Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bonjour, Strasbourg!

After our mini-vacation in Paris, we took the TGV (high-speed train) straight to my new city for the year, Strasbourg!! It was both exciting and stressful to see where I would be living and to start getting all moved in.

On my application for my internship, you got to name your top 3 picks of where you wanted to be sent in France. A lot of people don't get sent to any of their choices, because they have to send people to every tiny little village in the country. I was lucky enough to be selected as an intern in the Strasbourg region, which was my first choice!

I chose Strasbourg because:
1. Alsace is a part of France that I've never seen before.
2. Since the region has gone back and forth between France and Germany, Strasbourg has lots of German influences (like the architecture that I loved on my vacation to Germany last year).
3. It's the coldest city in France  :)  :)  :)
4. Strasbourg's a pretty good sized city- about 800,000 people.
5. It's a small region, so there was less of a chance of being stuck in the middle of nowhere with no chance of commuting.
6. Strasbourg is called the 'Capital of Christmas,' because of it's famous Christmas markets. That is obviously a plus.
7. Since it's in eastern, eastern France (I can literally walk to Germany from here), there's easy access to other European countries.

The school where I work is actually in a small town called Barr, which is a 40 minute train ride away. But I quickly decided to commute and live in Strasbourg, so I could take advantage of the city!

So far, Strasbourg has definitely lived up to my expectations. I really like the size of the city- not too crazy and big, but there are still lots of things to see and do. And I think that Strasbourg is basically the quintessential European city. It is the headquarters of the European Union, after all!

Now allow me to show you the adorableness of Strasbourg. I would like to brag that each one of the places in these pictures is less than a 10 minute walk from my apartment.

I live on the main island of the city, so I'm surrounded by rivers on all sides.

I LOVE walking along the river and taking in these views.

This whole area (the cute, old part of the city) is called Petite France. Here's me and Jenna hanging out there.

The main plaza/square of the city is called Place Kléber, and it's pretty much right outside my door. There's lots of good shopping here, and this is where some of the Christmas markets will be. 

Please note the huge cathedral in the background. That gets it's own post because I'm obsessed with it.

I'll also throw in a picture of Strasbourg's palace, the Palais de Rohan. I'm excited to tour it because Marie Antoinette visited there on her first day in France.

I've been in Strasbourg for a little more than 3 weeks. I'm so glad I get to live in such a beautiful place, because it is definitely an ADJUSTMENT moving to a foreign country, let me tell you. 

So I bought this postcard on one of my first days here, and I finally found where they took the picture from. So last but not of the best views in Strasbourg:

Not bad. 

Stay tuned for more about my life in France!

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