Rennes, France

Opening any guide book of France, you won’t find much information on Rennes. This is because the capital city of Brittany suffered great damage during World War II and much of it had to be rebuilt. A fire in 1720 also destroyed most of its timbered houses, sparing a few.

17426269_1150631371732514_7486358943135413803_n.jpg Continue reading “Rennes, France”

Advertisements

March in France

We just got back from a short but fantastic trip in France and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! We started our journey in Paris, went to the Agriculture Show at Porte de Versailles, then rented a car and drove around Brittany and Normandy. Along the way, we enjoyed beautiful scenery, delicious local cuisine, and a moment of silence at Omaha beach. Given the time of the year, we’ve encountered a wide spectrum of weathers – from rain to high wind, from cloudy overcast sky to amazing rainbow at sea, and finally balmy spring days in Paris.

17349883_1146147802180871_1684535176221237040_o.jpg

First of all, I would like to say that France has definitely changed since I was there 4 years ago. There were presence of armed guards and heightened security everywhere – bag checks at key landmarks, museums, cathedrals, even major department stores such as Galeries Lafayette, Le Bon Marché or Le Grande Epicerie.  Continue reading “March in France”

Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji, Kyoto

If you’ve been to Kyoto, chances are that you’ve been to Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺). It is one of most visited places in the ancient capital of Japan.

16602377_1102911853171133_3028012373582131198_o.jpg

The Golden Pavilion has three levels, each carrying a distinctive architecture style: shinden (11th century aristocracy) on the first level, buke-zukuri (warrior residence on the second, and Chinese Zen (Buddhist temple) on the third. Continue reading “Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji, Kyoto”

Plum Blossom at Kitano Tenmangu, Kyoto

Kitano Tenmangu (北野天満宮) is a Shinto shrine located in northwest Kyoto. It is built in 947AD to honor Sugawara no Michizane.

16473901_1104827639646221_3475525015056815123_n

An important scholar, poet and politician of the Heian period, Sugawara no Michizane (菅原道眞) read poems at the age of five and wrote Chinese poems at the age of eleven.  Continue reading “Plum Blossom at Kitano Tenmangu, Kyoto”

Kanazawa in the Snow

I did not finish writing about our Japan trip last year because by the time I got to this post, it was already the beginning of May. With spring in the air and tulips in full bloom, it simply felt out of context to recount snow flurries in this city of gold marsh.

16402869_1097792410349744_1624127386034360323_o.jpg

We visited Kanazawa (金沢) during a three-hour layover on our way from Shirakawa-go to Kyoto. Continue reading “Kanazawa in the Snow”

Lords of the Arctic – Day 3

The third day of our Lords of the Arctic program, we went back on wheels.

15016365_1014468832015436_7010767769203295701_o.jpg

In merely two days, more bears had arrived in the area. Continue reading “Lords of the Arctic – Day 3”

Nisqually Wildlife Refuge

Did you know that, just an hour drive south of Seattle there is a National Wildlife Refuge? It is one of my favorite places to visit all year round.

16002754_1078211498974502_7237045378481232898_n.jpg

Upon entering the refuge you are first greeted with a duck pond. Continue reading “Nisqually Wildlife Refuge”