Sunday, November 24, 2013

Crossing borders

So last summer I was a bit internet deprived. At the Jerusalem Center there wasn't any internet on my floor, and when you went upstairs it was really slow internet and lots of essential websites (like Facebook) were blocked. Luckily, I discovered a partial solution. I started bringing my laptop to my Old Testament class, which we had every single day for two long hours. Most people were actually good little students who wouldn't do such a thing, so the internet was really fast! It was always magical.

I tell this story because this is when I did a lot of research for France and Strasbourg. Also, it's when I posted pretty much all of my blog posts but that's besides the point. It was during an Old Testament class that I discovered that there was a pedestrian bridge between Strasbourg and Germany. I thought it was very exciting that you can just walk between two countries.

There's no border control or anything, thanks to the European Union. It immediately became my goal to  be able to say that I'd walked to Germany.

This post is actually a little overdue. I accomplished this goal over a month ago. I think it was actually on my dad's birthday, because I remember that I came home to video chat with him afterwards.

I decided to go to Germany with little to no planning. I'm impressed I was able to find it, actually. It was my first weekend alone here and I was bored.

First, I took the tram to the end of the line, and then I hopped on a bus that said 'Destination: Kehl'. Kehl is the town that's just on the other side of the Rhine from Strasbourg.

I thought that the bus would drop us off at the border, but it actually crossed the border and I got off in Kehl. So...I didn't actually walk across the border, but stay tuned (I did walk back to France!). The bus I took was a normal Strasbourg city bus, so I didn't think it would actually go to Germany.

I wasn't sure when I got off if I was for sure in Germany, but this sign cleared things up for me.

I knew that Kehl was a small town, so I just wandered around and figured I would see most of the town. I was right. Here's what most of it looks like-

I heard later from a teacher at my school that Kehl used to be more impressive, but that it was pretty much totally destroyed during WWII. So I think a lot of things were rebuilt in the old style, but most of the buildings are new.

I always visit the churches!

Right across the street from the church was a huge H&M. I mean, you have to buy a souvenir when you visit a foreign country, so I had to buy a shirt.

After some shopping I found a pretty little park.


WWI memorial-

By this time,  I wanted to start heading back because I was supposed to talk to my family. Of course, before I left, I wanted to give out the award for "longest German word that I saw during my hour in Germany". This one took the prize. Don't ask me what it means.

I was able to find the pedestrian "Bridge of Friendship" that goes over the Rhine. It looks like this.

This bridge symbolizes that Germany and France are now BFFs and that Germany is now  done invading France. They totally promise.

The most exciting part of my time in Kehl was getting to walk back to France! When I got off the bridge on the France side, I was in the middle of a huge park that I had no idea how to get out of.

I wandered around for a long time, and even came across a wedding. I'm pretty sure I accidentally ended up in their pictures.

Thankfully, I was able to find the same bus and tram that I'd taken before and make it back to my apartment. It was very fun to say to my family, "Sorry I'm late, I went to Germany."

Since I'm so close to Germany, I'm planning on going on more day trips there too (to cities that are even more exciting!). Next weekend, I'll be in Stuttgart. I like Europe.

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