May and June of 2007 saw a European road trip. Original impetus was attending a wedding in Strasbourg, France, and we ended up traveling throughout eastern and southern France, saw much of Switzerland, and just breezed through Germany and Italy.
- 5/14 — Start of a Good Fahrt
Short post just to let people know we’re alive. We arrived in Strasbourg a few days ago, after having flown to Frankfurt and hired a rental car. We didn’t get the VW Lupo we were hoping for, but the Fiat Panda instead. Cute name, but it’s rather underpowered for autobahn driving.
- 5/18 — Bonjour, Mes Amis!
It hasn’t been that long since the last time we talked, I know, but after 2006, the year of austerity, 2007 seems to be the year of fun.
This mail is being sent with Swiss precision; I can actually see little electron brigades standing at attention and at the ready to shoot off into the aether as soon as the REMF (moi) says “go”.
- 5/22 — Nice is Nice
‘Allo from the French Riviera!
In a previous episode, our heroes were headed south, to the Cote d’Azur region of France, in an attempt to find some beaches (preferably topless (although I shan’t mention exactly whose preference it was)) for some quality relaxation time.
- 5/27 — Wanna Get My Jungfrau On
We’re here in the Jungfrau valley in Interlaken, Switzerland, and it’s beautiful.
- Cave de Patriarche
We went on a tour of the wine catacombs in Beaune, France, and visited only a single cellar: Patriarche et fils (Patriarche and sons). They are the largest cellar in the city, with over 5 kilometers of hallways upon hallways, with millions of wine bottles silently aging to perfection.
- Swiss Food == Comfort Food
Raclette is delicious — think of delicious cheese, melted and poured over various processed meats, such as salami, prosciutto, etc., and potatoes. Doesn’t really get much more basic, comforting, and delicious than that.
- Plage la Mala
We spent an afternoon lazing around on this beautiful beach in Cap d’Ail, which is in France, just one train stop before reaching Monaco.
- Zen and the Art of Cannes Celeb Sightings
The other thing we did while in Nice was to pop over to Cannes during the 60th anniversary of the famous film festival. We only wanted to stay for a little while to experience the zeitgeist, and so we weren’t planning on camping out near hotel entrances just for celebrity watching, but we got “lucky” (at least in one sense of the term) when we happened to see a bunch of paparazzi wielding bazooka sized cameras chasing after a blonde lady.
- To Drive or Not To Drive in Europe
So one of the debates I kept having with myself during the trip was whether the rental car was worth it, or if we should have done what most normal people would have done and ridden the trains instead. The reason we originally decided on the car was a combination of enhanced freedom and lower (upfront) cost.
- Lion of Lucerne
“saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world”, Lucerne, Switzerland.
- Delightful European Markets
I found the markets in Europe to be delightful and delicious. Above are some delicious sausages that we saw in an outdoor market in France. There were outdoor markets in almost every city we visited, and for the most part, they weren’t very touristy; that is, they were by and for locals. Note to self — I ought to visit the farmer’s markets around here more often.
- Buildings of Strasbourg
Jenny and I went and looked at all the churches in Strasbourg so that you don’t have to. Yes, they’re beautiful, but after a while, you just get worn out.