Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Waiting in Spietz for the train wasnt ALL bad
After skydiving, I got dropped (eventually) at the train station because they'd left some of my stuff behind at the airport and unlike the other groups we didn't land there because of the weather (we landed in Interlaken). I couldn't find my Eurail pass and by the time I did and ran to the platform, I'd just missed my train. I emailed Yann, my friend in Strasbourg, to tell him when I'd arrive, and got on the next one 20 mins later to Basil. In Basil, I had 15 mins to catch my next train but I wanted to give Yann something from Switzerland for letting me stay with them. I went into a Swiss chocolate shop and the lady couldn't have slowed me down more if she'd tried. Then, I ran to the platform, which was in an undisclosed direction, and had to go through a passport check. I showed my passport and explained my train left right away and they also did their best to thwart me. Anything to declare? No. Then what's in the bag? Chocolate. Let me see. You'd better hurry, you'll miss it. Sure enough, I got to the platform in time to watch the train pull away and tell "Nooooo!" I was frustrated because there was no way for me to tell Yann I'd missed that train and so on.

Cathedrale de Strasbourg
Anyway, I caught the next one and arrived in rain and cold weather, couldn't find Yann, so found an internet café and emailed Yann as well as looked up his phone number. I got his girlfriend whose English is not as good as Yann's, but I did find out he was still at the train station, so I called his mobile and left a message. We did meet eventually and he and his 4 year old son Frederic took me back to their apartment. We had a nice rice dinner, a welcome change, and chatted. Having awoke so early and had a long day I was wiped so I went to bed early and slept long.

Historic old town, wine is a big deal here
Today we went out into Strasbourg's historic centre. The weather was poor in the morning but we didn't leave until noon and the weather had improved greatly. Yann took me on a tour and we saw the famed cathedral and astronomical clock and general scenery. We spent some time in FNAC listening to music and looking at all the European versions of albums I have or like. I'd definitely be doing some buying if I didn't have to cart it all along with me across Europe. We had a coke in a nice glass bottle in a café under a tree (it reminded me of a restaurant in Crete) on the river and I had a chocolate eclaire. You know, to soak in the culture. Mmm... culture.

Despite the German influence, the city is definitely French
Anyway, the historic town is very nice and very definitely German influenced, given that the city's history is about half German anyway. You hear many people speaking German and see signs in German occasionally, which is an homage to its history and also a result of its proximity to the border I suppose. We came home and had a nice traditional French dinner, I can't remember what the name was, but it was very nice and healthy. They're being far too kind to me and I really am glad I managed to stop here. Tomorrow, I'm not sure what's in the cards, but I guess we shall see. I'll probably leave Saturday for Munich, then Prague, where I end my Eastern trek for now and turn my sights north to Scandinavia. I'm going to miss the warm weather and beaches of the south, I know that already, but I'm also looking forward.

But that's enough for now, talk to you in a few days...

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Anonymous said...

Cool, Dean! I liked looking at all of this...sounds like you are having fun and packing a lot in. Well done.

Dean said...

Thanks for popping by, Em, I am having a great time and packing as much in as monetary expediencies will allow. Which I say only because it makes me sound like I´m getting smarter over here...