Donnerstag, 30. August 2007

Bellinzona

After enjoying full activities over the weekend, we decided to do something a little bit more intellectual. Bellinzona - World Heritage in Switzerland. Here remains castellated wall which has built in 13th to 15th century. Since we had no time, we just went to the one most close to the city. There are actually total 3 castles. One at the bottom is the largest, other two on the hill are smaller.
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
Imagine, many centuries before. People battled here, shooting enemies from small hole on the wall. I was astonished by it's beautiful peaceful scenery but same time, I wondered how this beautiful village became as a battlefield. I'm not quite sure whether once at this place a combat has taken place or not but by the existence of the castle, it was at least functioning as a place to protect people from thread.
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

Walking down on the stoned road in the castle, my mind was full of imagination and back in ancient ages.
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

Dienstag, 28. August 2007

Vally in Tessin - Centovalli

"Cento Valli" along the street to the boarder of Italy, famous valley continues. It means "Hundreds of Vallys".
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
Cento Valley train is one of the beloved train for tourist since they could enjoy amazing view of valley without paying any special express fees. Train goes simply along the valley offering great view of river and steep valley.
This time, we took a car and drove along the valley. We enjoyed the view of valley as well as old, classical bridges where train goes by. On the way back, we found some people lying on the stones down among valley. It looked very strange since people are watching them from the bridge but down there, people are totally enjoying the different world.
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
My husband is a waterman. He could jump in wherever the water is. I had no choice than following him down to the river.
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
It was indeed a hot day. Swimming in the river might be nice but lying on the burning stones is such a rediculos idea. No shade, just burning stones just like in hell.
Those people lying on the stones seems to be enjoying but for me, I looks like a scenery of "Human Grill".
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
My steps are heavy upon I've been dragged down to the river. Only hope is that maybe swimming in the river is refreshing.. but!! when I had a first step in water,,, Shock!! It was cold like ice!!!!!!
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
Ok, if it's too cold like this, no reason for me to stay down here, lets go back to the city. But it`s my husband who never allow me to do so. He continue dragged me into the cold water where I have to hop on the stones to cross the rive. The stones are not all dry and round. Some of them a wet and slippy. I was very much afraid of crushing into water.
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
I barely managed to cross the river. Now I feel that stones are heating. My husband found a nice flat stone for me where I can lay down. I laid down and be like a piece of carrot grilled on the pan.
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
It's hot. Unbelievably hot. I soak my foot a little bit. Ok, it's freezing. I can't believe how people are enjoying this environment! It is either too hot or too cold. How can they relax without having comfortable temperature?? Ohhhhh, crazy European!
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
But children and running around on the stones completely naked and one boy are even climbing on the big stone. On the other hand, I'm even worry for just standing on the small stones in water. My husband soon splashed in the water and already drying himself up on the hot rock. He was sticking on the big stone like a dead frog.
Hot Hot Hot... Now I felt myself becoming a dry mango. Ok, I can't dry up anymore. I need water.
I bent my knee and first soak my whole legs in the water. Ohhhhhh freezing. But once I'm out, again I'm burning. So I soak my body again. Slowly slowly, I got into the water,, up to waist, up to chest,, and finally I swam!
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
"hrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" voice came up automatically. Cooooooold!! But once I'm in, somehow I could managed it. I swam until that huge stone where boys were diving. Water is indeed very clean and transparent. My husband, who really proud of me becoming like a half Swiss, took many photo of me.
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
Once I'm out, now I could hear a relaxing flow of water like a healing song. Cold water maybe wash up my brain as well. Now I see and I hear better. The sun is not hot as before. It was great feeling that the sun warm up my cold body. At the end, I understood a little bit how people enjoy this helly stone valley.
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
Becoming a local girl is difficult!!

My 27th Birthday in Tessin

This weekend was like an one whole gift from my husband. It was my birthday and same time our 1 year wedding anniversary. He has arranged a short trip to Tessin, a Italian part of Switzerland where I wanted to visit for a long time. We headed on Friday evening after my work has finished. We slept one night at his grandmother's place in Tessin. She has a holiday house there. On the next day, we had lunch by Lugano See. It was a terrace on the water and I enjoyed such a tasty Italian food and watching lovely swans on the water.

Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

And we headed further. My super colleague has organized nice hotel in Lugano with special travel agant rate! It was indeed perfect resort hotel with beautiful swimming pool with lake view. Being involved in this industry for years, I'm very keen of good hotels. I'm glad that my husband is a kind of person who can enjoy good hotels together.
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
Upon we arrived, I was eager to check out the city so we went down.

Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
Switzerland... very interesting city. It has so many different faces. Here in Tessin, it was like the other country. The atmosphere of Italy is very strong in terms of people, architecture and of course food. Living in Switzerland is gives you many value. Living in one country but can enjoy many different styles.
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona
My husband has a motor boat liscense. He rented a boat and we cruise on Lugano lake. On the way go, I was hopping on the seat whenever hit wave. But my husband told me that it will be more balanced when both of us stand on the boat. So I tried on the way back. It was indeed more fun than just sitting there. I could feel the wind directlty and feel more free!!

That was indeed a great feeling. I was really depending on my husband on the boat but on the way back, he lost where to return. At that point, I found a big "H&M" ad on the street and knew that's the place we should return. Very small but it was nice that I could help him!

Being married for a year but I still feel like we are boyfriend and girlfriend. Maybe it's because we started living together only this year. But for me, freshness is very important of being a couple. I will never be lazy to take care of my look. For me, the most glomorous moment is when my husband tells me that I'm pretty. In Japan, many married couple call each others "mother" or "father" once they have a child. I think this is the worst relationship for married couple becuase when they call each others like this, they lose the feeling of being "couple" easily. I believe this culture is one of the reason of married Japanese man, having affair with young girls. They cannot see his wife as his "first lady" anymore since he see her as a "mother".

I had to admit that there are certain moment that I'm being annoyed. When his voice tone is aggresive or when he reacts like a child, it make me withdraw far away. But of course, some other things what I do also get in to his nerve time to time. But I was really impressed by my husband driving a motor boat. This kind of "excitement" is a good spice in relationship no matter how old you get. Stability and excitement, this balance is important.

Thank you for my husband who makes me feel as a real woman every day. Congratulation to both of us and looking forward to having many more year to come.

Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

Montag, 27. August 2007

Grandmother's garden

Frau Stoll, the grandmother of my husband is a very special person. I already wrote about her once before. This weekend, as we head torward Lugano, we stopped by at her holiday house!

Upon we arrived, aunt Erika treated us with tea and amusuments. We arrived late so I didn't see a lot on that day.

On the next day, I was surprised by the beauty of it's surronding! It was the day with full of sunshine! First thing we've done was swimming in the pool:)

Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

Upon we went up in the living room, Frau Stoll was there with a warm smile as usual. Aunt Erica prepared such a nice breakfast.

Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

Bread, good coffee and tea, jams and,,, Special Hand-made Muesli!!

Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

It was made by Erika and what very special about this Muesli is that fruits inside was being picked from the garden!
So after satisfied by good breakfast, I absolutely had to explore the garden!!

Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

The back garden was huuuuuuge than I thought! These are the grapes.

Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

Tomotoes??

Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

Raddish??

Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

Apples!! They were in Muesli!
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

Even Kiwis are hanging there! I've never seen Kiwis growing on the tree!!

Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

The garden offer many fruits offer also beautiful view. So it's actually "Fruitful in quality of life":)

Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

This is something very yummy yummy. Figs! Aunt Erica make very good fig dessert. She also taught me how to pick them from the tree. Once I picked it, I ripped it's skin. Tecunique is required!

Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

The first one I picked succesfully! yummy yummy! Even the shape is cute.
Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

Garden is beautiful but in behind, there is always an effort of gardener. Without being taken care, it will be soon a jungle!
But with many affection and good care, it will grow as a fruitful one and gives you lots of reward.

Lugano / Melide / Morcote / Locarno / Ascona / Centovalli / Bellinzona

For me, fruits and vegetables are always something from supermarket but in garden, they look different. More shining and more beautiful! There vitamins are double than that from supermarket. With sufficient sunshine of Tessin, I also able to absorb many power!

Donnerstag, 23. August 2007

Party at classical city

Baden is a very small city which is 15 minutes away from Zurich by train. It is famous for hot spring and has a popular bathing center. Already from 2000 years before, the place was known as "Aquae Helvetia" which means "Water of Switzerland". It has been said that the troop of Ceaser also took a rest here. The city is lying next to the beautiful flow of Limat river. As you walk down on the street, you hear the conformable flow of a river. My first visit to this city was very quiet one. It was winter and I was alone. But yesterday, the city showed me it's another face. It was a Baden Festival which take place once in a TEN year!!

Badenfahrt 2007

Badenfahrt 2007

Badenfahrt 2007

Strange monuments and big "INFO" flag suddenely appeared in a small typical European city. The last one, which is covered by red net is a restaurant. It has very funny concept that one can eat each of the course munu in each floors. So you start appetizer on the first floor, main dish on the second floor, dessert on the third floor and water pipe of the roof top.. Something like that. Unfrotunately, the seat was already fully booked.

Badenfahrt 2007

So we went to the other restaurant.

Badenfahrt 2007

And enjoyed beautiful crepe for a dessert.

Badenfahrt 2007

Badenfahrt 2007

We walked around the city and found so many beautiful views which is a collaboration of classic Europe and modern culture.

Badenfahrt 2007

A bar along the river. From it's open terrace, you can see the illumination of old church. The band was singing about the city, how beautiful it is.

There were also artistic bars made only for the festival.

Badenfahrt 2007

Badenfahrt 2007

Overall, I really liked the city and the festival. It was less people than in a Zurich and less crazy. I could enjoyed real beauty of the city from the landscape of river and architecures and at the same time, could enjoy the atmosphere of party. Party is fun but often the case, it's destroying the real beauty of the city. In Baden, it was different.

Badenfahrt 2007

I like festivals in Switzerland!

Sonntag, 19. August 2007

Girl's weekend

I saw Zürich in totally different side today.
Today, I had a girl's weekend starting from brunch.
Nadine, is a Swiss girl who has been a friend for 2 years and now also a colleague in the office. I met her in Tokyo when she was living there. Heike, a German girl is a friend of Nadine. They met in Tokyo and I got to know her as well from Nadine. Nadine left Tokyo a little bit earlier than Heike so I met her often until she leaves Japan as well. Funny thing is, we all met in Tokyo but now we are all living in Switzerland! Heike moved to Geneva since last month due to her work!

Happy Weekend So we had a girl's meeting after 1 and a 3 months interval. We started from a big brunch in the town. The restaurant offer big buffet so I ordered fresh omlet which I can choose my favorite fillings. Accompanied by hushed potatoes and sausages, it was really a big power breakfast! Recently, I don't have big appetite but today, I really felt like eating! Maybe due to the atmosphere.

Happy Weekend
We talked a lot. It was funny that our common language is now German. Well, I tried my best. They are good friends being patient for my poor German.
After a big meal, we all had a tommy like a pregnant woman. So we decided to go swimming. Luckily, sky cleared up once we arrived at the bathing place.
Happy Weekend I normally at the other side of the lake where also has a bathing spot. It's closer to our home. But it was very nice to get to know the other place. Here, it has more grasses to lie down and a sand coast. I felt that it's more open and comfortable. Happy Weekend
Again we talked a lot. We swum, take a nap, grab an ice cream.. sharing sun cream,, all these things I spent with girls were very precious.
Happy Weekend There was a swam with half grown baby swam. They never afraid of people. They roam around among the people, biting grasses until they satisfied and went back to the lake.
Happy Weekend Since Heike had to go back to Geneva, we said good bye around 4pm. It was actually not a long time but I felt like I enjoyed for a whole weekend. Spending time with girl friends mean a lot to me now.

Earlier in Japan, girl friends are too close and common so I took it for a granted. They were always there next to me. But now I lost them, I mean they are only next to me by email. I can't tell how much I miss those small girl's chat and laugh for a small things.
Friends are treasure. They won't knock you on the door to be your friend. How get to know each others and stay in touch is like a miracle in a long life.
Tonight, I will sleep well, being thankful for the existence of good friends here.

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