Monday, September 16, 2013

Traveling in Eastern France

The bus ride to Strasbourg, France went really well. In the past I have had issues with motion sickness, but I have had no problem with riding any of the many different modes of transportation here, such as with the metro, tube, train, bus, etc… Maybe there is something in this European air.

Courtney and Miranda taking a nap

On our way to Strasbourg, we were able to make it to Reims, France to take a guided tour of the famous cathedral, Notre Dame (not to be confused with the cathedral in Paris). It was beautiful and our tour guide was wonderful and engaging. We learned of the different types of architectural approaches that had been put into the cathedrals building, as well as some corky aspects of it’s façade that not only creates personality but relativity. I loved it.  

Notre-Dame Cathedral in Reims

Once we arrived in Strasbourg (a city located on the eastern boarder of France, directly east of Paris) we were assigned rooms at Hotel Ibis Ponts Couverts and taken to dinner. I was roomed with Miranda, which could not have worked out better.

Pretty flowers in Strasbourg

Mary and I by one of the many rivers

More pretty flowers

 The first full day that we were able to spend there, we began it with a three hour-long tour. Although I really do enjoy going on tours of the various places I have been lucky enough to go see, this particular tour was a little tough to get through. Mary, Clara, Caitlin, and I took off about an hour into the tour to discover the city on our own.

We found bubble tea in Strasbourg!

Leaving our mark in Strasbourg (ipads provided by the bubble tea shop)

Clara, Caitlin, and myself

After a quick brunch, we headed to the tourist office to ask what we should do. With the help of a map and a very nice French lady, we were directed to a boat cruise that went along the rivers that surround the city. After, we went to visit a wine cellar that is housed in the basement of a hospital. I learned of the many medicinal qualities of wine.

An artistic approach to capturing the beauty of Strasbourg

Where Marie Antoinette married Louis XVI of France 

Notre-Dame Cathedral in Strasbourg

Myself, Mary, Clara, and Caitlin about to board our boat tour

Clara and I in the wine cellar

Enjoying some of the medicinal qualities of the cellar's wine

The next day we were taken on a full day excursion to Colmar and Riquewihr. In Colmar we were taken on a quick tour of the city and given sometime to explore the town. Courtney and I grabbed a quick lunch at the market before we headed out. Riquewihr is the most picturesque place I have yet to see. The region is known for it’s vineyards and wine, but it looks like a painting or city that came out of a movie. We were told that the locals cover the town with lights during the winter, which I can only imagine how it beautiful it is looks during that time of the year.

Where Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (famous sculptor, created the Statue of Liberty) grew up

Beautiful Colmar

Courtney, myself, Miranda, and Sam in Riquewihr

Beautiful vineyards

A town frozen in time

Caitlin, myself, and Sam

Caitlin and I exploring France

Before we returned to Strasbourg we stopped off at the Gingerbread Museum. We were guided by a little gingerbread-man as we learned about the history of gingerbread making and eating. It was one of the stranger things I have done since I’ve been here, but entertaining nonetheless.

One of the interesting rooms of the Gingerbread Museum 

We returned Saturday evening to enjoy Strasbourg on our own for the last time, since we left for Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany the next morning!

 Lily, Casey, Sam, Annika, Kelly, myself, Courtney, Caitlin, and Miranda dinner at Tapas 

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