Thursday, September 22, 2011

Saying "I don't speak French" in German won't help you

Hi Again!

I hope that everyone is doing well and getting settled into their daily fall routines! I'm about to leave Marburg (tomorrow), which is of course sad, but I am so excited about the next step! First I am going to live with a host family for a couple of weeks (which I will be sure to tell you all about) and then I get to move into an apartment in Darmstadt! First important news: I HAVE AN APARTMENT!! That one sentence makes me so happy. I spent weeks fretting and stressing and making many people around me generally miserable because I had no where to live. And then I found it: the perfect place!! My room is perfect! Much bigger than anything I have ever lived in (granted I have been living in dorms for the past 4 years) and has a lofted bed! I have three roommates, who seem great. I will of course introduce them, but at a later date. The kitchen is well stocked and very cosy. It's in the old part of town! All in all, things are great!

Anyway...the real reason I am writing this post is to tell all of you about my lovely trip to Strasbourg that I took (now about three weeks ago--I'm so sorry I'm bad with immediate updates). I went with the most wonderful group of people! My travel companions:

Michelle is a very good friend of mine from the language program. She is studying Chemistry in Karlsruhe (which is just an hour south of Darmstadt, so I can visit her all the time!).

Drew is Michelle's Partner and he is just as awesome as she is! He works for a company doing computer programing! He loves history and so made the trip very interesting by knowing all those historical details that I am blissfully ignorant about. 

Martin is studying International (i think) Finance (I am at least sure about the finance piece). He studying in France last year and so is very proficient in French, which is wonderful because he got us around the city!

and last but not least...Nutmeg
Nutmeg is Michelle's and Drew's dog who is a wonderful travel companion! She slept in my bed every night!

So now that you know all the players, let me tell you the story! We arrived in Strasbourg (separately because we were all coming from different places). If you don't know where Strasbourg is, let me inform you. It is on the border of France in Germany.

Only that last 20 minutes of my train ride there were actually in France! The borders are now open in Europe, so the only way I actually new I was entering France was that the train announcements switched from German and then French to French and then German.

Drew and Michelle were not in there yet when I arrived so I went to dinner with Martin. I had a lovely Flammkuchen

at this fantastic restaurant that had the most magnificent view. Now let me clarify something. EVERYWHERE in Strasbourg has a wonderful view! The city sits on a river, but the river forks a lot, so there is some many beautiful houses all lined up on these banks. And this city LOVES flowers. So flowers are just spilling out of every bridge and every balcony of every house!

After eating this pizza like thing that was bigger than my head, Martin and I met up with Michelle and Drew for another dinner (you will notice a theme of eating in this trip). At another restaurant with another beautiful view.

The next day we took a long walk around the city! We found this amazing farmers market where I had a slight freak out over the amount of cheese that was readily available to me.

We walked along the river and took in all the beautiful sites of the city.

And then we got a little tired and a little grumpy and decided that we really needed some food. So when in France, do as the French do! We assembled a wonderful picnic of wine, cheese, a baguette, and cookies, picked a wonderful spot by the river and relaxed for several hours.

After we had had our fill of food, napping, and giving Nutmeg love, we decided to become tourists again. We visited a museum in the old palace in the city.

The museum was wonderful! In the beginning I was far from interested. There was a lot of medieval church artwork that I find very boring. But then we got into the twentieth century and I became my usual self in museums! Then we walked over to the beautiful cathedral.

The next day was very rainy, so we had a lazy day. We found this wonderful funky restaurant for breakfast and shared a salad, sandwich, and meat platter plus two desserts!

Then we napped and read for most of the afternoon. We celebrated our last night in Strasbourg having a very long dinner. We started the night early at one restaurant where we had wine and appetizers. Then we wandered to this second (very odd) restaurant for main courses. It had a very clubby atmosphere with a lot of loud music, cool light fixtures, funky cube menus, cool placemats, and black and white movies playing on the wall.  I had Foie Gras that was fantastic!

All in all I had the most lovely time!

Until next time,


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