View from our window · Pretty night · La Cathédrale Notre-Dame · Walking bright and early · Tram stop · European Parliament · Morning introduction in the Chamber · Selfie at the EU · View from where I was sat in the afternoon · Feeling a little closer to home at an Irish pub · A DOUBLE DECKER TRAIN DUDE
I returned from a school French trip to Strasbourg on Saturday and it was rather schnazzy. We left in the ungodly hours of Thursday morning and arrived in the evening after two trains and a Eurostar...how awesome are double decker trains by the way?! It blew my mind. On our first evening we went for a walk around the city (covering about eight miles in the process) and just explored for a few hours, leading us to discover the magnificent cathedral. We even got asked whether we knew where a restaurant was by an actual real life French person so we clearly resembled des véritables Alsaciens.
On Friday, our second day, we went to the European Parliament along with 500 other students from all over Europe to be in the shoes of the members of parliament. Everyone sat at a seat in the Chamber, each equipped with an electronic voting system, microphone and headphones for the translation. I was so intrigued by the translators skill; just one woman was doing Italian, German and French translations. We started the day by listening to the presentations from each school in which they introduced themselves and their country. Everyone was taken by a young Greek guy who was the best motivational speaker the world has ever known. Although he was only supposed to be talking about his school and country, somehow he had managed to state "we have travelled over land and sea without food to be here today...Europe is a flower that needs to blossom!" into the speech. It was superb.
That evening, after exchanging a few funny words with some French people staying in our corridor ("you sleep here tonight, yes?"), we decided to relax in an Irish pub and have a few beers seen as we'd walked so much the previous evening. It was quite nice just to sit and absorb the atmosphere of the city. We were also provided with entertainment in the form a race that started just up the road. One guy flew past on a skateboard, holding a camera and all of a sudden the street filled with hundreds of people dressed in pink that were taking part in the event. Some of the men were wearing tutus with wigs and all sorts so that was fun. Although I did have the loudest hiccups after that...I think it must have been all the air I had inhaled from laughing so much.
Our final morning in Strasbourg was spent meeting some students from a nearby school for a 'fun' treasure hunt. As there was only four of us and eight of them we were each put with two French students. Myself, Quentin and Julien got off to a good start (they sang me a song, I shouted "où est le McDo?!" so we were practically besties) but it was extremely cold so we ended up getting on a tram and going to the centre for a bit of shopping, café-ing and fromagerie-ing with everyone else. Oh, their accents were fabulous by the way.
Other than the fact that our last train was delayed by 90 minutes and we ended up getting back in the first minutes of Sunday, I would say the trip was a success. I wanted to stay for a while longer to explore other areas of the city and maybe have more time to talk to the French students, as it was good to just hear casual French banter as opposed to hearing debates about immigration and the criminal justice system, but the short time we did have there was grand. I'd definitely love to go at Christmas - Kevin said it was alive at that time of year.