Friday, May 23, 2008

Being a French - For a Little While!

The boat crosses through a movable bridge! (above)

On the banks of Rhine - crossing into France (above left) The trams in Straasburg, France (above)

Outside the Strassburg (above left) Münster Hotels and homes on the river in Straasburg (above)

On Tuesday, 20 May, we decided to go to Straasburg in France for an outing! I think, this is going to be the only outing day for me in this trip to Germany. All other days are going in meeting people and talking to them.... although I have not made many breakthroughs this time. I think we did a good job at Freiburg. Today, for the journey, we are four: Fr. Susai, Matze, Johannes and me. We left at 10.00 a.m by car, crossing the black forests, reaching the Rhine that separates both the countries, and then crossing into France! It was almost an adventure. Once we reached Straasburg, we took a tram for our visit to the famous Strassburg Münster. Waaw! What a splendid sight. There were thousands of visitors as it is also holiday time in the schools. We walked a lot along the brook that is well developed for Aqua-tourism, with moving bridges, blocking bridges that increase or decrease water levels for the boats to travel smoothly, with running commentary.... beside other modes of transport which also give you commentaries in multiple languages. I have a lot to write. Oh yes, I cannot forget standing beside the piano used by Mözart himself in one of the churches, preserved as a heritage. We had lunch at a 150 years old restaurant Güber. There was something about this restaurant, because, many great people had frequented this place during their visits to Straasburg. And we were having lunch sitting on the same chairs and table used by Helmut Köhl ! What a privilege! Still more - we got all our food free! You know why?
Almost two years ago Evelyn had visited this hotel and on that day the wine served was not cold enough. Evelyn had written a letter to the hotel later, and the hotel management had sent a complimentary letter promising two plates of Flammenkochen free whenever this letter is used at the restaurant. And we had carried this letter. That did the work even after two years! We were pampered with more than what we could, besides desserts, coffee, plenty of food in different categories, and they wanted to give more! We had no place in the stomach. All this was done by the Manager himself, so that we did not even have to pay tips! (I cannot imagine if an Indian restaurant would do this.)

Colorful glass art in the Münster(above) -- The Münster (center) -- The Piano played by Mozärt (above right)
Before we left, we had some fun time. There were many artists on the roadside painting pictures and caricatures of people. I got a caricature done of myself. Ooh! What a fun to laugh at your own self! Just for a day, it is a great fun to enjoy yourself. With a good dinner spread for us at Evelyn's we went to bed quite late.

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