Happy Birthday Caroline
Mon petite cousine Caroline
8/10/05 - Fête anniversaire - 30 ans mon petite cousine
Caroline and her family invited a wonderful group of friends to celebrate her 30th birthday. Lucky for us, most could speak very good English and they were also very mindful that we could understand some french if they spoke “lentement” (slowly) and did not go beyond kindergarten level!
Again, Beatrice excelled herself with the preparations and the food. Jean did what he is very good at, which is entertaining people in his cellar. It is a wonderful place to have a drink and talk. In fact, it is a magnet for the men; much like standing around the BBQ is for men in Australia.
We gave Caroline the first installment of the Australian sponsorship for her Savate World Championship bid, a pair of 8oz boxing gloves. Next we must make her a punching bag.
We must thank Caroline for letting us share her birthday with her, her lovely friends and family - merci beaucoup mon petite cousine!
Sainte Odile - the Patron Saint of Alsace
Prior to the party we paid a visit to Mont Sainte Odile, which is high on a mountain above Barr.
Jean's favorite spot for drinks
Sainte Odile is the Patron Saint of Alsace. She was blind at birth and it is claimed she gained her vision when she was baptized. She was also the daughter of the ruler of the region at the time (roughly in the year of 300AD). She established the monastery on the mountain top and also dedicated her life to helping the poor.
Mont Sainte Odile is a very peaceful place, and has amazing views back to Barr and the areas above Selestat. It was also the site of a Roman stronghold thousands of years ago and the remains of a pagan wall are still to be seen on the mountain. This place is well worth a visit (even if, like me, you are not a strongly religious person).
9/10.05 - More wonderful food & wine
I am sure we have gained about 10kg since we arrived in Alsace! We shared another wonderful meal today with our cousine, Eliane, her husband Claude, son Franz and his wife Rosemary (plus their two daughters) and not to forget Claude’s mother (now 93 or thereabouts).
Claude has a wonderful selection of wine and Eliane is an extraordinary cook. The two
Sainte Odile looks over Alsace
young girls were delightful and helped me a lot with my French (at 3 and 5 years of age I can converse with them rather well).
We could not have hoped for a better day. It was about 22 degrees and sitting outdoors over looking Turkheim, sipping wine and conversing with old and new friends was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I just wish we could accept all the invitations for dinner or drinks that we receive - we would need a year in France to do so. How anyone could claim the French are not open and friendly is a mystery to me.
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