Glaciers and Matterhorn were laid in front of us.

We can walk down the mountain (of course climb too). We went down for 2hs.
It was quite tough walking in rock and desolate plain.
However after this hard work, a lake, Riffel see showed upside down Matterhorn.

Hiking time continued 1h or 2hs more. Next target was Kline Matterhorn which is next to Matterhorn and has the Europe highest view point that people can get with ropeway.

3,883m, I’ve never experienced this altitude. Only a few steps to the view area forced my heart beating. Though clouds covered Matterhorn, I could see over the Alps.
I also found many people had enjoyed ski. It should be exciting with a bit scare skiing down a cliff.

A cappuccino released me from coldness.

That was an unusual hot day in Zermatt nearly 30 degrees. I didn’t know that.
Cheese Fondu mixed with tomato and potatoes were for dinner, and beer.
I found it later that a combination with beer and cheese is not very good for digestion. But you know, beer is well combined with exercise.

Swiss travel -session4

September 11 [Fri], 2009, 23:52
2nd Sep. (Wed)

Seemed it was raining at night though, morning came in sunny.
We left Zermatt in the early morning. On the way back from Zermatt, Vineyard layer were made along valley. It’s a popular place for wine.

We headed to Mt. Blanc. Actually it’s in France.
I looked for any euro coins before this travel, and got only 3euros.

We need to change trains in Martigny. Then take a SNCF train, Mt. Blanc Express to Chamonix-Mt. Blanc. Actually we also need to change trains in a border of Swiss/France. Though it was getting cloudy, I could see the Alps and Mt. Blanc beyond.

It’s almost France. Announcement in a train are only French and Germany, while Swiss train has Germany, French, Italian and English.
When I arrived at Chamonix Mont-Blanc, it became cloudy.

Just walking around the small town and had lunch in a restaurant, les moules which I didn’t see in Swiss. I met sudden showers during lunch. Only 3 euro in my pocket changed to gelato with chocolate and Mt-Blanc(caramel) taste.

Then we went to Montreux which is famous for Casino and Castle Chillon.
We walke to the castle along the Lake Leman. I thought it shouldn’t be very far from city centre. But it forced me 1h walking.
Tough as I had heavy muscle pain for Matterhorn hiking.

At night, it was my first experience to play casino. It’s difficult understand how they play, not only table games but slots. All directions are written in French…
My French knowledge could help a little.