Sunday, September 02, 2007

Take a Break Driver 8

Chapter II where we find our hero and his girlfriend travelling to Strasbourg, France.

Being close to France we decided to take a day trip to Strasbourg. Now if you haven't been to Europe, trains are a great and efficient way to travel. Especially in Germany, the Deutsche Bahn does a great job. Now I've never ridden Amtrak but aside from the east coast, I believe that train travel in this country is a joke. After several experiences with the trains in Germany, I can say I enjoy train travel (must more over air) and wish we had a better system here.

Well we did run into a slight problem with the DB. Apparently the drivers/employees were on strike that week, well sort of. Instead of being on complete strike, they just refused to start working until 9am. Now I am no labor expert but I thought the point of a strike is to refuse to do your work until your demands are met. If you are providing a service (driving trucks, teaching kids, trains) and go on strike it disrupts yhe business and puts the employer in a corner to keep business going. Ergo, you are more likely to have your needs met. To me this seemed like a half-assed strike and only caused minor problems.

Because of this strike we were delayed for a good hour and a half and spent some quality time in Offenberg. Eventually we did make it to France. Unfortunately because of the EU, I did not get my passport stamped in France, oh well, c'est la vie. Strasbourg is a nice little city although it was a little chilly and we were faced with off & on rain throughout the day. We did see the cathedral. It is unique in that it should have two steeples, but they never finished the one side. So it looks a little funny and you can see where the 2nd steeple should go. Now all these cathedrals in Europe are great. They are huge and several hundreds years old and have a lot history to them. After seeing a few of them I can say that if you've seen one Gothic cathedral, you've seen them all. We were going to go to one of the art museums there but apparently it was closed on tuesdays. I should have known this as I took 3 years of French 12-14 years ago.

Instead of the museum we took a boat trip around the city. We got to see a lot of the historical sections and they took us past the European Parliament which is located in Strasbourg. As the weather was pretty crappy we did take the opportunity to go to the city museum. It had just reopened in the past week and featured a lot of interactive stuff. I enjoyed the museum as I have a soft side for all this historical stuff...never mind that I couldn't read anything. In the museum there was a little video session we saw, although since it was in French neither of us understood it and we wondered why we sat there for 10 min to watch the video.

Then we went to dinner. Since we were in France I had to try escargot. The snails were served with a very-garlic butter sauce. I wasn't too impressed and they were rather chewy. I would say they are similar to mussels, but not as good. Though the OFOMOL has had them before and said that the ones we had were not very good. I also had a beer from a brewery that was founded in the 11th century. The 11th century!!! We have no idea what the natives were doing here in the 11th century but in Europe they were brewing beer.

It was a nice experience. Yeah the weather could have been better but I can say that I have visited France. As a side note, the OFOMOL is travelling to Mexico tomorrow for a semester in Monterrey. Please wish her safe travels.

Coming Tomorrow: the joys of a German wedding

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