March 22, 2011

Strasbourg, France: Day Two

Sunday, March 20th, was off to a slow start.  We were all sleeping off the four giant beers we had the night before.  Amazingly we all felt pretty good the next day.  No hangovers for us.  I thank Lauren for that.  She was our mother hen the night before, making sure we all drank plenty of water before passing out.  Also that morning I pulled the biggest tourist move and blew the entire fuse to the whole room.  I wanted to use the hair straightener and I know that the plugs are different in Europe so Lauren brought her adapter so we wouldn't fry the straightener.  Instead, when I plugged the adapter in, all the lights and sockets stopped working.  The receptionist to the hotel was a little peeved since it was Sunday and nothing in Europe is open on Sunday so the fuse couldn't be replaced until Monday.  Luckily they did not charge us for this.

Mannheim on our balcony

 Outside our hotel room

Once we left the hotel we walked around the Notre-Dame again, ate breakfast at our new favorite French bakery from the day before and explored the area around the river Ill.  The cathedral had a choir playing on Sunday and we sat in to listen.  The acoustics inside were amazing.  Its surprising how loud someones voice amplifies in a large cathedral.  We did some more souvenire shopping and then strolled the banks of the river.  We found another cathedral that was under construction so we just took some pictures near one of its doorways.  We crossed the bridge and found a few other churches and a botanical garden and park on our way back to the main part of the city.

 This was our favorite bakery on the trip

 French Swans
 The banks of the river Ill

 Douglas is the man

 Just hanging out under a bridge

 There were beautiful willow trees all along the river

 The steps of a cathedral

The cathedral from across the river

 When we reached the river again we were just in time for a parade to start.  In March, Strasbourg puts on a dazzling parade with 40 or more floats and participates and winds through the city and at the end they celebrate with samba dancing and more partying.  We were fortunate to be here on this day and take part in the parade.  I usually are not fond of parades.  I guess I've never seen a great one.  The one is Strasbourg however blew me away.  It was the best parade any of us had ever seen.  There were tons of paper mache floats and creatures that interacted with the crowd, lots of different cultures from around the world were there, there was marching bands, flag throwers, dancing girls, witches, we even danced to the macarena (the latin song from the 90's).
 Lauren and Doug waiting for the start of the parade

 This dragon was amazing.  Someone sat in the middle of him and swiveled its head up and down and it went flying across the crowd just barely missing peoples heads

 This giant witch had a smaller puppet witch in the spot between where her hands are
Witches figurines were found at all the tourist shops.  My best guess as to why they were prevalent in this town is Strasbourg may have been a place witches were sent to drown during witch hunts of the past.

 Macarena dancers

 These people in the window were also dressed in clown costumes

 This was just a cool picture of someone in costume

 Zorro was checking out his teeth in his balloon

 Bunny rabbits.  One has a carrot in his mouth

We stopped at our favorite kabab place again before hitting the road

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