Refreshing summer in Hokkaido–Lake Akan (避暑就去北海道–阿寒湖)

After driving for more than an hour to Lake Akan (阿寒湖), it’s lucky that I arrived in time for the last cruise at 5 o’clock to tour around Lake Akan and meet the precious creature–marimo.

P1060385At first when I planned the trip, I asked on the travel websites about the transportation from Kushiro(釧路)to Lake Akan. There’s bus to go between these places, but the schedule was not suitable for me. I was questioned by many people about why I *had* to see some seaweeds. Honestly, it’s not my first time to go to Lake Akan, and I understood that most people tended to go to Furano(富良野) and Biei(美瑛) for flower fields especially summer is certainly the right time. I was temped at first–I’ve been to Furano and Biei before, and it’s definitely no hurt to visit them again. And it’s actually a lot easier of I gave up Lake Akan to go to Furano and Bie, and probably I could even afford to add Asahikawa (旭川), which I have been to before too. However, I finally decided that I would still go to Lake Akan, since as long as I wanted to go there, I just had to endure the inconvenience of the transportation.  It proved that it’s not a difficult drive from Kushiro to Lake Akan.

Lake Akan shined with green lights under the sun. The cruise took me around the lake and would stop at the marimo reservatory center on an isle on the lake. P1060387

P1060386P1060389 P1060394 P1060398P1060396

Marimo reservatory center is quite small and you’re only allowed 15 minutes in it. P1060400

P1060401 P1060402

Marimo is a type of green algae (毬藻、マリモ); they’re considered precious treasure of Lake Akan. The temperature and current are very suitable for these green algae to grow in the lake. Since these green algae photosynthesize and tumble due to the wave, they’ve grown into ball shape. It’s not always they can grow into the ball shape; it really depends on where they reside. Some larger ones need several hundreds of years to grow. The indigenous people in Hokkaido, known as Ainu, have composed songs for these green algae balls and even held ceremonies for them. I personally find marimo quite fascinating.

The reservatory center introduces how marimo come to the shape and what these algae become like if they do not have the suitable current to roll them into perfect ball shape.  P1060413 P1060414 P1060411

There’s also an underwater camera that shows tourists how these green algae balls are doing in the lake. 🙂 P1060404

I was reluctant to move forward and kept staring at these very cute green balls tumbling in the water in this current-simulation tank. P1060412There are some larger algae balls: P1060407 P1060408

And a very precious jumbo marimo:  😀P1060409There were some shops near the lake selling wooden crafts. P1060421

After the cruise and walk around these shops, I came back to my hotel nearby the lake to attend my dinner.

The hotel I stayed–Akankoso (阿寒湖莊) is an old hotel. Despite the decoration seemed a bit outdated, the quality was not compromised. The staff was very friendly and attentative. I especially looked forward to its dinner.

I stayed in a Japanese style room overlooking the lake: 🙂 P1060417P1060420

Dinner time! 😀 P1060432 akan dinner

The hotel provides natural indoor and outdoor hot spring. I didn’t go to the outdoor one because I was so full after the dinner and decided to take the bath after 11 o’clock, when the outdoor one was closed. The indoor hot spring, however, opens almost 24 hours a day except a clean time between 2 am to 3 am.

Good morning, Lake Akan! P1060418

The breakfast was Japanese style too: P1060436

After the breakfast, I still got some time to walk around the lake before heading back to Kushiro. P1060442 P1060444 P1060445There are quite a few hotels around the lake, including a very nice one–Tsuruga Resort(鶴雅リゾート).

By the way, I found these manhole caps quite interesting: 😀 P1060446 P1060425 P1060424 P1060440 P1060439

After checking out from the hotel, I received 2 pumpkin muffins from the hotel staff. It’s time to drive back to Kushiro and take train to Sapporo(札幌) and transfer to Otaru(小樽)… wooooooo… another 5-hour train ride… uh!

Advertisements
Posted in Hokkaido 北海道, Japan 日本, Travel 旅遊 | 3 Comments

Refreshing summer in Hokkaido–Sapporo, Kushiro (避暑就去北海道–札幌, 釧路)

The three days of vacation actually came up as rather an accident. After striving for 3 months to prepare for my big test and enduring the humid heat of summer, I decided to use up these 3 days fully to rest and refresh.

Three days of vacation plus a weekend gives me total of 5 days–not short but certainly not long for me to plan something grand, not saying I did not have much time to prepare before the vacation. Anyways, so Hokkaido it was, not too far and not too hot, just seemed quite just for a 5-day gateway. Although it’s my 3rd time going there, I didn’t exactly realize how much time I would spend on transportation despite I know Hokkaido is a vast continent.

I didn’t get to visit the cutest green algae balls in Lake Akan (阿寒湖) during my previous 2 trips to Hokkaido though I’ve been to Lake Akan and seen numerous green algae balls known as marimo in shops, but I longed to see the real thing in Lake Akan, or rather, the ones in the reservatory center on an small isle on Lake Akan. Other than this, I’d like to go to Sapporo (札幌), and of course Otaru (小樽) again to stroll on the old streets and visit the glass factories, and since I’d pass by Kushiro(釧路) on my way to Lake Akan, I’d think why not visit some red crowned cranes, known as tanchozuru, in Kushiro.

hokkaidoAt first I thought to go to Abashiri (網走), but I then realized that even going to Sapporo, Kushiro, Lake Akan, and Otaru would consume a lot of time on the traffic in my 5-day trip, I reluctantly gave up going to Abashiri.

It took me a long time to get out from Shinchitose (新千歳) airport due to the amazing crowd and another long time to stay in line purchasing my JR pass in the airport. Since I was going to Sapporo, I had to buy another ticket from the airport to Sapporo which was not contained in my JR pass…After a 30-minute train ride to Sapporo and dragging my luggage to check in to the hotel, I was already exhausted. I had no idea that I would spend so much time standing and waiting in the airport.

So… it was not too much that I decided to indulge myself with Sapporo’s delicious seafood. You could definitely see crabs in all the Hokkaido tour guidebooks. Lucky enough, my hotel was not far from a very famous crab house called “Kanihonke” (カニ本家), so there I was, sitting in this nostalgic Japanese-fashioned restaurant and uttering out my rusty Japanese to an elegantly kimono-cladded waitress.

P1060590 crab house menucrab house food

It was such a satisfying dinner. I could still drool all over my keyboard when I saw the photos. The crab meat was so fresh that although it was only boiled, you could taste the light sweetness in it. I was provided only vinegar, mayonnaise, and some lemon wedges to enhance the flavor. However, it’s probably the best crab I’ve ever eaten so far, needing absolutely no other spice. The croquette was fried with outside crunchy but inside still soft and full of crab meat. I also ordered a pot of rice cooked with crab, and a bowl of miso soup with crab. I wouldn’t understand if anybody would dislike it. Oh my…

Hokkaido is also famous for its fresh milk as its milk cow husbandry is quite advanced. Japanese people are very fond of ice cream, and they often call the ice cream “soft cream.” Since the “Snowbrand Parlor” (雪印パーラー) was around and I got some coupons from the airline I booked, it’s no excuse to skip the dessert. 😀

DSC_0630 DSC_0629

snowbrandYummy! I’m not fond of ice cream in general. I always think it’s way too sweet and I generally dislike the taste or smell of milk. However, this ice cream really made me realize why “Snowbrand Parlor” has been so successful in milk industry. The ice cream was so creamy and rich and minus the “fake” or “complicated” taste, and it certainly didn’t have the “smelly” taste I’ve been afraid of.

Next morning, it’s a 4.5-hour train ride to Kushiro. That’s right… 4.5 hours. Trains in Hokkaido don’t run fast. It’s certainly not Shinkansen you’re hoping for. If you want to do a self-guided tour in Hokkaido, the most challenging part might be the transportation. It takes long, and it’s expensive.

And yes… a car was rented from a car rental shop near Kushiro train station. The bus from Kushiro to Lake Akan didn’t have the schedule suitable for me, therefore renting a car was the only option. It was not that difficult to drive in Hokkaido actually, especially the road from Kushiro to Lake Akan was pretty simple and the rental cars were all equipped with GPS system. Although driving in Hokkaido is on the left side of the road, you just have to be careful and remember the difference when you make left and right turns, otherwise you get used to it after 5 minutes. It’s a bit pricey to rent a car in Japan compared to in the U.S., however, it’s certainly not bad to enjoy a drive in Hokkaido. The car rental staff was very attentive to give instructions of the car, and even nicely entered all my destinations to the GPS system.

This car is quite environmental-conscience… it only consumed 4 litters of gas after going to Lake Akan and back to Kushiro…that distance was like… 140+km!

P1060376In Kushiro, there were two places I went to see the red crowned crane. Nobody’s stranger to the amazing photographs of these graceful large birds, known as “tanchozuru,” flapping and dancing in the snow.

The first one I stopped by was “Kushiro City Natural Park” (釧路市丹頂鶴自然公園). I was told there were around 20 red crowned cranes in it now.

P1060375When I really saw these legendary cranes, I had an impression that they seemed to be overly beautified by the photos. Japanese people call red crowned cranes “Gods of Marsh,” and these birds are symbols of long lives. They’re certainly unique, but maybe adding some snow in the background would make them “legendary?” P1060360The boards nearby introduced every crane; some cranes were over 20 years old. I just realized that all the red crowned cranes have that distinguished “red top” despite their genders. 😀
P1060363P1060374

The second place I went was Akan Japanese Crane Center (阿寒国際ツルセンター) where it introduced red crowned cranes in details, including the breeding, migration, habitation, etc. I was hoping to see some crane babies but didn’t see any. P1060377 P1060378Besides seeing the cranes, there’s a big forest on the back for hiking. However since I had to arrive to Lake Akan before 5 o’clock for the last cruise in the day to see the green algae balls known as  marimo, I couldn’t afford more time here. *Theoretically* you could see foxes and deer in the woods.
P1060382 P1060383There’s also Kushiro Marsh(釧路湿原国立公園) where people can go hiking, but I just didn’t have anymore time in Kushiro~~~~~~~~~~

Posted in Hokkaido 北海道, Japan 日本, Travel 旅遊 | 1 Comment

My most precious treasure (富可敵國的寶藏)

In this modern era, receiving a handwritten letter seems a luxury as people favor the convenience and quickness of sending an e-mail or even a text via phones. I’m glad that the charms of handwritten postcards are not yet replaced by any electronic forms. I have to admit that any electronic form of communication lacks certain warmth, and nothing can beat receiving a postcard from a friend who travels to foreign places.

Not only I’ve been bitten by the travel bug, the friends around me seems to be adventurous enough and enjoy going to every corner of the world (ok, this might be a exaggeration for now… but who knows 😉 ), thus I have the privilege of receiving these precious postcards.

These are postcards from U.S.A and Peru.  My friend went to Peru to hike in the magnificent Machu Pichhu.
P1050598

Postcards from England, Ireland, Belgium, France, and Spain.
P1050605

Postcards from “fairy tale-like” Czech, Holland, and Austria. P1050602

*From* Rome with Love? Postcards from Italy, and Greece which I’ve always wanted to go but not been yet.
P1050606

Postcards from southern hemisphere–New Zealand and Australia.
P1050600

Postcards from mysterious Asia–Tibet and Cambodia. P1050599Postcards from Iceland, Egypt, and Jordan (I’m longing to visit these places too)
P1050608Some are from exotic islands–Maldives, Easter Island, and Tahiti. P1050610More from Phuket (Thailand), Cozumel (Mexico), Bali (Indonesia), Palau, Bahamas, and Boracay (Philippines)
P1050609Not only the postcards and stamps enriched my collections, the greetings warmed my heart. I love reading them; through reading them, I seem to share little pieces of the journey with my friends. P1050613
I love writing postcards to myself too. It’s a weird hobby I’ve fully developed since my trip to France in 2008. Before, I wrote myself postcards occasionally, such as when I went to Italy. I’ve been to Japan many times but for some reason I didn’t send any of the postcards from Japan. I should start doing that next time when I go, haha. 😀

Here are postcards from Hong Kong,  Boracay (Philipines), Guam (U.S.A), UN office in New York (I was told the the postmark would be very special, but when I received it, not only the unique stamp fell off, the “very special” postmark was not on it either, maybe it’s some very special invisible postmark…), Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, and Venice in Italy!
P1050615My trip to France 2008, including Monaco, Nice, Aix en Provence, Avignon, Loire Valley, Mont St Michel, Etretat, Paris. I almost wrote myself a postcard in every city I’ve been in this trip, except Grasse, Chatres, and GivernyP1050618And my trip to England and France in 2009, including London, Cambridge, Bath, Oxford, Saint-Malo, and ParisP1050616These are definitely my most precious treasure. They represent my friends’ incredible trips and priceless travel experiences. Better yet, they can’t be bought with any money. My PRRRREEEEEEEECIOUS~~~~

My good friends, write me a postcard whenever you go on a trip! 😀

Posted in Hobby | Leave a comment

Road trip to Sausalito, San Rafael, Napa, Davis (Part2) 北加州一路玩(趴兔~)

The third stop of my road trip was Napa valley. Although I also have been to Napa with my family long time ago, I really didn’t have much memory about it. Last time I went to Napa valley was only reaching the south Napa and to spend a little time to taste a little wine in Domain Carneros Winery.

This time, I made my mind to go further north and spent a night to experience more in Napa valley. I first arrived in Napa city and would spend the night in Napa River Inn. Although it’s called an “inn,” the hotel is in a historical building and decorated delicately with a classical nostalgic ambiance.

Napa River Inn locates in the Napa city center, connecting the downtown. The downtown seemed rather new to me, perhaps it was a newly established community. I must say it was not very lively, and many stores seemed to close at dusk.
P1040985

My room in Napa River Inn was quite cozy. It’s not like the modern type of hotel but the warm color and floral bedding made me think of the Victorian era or the movie– Gone with the Wind. The room was of a decently spacious size.
P1040986 The reason that’s called Napa River Inn was because it’s on the bank of Napa River. Some of the more luxurious rooms got a nice view of the river. P1040991 P1040992 The complimentary breakfast was served in a bakery store just next to the hotel lobby.P1040994

I was not sure what this machine still preserved in the middle of the bakery shop was used for originally, however, it’s an evidence that this bakery shop was a barn house many years ago. P1040996 The facades of Napa River Inn are still kept in their very original appearance. P1040997 I drove across the Napa city downtown toward St. Helena in the north. P1040998 P1040999 Since it’s January, the vineyards were empty. I imaged the scenery would be much more beautiful with ripened grapes hanging in the vineyards. P1050001 P1050002 P1050003 Since this was supposed to be a completely relaxing trip, I only checked a guidebook for some wineries in Napa valley that might be interesting. One of them was this V. Sattui WineryP1050006V. Sattui does not only sell wines, it also has its own marketplace to sell deli. The yard serves as a picnic ground for customers to enjoy.
P1050004 P1050005Of course, a wide selection of wines are available.
P1050007 The wine tasting course cost $10, which was the least expensive wine tasting course I’ve known. The wine tasting course was held in the center bar table of the wine shop and consisted of 5 different wines of your choice from a given list. The lady who served me was the 5th generation of the Sattui family. Her ancestors immigrated from Italy and started wine business in California long ago. I even found out that Castello de Amorosa, the exceptionally elegant winery with a castle which my good friend and I wanted to visit previously but didn’t make it, is also owned by the Sattui family. However, the lady told me the wine selections were very different. P1050008 P1050009 P1050010 The wine cellar is also adopted as a petit museum, displaying the huge wine barrels, some old tools for crushing the grapes, and introduction of the Sattui family history. P1050012 P1050017P1050014P1050020 P1050021This Southbridge Napa Valley hotel belongs to the group of “Small and Luxury Hotels.” However, it looked very low-profile from the outside.
P1050026 P1050027 After leaving St. Helena, I drove across St. Helena’s downtown toward Calistoga. P1050028 P1050029 Actually I had no plan in Calistoga, but since it boasted the high-end wineries and spring water, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to drive by and see what it’s like.

On the way, I found this culinary school. It almost looked like Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizerdry. 😀
P1050031 P1050032 P1050033 I also saw Beringer Winery, which was so pretty!P1050035 P1050036I didn’t find the Calistoga downtown particularly special actually. P1050038 The famous Calistoga Ranch is probably the most expensive resort/villa in Napa valley. It’s hidden so well in the woods that the environment wasn’t shown clearly on my GPS system. However, there’s nothing much to see. The individual villas are scattered around the hill and I read that you have to park outside after you check in, and you need to call the golf cart to be taken around. Isn’t that a bit immobile?? P1050039 P1050040 P1050041 The last stop was Davis. I mainly visited it for sentimental reason. The downtown was still quiet because the school hadn’t started yet. The downtown generally didn’t change much but with more refined restaurants and cafes now. P1050044 The Music building is perhaps the most colorful and artistic building on Davis campus. I remembered registering for piano practice room there as I didn’t own a piano in Davis. P1050046 P1050047 The main library was one of my favorite spots on campus. (Another was Cowell center where you get pampered when you get a bad cold. 😛 ) P1050048 This statue reminded me of a guy I used to see in the library. Every time he would drop down his books on the desk then fell asleep on the pile. P1050049 Ah… this reminded me of the endless study and report-writing. What a good old memory. P1050050 The library remained generally the same, but I could see that much more circuit jackets and network cable jackets were installed. Now we can’t survive when getting around without a computer and network, can we? P1050051This is where students hangout for lunch time, and this is also where I saw a guy chasing his escaping bagel…
P1050052 Inside the Memorial Union was the bookstore that’s like a little department store on campus where I used to hang out when I got bored. P1050053 The famous (and infamous) “Starship Enterprise” building in which I got lost several times. Many of my professors’ offices were unfortunately here and it’s really a pain in the butt to find them. Oh, I remembered that the evacuation plan on the wall–someone wrote “Run!” on it… P1050059 P1050060 P1050061 P1050063

I thought to visit the barn area, the creeks, and the woods on the campus, but I ended up not going since it was getting very windy. The winter in Davis was quite cold. Though there’s no snow in Davis, the winter time was freezing with icy sharp winds. Sometimes I had 8-o’clock class in the morning, I had to ride my bike in the cold windy winter to the class. Now I had no idea how I did it that time!

While I was at Davis and swamped by exams, projects, and reports, I wished I would graduate as soon as possible and I did manage to graduate early. My mom used to tell me that being a student was the luckiest time in life and I didn’t believe her. However, after working for several years, as much as I don’t want to admit, I miss the school times when I *only* had to deal with exams, projects, and reports.

The squirrel was obviously having a good time observing me from the tree… P1050066

There’s a store named “The Inconvenient Store.” I didn’t check out what “inconvenient” stuff it sells…
P1050068
So, this concluded my first road trip. What’s your relaxing, busy, extravagant, or funny road trip? Please share! 🙂

Posted in Travel 旅遊, U.S.A 美國 | Leave a comment

Road trip to Sausalito, San Rafael, Napa, Davis (Part1) 北加州一路玩(趴萬~)

This time while I was in California, I thought about traveling a little without striving to make a perfect plan. A few places that were not that far away came to my mind and I could certainly spend a few days for a relaxing trip.

I’ve decided on driving up to Sausalito, San Rafael, Napa valley, and Davis, then I’d come back from Davis.

map
I have been to Sausalito long time ago with my family, but I had a rather vague memory of it. It’s a little gem nested in between the hills and ocean; I drove across the mountain and had to go across a “hidden” residential area to arrive.
P1040936 The town has been described to be “European” style little town. However, I didn’t find it’s that European to be exact. The town consisted of many artistic little shops and the very wide shoreline overlooking San Francisco bay. P1040937 P1040939 P1040940 P1040941 The San Francisco city skyline was very interesting–I think it could make a good silhouette wall sticker!P1040943 P1040946 P1040948 P1040949 P1040950 The town square was full of people basking under the January sunshine. Most shops sold paintings and artistic souvenirs like clocks, mugs, and table clothes. P1040954 I really had to take more photos of the beautiful blue sky and the ocean, despite it was actually still quite chilling under the sun. P1040955 P1040956 P1040957 P1040959 Another side of the town was full of restaurants. Some were dessert shops that people enjoyed ice cream and gelato. Though the sunshine made the weather seem very nice and warm, it was windy in January. P1040961My second stop was San Rafael Marin County Civic Center. The reason I wanted to visit it because it was a backdrop for one of my favorite films–Gattaca. The building was designed by famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. It must be a very unique architecture in that era as Frank Lloyd Wright was well known for his creative designs. It still looked like a modern construction today.

It was difficult for me to capture the whole building due to its vast size and the tall trees around it. Though I wished I could jump off from the car while I was on highway because the view was so much better from there.

This was the best shot I took from the parking lot.
P1040965

This is the photo I found on the Internet, depicting a much better view.

img_172523
The 2 main characters in the movie, Vicent and Eugene, looked at the building at night from some distance away. (Copyright to Columbia Pictures)

gattaca09

The interior was also set as the stage for the Gattaca‘s aerospace facility. P1040966

P1040978

Here are the captures from Gattaca: (Copyright to Columbia Pictures)gattaca10

gattaca06

gattaca03

The roof of the civic center: P1040967

P1040980

And the roof where Vincent always stared at to see the spaceship launch: (Copyright to Columbia Pictures)gattaca05

There’s a small exhibition room displaying books and photos of the history and construction process of the civic center. P1040968

P1040969

P1040979

A small fountain is outside the top floor right next to the cafeteria. The breach on the side of the fountain allowed the water to flow down the building, making a small waterfall. However, it was not easy to observe. P1040970

P1040971

The civic center, built 1950s, is obviously an old building. Several reconstructions and reinforcements were done. Although the design is quite modern, when I walked inside, I found the old style offices and drinking fountains still remained, giving it a rather old movie-like atmosphere.  P1040975

P1040976

When I was about the leave, I found this electricity car enjoying getting electrocuted…oops, I meant getting charged. This was the first time I saw how an electricity-powered car got its “gas”. 🙂
P1040981

To be continued~

Posted in Travel 旅遊, U.S.A 美國 | Leave a comment

Carmel, here I come again!! (Carmel~我又來了~~~)

 

What to do with the last day of 2012? In the chilling and windy winter time in bay area, California, the best way to spend the last day of 2012 would be sunbathing under the Californian sunshine in picturesque town–Carmel-by-the-sea.

Although Carmel-by-the-sea is tiny, the oceanic view and delicate scenes attract tourists (and me of course)  to come back again and again.

The small but really cute library–good for sunbathing and people-watching…
P1040841

“LUSH” was having an after-x’mas sale. The luxurious and fun bathing products boast of natural and eco-friendly ingredients that emit mouth-watering fragrance. I didn’t have to see the store to know I was around one because of the smell.
P1040843

Some of the products looked edible enough–the color, smell, and shape are all very tempting…
P1040845

Of course, the marvelous oceanic view is one of the biggest assets of Carmel-by-the-sea.
P1040849

The mansions with floor-to-ceiling windows, don’t we all want a vacationing house like this?

P1040852

P1040856

P1040857

P1040858

Oh… guess who’s enjoying the winter sun too?P1040860

P1040862

This is the same fellow I met more than 2 years ago!! Oh, what could beat sunbathing AND petting a big head cat in Carmel-by-the-sea??P1040863

Some unknown mushrooms peeking out from the tree truck, kinda cute~P1040867

The miniature merry-go-round and the ferry wheels are music boxes to bring back nostalgic memories…P1040868

Ah ha! This is the “battle between cats and dogs” chess set I saw two years ago too! This time I had a closer look at it and was amazed by its creativity and humor! The dogs and cats were of various breeds to reflect their “dog-nalities” or “cat-nalities” in each chess piece!P1040869

P1040870

The little shopping center still got some holiday atmosphere left. P1040872

Posted in Travel 旅遊, U.S.A 美國 | Leave a comment

Chateau de Chambord isn’t built in one day (香波堡不是一天造成的)

It has been 4 years since I’ve seen Chateau de Chambord and been astonished by it’s majestic size. Of course, I resented butchering so many animals for entertainment. It was still a bit chilling to watch hundreds of animal skulls and antlers displayed all over the interior walls…

Chambord was the king’s hunting site, but far from being a humble hunting villa, Chateau de Chambord was situated on Loir-et-Cher and constructed by French king Francois I to be the largest castle in Loire Valley. It has some very distinguishing features besides its size–its symmetry, the elaborated towers, and the double-helix staircases inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s works.

Ok, so I’ve been there, seen it, but haven’t done that. Done what? Remember the booklet bought by me that would allow me to construct my very own Chateau de Chambord out of paper and glue? Here it is–I finally got the courage and brain to make it. As it says–you only need a pair of scissors and some glue. Sounds easy enough huh?P1040608

Chateau de Chambord is composed with a rectangular structure with four towers on the four corners. The four towers are Francois I, Dieudonne, Henri V, and Caroline de Berry. Outer facades surround the main structure with another four towers on the four corners–the 2 bigger and fancier towers are Robert de Parme and De La Chapelle; the smaller and plainer towers are “tour des princes” and “tour du chaudron.” There’s also a center lantern-shaped decorative tower on the center of the main structure. P1040617

The booklet provides the history and instructions of the project along with Chateau de Chambord’s layout: P1040609P1040610 P1040611 P1040612

Of course it comes with the paper images and shapes for you to make your own Chateau de Chambord, in a reasonable size of 1/300 of the real one. 🙂 P1040614 P1040615

The first part to be constructed is the decorative center tower; this is the most difficult part in the project: P1040619 P1040620 P1040622 P1040623

The center main building is built next: P1040625 P1040626

This is what it’ll look like when the lantern-like tower is placed: P1040642

Tower Francois I is constructed. Same for all four towers, it consists of two parts–the cone-shaped and triangular towers: P1040645 P1040647 P1040648

Tower Dieudonne: P1040650 P1040651 P1040653

Tower Henri V: P1040662P1040663 P1040664

And the last one is Caroline de Berry:P1040665
So this is how it looks like when the center main building is finished. It’s crowded by the extravagant towers: P1040666Now it’s time to make the facades and its two larger towers–Robert de Parme and De La Chapelle: P1040667 P1040669 P1040670 P1040671 P1040675 P1040676 P1040677When the less fancy part of the facades and the plainer two towers–“tour des princes” and “tour du chaudron”– are built: P1040687

Now assemble all the pieces together: P1040700 P1040701 P1040705 P1040736

Tata~~~ Completed! Now I realize that the chateau isn’t as symmetrical as it seems; each tower is unique of its own designs of windows and chimneys, and the outer facades do not have identical towers; in fact, they’re quite different. Furthermore, Chateau de Chambord is definitely not built in one day! P1040737 P1040738 P1040739

Posted in Hobby | Leave a comment