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Destination: Alsace

April 23rd, 2013 klkuts14

It’s finals week people! Yes, the time has come once again to crank out the books, head to the library, and chug Starbucks till the wee hours of the morning. Oh, wait, I keep forgetting that this is finals week FRENCH STYLE. This means that while we still get a week off from classes, we have to do things a bit differently than Holy Cross. While we do have a week to study, being that we are abroad, with the exception of Italy bound Colleen, the four of us decided that we should take advantage of small day trips near and around Alsace, as well as to stay and enjoy the city that we have been able to call our second (well, third if you count Holy Cross) home away from home. Also, day trips are less expensive, and at this point, let’s face it; we are all desperate for summer jobs.

For me, Sunday started off with a day trip to northern Alsace with my host family to visit the parents of my host father! While the village might not be as tourist bound as Strasbourg, it was a quaint little town with typical Alsatian gingerbread houses and I finally got to ride in a car! Granted, my host sister, who doesn’t yet have a lot of driving experience under her belt, was the chauffeur, but we all made it there in one piece and the day itself was absolutely gorgeous! My host mom made a Kougelhopf, the which if I haven’t already explained, is an Alsatian beadlike cake with raisins and almonds, the sun was shining, and I finally got to wear shorts! Spring is here people, spring has sprung.

The next day was even more beautiful, and the girls and I headed to Stuttgart, a great city in Germany (let’s face it; we’re in Germany more than we are in France). I wore a dress for the first time in months (which cost 50 centimes from the school flee market: SCORE) and we even made a friend on the train there! (Ok, I guess we were a little hard to hide considering he could tell right away that we were American by the volume of our voices and by the amount of times we said “like”).Tough blow. While in Germany, we got gelato, went shopping, sat by the grand fountain, took the walking tour led by the fabulous Jessica herself, and found ourselves at a lovely little Italian restaurant where I think we had one of our best pasta dishes of the year (fish and zucchini and a red sauce over Tagliatelle: Yum!) We may have even bought Starbucks (thank you Germany) as well as tickets to our final travel destination of the year, which will be revealed to y’all in due time.

Wednesday, Kelia and I decided to take another daytrip to Metz, the capital of Lorraine (the French region just north of Alsace) to discover the city of churches! We arrived at the station with not a clue of what to expect, but found ourselves having a wonderful day of cathedral hopping (our cathedral is better than your cathedral), strolling through the gardens, and taking pictures of the diverse architecture (they sure do like the color brown). For lunch, we decided that we should try something from Lorraine! Needless to say, we made the mistake of eating Lardon, Lardon, and more Lardon (Je peux pas…). I am going on a very strict vegan cleanse when I come home. After this meal, we decided we needed to cheer ourselves up so we ended up going on a shopping spree for five hours. I think I have the right considering we’ve been here for 8 months!

Over the weekend, the five of us were reunited and created a noteworthy celebration of Barbara’s 21st birthday. While the appeal is somewhat lost considering we are already in Europe, it’s still a very important milestone (her golden year) and needed to be acknowledged! One of these celebration days included a homemade meal chez Rachel (eggplant and chicken parm, chocolate flourless cake, and raspberry sorbet) and a night at the ballet! The other days: let’s just say that Strasbourg is in fact a very beautiful city at 6am…In other matters, we are now in the process of final exams and I am 3 for 4 people! Yet, with the trees in blossom, the Strasbourg citizens have finally come out of hibernation and the Gelato stores are welcoming customers with lines out the door. This is making me reminiscent of Tours, meaning that we’re making the annual circle and that our time here is almost up. I guess that means that I will be living the next three weeks like there’s no tomorrow…beginning by a couple days to London! Ciao!

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