Hello from Hiroshima

After our first Shinkansen trip we arrived mid afternoon in Hiroshima. Once we had settled in we took off for a walk to see some of the sights. First stop was Hiroshima castle in the middle of a beautiful park. Th original castle dated back to 1589 but needless to say after being bombed this one is a reconstruction completed in 1958.

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From there we jumped onto one of the hop on hop off buses that tours the city. The good news was our Japan Rail passes covered it. We left the bus at the A bomb dome just as the sun was fading.

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Built in 1915 as a hall it was one of the few things that partly survived. Lots of school students were checking it out too.

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It was quite eerie being there as the sun set and the floodlighting came on.

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From there we walked down into the Peace Park past the Children’s Peace Monument which wasn’t lit, down to the cenotaph and the Flame of Peace. At the cenotaph a few wreaths had recently been laid. We could read in English the one from Denmark and one from the USA. We would return here the following day to see more.

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As we left the area we moved into a well lit shopping and restaurant sector of the city. Karen had read about the famous local pancake, Okonomiyaki, which sounded similar but different to what we had tried in Osaka. My cousin Andrew had recommended a whole building where lots of little food stalls with attached bars made Okonomiyaki. After a bit of looking we found it. We started on one floor but it was crowded with groups of school students. The same on the next floor but the third floor was fine. We looked around for a stall with an English menu. A husband and wife team welcomed us to their stall, Hirochan. We read the menu and soon made our choices. On a huge hot griddle in front of us they were cooking up orders.

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Okonomiyaki is a savoury pancake with layers of noodles, cabbage and whatever you order with it.

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When our orders were cooked they partly chopped it up, but like in Osaka give you a cutting tool along with chopsticks to eat it with. It was really good.

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We chatted with a young Swiiss couple as we ate and drank. We were joined around the bar by quite a few locals/Japanese travellers trying Okonomiyaki too. The whole place had a lovely friendly atmosphere and we really enjoyed the evening.

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Tears fall for France like water from fountains.

As I was writing my previous post we heard of the terrible terrorist attacks in Paris. It saddened us greatly. Whilst we travelled in France we were constantly welcomed and made to feel at home literally by so many wonderful people. Our hearts go out to the families who have lost someone and to the people of Paris whose city has been forever changed.

Whilst we walked around Saignon we noticed many fountains small and big whose flowing water helped create such a peaceful environment.

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Now that very water is like the tears that fall for France from the eyes of all peaceful people throughout the world.