Europe Archive


Some tips for traveling in Europe

1. Do travel in Europe by plane
Flights are generally cheaper than trains and the price can be from 20 euro for early bookings. Here are very useful websites.
GHP - To check which cheap airline companies you can fly with between cities
Flying cheap! - Good descriptions in Japanese about cheap flights
SNCF - However get on trains for short distances like between Paris and Brussels
Eurolines - Same for the bus such as between Berlin and Prague

2. Where to go and what to do in Brussels
La Grand Place - One of the most beautiful town squares in Europe
Musee Horta - Art nouveau is beautiful...
EU parliament guided tour - Brussels is known as the host city of EU Headquarters

3. Where to go and what to do in Amsterdam
Van Gogh Museum - Very enjoyable museum
The 9 streets - Small walking streets with cute shops along beautiful canals
B. Wouda - Best sandwiches (such as herring), local businessmen's favorite place
--> 8 Rozenboomsteeg, near Spui square (also near the 9 streets)
Vlaams Friteshuis - Best french fries

4. Where to go and what to do in Krakow, Poland
Visit Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial and museum - we all must go and learn about it
Old town square - Just walk aroud and mingle with the heartwarming polish people, feel the differece from western european cities

5. Where to go and what to do in Berlin
Join one of the guided bike tours - the best way to see and feel "Berlin"
Wander around and chill out in "Kastanienallee and Oderberger Strasse (Streets)" - cute, relaxing, laid back, with a northern californian taste...
Enjoy delicious yet inexpensive international foods - such as the italian restaurant "il casolare"
Read "Kennedy's Berlin Speech" - the best way to get close to "Berlin"

6. Where to go and what to do in Prague
Visit the Mucha museum - Just beautiful... no?
Visit Saint Vitus Cathedral and see Mucha's stained glass - Just beautiful...
Although beautiful, be warned, there are lots of tourists - It's really true
Enjoy yummy junk food at Imbiss stands on the streets - You can't miss the red stands with tons of hotdogs


Travel to Stockholm

I spent the first part of my 1 month vacation in Stockholm, the biggest city in northern Europe. I have been longing to visit the city, known for a high standard of living and good welfare system, ecology and good designs. Thanks to Ryan Air's 50 Euro ticket (inclu. tax) from Paris to Stockholm, I was finally able to go.

Stockholm was a beautiful island city surrounded by the sea, lake, and greenery. We were lucky to be there in May, it seemed that spring just started, the grass and leaves were so bright and the breeze was fresh and sweet.

Beauvais airport in Paris. Inexpensive airlines use this airport. It is far away from the city of Paris, about 80 minutes by bus. However, I kind of liked this airport. The building is located in the countryside and built in a simple way.
The customers of this airport look different from the ones at other international airports and more like the ones at long distance bus stations, let's say they are either young students or old couples. I loved the friendly atmosphere.



Some scenery in Stockholm. The city fits well with the water and the nature.

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Sunset from a hill. Those are movies, please just click.


Small mysteries in Stockholm. You see so many Sushi restaurants in the city and I even found a Sushi cafe…, called "SUSHI COFFEE". Do people have sushi with a cup of coffee? Another one is abstract paintings that we often see in the streets of Dakar, Senegal. In Dakar, we always wonder who would buy those… but those were in a cafe in Stockholm!

Tip 1 to travel in Stockholm: Half day tour by bus and boat. You can grasp the big picture of the city and see the several beautiful views
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Tip 2: Food, especially herring and salmon! People eat them with steamed potatoes with yogurt-like-cream and dill, which was a new idea to me, and it was delicious!
↑Bar type restaurant, Tennstopet. Traditional Swedish food. Local people gather and there was a good atmosphere. Close to Citibackpacers.


Centralbadet. Buffet breakfast at the Spa. You feel healthy even without entering the spa!


↑I recommend choosing salmon (lax) and yogurt at restaurants or as snack.

Tip 3: Others
- To stay, Citibackpackers.
- To dine, Kvarnen. Traditional Swedish food, not expensive but good atmosphere. It is near the shopping area in Sodermalm. I had reindeer stew and it was good!


Summer vacation: Cruise to the Adriatic and Aegean Sea from Venice (part 1)

We had a nice cruise to the Adriatic and Aegean Sea for a week. The cruise was somewhat different from any other travel style that I have experienced. We could stay comfortably in our cabin but join in a lot of events on the ship anytime, just by taking an elevator. Almost every day we could enjoy browsing different cities. The Italian food served on the ship was very tasty (probably because we live in Paris) and being served three meals a day made the trip very easy going. Our son, a year and half old, really enjoyed his first swimming pool and the ocean experiences. At night, he enjoyed watching the entertainment show and dancing with the live music on the ship.

---Venice, before boarding---

Buildings are standing from the water.



My four recommendations in Venice: Music flowing around the Piazza San Marco at night, good restaurant “IL RIDOTTO” (, the open-atmosphere of Lido Island where you can relax along the beach, and “HOTEL CASA VERARDO”.

---Cruise ship---


Cost Fortuna. As you see in the picture, it was huge. We heard the number of passengers was about 3000 and the staff was 1000 on board.

This was at one of the formal nights. Their big baby chair helped us a lot.

Our son loved dancing with the live music after dinner. His favorite dancing was spinning like a top.

He was allowed to play in the baby pool with a diaper. He loved it (though he does not smile in the picture).

I would like to update the pictures of each city visited in Part 2.


Summer vacation: Cruise trip to the Adriatic and Aegean Sea from Venice (part 2)

With Cost Fortuna, we visited 6 cities, namely Bari (Italy), Olympia, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes (Greece), Dubrovnik (Croatia). Among them, I especially enjoyed the Greek islands.


Bari (Italy):
The old town is right there after getting off from the ship. We browsed with a cone of gelato. Our son played in a park.



Olympia (Greece):
It is the original site of the Olympic games. Its spirit somehow took over our son and he wanted to lift up a huge piece of stone several times. I could not help just dashing in a straight run within the ancient arena. Although we joined the excursion, it is a choice not to go Olympia but to browse near the port.



Santorini (Greece):
We visited the town of OIA that you see often in post cards. We joined the excursion and wished we could have had more time to walk around there.




Mykonos (Greece):
The entrance to the main street is right there after getting off the boat. We walked along the street, watched the sunset from a small sandy beach near the port, and had a Greek dinner. We met the famous pelican. We could enjoy just spending a week on this island. After the trip, I heard that Haruki Murakami also liked spending time there.



Rhodes (Greece):
The beach of the Aegean Sea was beautiful. Our son loved the ocean.



Dubrovnik (Croatia):
We went up the hill by cable car (I recommend this). The view from there was worth seeing. The gelato was good in the town.


Leaving from the ship after a week.


Half-day visit to Geneva

When we were planning a trip to Chamonix, I wanted to go through Geneva just to glance at the city that I occasionally hear about at my work. During a half-day city tour, we saw buildings of international organizations and the fountain in the Lake Leman. We also had the chance to walk a bit in the old city.

We had a problem. We planned to go by taxi from the airport to the meeting place of the tour. However, the taxi driver wouldn’t take us, explaining that we didn’t have a baby seat. We had to change the plan and rushed to check the train schedule. We called the guide of the small tour but she clarified that they could not wait even a minute and would leave on time. We jumped in a train and then kept running for 15 minutes from the station to the meeting place. We experienced the strict rule application of Switzerland.

Enjoying own seat after becoming two

The U.N

Running around the city ignoring the guide



It is already summer and we are leaving France in a few days but let me post our winter vacation pictures as a memory. Chamonix was a very cute town surrounded by beautiful mountains. We hired a babysitter and we went up to the Aiguille du Midi (3800m) to look at the Mont Blanc and enjoyed skiing.








Last vacation while we were in France (trip to Ibiza)

In June, we went to Ibiza. Surprisingly, it was colder than Paris when we went there. My son could not enter the sea or the swimming pool. But we enjoyed walking in the town, eating Paella, checking the party scene, and relaxing at the beach.







About Europe



次のカテゴリはFrance (Paris)です。