Initially, the plan for the Germany portion of the trip was: go to Trier for the week-end, come back to my aunt's place on Monday and go to Saarbrücken, on Tuesday - Strasbourg, and starting from Wednesday, visit my dad's friends and join them on their vacation. However, you know how plans go awry... Especially with dad whose attitude is pretty much "We'll see" LOL. Before going to Trier, we had already revised it to be: Strasbourg on Monday and Saarbrücken on Tuesday so we could meet up with my cousin O. LOL, in the end, it was: Zweibrücken on Monday, Saarbrücken on Tuesday and Strasbourg on Wednesday :) I's almost a 3 hours drive to Strasbourg from my aunt's place and they figured it'd be a bit too tight as we came back from Trier at around 11am. Also, one of my dad's friend turned out not to be available, so we delayed the reunion. All in all, it worked out really good in my opinion LOL.
In Zweibrücken, we actually didn't visit the city... I don't even know if there's any big touristic thing to see, but probably given it's Europe LOL. The reason we went was to visit the Rose Garden :) It sounds a bit boring, but seriously, it was the perfect activity for the day. Something relaxing to do, no rush... And the flowers were beautiful :P I probably went a bit overboard with the pics, but the flowers were really pretty! And on our way home, we stopped by an outlet shopping mall. However, my sister and I were good girls and didn't go crazy :P
Beautiful flowers. The white ones look like butterflies!! Is that what you put in butterfly gardens? Also loved the colors!
I had to put the two pictures below of my sister reading! LOL, it's so rare! She's more of a TV person, but from time to time, she gets sucked in... and that's exactly what happened! She had started The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan that morning and was totally engrossed :) So our roles switched around and while I goofed around, she read... If you wonder why I didn't do the same, well my e-reader ran out of juice ^_^;
Me goofing around and my sister reading.
I love that patch of flowers! My parents with my aunt and uncle, in order of height LOL. It looks so zen.
So on Tuesday, we went to Saarbrücken where my cousin joined us. He actually lives in Trier, not far from Mrs. E at all. First order of business was to buy train tickets back to Paris for my sister and me, since my parents were staying a week longer. Ha, the joy of being retired LOL. We actually didn't do much that day and didn't visit the city... We mostly stayed in the downtown area which is very commercial. My cousin told me Saarbrücken was another university town and is mostly good for shopping. From the postcards I bought from Saarbrücken, there are a few places it would have been great to visit... Perhaps next time I'm on my own :P
Meeting up; finding info on the train schedule.
Waiting to buy the train tickets; the Saar river.
That white building in the background is where my father used to live in college.
Walking to the old part of downtown; center of Old Saarbrücken
After two relaxing days, we put on our sneakers again for an one-day trip to Strasbourg, France. It also turned out be the nicest day weather-wise that we had so far :) Really happy because I think you need the sun to really bring out Strasbourg :P And for the first time of the trip, we were truly tourists with nobody who knew the city well along with us. I thought it was fun to find our ways, but I have to say, it was easy. Everything is really quite in the center of the city LOL.
Welcome to France! The speed limit varies depending on the weather! Still faster than most NA highways :P
Upon arriving, where are we?! Oh, we'll walk to the train station. View from a bridge.
Église St-Pierre-Le-Vieux; Place Kerber; some German houses - love the architecture :)
Place Gutenberg; Strasbourg Cathedral; the inside
By the way, did you know there is 17 churches in Strasbourg?!? LOL, we did not visit all of them. We mainly stayed in Strasbourg centre. We did take a bus ride to explore the city; however, I have to say I didn't enjoy it as much as the others I had taken during this trip. Basically because there is a lot of things to see higher up and you could not get a good view from the low bus/train. Also, it had a glass top over us, but the glass was not clear so it was hard to see and it made the inside very, very warm :( However, it did show us the way and what spots we wanted to explore further... which is what we did LOL. I really enjoyed Strasbourg because it was very walkable and very pretty. I'd love to return again in the future :)
In the bus ride.
Used to be a prison; faraway shot from Strasbourg Cathedral.
Palais du Rhin - gotta love Europe for its palaces LOL.
A street of Strasbourg; having fun :P
Isn't it pretty? Best view of Strasbourg; restaurant where we ate
Maison des Tanneurs - very old building; nice view of the canal; Strasbourg is known for its colored houses
One last pic of Strasbrough; on the way home
After Strasbourg, we headed to Stuttgart to visit my dad's friend. He actually lives in the suburbs of Stuttgart, so we had to take the train/metro to go into the city. And wow, Germans are strict!! While we were on the train, we saw three different controllers who checked that everyone on the train had a ticket or a pass! So different than in Paris where we saw so many jumped over gates LOL.
Taking the train to Stuttgart
Train station; oh, German specialty - pretzels!
Saw so many ducks in Germany, they were so cute! Opera house
Back of the New Palace; Prince palace
Statue with a visitor; Schlossplatz; fountain in front of New Castle
I have to say, I did not expect Stuttgart to be so pretty! All I knew when coming in is that Stuttgart had Mercedes-Benz and Porsche manufactures. I was expecting a very industrial city, but turns out it has a lot of old buildings and pretty architecture! LOL, above is a picture of a statue with a little visitor :P In Paris, I saw some statues with sticks over the head... I can't remember if it was in the Jardin du Luxembourg or at Versailles, and my sister and I wondered why. Now, we have our answer :P
A statue in Schlossplatz; view of Schlossplatz from above; Collegiate Church
Stuttgart town hall; station for Mercedes-Benz museum
I really liked Stuttgart and I wished we had more time to explore the city. We were really in the center of it and I know there's a lot we have not seen. Next time, next time :) One thing I'll definitively do is the Mercedes-Benz museum! I'm not into cars too much, but I heard their exposition is very interesting. Also, did you know that the Mercedes-Benz manufactures span about three train stations?!? Anyway, this visit gave me a taste and I definitively want more!! LOL.
This is it for today. There'll be another post, so stay tuned!