Freitag, 26. September 2008

Neuchatel to Biel

After we returned from summer holiday in Greece, winter has came in Switzerland suddenly:) What a temperature differences! I tend to feel a bit sad on Autumn,, how can I enjoy this melacholy feeling season..?

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

We decided to explore more in Switzerland!!!! Godzilla and Ursula kindly gave me a GA card (free train pass in Switzerland) for my birthday so I have to take full advantage of it!!

Last weekend we went Neuchatel, a french speaking area where I wanted to visit.

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

It's a unique city where is said as "a city sculptured from a butter". Why butter? Because of the colour of buildings. These butter coloured buildings in town are all built in 18th century.

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

Hmmm, unter such a strong sun, these butter building might start melting..

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

Even the church and castles are in butter colour:)

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

At least, inside of the church was not butter. This is such an old church built on 12 th century. It has been rennovated time to time so you can find Gothis style and Romanesque style parts n one church.

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

We had nice lunch in a small cafe in old town. So funny to see Odie speaking French but he is doing good job.

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

I found some very original art which you can never find in Zurich.. Freaky door with hand.. must be scary where you find this door alone in midnight!!

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

Ugly fountain with lion face...Hi Hi very funny.

I love this kind of small discovery in new town!

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

It was also a perfect day to visit this town because of the weather. The biggest lake in Switzerland is this Neuchatel See. It was like an ocean under beautiful sunshine. Odie was very excited to see thos windsurfer on the water.

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

and he pretended as he surfs on the water:)

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

It's shake by wind! Odie can enjoy the feeling of surfin.. I was just scared because I see the water underneath between woods.. But the view was awesome.

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

On the way home, we took ship in stead of train. The ship leaves Neuschatel and continue the journey to the lake Biel.

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

Neuschatel lake and Biel Lake is connected with a canal.

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

as we went underneath this low bridge..

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

The captain room has dissapeared!! Wow! What a high technology!! :) I never knew that the boat functions like this!

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

It was beautiful journey. You can never see such a scenery if you take car or train..

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

The boat left canal and start heading to Biel. In Biel lake, you see many kite sufter.

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

It was first time for me to see this unique sports!! Ohhh, look very dangerous.. Odie said it is something between wake boarding and wind surfing..

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

Country side of Switzerland is amazingly pretty.

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

After 2.5 hour journey, we finally arrived Biel. A town of "Bilingual". French name of the city is Bienne. Here, people grow up with German and French. Even the name of the streets are written in both languages!!

St Gallen Neuschatel Biel

"Venner-Brunnen" the fountain of soldier. It's a symbol of the ancient battle.

This area is called "Ring" and it's a center of the town. From 11th century until Frence Revolution, this area was used as a court. Very historical place..

Neuchâtel - Biel

Before we take our train back to Zurich, we had one last cofffee in cafe, in front of the station. It was long day.. we saw a lot. Traveling Switzerland is so interesting, sometime you feel like you are away in abroad. Not only launguage but the culture are different, which make totally different atmosphere.

I think I have to get to know more about this country!!

Montag, 8. September 2008

Greece and family

It was my fourth visit in Ermioni, Greece. You never know what your life bring to you. When I came here fist time, I thought this is "first and last". I thought I will never return when I left here. Now I'm back here already fourth time, even with my PARENTS!

Greece 2008 mit papa und mama

Yes, my parents joined our holiday in Ermioni all the way from Japan. Since there's no direct flight from Japan, it's a quite long journey including ship from Athens.

Greece 2008 mit papa und mama

My parents were provided with the house of Fay, Odie's sister. It was amazingly beautiful and almost impossible holiday style for normal Japanese.. Having one whole house with Ocean view. The above photo is a view from the house.

Greece 2008 mit papa und mama

My parents were totally surprised with this luxurious stay. Shame that we did only few days.. If they stay longer, my father wanted to cook fish in this beautiful kitchen.

Greece 2008 mit papa und mama

"a holiday doing nothing" is also something uncommon for Japanese. Here in Ermioni, you spend time just swimming, reading, eating and sleeping. I also needed some time to get use to this style.

Greece 2008

Arrival of my parents

Also, it was second meeting of my parents and Odie's parents since our wedding. It was in a restaurant in Grand Hyatt Tokyo when we all dined together first time and was last time up to now. I've never imagined that second time will be in Ermioni.

Arrival of my parents

A family gathering is nice. But I re-recognized the huge differences of both family. What we do, what we talk about, what is important,, everything is totally different. Since I was just trying to adapt to this new style, new culture, I never thought WHAT IS REALLY DIFFERENT. But having both family right in front of me, this difference became obvious.

Greece 2008 mit papa und mama

For example, since I moved to Switzerland, I never enjoyed being forced to do sports such as swimming in cold water or ice skating. I didn't think why I don't feel comfortable about it but now I realized how unsporty family I am from. I never saw my mom in bathing suits for 10 years or more. Now in Ermioni, she was in her newly bought bathing suits and tried swimming in a sea after many many years. On the other hand, it is normal for Odie's family to swim every day. They can swim like kilo without wearing fin or snorkel. Godzilla, a father of Odie even dive in to water from head! Nobody from our family even thought about it.

Greece 2008

In stead, my parents treasure "harmony" and enjoy eating time 100%. It is important to have 3 meals in a day and absolutely enjoy it. I also realized that during the meal, my family talk about what we eat. Normally, we say how good the food are (although sometime could be other way around) and 100% enjoy EATING. That's why we never have exciting, hot conversation during dining because this destroy the nice eating atmosphere. Odie's family is quite spontaneous about dining. They plan first what they do during the day and in between comes meal. That's why breakfast and lunch will become often together. My parents plan breakfast in morning in order to enjoy lunch as seperate meal. Also, Odie's family hardly make comments about food. "Delicious" is the pretty much only comment I hear and then they enjoy discussions about politics and economy. I never talked about these topics neither with my family nor friends.

Greece 2008 mit papa und mama

Moreover, my parents and Odie's parents, the point of scolding children is different. My parents scolded me if I licked plate or drop food on the floor. But it seems like these are not a big deal for Odie's parents. In stead, taking something from other is not acceptable even between brother and sisters. I mean, something small for example a flower decorated on the table for each person. This flower belongs to only one person and the others are not allowed to take it.

Greece 2008 mit papa und mama

I realized myself feeling comfortable in both style, enjoying more sports with Odie's family but still feel more comfortable for dining style of my parents.

Greece 2008 mit papa und mama

Oh, one funny episode in Ermioni. My father really tried to take best out of it in Ermioni and he joined us swimming at least once in a day. And he managed this.

Last day in Ermioni 2008

hunting sea urchin:) On this morning, he came swimming with us from early in the morning. The water is quite cool in morning but he wanted to enjoy last swimming here. But his interest seems to be always for food..

Last day in Ermioni 2008

He also hunted large sea urchin, break it by stone.

Last day in Ermioni 2008

and ate it!! He said "I should have bring soy sauce and wasabi!!":) My father didn't swim Kilo with Odie's family but he is tough in other way:)

Greece mit papa und mama

Seeing difference is interesting. Every families are different but in our case, it stands out even more considering culture differences. But I'm thankful that both of our parents can speak Engligh (excluding my mom:) and exchange many minds each others. Maybe there will be some conflicts come up in future but as long as they can communicate in one language, they will understand each others and learn. I had a bit fear before this trip if my parents can adjust and enjoy this extraordinary European vacation or not and also if Odie's parents can understand that they don't swim like they do.

Greece 2008 mit papa und mama

But it was not neccessary. My parents really had great time in Ermioni and was very thankful for kind arrangement of Odie and Odie's parents. I am also very much thankful to them that they let me invite my parents to holiday.

Arrival of my parents

Sometime I was jealous to Odie that he can always be together with his parents.

Greece 2008 mit papa und mama

But this time in Ermioni I was also able to have time with my parents. It was so nice that I could show them such a beautiful place, a place which I will visit many many years to come with Odie's family.

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