Thursday, February 26, 2009

Toulouse to Strasbourg

Tuesday morning Pol, Jeff, and I said goodbye to Laurent and headed off for the second part of our trip to Strasbourg. This time it was going to be a nine hour drive, but we started pretty early and had time to stop a few times.

Our first stop was in Montpellier, where we had a café and a croissant – a good French start to the day. We didn’t stay long, but you could see that the old part of the city was really beautiful – lots of narrow cobblestone pathways to explore.
Our next stop was in Lyon, and even gray, drizzly weather couldn’t hide what a nice city it is. Two large rivers meet in Lyon, so there are lots of bridges to walk over and views of the city. There are cute pedestrian streets, where we walked around and bought our lunch – baguette sandwiches and a fruit tart for me.
It had a huge basilica up on a cliff above the city. We drove up, and the size of the place up close is amazing. The views of the city, though somewhat shrouded in fog, where still very impressive.

We wanted to stop in Avignon, but the exit from the highway was closed, and without a map, we thought getting off at another exit and trying to find our way on back roads might not be the best idea.

We did make one more stop, in Beaune, a small town with a nice little downtown area. It’s famous for having some kind of beautiful old town square, but it was dark and the map we found was very confusing (possibly because it was in French), so we never actually found that – an adventure left for another day.

We arrived in Strasbourg at about 10:30pm at night, Pol dropped Jeff and I (very happy to get out of the car at this point) at Hugo, Doha, and Halit’s apartment, where we’d be staying the next few days. Pol was staying with James, Raycho, and the other Pol. Lucky for Jeff and I, Hugo and Halit were awake and in the kitchen, so we had a nice chat and a snack of meat, cheese, and tea before bed.

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