Tag Archives: Strasbourg

Well, We Once Were The Jesters In Your Kingdom By The Sea

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Bonjour! I’m once again in the French Coffee Shop “studying” my arse off for my Culture & Society exam tomorrow… eek. I really have been studying, but I need a mental break from all this nonsense. BLECH EXAMS — je les deteste.

Sunday, November 25th: We were supposed to leave the hotel by 9h00, so I was up and munching down another tasty breakfast by 8h00, but one of our lovely API family members (whom shall remain anonymous) never made it back to the hotel the night before *coughfrenchlovercough* so there was a mad search around the city until said person was dragged out of a locals bed. Teehee, I love my group. We probably ended up leaving passed 10h00, and then we were piled onto the bus once again for the dreaded ride back to Grenoble.

Quite The Attractive Courtyard

In order to break up the monotony, though, we made a two hour pit stop in Colmar, which is an hour away from Strasbourg to discover this lovely town’s marchés de Noël (Christmas Markets). Obviously, it was not as awesome as Strasbourg’s, but I bought a tasty honey lollipop and another Christmas present for a family member. We also did a quick walk through of le Musée d’Unterlinden, but if I’m being honest… the museum kind of freaked me out a little bit. I took some pictures, so you can see for yourself, and if you agree with me or not.

Well, Hello There

Note: Bottom left corner

Note: Bottom left corner

So SicklyWhat On EARTH Is Going On Here?Er...Heyyy, Boys

In case you’re interested in some factoids about Strasbourg and Colmar, I copied and pasted them from our itinerary below. It’s in French — sorry, I’m too lazy to translate for you… just use google translate if you’re curious:

  • Colmar: ancienne ville libre du Saint Empire romain germanique. Elle est devenue française en 1648. C’est la Capitale des Vins d’Alsace et la troisième ville de la région par sa population. Colmar est la ville natale du créateur de la Statue de la Liberté à New York, Auguste Bartholdi.
  • Strasbourg: Strasbourg est une ville située dans le nord-est de la France, sur la rive gauche du Rhin. C’est la septième ville de France par la population, et l’un des principaux pôles économiques du nord-est. Elle est devenue française en 1681.
    Grand carrefour historique, Strasbourg fut de tous temps un lieu de rencontre de religions et de cultures différentes.. En 1440, Gutenberg y inventa les caractères d’imprimerie ; Mozart y donna de nombreux concerts ; Goethe, le célèbre poète allemand y fut étudiant ; la future reine de France Marie-Antoinette, s’arrêta à Strasbourg en arrivant d’Autriche….
    Aujourd’hui, Strasbourg, est devenue le symbole de l’unité et de la reconstruction européenne.  Elle est, avec Bruxelles, l’une des deux capitales de l’Europe, siège du Parlement Européen et du Conseil de l’Europe.
    Située au cœur de l’Alsace, Strasbourg est aussi  une capitale gastronomique (foie gras, vins d’Alsace, chocolat et eau-de-vie).
    Enfin, elle est aussi connue pour son Marché de Noël, autour de sa prestigieuse Cathédrale, marché qui date du 16ème siècle (1570)….

Well, there you have it! Haha, I’m sure most of you didn’t understand a lick of that, but maybe that will be incentive for you to learn a little French 😉

Awesome ColorsHitler 'Stach?UNICORN

Anyway, after we finished our stop in Colmar, we continued on and sat on that dang bus for hours on end. I thankfully fell asleep for a little, so it didn’t seem as bad. We arrived in Grenoble close to 20h3o I think, so I made it just in time for dinner with Madeleine. Wahwahweewah. I was supposed to go to a party for my classmate, Kevin, but I was so exhausted that I had to bail on that fete. Hannah wasn’t pleased, but I wouldn’t have been any fun. So instead, I took a shower and passed out into a much needed slumber.

Monday, November 26th: Had the usual nonsense and was at school from 10h40 to 17h30 for classes, and afterwards I went with Hannah, Richard and Emily to renew our tramcards for the last time! Ahhh, so sad. It was actually a rough time because while I was waiting in line, I was going in on a semi-stale gummy, and I broke my built in retainer! There aren’t any dangerous sharp points in my mouth or anything, but it is definitely broken, and if you touch the right spot, it is sharp. Woops. I mean, I was supposed to get it out once I turned 21, but I just didn’t have time over the summer. My mom is making me an appointment for once I’m back in the states though, so this won’t be in my mouth for too much longer.

After my dental issue, I walked through the Grenoble Marche de Noel to see what it was like (it opened while we were in Strasbourg) and browse the shops. I ran into Max while I was there, so we explored it and I ate this tasty little number:

After 8 Mousse on a Waffle Encased in Dark Chocolate.

After 8 Mousse on a Waffle Encased in Dark Chocolate.

It was delicious, and would not be my first rendez-vous. After we explored some more, I had to go home and do the usual homework and personal cleansing routine, then I read some 50 Shades of Grey, and went to bed. Cheeel.

Tuesday, November 27th: Another rough, long day of classes. I actually ended up skipping my Translation class a) because the professor sucks and b) because there was a hockey game this night, and I really wanted to go, but I had my last big homework assignment due on Thursday, but since I wouldn’t be in class (ROMA ROMA), I had to hand it in on Wednesday, so I spent those 2 hours where I should have been in class doing homework. It felt good to be productive, teehee.

After my Literature class was over at 17h15, I went home to eat some dinner and get ready to go to the hockey game. Madeleine wasn’t home, so I was able to eat while burying my nose in 50 Shades. The weather ended up being terrible, and the hockey game was more expensive than usual due to it being the semi-finals (we lost…mer), so I didn’t end up going. Instead, I had a movie night and watched Cool Hand Luke — I had never seen it before, and I must say I really liked it… except for the less than happy ending. Oh well.

Wednesday, November 28th: SNOW IN GRENOBLE!!!! Usually at this point in the year, I am used to being bombarded with snow due to living in Vermont, but I was spoiled this semester. I can’t say I was entirely thrilled for the snow, it was cold, but it did make Grenoble look even more beautiful than usual.

Erm, after class, I think I went to the Coffeeshop to either dick around, work on this darling blog, or do some homework. I can’t really remember, but I know I didn’t hang around for too long. Then, I went to the train station with Emily and Nina to buy our bus tickets for the next day to Lyon, and we made a pit stop in the 2 euro store, where I bought this:

My Sign <3We also walked around the Grenoble Markets, where I bought some more Christmas gifts (seriously, I am beyond broke it’s disgusting) and another one of those tasty morsels.

Nomnomnom

Mocha Mousse This Time

Eventually, the cold got the best of us and we parted ways. I went home to read some 50 Shades and pack for ROMA!!! I had to be up pretty early the next morning to make the bus, so after dinner I just relaxed and went to bed shortly after. Week of school = complete. Next stop: ROME, BEETCHES.

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Xmas Trees, Acrobats & Happy Things

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Here are some sweet vids from Strasbourg, France. WHY DO I HAVE TO LEAVE EUROPE?!

^Sorry about this being sideways. It’s a crazy old clock made ages ago, but it’s so freaking cool! And high-tech for it’s time. Watch and you’ll understand.

^ There was a full on choir at the big church in Strasbourg. It was pretty neat, to say the least.

^ Some international dancing. Huzzah!

^This tree was a magical thing to behold. Not quite as big as the one in Times Square, but it’s quite impressive nonetheless. Apologies for the fact that it’s sideways, I don’t know how to change it.

^The French… I love them and their randomness. In Strasbourg, there were two acrobats attached to a giant moon looking thing, and they did a routine wayyy high up in the air. It was pretty freaking baller.

Merry Merry Happy

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Continuing the Strasbourg Adventures…

Saturday, November 24th: Woke up pretty early because we had to leave the hotel for a guided tour of Strasbourg at 9h30, so I was downstairs with the roomies by 8h45ish to gorge on breakfast nomnoms. In Grenoble, we pretty much only eat bread for breakfast with various toppings (jam, butter, nutella, cheese), so being able to eat a full on breakfast buffet at the hotel was a treat and a half. I think I may have eaten my weight in food: eggs, bread, ham & cheese breakfast sandwiches, fruit… the list continues, but you get the point. Traditional breakfast deprivation.

There We Are

Anyway, at 9h30 we left the hotel and went to meet up with our tour guide. Now, usually on these types of tours I get a little bored, but this tour guide did a solid job of holding my attention. That, and the fact that the Strasbourg Market was awesome!

Hot Nutsss

There was so much to feast my eyes upon. The tour lasted about an hour and a half, then we were released to enjoy Strasbourg. I used this time to to the following:

  1. Eat
  2. Hot Wine
  3. Buy Christmas Gifts
  4. More Hot Wine
  5. Eat Again

Ellisa & The Gnome

It was a fantastic afternoon, and afterwards I could proudly say that most of my Christmas shopping was done! Three cheers for me. Also, I thought I would give you a little insight on the Strasbourg food specialties:

  • La choucroute : White cabbage simmered in white wine from Alsace (the region we were in). Once cooked, a combination of sausage, pork chops, bacon and ham is added, sometimes even a boiled potatoes. ‘Twas delicious.
  • Flammekueche: Tarte Flambee of Alsace. A very popular regional specialty; the classic consists of a pie dough covered with bacon, onions and sour cream, grated cheese gratin and then baked. I had a vegetarian one so it was different toppings, but the premise was the same. Also delectable!
  • Baeckeoffe: This dish is a stew that blends various meats. Beef, lamb or goose leg marinated in a dry white wine, (Sylvaner or Riesling). Onion and garlic are then added, and the pieces of meat are placed twenty-four hours later in a casserole baked between two layers of potatoes and onions. I can’t say I tried this, but it must be pretty dank.
  • Le kougelhopf: traditional Alsatian cake. Didn’t have this either…
  • Le Bretzel: A pretzel pretty much, but quite large. I had mine with dark chocolate on it. Yummm.

Veggie Tarte Flambee

Everything I ate was worth the price (and it wasn’t even that expensive!), and the wine was amazing. You can bet your asses that I will be making that regularly this winter. Stay tuned for those sweet recipes.

Ermmm, after the market, I branched off with the babies: Camillo, Jeremy, Aubrey and Olivia, and Maddie, Ellisa and Natasha, and we wandered further into the heart of Strasbourg in search of some local dinner.

Purty

We found this cute restaurant overlooking the river, and this is where I had my first taste of the tasty tarte flambee. We all just hung out there for a while and chatted, then we migrated to the main area of the Christmas Market where an amazing show was about to go down! View the pictures and videos, it’s pretty difficult to put into words. I will tell you though, that Strasbourg boasts the biggest Christmas tree in France, and probably one of the bigger ones in Europe. It was huge!

LOVE THE TREE

After the spectacle, we went back to the hotel to gather some energy and switch into night mode. I changed quickly and then went to Richard and Preston’s room to meet up with them and Emily, and from there the festivities started.

Preston Giving Heather A Dance

In typical API fashion, it was a shit show. People puked, cried, passed out and did the typical drunken things. I was actually one of the more controlled ones, which is strange.. but I kind of liked it. I was able to actually remember everything, yay! Sans details though, it was a fun night, and I probably went to bed around 3h00.

Day Two, Complete.

Christmastime in Strasbourg, France

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Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m on a roll with these posts lately. Maybe I’ll be caught up by the weeks end. In actuality, I should be studying for my Culture and Society exam on Monday because I’m totally screwed for it, but I’ll get around to that eventually. Moving on…

Friday, November 23rd: After getting a solid nights sleep (which was totally necessary), I woke up and made my way to the bus stop, Grand Sablon, for 9h30 and started the 8hour bus trek to Strasbourg, France, Yes…. it was a very long day. Thankfully, it was broken up by a pit stop in the Jura Mountains, where we munched on some tasty cheese at the Maison du Comte, which is a very famous cheese here in France. Also, if you know the Laughing Cow cheese, you will be familiar with the “lesser quality” Comte cheese. It was all quite delicious, and nice to stretch our legs.

Fromage, YummyMini-Farm Of Cheese

All too soon, it was time to pile back onto the bus and finish our trip. Being the self-established princess that I am (I’m half kidding…), I claimed a big chunk of the “saloon” in the back of the bus, so I was able to bounce back and forth between playing Uno with the fam and napping, using Max as a pillow. All-in-all, it was a pretty pleasant trip considering the length.

We finally arrived at our destination around 20h30, and we were STARVING. As soon as we dropped off our things at the hotel, a big group of us bee-lined it to try and find food, and find a place to buy wine. The wine search was a fail, as was the food… no one could seem to commit to a place to eat. We ended up walking around and soaking in the sites. Eventually, it ended up being Preston, Richard, Kaitlyn, Ellisa and myself at a very tasty Kebab place. I wanted to try and eat a Strasbourg specialty, but hunger won out… plus, we had the rest of the weekend. When my hunger was finally tamed, we spent a good deal of time exploring Strasbourg once again; it was beautiful with lights strung everywhere, I couldn’t get enough. We also arrived there on the opening day of the famous Strasbourg Marche de Noel, so the positive energy was infectious.

How Beautiful Is That?Oh la laLit Up!

As the night progressed, our large group dwindled down to solely Emily, Richard, Preston and myself, and we decided to explore the nightlife a little and go out for a drink. We ended up all splitting the largest pitcher of blue liquid I’ve ever seen! It was delicious, pretty, and was gone in a few minutes. Mmm. Afterwards we decided it was time to call it a night, for we all had an early and long day ahead of us. Day one in Strasbourg, complete. Little Boxes...!!!