A Sunday drive in two countries

You might remember that I made some comment about how the water here in Germany had the word “bad” in it. It turns out that “bad” is exactly what you want in the name of a bottle of water because it means “springs”.

Our first stop today was a town called Baden-Baden, which is famous for its springs and spas. Our tour guide was asked why it was named twice, and it is like New York, New York, that is, the town of Baden in the state of Baden.

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This town became not only famous as a wellbeing retreat but it is also famous for having the first casino in Germany. Our tour guide very proudly showed us photos proving that Barrack and Michelle Obama had stayed at the casino.

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Next to the casino there is an open air gallery with freezes showing German history and mythology. This particular one is about a Neptune/Poseidon type fellow who lives in the lake in the Black Forest (which I visited later in the day) with his lovely lady friends.

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On one of the bridges there were some lovers’ locks but it didn’t look like it had caught on very much…

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There were lots of very up market shops selling beautiful jewellery and porcelain. There were also some which were selling not-so-beautiful ceramics.

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After leaving Baden-Baden, we drove up the mountains to the heart of the Black Forest to a lake named Mummelsee. The views up here were amazing. We were higher than the fog rising from the pines. I felt obligated to have a piece of Black Forest cake while in the Black Forest. It was delicious. The cherry flavour was really rich and the cream was light. Mmmmm.

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After driving down the other side of the range, we crossed a bridge and suddenly we were in France.

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We had a little wander around Strasbourg and learnt about how it keeps switching from belonging to the Germans and the French. This summer palace is where Marie Antoinette made her transition from being German to French before marrying King Louis. It is modelled very heavily on Versailles.

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Deeper into the CBD of Strasbourg there is an incredible gothic cathedral named Notre Dame. They started building it in the 12th century but didn’t finish until 300 years later. But you can see why. So much work has gone into just to exterior.

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We went inside, which was quiet and dark but it meant that you could really enjoy the stained glass windows.

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I also lit a candle (mine’s the one on the bottom row, where I could reach the easiest).

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After voting amongst ourselves that we would prefer an open topped boat for our canal cruise, we set off, listening to the audio commentary on our headphones, with a narrator who had an Irish accent.

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Half of the canals are about 1.8m higher than the other half, so we had to go through some gates where the water level is raised and lowered so that we didn’t have to run through “rapids” in our boat. You can see the water level difference in the photos below:

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The most photographed building in Strasbourg is this one below, the Tanner’s House. It has an open verandah, just like a Queenslander, to allow for the hides to dry out.

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Sunday wasn’t actually as long a day as Saturday’s journey but I felt exhausted by the end and was very happy to get back to my tiny room and single bed, ready for returning to France in the morning.

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