Saturday, July 16, 2011

Let's Go to France!

Anyone who knows me knows that I have always wanted to go to France. Ever since I was a little girl, I've asked my dad to tell me how to say this and that in French. I knew I wouldn't remember what he said, but I still just wanted to say it in French. In high school, I did my two years of French and loved every moment of it. So when I learned that I would get to live in Germany, I was ecstatic because it was that much closer to going to France (not to mention my lifelong dream of being a Stuard was taken care of ;)

    Well, Tyler is on leave for a little while now and we went to France! We woke up one morning and Tyler told me to be ready in 15 minutes. I was pretty comfy and didn't necessarily want to move so I looked at him and asked why? He said cause we're going to France today. Yeah, I ready really quick that morning! We got ready and we took off. I found out we're only an hour away from the border of France! It's really cool to be this close to the borders that you can leave the country for a day. Our destination was Strasbourg. Its only 2 hours away from our house and a very beautiful drive. Aah I was so happy driving up there. Tyler said there was a constant smile on my face the whole time.

       After driving 2 hours, we reached Strasbourg, but we didn't actually know where we were going. Every city has a center or an old part of the town. That's the place we always look for. We drove around and around and after about 20 minutes of seeing sights like this, I was griping at Tyler saying why am I not walking around in this! :) We finally found a parking garage and set out on foot. It was like a dream. I was in France, walking down a French street, hearing the beautiful French language all around me.

     First sight you see is the huge cathedral. Cathedrals are everywhere it seems over here in Europe; but I never get tired of seeing them.  They are so big and extravagant and beautiful. We didn't walk in this one though. You had to pay to get in and honestly at this point I had my sights set on seeing the Palace!

      The Palace Rohan was our first stop. This palace was the home of four cardinals of the Rohan family from 1704 until the Revolution. It was the first palace I have been able to see and I thought it was beautiful. Unfortunately we didn't see the whole thing. It now houses three separate museums and we chose the museum that showed the actual rooms of the family. The whole place was extravagant. Gold and velvet everywhere. I'm sure this wasn't even one of the most decorated places either (waiting to see the Palace of Versailles!) It was such a cool experience to walk around the big open sitting rooms staring at the pictures and walking down the big halls seeing all the bedrooms and libraries.
After the palace, we were both in need of food so we started looking for a place to eat. This was another crucial part of the France experience. When you think of dining in France, what do you think of? I think of an open cafe with lots of tables crowded together and music floating in the air from somewhere in the city. You may laugh at my image, but we found a place just like it! We found the Cafe Rohan and sat down to our first French dining experience. It took awhile to order (we're still getting used to the slower pace of the Europeans sometimes) but in the meantime we were entertained. A few cafes down, there was a woman walking around playing some beautiful flute music. (music..check!) But there was also an older gentleman dressed up as Charlie Chaplin doing a routine right by our table. It was very amusing...the first time around. After the third go around, it lost its charm. Still added to the experience though! Our food was delicious by the way. I ordered a pizza and Tyler ordered the salmon. Both were very yummy!    
       After lunch, we headed off to the boat tours. We figured it would be the best way to see more of the city without walking so much. The boat had head phones and a recoreded tour to tell you what you were looking at. Its nice that everywhere we went, English was an option! Unfortunately we didn't get may pictures because our boat had a plastic top which was a little annoying. Still a good way to see the city though.
       At the end of the tour, I was ready for my last French treat....a CREPE! I've only ever had one (here in Kaiserslautern) and I was ready for a real crepe from France. The chocolate crepe was amazing! Everything I wanted it to be. And the perfect accessory while strolling through the shops.

      Strasbourg was such a wonderful city. It was a spure of the moment trip; but it was my favorite one so far! I have officially been to France now.