Thursday, February 26, 2009

Strasbourg to Freiburg

On Saturday, we started the last leg of our trip. We caught a train from Strasbourg to Freiberg, where Christoph and Jakob were waiting. We went back to Christoph’s house, saw his neighborhood, and took a walk through the park back to town.
Freiberg is a really nice city – home to one of the oldest universities in the world and to many famous philosophers and other academics. It has a really nice mix of impressive traditional buildings and trendy new stores.
We stopped for a doener at what Christoph told us was the best doener place in Fienberg. I actually practiced my German a bit – ordering for Jeff and myself. Re-fueled, we headed out for more wandering around Freiberg. It was actually the beginning of Carnival, so there were tons of random people in the street, dressed in costumes. One of my favorite was two guys dressed as chairs – they had somehow taken all the stuffing out of two fluffy living room chairs so that they could wear them. And they had a mechanism built in so they could sit down and then they just looked like a chair with a head coming out of the back rest.

There were also lots of bands playing. Jeff and I were confused, because it wasn’t like high school marching bands – it was all adults. They all had matching costumes and marching-band like instruments – drums, tubas, trumpets, etc. Apparently these adult bands are common in Germany and often organize themselves specifically for Carnival.
We climbed up the big mountain/hill in Freiberg, and had a really nice view of the city. Though a bit treacherous with the snow and ice, we were able to make it up and back. (Though we cheated a bit by taking an elevator part of the way up.)
Freiberg is right on the edge of the Black Forest, so you can see it on the surrounding mountains and hills as you’re walking around. Christoph offered to take us to a small town in the Black Forest near a lake, but since it was getting dark, we thought we might not be able to see much. That’s on the top of my list for next time, though.

Anyway, all this Black Forest-seeing made us crave Black Forest Cake, or “Schwarzwald Kirsch Tarte.” Christoph found us a cute café where we were able to buy the last piece they had left. Combined with a warm cup of tea, it was the perfect thing to do after climbing down a snowy mountain/hill.

After cake, we headed back to Christoph’s house, where we all hung out for a while and then cooked dinner together. We had a great recipe of Christoph’s for pasta with mozzarella, tomatoes, and spices. Then we spent the rest of the night chatting away – catching up after four years of not seeing each other.

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