Published: April 10th 2010April 9th 2010
Day 14 - We began the day with a very poor breakfast - they brought it up to our room, which sounded like it would be great, but they failed to bring any milk for the tea.... All I wanted was some tea!
We ended up going and having a second breakfast after tipping the milk-less tea and coffee down the smelly drain, and only eating one of the hard-looking croissants.
From here we attempted to go to the Palais Rohan, but discovered upon arriving that it didn't open until 12. Luckily it had only been a two minute walk from our second-breakfast, so we headed to the Alsatian Museum instead. Fifteen minutes later, we arrived there to find that it also did not open until 12pm. So we continued on, heading to Petit France to explore what is said to be the most quaint and picturesque streets in Strasbourg. It was very cute, and we ended up buying a cool painting from a guy sitting in one of the streets painting different scenes.
In his quite limited English he told us about the different painting methods he had used in it, and then he signed and dated it
with the place we had bought it. He seemed like a nice guy, and we were much happier buying from him that from the guys who ripped us off in Paris (they had what looked like hand drawn sketches and paintings of scenes around Paris, but when we got them back to the hostel and looked at them really closely we realised they were prints. And we paid about 12.50 euro each for them, and we saw them later in pretty much every souvenir shop in Paris for about 3 euro each. We were not happy!)
We walked around the many side streets and crossed the river after watching the bridge pivot around to let a ferry through. I think this was Danny's favourite part of the day. He really liked watching the ferries and the bridges and stuff.
We went back to the Musee de Alsace and spent about an hour wandering around looking at their displays. The displays with mannequins in them totally freaked me out for some reason. They were in small-ish, badly lit rooms, and they were behind glass, but they looked life-like enough to make me feel very uneasy and we didn't spend
long in the costume rooms. Weird thing to be freaked out by, I know.
Our afternoon was consumed with more shopping at the souvenir shops and the little homewares shops around the main streets. I fell in love with a tea set, but in the end admitted that it was far too heavy to carry back, and so I will make it my mission to somehow find one the same when we get back to Australia. I was almost going to buy it and had a sudden moment of sensible-ness while we were back in the store and I was gazing at it for the second time that day.
I think Danny was quite relieved. Our luggage is already insanely heavy and we are probably over our baggage limit as it is. And we still have several more countries to visit.
We had Italian for dinner again, it was incredibly good, although the not-speaking-French thing backfired again and what I thought was olive oil was actually just olives. Danny came to my rescue and removed them from my pizza. We ate until we thought we were going to burst, and then we ordered desert and ate even more!
It was so delicious!!
Day 14 was my first sad day of the trip too. I have been a little bit homesick throughout the trip, but this was the worst it has been so far. I am missing everyone a lot!
Day 15 started very well - I woke up and got on the internet first thing to see if I could skype my dad. I had to wait a little while until they all got home, but Skype worked well and I got to see Dad, Emma, Ella and Toby, and hear their voices. It completely made my day. I think it is the best invention the internet has ever seen! A free way to see and talk to people anywhere in the world. How genius.
Once again breakfast was dreadful, but at least this time we managed to get them to bring us some milk for the tea. Then we went out to see the flea market they have here on Saturdays.
We didn't buy anything as most of it was just the stuff from the antique stores (they have a lot of those here) and was therefore either huge, expensive, or both. I saw
a lovely ring that I really liked, but as it had a pearl surrounded by diamonds and was several thousand euro I decided I might get a cheaper souvenir of my time in Strasbourg!
We headed back to the hostel, buying several enormous pretzels on the way, checked out, and started walking to the train station. It was only a fifteen minute walk, but it required two breaks on the way so we could take our packs off and sit down. We get really hot carrying them all with our many layers of jumpers, hats and scarves.
We organised our tickets for the next few legs of the journey (we would be awesome at the Amazing Race - except I don't think they know where they are going next and probably cannot afford a eurail pass on their budget) ate some disgusting train station food, and waited for our train.
The train left at 2.30 and arrived in Brussels at 7.50. Once again we managed to sit in someone else's seat, even though we searched the tickets for anything that could be seat numbers. I don't know how we missed them as looking at them now the
numbers were pretty obvious, but she was nice and didn't make us move.
I finished a book, we watched Chuck until the computer died, and we stared out the window a lot!
It was a long trip, but trains are quite nice to travel on.
Once we arrived in Brussels it seemed to take forever to figure out how to use the trams, but we eventually got to our hotel. We are staying at the Ibis in the city centre, and it is much nicer than the last place. The hallway smells terribly of smoke, but our room is close to the lift, so we just hold our breath between the lift and our door. Both of us can fit inside the lift with all of our luggage, which is amazing.
And the bathroom doesn't smell like death. Hooray!
We did have two interesting experiences while getting dinner tonight.
On the way to dinner we saw a man peeing against a building. I had heard that is kind of normal in Europe, but hadn't seen anyone doing it until then. I felt very awkward, but we quickly passed him.
On the way back there were all these streams
of water coming out towards the road from all the columns around the buildings. It wasn't until after I had walked through one that I smelt the unmistakable odour of urine and realised it was not water at all. I trod in pee. Yuk!!
Anyway, tomorrow we are off to see some castles, so we should have lots more photos for you then.
Manford is looking forward to the castles and hoping there is a small brown rectangle shaped princess for him to rescue.
There are more photos below