|Den Okochi's Europe Tour 2004
I have at last succeeded to persuade my husband Akihiko Den Okochi to write
about his recent Europe tour for this October issue of the GREETING !!!
Can you guess how I did it?
I blackmailed him.
"If you do not promise to write, I will not let you go on that tour!"
Remember, please, that I did not go with him.
Somebody must take care of the business.
So I stayed.
I always do.
What a pity!
He had a hard time to write his homework composition after the wonderful
I hope you will enjoy his diary of the tour.
Well, thank you very much for reading Den's diary.
|Monday, August 30
At 9:30a.m. I left Seoul by Air France for Paris. The weather there was
very fine and clear while the typhoon 16th was attacking Karatsu. Arrived
at Aeroport Charles de Gaulle at 2:40p.m. (France time). Took a thalys
and reached Brussels Midi at 5:14p.m. Hotel Arlequin is close to Grand
Place and was easily found.
Tuesday, august 31
Took a city tour bus at 10:00a.m. We got off at Palace de Heysel and took
pictures of Atomium-nine balls-
built at world fair 1958.
Went mates with a Korean young man in the bus. We had the moules lunch
at 't kelderke, the basement of Maison des Ducs de Bradant. At 6:00p.m.
Michael ( a Belgian friend) came to see me at my hotel with his beautiful
wife Patricia. We had wonderful chats at classical lounge of Metropole
Hotel and Villa Lorraine.
Wednesday, September 1
Left Brussels Centraal Station at 7:49a.m.
Arrived at Haag (H. S.) at 9:57a.m.
An information center introduced Hotel Sebel. Went to Scheveningen. Summer
seemed already pass away there.
Ate a famous "Broodje hearing" at Simons. Visited Mauritshuis
Museum in the afternoon.
Dutch Olympic medalists on the horse-coaches were welcomed by citizen near
Thursday, September 2
Left Den Haag Centraal at 8:29a.m. Arrived at Amsterdam Centraal
at 9:20a.m. This station influenced Dr. K. Tatsuno. Japanese architect from Karatsu, to build Tokyo Station in 1914.
|Amsterdam Centraal Station
Checked in Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky. Stayed there over two nights.
Van Gogh Museum was quite impressive. I studied how much he had been influenced
by Japanese UKIYOE through his paintings. There were held a special exhibition
of Edouard Manet's "impressions of the Sea", which was very good.
Friday, September 3
Took a walk around the Magerebrug bridge and Botanical garden. In the afternoon
I listened pipe-organ in Westerkerk Church, where Beatrix, the Queen of
the Netherlands had a wedding. There were many crowds and much noises in
front of the hotel at Dam circle till late at night.
Saturday, September 4
The town was still in sleep when I took earliest tram to Centraal station.
Took 7:28 train for Maastricht. Sunshine attacked the window over the meadows
in mist for some time. At Roemond ( at 9:34) I had to suddenly change the
train to the bus till the next station. They say this happens so often
at weekends. Changed into the train at Sillard and got to Maastricht around
11:30a.m. Checked in Hotel Beaumont, went to downtown. So many people
were walking in the streets like of Karatsu Kunchi festival. There was
a wedding at St. Sevaasbasilick. It was my first experience to attend the
ceremony in the church.
Sunday, September 5
Mornings start late on holidays in Europe. There also was much noise on
the streets in the midnight. I met only a few walkers along the way to
the station. The earliest train for Liege started at 8:09a.m. Waiting at
Liege about half an hour. I took the direct train to Luxembourg. This time
once again I had to get off the train at Gouvy at 10:30 and rode the bus
till troisvierges. Arrived at Luxembourg at 12:30.
Depositing my luggage at Central Moliter Hotel, I went to Constitution
Plaza across the Adolph Bridge. Started
sightseeing there by Tour bus. Luxembourg is much more magnificent city than I had expected. The scenery
from Casemates du Boch is especially breathtaking.
New quaters of the city are also beautifully arranged by the buildings
by world-wide famous architects.
Monday, September 6
Left Luxembourg Station at 7:55a.m. Got to Nancy at 9:26a.m.
Pl. Stanislas was under construction.
The gates there are marvelous. Visited the Museum of Fine Arts and appreciated
Daum brothers' glasswork's production. The school of Nancy Museum was closed
on Monday. I missed Emile Galle very much. Dined at Excelsior getting the
feel of Art Neuveau till the train for Dijon at 6:04p.m. Arrived at Dijon
Center at 8:35p.m. and checked in Hotel Companile in front of the station.
|One of the gates of Pl. Stanislas
Tuesday, September 7
Mr.Yamada of Patriarche Co. came to see me at the hotel at 9:00a.m. He
was going to show and teach me about Burgundy wine. We drove round the
vineyards in Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune. Chateau du Clos de Vougeot
is impressive. The single vineyard of Romannee-Conti excited me very much.
The harvest of
|Clos de Vougeot
grapes comes near at hand. They were washing the old barrels here and
there. We visited one of small wine-makers in Volnay. They still bottled
wine from a barrel by hands. We went to Cave Patriarche in Beaune to test
wines. It was difficult for me to differ each quality.
|Sunset seen from Chateauneuf
We appreciated the sunset from Chateauneuf-en-Auxois and enjoyed the Volnay
and Crepe D'Escargo at L'oree Bois Restaurant there.
Wednesday, September 8
Slept a sound sleep at hotel Chateau de Challanges in town of Beaune. Mr.
Yamada picked me up at 10:00a.m. at
the hotel. We drove to Semur-En-Auxois and Abbaye de Fontenay, where there
were beautiful fountains. Its quiet and simple surroundings moved me very
much. It is designated as UNESCO World Legacy.
|Abbaye de Fontenay
We went back to Dijon. Mr. Yamada sent me off TGV at 3:24p.m. Reached Gare de Lyon at 5:00p.m. I tried to find a room in the hotels around the station, but in vain. Moved to Gare du Nord. I finally checked in Hotel Gare du Nord after 7:00p.m. I walked along Avenue des Champs Elysees and enjoyed the last night of my trip.
Thursday, September 9
Air France took off after 2:00p.m. about an hour late. It was so
clear weather that I could see the islands of Denmark or Sweden in the
feeling of an astronaut. There was Chablis 1er Cru of Burgundy on the plane,
but I chose Sauternes 1er Cru for Foiegras Terrine and Chateau La tour
Carnet for Panseared fillet of beef. It was a very comfortable flight.
Air France landed at Seoul at 7:50 a.m. on the following day. Korean Air
waited for me to take me home safely.
|dinner on board AF
While he was away in Europe, our district was attacked by two typhoons
Chaba (#16) and Songda(#18) in a week. These two typhoons were huge and
terrible goddesses, in a furious rage against, say..... human arrogance
or foolishness. I was hysterically taking command of this emergency, shouting
and yelling to let the staff nail the windows and remove things, even tape
the window glasses to make them stronger and safer if broken.
When Chaba and Songda were gone, leaving less damage than was afraid of,
my staff said with a deep sigh, "Well, we are glad that the Typhoon
HARUMI is gone now !!!"