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”

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Salon International de l’Agriculture

The day we went to Salon International de l’Agriculture, it was pouring down with rain. Anticipating a large crowd – being that it was a Saturday – we opted for an early start.

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Hall 1 was the livestock sector, meaning pigs, sheep, cows and beef cattle.

There were demos on how to cut and cure meat as well as animal competitions on the ground.

Hall 2 was all about crops and plants.

But Hall 3 – Food products from 13 regions of France – was where we spent most of our time. Starting with these Langouille sausages from Loire-Atlantique. Continue reading “Salon International de l’Agriculture”

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.

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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.

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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.

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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”

Gion Kawakami, Kyoto

After making a brief stop in the snow laden Kanazawa, we arrived in Kyoto late afternoon to a brilliant sunset.

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For dinner, we went to Gion Kawakami (祇園川上). It turned out to be one of the most satisfying meals we’ve had in Japan this time around. Continue reading “Gion Kawakami, Kyoto”

Churchill, Canada

When our Saab 340 turboprop landed in Churchill, the captain switched off cabin lights, and the world around us turned pitch black.

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Churchill is a remote town in northern Manitoba, on the west shore of Hudson Bay – the second-largest bay in the world. Continue reading “Churchill, Canada”

Elliott Bay Trail, Seattle

Elliott Bay Trail is a short walking/biking trail, twenty-minute walk from the touristy Pike Place Market. It is ideal for visitors of the Seattle area who wish to enjoy a great view without the crowd.

The trail starts from the Olympic Sculpture Park, goes through Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Park. There are interesting Pacific Northwest artifacts along the trail , such as a totem pole Continue reading “Elliott Bay Trail, Seattle”