Friday, February 29, 2008

Rio de Janeiro 3

Sushi rolls are "in" in Brazil now. I tried tuna+masago and salmon+green onion.
I didn't order tuna+passion fruit, salmon+mango or banana+something.....I don't know, sweet stuff in sushi???? Brazilian people like to mix a lot of things. The ones I had was very good.

Went to Steven's office in Rio after lunch...
Lucky him, he has this view (sugar loaf, beach, and corcovado)for 2 weeks.
ランチの後はStevenのリオ オフィスを訪問。何という眺め。彼はこのシュガーローフとコルコバドそしてビーチを見ながら2週間お仕事。ラッキーですね。

Steven:"But it is kind of weird that Jesus (on the left in the picture above) is always looking at me."
Well, honey, that's the idea!!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Rio de Janeiro 2

It was very sunny and clear this morning so we went up to the roof of the hotel.We were able to see the Two brother mountains (forgot theportuguese name) and Corcovado(the hill with the Jesus) very cleary and were very beautiful!! The coast line was amazing...

So after the breakfast... 朝食の後…

what I did was... 私のしたことは…

Laying on the beach! ビーチでリラックス!

When you are on the beach here, a lot of vendors come to you. Some people find it is bothering but I enjoyed it!From the left top in the picture... ビーチにいると実にいろいろな物売りの人達がやってきます。人によってはうるさいというけれど私は楽しいと思う。下の写真は左の上から…

Two brother mountains...they are just there quiet and don't try to sell anything.
Ball guy
Ice tea guy (looks like beer kegs but they are tea)
drink and snack guy
pie guy (these pies are very tasty)
pareo and bikini guy
misanga (thread bracelet)guy
sunglass guy
accesorry guy

パイ売り (チキンパイとかおいしい)

If you don't want them to come, you can just pretend you are sleeping...But it is fun looking or trying them. 欲しくなければ眠ったふりしてもいいけど、見るだけでも楽しい。

Beautiful beaches...I walked on the beach listening bosanoba from my ishuffle for a long time.There were some spots that no people around so I sang loud :)Well...downside of this was my ear phones got some sands inside and now I have wierd buzzing noise...oh well.
きれいなビーチ…ishuffle でボサノバを聞きながらビーチを長い間歩いて見ました。人が全くいないスポットでは大きな声で歌ったりして。でも、ビーチでishuffle を使っているとイヤフォンに砂が入るのが困る。雑音入りで音楽を聞く羽目に。まっいいか。

The dinner was at a restaurant close to the hotel.When we saw the menu, we thought the each dishes were a little more expensive than other reatsurants and there was a reason for that. They are all family size dishes!Well, we couldn't blame on the waither who didn't tell us anything but we shouldn't have ignored the part said "individual" (again it was in Poruguese so we were not sure what it was.)We ended up having a huge amount of food on the table!! (these are just a small part of the dishes) 夕食はホテルの近くのレストランで。メニューを見た時に他のレストランよりちょっと高めだとは思った。それには理由があったのです。私たちが頼んだのはファミリーサイズのお料理だったの!ウェイターが言ってくれなかったのも悪いけど、メニューの後半に「アラカルト」的な意味のセクションがあったのにポルトガル語をよく理解できず、無視した私達も悪かったかな。テーブルいっぱいの大皿がならぶはめに。ほとんどのレストランには英語メニューがあるので、頑張らないでリクエストしましょう。写真はほんの一部です。

"Oh, my gosh, honey! Look at these huge dishes. What should we do?"
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Rio de Janeiro 1

So we left Athens where still had left over snow and arrived at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where you don't want to even see or touch the sweaters we were wearing in Athens.
The first lunch here was Tenzaru (Tempura+cold soba noodle). When we saw the Japanese restaurant in 90 degrees hot, we thought it would be a great idea to have cold soba there and we did it! It was so much tastier than we thought it would be. アテネを出た後に着いたのはブラジルのリオデジャネイロ。アテネで着てたセーターは触るのはおろか見たくもない暑さです。最初のランチは天ざる!30度の暑さの中で日本料理のレストランを見た時、「冷たいお蕎麦なんていいねえ!」でした。意外にもこのお蕎麦がゆで加減もよくおいしかったんです。

Next day, after the brunch, we walked along the beach and found a band playing Brazilian jazz and bossanova so we sat down and listened to the music, watched people+dogs going by, and had Brazilian drink, caiperina. The music was very tender to the ears and relaxed with sound effect of the tide behind them. What a wonderful way to spend Sunday afternoon in Rio!

We also enjoyed the Sugar loaf Mountain been hid and appeared from clouds while we are listening to the music.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Athens 6

Two weeks has passed and we are leaving Athens today. The last thing I am showing here is Greek national bread Koulouri. You see a lot of street vendors for this around the bus stops, stations, parks anywhere people get together. It is only 0.5 Euro which is less than 1US$ and people eat it on the way.

...and this is the WRONG way to eat Koulouri so don't. You break the bread in small pieces as you eat. If you eat like me, Greek people would laugh at you or they think you don't know the etiquette. We really enjoyed here in Athens. All the ancient temples and buildings made us feel we are time traveling. We were so moved by the fact that we were standing there to watch the treasures which have been passed for 2800 years ago. Enjoyed unexpected snow...(we actually had a small snow ball fight!), great food and world treasures...Only we missed was Aegean islands because of the weather so we need to come back here in summer!

We are not going home but going to the next destination. It is going to be a lot different from Athens...アテネ出発後は家に帰るのではなく次の(Stevenの)出張先へ。今度はアテネとずいぶん違う所です。

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Athens 5

Another sunny and warm day in Athens. I went to National Archaeological Museum because this is the last chance to go there as we will leave tomorrow. Another amazing collections. I really liked the Aphrodite statue so I sat down on the bench to draw her. This is one of the good things you get when you have a lot of time. Once in a while some people come to peek my sketch book so it is embarrassing but this is very luxury thing to do for me. 今日もお天気で暖かいアテネ。明日にはアテネを出るので前から行きたかった国立考古学美術館へGo!又もや素晴らしいコレクション。中でもアフロディーテの像が気に入り近くのベンチに座ってスケッチしました。これは時間がある時にしかできません。時々、人が来てスケッチブックをのぞくので恥ずかしいけれど美術館でスケッチするのはとても贅沢です。

I called Steven to have lunch at the place closed to his office. This is a franchise restaurant where serves great Greek sandwich, we came here three times in two weeks. Oh, the right-down picture is not from them. I forgot the name but this buffet restaurant was also good. Stevenを呼んで彼のオフィスの近くでランチ。ここはチェーン店だけどとてもおいしいギリシャサンドイッチ(ピタパン)を出すレストランです。2週間の内に3回来たかな。あ、右下の写真はここではなく他のレストランでいただいたビュッフェスタイルのランチ。お店の名前は忘れちゃった。

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Athens 4

The snow storm apparently caused a lot of problems in Athens including unusual closure of stores and museums but the weather looks nice today. Everything got back to normal operations so I went to Byzantine Museum. The most amazing thing is that there were already sophisticated designs and skills in B.C..(Not everything in the pictures are from B.C. of course)
I really liked the Greek pottery. The one in the center reminds me of Japanese pottery, Oribe yaki which is one of my favorites. As I guessed, so many region oriented arts are here and if I was a Christian, I would have appreciated more. 昨日までの大雪はアテネ市内に混乱を起こして、お店や美術館は雪のため休業と言うところが多かったのですが、今日はいい天気。ほとんどが通常営業のようなのでビザンチン美術館に行ってきました。紀元前にこんな熟練したデザインや技術があったのかと感心するばかり。(写真には紀元後のものもあります。)ギリシア陶芸はよかった。真ん中のお皿は織部焼き思わせます。当然ながら宗教色の濃いアートが多く、クリスチャンであればもっとありがたみがあるのだろうと思いながら鑑賞した。

Met Steven for lunch.. Moussaka (of course!)and stuffed tomatoes with rice and veggies. The owner-like elder lady in a beautiful dress seated us and she was very sweet. The food there was great, too. It was a lot for lunch but we scooped the last grain of rice and wiped all the sauce with the bread...Yum! Stevenとランチ。ムサカ(はずせないでしょ。)とトマトのライスと野菜詰め。オーナーらしい素敵なドレスの老婦人が席に案内してくれました。この二皿はは二人でいただいても多すぎでしたが、すごく美味しかったので最後の米一粒もすくい、ソースもパンでぬぐって残さずいただきました。

Well...I am walking a lot so I needed some sugar! This chocolate mousse was incredibly good...perked me up all the afternoon.だってたくさん歩いたのだもの、ちょっと甘いものをいただいても…。このチョコレートムースはなめらかでとても美味。リッチなチョコレートが午後中ずっと元気にしてくれました。

You would think we had a light dinner after the big lunch (and the cake in my case) but no, no, no...Steven wanted me to take this restaurant which he went with his colleagues the other day and it WAS great. As soon as we got a table, they served a shot of aperitif which looks like ouzo but not sweet. I was just holding it for the picture as it was too strong to me. The salad was wonderful. It got ten kinds of vegetables and two kinds of Greek cheeses. Steven had stewed lamb and I had prawns in sweet wine sauce from Santorini island. It was like Madeira sauce and very tasty. そんな大きなランチ(…と私はケーキもね。)の後は軽い夕食を取るのが、人の常。いえ、いえ、食いしん坊の私達は、Stevenが職場の人達と行ったおすすめのレストランへ行きました。席に着くなり出てきたのは食前酒のショット。ギリシャのお酒、ウーゾに似ていますが、甘くない。写真を撮るためにグラスを持っているだけで、私には強くて飲めませんでした。サラダは10種類の野菜と2種類のギリシャチーズが盛られていてとてもおいしかった。Stevenは羊のシチューで私はサントリーニ島のほんのり甘いお酒で煮た海老。海老から出たうまみとそのお酒がいいコンビネーションでした。

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Athens 3

"Does it snow in Athens?"
"Not really, we haven't had snow for 3 years."
"Oh, yeah? What is this then?"

Snow!!!! We were so surprised that everything is covered with snow when we woke up.
So were people in Athens because they hadn't snow for a long time.

I made a little guy at the hotel balcony. Three kinds of eyes.

I went to Steven's office next to the Syntagma Square.
Solving problems.....

Syntagma square is also all white! People here don't get used to walk on the snow so a lot of people slipped and fell and I did as well. Ouch...

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Athens 2

Today was 10 degree warmer than yesterday and SUNNY!! We took a cable car to Likavitos hill. Athens is kind of flat so this hill and the one has Acropolis stand out in the city. The view from here are beaitiful. 今日は昨日よりも5~6度以上暖かく、うって変わっていい天気。ケーブルカーでリカヴィトスの丘に登る。アテネは平らなのでこことアクロポリスのある丘が市内で目立ちます。眺めは最高でした。

It really was sunny and very warm and it makes us VERY happy. Notice we are not wearing heavy coats! In fron of the white church on the Likavitos hill.本当にお天気がよく二人ともるんるん。今日は厚いコートなしです。リカトヴィスの白い教会の前で。

Also went to Ancient Agora which has Temple of Hephaestus. Stoa of Zeus, etc... There are only 15 columns left but used to be 104 columns so it was enormous temple with gold and ivory statue of Zeus inside. Imagining the time when these were all brand new spanking white marble. そして古代アゴラにも行き、ゼウスの神殿やへパイスタスの神殿を見ました。巨大な建物ですが、これはほんの一部、今は15本しか柱が残っていませんが、当時は104本ある壮大な建物で中には金と象牙でできたゼウスの像があったそう。ぴっかぴかの白い大理石であった太古の昔を想う。

Our Valentine dinner (How special this Valentine's day is!) was at Plaka, traditional Greek food.

Plaka Taverna
16, Kidathineon Athens

Valentine shot with a rose from my husband...

and a goofy shot.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Athens 1

Guess where we are now.

Athens! アテネ!
This is a hard hat area. Do not enter without one.

The restoration has been and will be going on for a long time.


Today is the 3rd day here and went to Acropolis finally.
It is really amazing that this was built 2500 years ago and the structure of the buildings are well designed and very beautiful. It really makes people think this is the place Gods and Goddess live.

Look what we found in the freezing cold Athens!


And he is our guide.

We had lunch at Psara's at Plaka. Marinated octopus, fried calamari and musaka were very tasty and the dessert-apple compote was on the house. プラカエリアのPsara'sというレストランでランチ。たこのマリネ、イカのフライ、そしてムサカ!りんごのコンポートはお店のご好意で。

16 Eretheos&Erotokritou

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Japanese breakfast 和朝食

Japanese breakfast 和朝食

  • Miso marinated cod (たらの味噌漬け)

  • Venegrated carrot and Daikon + sesame(にんじんと大根の酢の物ごまかけ)

  • Pickled Kabu radish (カブのお漬物)

  • Miso soup with Tofu and seaweed(お豆腐とわかめの味噌汁)

  • steamed rice(白飯)

This is not our typical breakfast but the marinated cod and pickled veggies were ready to eat on the same day and it motivated me to make this.


This is a lunch for another day. Cannelloni beans, chicken and other veggies tomato stew+couscous and dried cranberries


Saturday, February 02, 2008

French music

These are the CDs I ordered yesterday. Mon Paradis by Christophe Moe and Le Roi Soleil , musical soundtrack.
この2枚のCDを昨日、注文しました。両方ともフレンチミュージック。Chritophe MoeのMon Pradis とミュージカルのサウンドトラック、Le Roi Soleil.

When I was sick in Paris, I was watching French MTV channel a lot. Staying in the hotel room for 5 days, too weak (I had a high feever) to read or knit so whatelse could I do? At that time, every TV station including Japanese TV station:NHK, was showing sad news like the assassination of Bhutto or Bombs in I need to stick to French MTV channel. If I understand French, the movie/drama channels would have been nice but my French has stopped at "Pour deux, S'il vous plaît." so no chances. MTV channel kept playing the music video of Christophe Moe below and I kind of liked it.
パリで風邪で寝ていたとき、フランスのMTVチャンネルをよく見ていました。5日間もホテルで寝ていて、高熱で読書や編み物をする力がないんだもの他にすることないでしょ。あの時、どのチャンネルもブットの暗殺やイラクの爆弾事件など悲惨なニュースばかり流していたので(NHKも)MTVを見るしかなった。フランス語がわかれば映画やドラマも見れるけど私のフランス語は"Pour deux, S'il vous plaît."(二人分でお願いします。)で止まっているので無理。MTVチャンネルはChristophe Moe のこのビデオをよく流していてなんだか気に入っていたのです。

Now I missed the music and found it online! When I was searching on the web, I found that he was in the musical, Le Roi Soleil. Watch this video! 帰ってきてからあの歌がなつかしくなり、オンラインでCDを見つけました。色々とサーチしている間に彼はLe Roi Soleilというミュージカルに出ていたことが判明。このビデオを見て!

Very good music and singers there so I decided to get this sound track CD. This musical is about Louis XIV's love life. I wish I knew this while I was in Paris so that I could have gone. Hope they will released the DVD of this musical WITH English subtitles soon...waiting for the CD for now. 音楽も歌手達もとてもよかったのでサウンドトラックCDも注文しました。このミュージカルはルイ14世のラブストーリー、パリにいた時に知っていれば絶対に観に行ったのに、残念。字幕つきのDVDが発売されることを祈るのみ。今はCDがくるのを待つ。