Monday, April 26, 2010

My Trip to Almost Germany

This past Friday I took a trip to Strasbourg. Strasbourg is in the northeast of France in the region of Alsace. It's the home to the European Council among other important European things and an amazing cathedral. My visit was a short one and it started at 6:45 am when I got a bus here in Besançon. It was about a two and a half hour drive. I spent it reading my book and somehow not getting bus-sick. I was pretty pumped about this.

We started our day off in Strasbourg by going to the European Council. The tour wasn't very long. We had to go through security to get into the building and then we waited around for 20 minutes for everyone to go use the bathrooms and stand around. A Japanese girl got stuck in one of the stalls because it wouldn't unlock. It was kind of hilarious but no one really knew what to do about it. She got out before anyone managed to find someone to come help her. We then went to the first room for the short tour. Our tour guide seemed to be one of those people who pasted on that smile to get through the day but really hated her job. The first room was a bright orange and was very 1970's. That was later explained by the building having been built in the 1970's, but this is a place where the entirety of Europe comes to meet and discuss world issues. You'd think they would have made the slightest attempt at making a little less obnoxiously 70's since, you know, its 2010 and all... maybe that's just me though... We watched a video that tried to be really hip and cool but failed starting at about the point it used bad techno versions of classical music.

From the room of monstrosities, we went to the still very '70s but much cooler room where the European Parliament meets. As you can see from the picture, it was one of those ovally rooms and actually had areas for spectators to come watch. It was kind of neat. They didn't have country tags like the UN but instead were sat in alphabetical order by last name regardless of country. We sat in the room and listened to the tour guide go on about the room and then we were done with the tour. We stood around for 20 minutes which seems to be obligatory for french field trips. They do this a lot. After boarding the bus we literally sat there for like 10-15 minutes even though everyone was on the bus and we knew where we were going. I feel like anytime there is a chance we will be on time or early they make it a point to delay. The public transportation buses do that here too. For example the two buses from Campus to Centreville will sit literally 20 yards away from the bus stop but not actually pull up to the bus stop until the time it was supposed to leave the stop. This isn't particularly annoying now, but when it was cold, it was annoying to see the bus sitting there but you weren't allowed to get on it yet. Anyway, I digress.

It was too big to get a picture of the whole thing T_T

We went into the centreville of Strasbourg where we were set loose and told to be back at the bus by 4 or we were getting left behind. We went to the Notre Dame of Strasbourg which is the most amazing cathedral I've ever seen. I took about 8 million pictures of it. The inside wasn’t quite as cool. I found it to be too bright and plain inside in comparison to the outside. From here, We found a little market and ate crèpes. They were good, but I was still hungry so I got some chicken and potatoes. I didn’t want an entire half of a chicken, but that’s how it came. It was also really good.

The boat tour was also nice. It had and audio guide who happened to be done by an Irish guy. It wasn’t terribly interesting and I didn’t pay very much attention to it at all. The scenery was really pretty and super green. We returned from the boat tour with just enough time to get ice cream! I got smurf and mango flavored. It was pretty awesome and super bright.

After that we returned home. I passed out cold for a good hour of the trip home. Nothing terribly exciting happened from that point on other than John the Savage coming to the civilized world in my book and me not getting bus sick. It pretty much won. That concludes my Strasbourg trip. ^ ^

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