Giddy Up Europe

Germany, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Vatican, Monaco, Spain...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Little France?

So this past weekend we went to Strasbourg, France for a day and hiked up the hill at Esslingen (basically a suburb of Stuttgart) to chill at a restaurant, walk by some farmers, and see some vineyards. On Monday we checked out Weil der Stadt, which is the birthplace of Kepler and today we hit the new Kunst museum in town which had some modern art and a gallery of Otto Dix pieces, but I don't think it had any the important ones. History 322! But it's sweet, they call it the cube because it is, and its exterior is all glass. I'll start with a couple pictures from back in the day, though.

This is outside the disco we went to in Titisee, Schwarzwald before we headed back to the hostel from two weekends ago. They played crazy techno remixes of oldies American music.

Here's Claire, Erica, Christine, and Paige at Das Leuze, one of the mineral baths in Stuttgart from about two weeks ago. There are hot and cold pools and alternating between them is supposed to be good for you. You're also supposed to be able to drink right out of the pools you swim in, but I wouldn't recommend that. Plus mineral water tastes nasty. It's mandatory to go nude in the sauna, and after 21:00 (Germans use 24 hour time) the complex is entirely nude. For hygenic reasons of course.

Here are the ones from this past weekend. This is at one of the staircases along the wall of the stronghold at Esslingen. Peaces!

We also tossed around the disc since there was an open field inside. I have ridiculous tan lines now.

This is part of the group held up at a green light. Germans tend to pay attention to traffic laws more and will generally wait to cross the street even when no cars are in sight. If someone decides to jaywalk, though, everyone will follow. Look at how German we already are!

I guess Bos told them I was coming to Esslingen.

And the close up. You might be able to see that there is a bar with the same name in the background. I didn't realize it until we were on the S-bahn heading home.

At Esslingen, we hit up a crazy playground that had a rotating web, so some of the guys hopped on and would hang from it, which was pretty sweet. I don't know about letting children run around on it, though. It could be pretty dangerous.

This is why. That's Martin.

We hiked up several kilometers to a restaurant where we could hang out and I got a beer. I was examining my Krystallweizen.

Beer glasses generally have lines to show the correct amount of beer to pour. The basic sizes are 0,33 L or 0,5 L. At biergartens or some clubs, bars, or parties where there are only bartenders, there's a pfand. A pfand is basically a deposit and is usually one euro for a bottle and two for a glass. This ensures that glasses and bottles get back to the bartenders as recycling is huge. Or you can stock your shelf with some pretty decent glasses at about two euros a pop.

That night we went to a pool hall that Jeff's host father owned or at least worked at and we got a pretty sweet deal and our own room, which was awesome. This is Jon who lives with the same host family as I making a "Stuttgart S." Is that awesome? Because I'm not really sure.

Here's a wide angle of the pool room.

Strasbourg is called Little France for some reason, I don't know why. It's extremely touristy, but there is an awesome cathedral there. Check out this sign when we were rolling in.

There were rumors of 'kinder gangs' that didn't seem to be substantiated, so we were on the lookout for them. Though there were no kid gangs, there were signs everywhere to beware of pickpockets. This one is inside the cathedral and I did not get pickpocketed. Hollaz.

I tried to get a picture of me with a halo, but I don't think it worked out so well.

Here are more jumping pictures from a square in Strasbourg again with me, Allison, Brad, and Jake. This is pre-jump.


End-Jump. I made up those terms in case you didn't catch that.

That made us think of taking action pictures, so we decided to do a ghetto break-dancing picture in the streets of France. That's me, Jon, and Navin. People looked at us funny, but it was so hot.

French ads.

Hot French lingerie models.

We walked around and found a street with about a hundred French artists with tables selling and displaying their work. Some of it was pretty good, others not to much. They were all amateur struggling artisans just trying to get by. Here's one piece.

Jon and Kim having lunch at the jumping square.

French kids played some accordian music for everyone having lunch. It sounds just like you hear in the movies.

In the cathedral were some bad-ass old-school devices for astronomical purposes. Mechanicals are everywhere, even back in the day!

We hit up the Modern Art museum in Strasbourg and they had one huge masterpiece. Most of the other stuff there was geometric stuff and not so intense. Jon is 6'4".

We bought wine for two euros and drank it that night. Sounds nasty, but it was authentic French wine and you can't beat the price.

This is the SchloƟplatz on the night we drank the wine. Three bottles between five guys, it was pretty chill. Plastic corks though, eh?

The other day Jon, Brett, me, Navin, and Ryan took the S-bahn to a random stop, Feuersee, that we always pass, but never have gotten off at. So we decided to hit it up for lunch one day and walk around. There was a church there with a walk in moat (there were steps that led right down into it). We thought kids probably got freaky in it late at night with the moonlight and church in the backdrop.

On Sunday Jon and I went to a hill overlooking Stuttgart with our host mom and one of the sons, Aswin. There was rubble from old buildings that were brought there and we climbed up to the top of it. Aswin is only 12, but already a Mets fan!

Things are busy, though I manage about six hours of sleep a night and wake up everyday around 7. Last night we hit an Irish pub for karaoke night, which was a lot of fun. Pictures up soon. Holla if you're a Galopin sister on the facebook.


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