Sorry for not posting in a few days. France has horrible internet connection. Let’s start from the beginning.
We left Heidelberg on a train headed for Strasbourg France at around 8am. A few hours later, we arrived in France. It was as cold as the people were. Now, in Germany, the Germans make an effort to learn english and french. However, the french don’t try to learn any other language. And Strasbourg is right on the border of Germany, and was even once apart of Germany!! BUT NO ONE SPOKE GERMAN! Well, first we got acquainted with our hostel room which was very nice. I think it was more of a hotel than anything. It wasn’t a youth hostel because there were some old people staying there too. Then we decided to travel the town and see some sights.
The public transportation in Strasbourg was nearly cryptic. There were no schedules, maps, or signs that told you where any of the trams or busses were going. It was just kinda word of mouth. Thank goodness Annalyse could speak some French.. otherwise, I’d still be at the train station wondering how to get to the hotel.
Anyways, Day 1 travel: So we were going to get lunch, and it was really hard to find a place to eat. So when we finally found a cafe we couldn’t wait to order. So when the woman came up to me to take my order she spoke nothing but French. I asked her if she spoke any english. Of course she didn’t. So I asked her if she spoke any German and she said yes, but continued to speak in French. So i had no idea what she was saying so I just pointed at what I wanted, which was a little dish of Cous Cous, and she pointed at the microwave I guess to ask me if I wanted her to heat it up for me, and I said “oui” (pronounced wee). Then she pointed at the chairs in the cafe and I walked over to sit down then all of a sudden she comes over talking all in French and pointing towards the door. So I signaled no, i’d like to eat it here, and then she conveniently knew how to speak German and told me that I was not allowed to eat in the cafe. I didn’t want to stir up any trouble so I agreed and went up to the register to pay, and I think she way over charged me because the dumb dish was 11 Euros, and we were out. Now we had food, but no where to eat it. Eventually we found a student cafeteria to eat our food.
Later that evening, we asked the people at the front desk where there was a good place to eat and they told us to go right down the street to some other dumb place. So when we got there, the guy walked us over to a table and I guess asked us how many we were having and Annalyse answered 2, but as soon as she answered the guy just started going no no and shooed us out telling us that the place was reserved for the evening but there was no one in there. So Annalyse and I went to some Chinese food place and on the way back, we passed that cafe again and there were still plenty of places where Annalyse and I could have sat.
Day 2: Mainly sight seeing. This day was much better because we stuck to the tourist areas where more people spoke English/ German. And we were also served food on this day! yay! We got to see The Notre Dame Cathedral of Strasbourg (not the main one in Paris.. apparently there are many Notre Dame Cathedrals because Notre Dame means Our Lady). We also saw The Republic, Little France, and the European Union Parliament. So here’s some pics!
The European Union Parliament
I also got to eat some authentic French Onion Soup from a nice French woman (rare) and we got to listen to a musician who sang in French, German, English and Spanish.
We also went to mass at the Notre Dame. But when we were leaving, there were all these hobos at the exit begging for money, shoving cups in your face! Scariest European moment so far.
Then we had some dinner where we had a very nice waiter who spoke English. I had myself some very German food. It was like a pig leg with cheesy potatoes. It was very yummy.
Day 3: That’s today! We came home!
But it was an epic journey back home. Our train was at 9:45am, so we checked out at 9:00am giving ourselves 45 minutes to get to a train station that is 10 minutes away. So I paid Annalyse cash, and she paid for our room on her credit card, but as we were walking down the street, she realized that the woman had over charged us for a breakfast on the day that we weren’t even there. So we headed back and conveniently she didn’t understand our English or Annalyse’s French. So after a long debate, the woman finally got Annalyse’s info to put the money back on her card. So by this time, we had about 25 minutes to get to the train station. So we hopped on the tram that the woman at the front desk told us to take, and got off at the stop the woman told us to take, and the train was no where in sight. So Annalyse asked someone where the main train station was and we were pointed in one direction. Further down the road she asked another man where the train station was, and he pointed in a different direction. So, we whipped out our map and tried to find the train station. Eventually we figured out a general direction and started walking, then off in the distance, Annalyse finally spotted the train station but we had to run because we only had 5 minutes to spare, and the trains in Europe are extremely fast. So we ran with our large backpacks towards the train station. When we got to our platform (at 9:44) I was in so much pain, but I was so excited to get the heck out of France.
Overall review of Strasbourg.
It was a really beautiful place with many great and interesting places to go experience some culture, but the people there put a big downer on it. They are unhelpful, they hate to admit they speak anything but French, and they even look snooty. However, I wanted to go because I wanted to have the experience.
OH! and on top of all of this, the French do not clean up after their dogs. They just let them poop everywhere! Literally, poop all over the sidewalks.
Strasbourg: you get a B
French: EF epic fail.
France is the fart of Europe.