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Day 21 Durstel, vendredi 27 août 2010 - Back to Strasbourg

storm 13 °C
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Today woke up to my most irritating alarm at 6:40 am. I was still very tired as I didn't go to bed until about 1:30 am. I finished blogging, then packing and it was tough to quiet my mind even though it did not feel like I was consciously thinking.

It is the end of my time in Durstel as we leave this morning. I feel sad but good as well. Again, I have to say it has all been amazing.

Showered and got dressed and brought my luggage out to the hallway. Marc kindly brought everything downstairs.

Had breakfast and Margy and Marc finished up copying my nearly 2000 pictures onto a memory stick. Margy's pictures on another stick. Margy showed me the garage, I met the pig, rabbits and chickens in the parents' barn. The chickens made a lot of noise at having visitors. Pig seemed content and listened to Margy as she talked to him.
Rabbits of which there were about a dozen in the pens were timid and nervous.

I met Marc's mom and dad who are 68 and 73. Very sweet couple. They greeted me warmly and the French way with a kiss on each cheek.

Got into the car around 9 to head to Baden Baden which is in Germany. Arrived in Germany around 10:30 am. No border crossing as there is an agreement (Schengen) with many countries now. Also as the currency is the same it is also simplified.

We first went to see a castle called Schloss Favorite which is located near Rastatt in Baden-Wurttemberg.

Built some 300 years ago much of it is still in its original state. A surprise was that there was a large collection of Asian porcelain as well as some buddhas and the goddess Guan Yin.

Germany is divided up into landers which are like provinces.

Then shortly after 12 we went to the Schlosscafé Favorite Konditorei located on the grounds for lunch.

Margy and Marc ordered beer and I had an Apfelsaftschorle. Try typing that quickly! It is an apple juice with a portion of sparkling water which is a common beverage in Germany. She said that wine spritzers are also popular.

For lunch Margy had goulash and salad. Marc had veal strips in a mushroom gravy with spaetzle. I had the ravioli (Maultaschen) with German potato salad. My ravioli were huge ones with a bit of fried onion and gravy on it. The ground meat inside was perfectly seasoned. I thought my potato salad was really good, mustard and vinegar flavoured. Margy and Marc agreed.

Finished lunch an hour later.

Then drove to Baden Baden and arrived around 1:30. Went to the spa called Caracalla at 2 pm and was able to book a 25 min massage for me at 3 pm at Friedrichsbad. Cost 26 €. So excited as I had wanted to get a massage in Baden Baden.

While waiting for the appointment we checked out the spa store. Yes, I bought a souvenir;:a fuschia hand towel with the words Baden Baden on it. Also went into a few other stores. Nothing overly exciting but it was still ok to check things out.

Got to the spa at 2:45 pm to wait for my appointment. Great massage as it was just what I needed. My masseuse was an older gentleman. My vintage and I would guess early 50's. 25 minutes of well spent bliss.

Met Margy and Marc out in the lobby. We walked to the Café Beeg where we had cake as German cake is really good.

We ordered for me a Waldfrucht Schoko which was a bunch of blackberries, currants and other berries in gelatin with chocolate mousse then a thin layer of chocolate cake and a crust. Cappucino for me, juice for Margy and coffee for Marc.

Margy had the Flockentorte which was a flaky pastry layers with whipped cream, white chocolate, vanilla and fruits and slivered almonds.

Marc had Schwarzwälder Kirshtorte which is good old fashioned Black Forest Cake.

Casino and grounds. Tents were set up and people were dining on bbq. Live band and we heard them sing Moon River. Oldies but goodies.

Raining as we were heading back to the car just after 5 pm. Torrential rain storm all the way back to Strasbourg. I missed almost all of it as I slept.

It was a good day in Germany and again there is a different feel there. Much cleaner than in France. Larger toilettes too.

Got back to the apartment shortly after 6 pm.

We all just puttered around the apartment and listened to CDs, Phil Collins, The Nylons, and Backstreet Boys.

The storm ended and the sun and blue sky came out shortly after 7 pm.

We had a boat cruise that Marc had booked and so we needed to be there for 8:15 pm. We were going to cancel if the weather did not improve. Fortunately it stayed dry, at least until we got out the door.

We packed sandwiches to eat on the way. Took the bus and got there quite quickly.

Our cruise started at 8:45 pm and took an hour. Don't know why but there was no explanation about what we saw as the cruise progressed. Instead they had a female singer. She started off with a French song which was awesome. Then unexplicably she started to sing tunes in English. Perhaps it is what the crowds like. She was an average singer and the songs were adequate. Some peace and quiet on the cruise would have been nice.

It rained and poured. Near the end of the cruise and light show it really poured.

We managed to keep our sense of humour and so we laughed.

Then we docked and stayed on the boat and watched an incredible and fantastic light and water show.

Elaborate, creative and beautiful light show.

After the show ended the boat took us a short distance to the dock. The tram was very close by and we boarded it to go to get a drink or two. My last night in Strasbourg and last night with Margy and Marc.

We were all cold and wet. My sandals were soaked and my light jacket damp. We went into a French pub called Bartholdi.

We all ordered Irish coffees. Boy did they ever hit the spot. It was perfect and we warmed up quick.

Learned an important lesson though. We received one bill for our first order which is fine and then we ordered another round and received another bill. I then gave the waiter a 100 euro bill. I considered using my credit card and here they never take it away but bring you a remote card processing machine.

Anyways didn't think much of him as we had finished our coffees and then he then took some time getting back to us again and he could have been busy but then when he brought out second order he did not take away the old mugs and Marc had to put them on the bar counter. So he took away my money and took a very long time and did not return. I spoke to another fellow at the bar to let him know we were still waiting for the money. Just a few minutes after this my change arrived. Easily could happen to someone who has had more to drink to forget and leave without which would be convenient. I do like to give people the benefit of the doubt but in all the places we have gone to this has not happened before so one does have to be careful. It's more part of being in a bar than being in France.

Next round was beer and my last or maybe I will get one in Paris, who knows, and a nature tarte flambée. We inhaled that in no time. Lots of chatting, reminiscing and laughter. It was all good and I could have stayed up all night but we had to get some sleep. I had a big day ahead of me as do Margy and Marc. They go directly back to Durstel after they see me off.

Not sure what time we got back to apartment but after midnight for sure. No more buses and so tram and 15 min walk.

Into bed, mad bloggin (still a little Irish?) and lights out at 1:30 am.

Posted by Sydney324 03:22 Archived in France

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