[life]: Travel Diaries - In France for A Day & German Style Sunday

5.18.2015

Those who have been following my Travel Diaries series know that I jumped around a bit with descriptions of our 2.5 months in Europe as I've missed writing about our time in Germany... Since then I described our trip to Edge of Black Forest & Frankfurt and here is part 2 of that trip. 

As part of the overall trip, I've rented a car in Paris which I used to get around eastern France and bit of Germany. Driving in both countries, I preferred France despite the freedom of Autobahn. In fact, I found Autobahn overwhelming. In France you can do 130 km/s for most highways which I found to be a good speed limit which most of the drivers respect. On some locations there are speed camera radars but there are signs notifying you of these in advance so it is hard to miss them (even though we missed a few during our earlier trips to France). Overall, driving through France was a pleasure in all 3 trips we made. 

When it came to driving in Germany, I found the whole experience less enjoyable for couple of reasons - speed and construction. While it was nice to try and test own limits of speeds for short stretches of the Autobahn, it was scary to experience cars literary zoom past you even though you are already going really fast. It was equally scary that cars would change lanes in front of you even though they are going at much slower speed without any regard, not to mention trucks merging and disregarding completely yield signs. To top it off, lack of speed limit is not there for the entirety of the Autobahn as the speed comes down to some 100 km/h whenever there is an exit to a town or city. All of that made for a bit of a bumpy ride, or basically I felt I had to be extra vigilant and I did not enjoy it as much. There was also a lot of construction on the highways. 



I've selected to return the car in Strasbourg in France as it is an hour or so away from town in Germany where my aunt lives and where we were staying. I also wanted to visit this city and returning the car in the same country was cheaper option. It was a bit of a rainy day when we got to the rental office and they were kind enough to drive us to a closest mall - really great service that was quite unexpected.



When rain and clouds cleared, my aunt, baby E and I explored the city a bit. Two older kids stayed with my cousin in Frankfurt so it was a smaller entourage this time around.


Strasbourg is a nice city, overall not that much new to see compared to towns in the area that we already visited, but what it had done really well is marrying old and new architecture. Perfect example of this is a train station where glass dome was created to extend the space covering old building facade reminding me of ROM extension done in Toronto.


When we were finished sightseeing and shopping (we were there during a great sale), we changed couple of trains to get to my aunt's apartment.


Rest of the week was spent enjoying a bit of homey atmosphere and playing outside in numerous parks and playgrounds.


Sunday that we were there was particularly nice for a stroll, play, splash pad, and German style lunch.


I've indulged a bit in beautiful flowers and scenery trying out my photography skills while kids played. For lunch, it was a easy really - we joined the locals enjoying traditional meals under umbrellas entertained with very upbeat German songs - very lively, many were dancing, all were enjoying a really nice Sunday. We had enormous portions of traditional German pork schnitzel (you can find a recipe here)  with fries and interesting apple drinks (forgot their name). Kids played some more, enjoyed ice-cream and walked slowly for afternoon nap! Oh, lazy Sundays are good wherever you are.



You can read more about our travels and amazing time we had:

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