Wednesday, February 12, 2014

And then there was a day...

…that I accidently ordered raw meat, yes, raw meat! While traveling, silly things like this are bound to happen once in a while! I met Suzanne, one of my friends from UNI, in Strasbourg. She was visiting a family in Germany before her semester in Turkey. Strasbourg is a historical city located on the border of France and Germany. Down each street, I was like, “Wait, is this Germany or is this France?!” The family was very generous, and they treated us to lunch at a very nice restaurant. Unfortunately, none of us were able to understand the very selective, more upscale menu. I settled on ordering what I thought was steak and potatoes. But I was wrong! Very wrong! My plate came out as literally raw hamburger meat with seasonings mixed in! As a very well-done girl, my mind could not get over the uncooked meat, and one bite was enough for me! Not a situation that I hope to repeat, but I am glad that this very unexpected, memorable adventure happened! All in all, it was certainly a dining experience that I will remember for years!

My beautiful, unexpected lunch!

Piglet peering out on Strasbourg's skyline!

…that I walked into Switzerland. My skiing plans did not work out for last weekend, so I decided to go with my school on the weekend trip. It ended up being like a retreat, which is not quite what I expected, but it worked out well! I "traveled" back to Iowa, as we had typical Iowa snow and cold (...cold for here, not -20) this weekend! About 35 of us played games, made meals, and cleaned together at a camp-like place. The weekend also included trips to a fromagerie, a 500-year-old church, a farm, and le Saut du Doubs. Coming from a childhood with many hours spent in the outdoors, it was interesting to see the reactions of many of my international classmates who were raised in large cities throughout the weekend. For me, seeing cows, being in a church, and hiking are normal activities, but for millions of others, these are not! It was a good personal reminder of the diversified backgrounds that we all come from. We ended our weekend with a short hike to le Saut du Doubs, a waterfall located exactly on the border between France and Switzerland. Piglet and I took a trek across the bridge to spend a few minutes in Switzerland! It blows my mind to just be able to walk across a country’s borders like that! All thanks to the Schengen Agreement!

That's a lot of Comte cheese!

Des bonhommes de neige! Fun in the snow!

You can always find a piece of home, anywhere in the world!

Piglet in the middle of France and Switzerland!

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