Day 53 of 98 – Highlights for Kids

10 Nov

The goal of this trip was to visit with friends from faraway lands. This report will be broken into three sections describing various events of note.

Team Lyon

The only native member of Team Lyon was AWOL so we had to make due with substitutes. We had Elise from Marseille and Romain (her former roommate) who is from Montpellier. Some good fortune to start the evening: with only the smallest amount of planning (i.e. see you in Lyon on Friday evening) my and Elise’s trains arrive at the same station within 10 minutes of each either.

We have a few drinks and some wonderful pasta at Romain’s place. A few other people show up throughout the evening. Around midnight Elise, Romain and I set out with two other french guys (Theo and Simon) and spend an hour walking around in the rain to find a pub where some of their friends are hanging out. When we finally get there we are denied entrance because Theo had left his identification at home. This is strange because he’s twenty-seven and the drinking age in France is like fifteen or something. By this time it’s 02:00 and I’ve been awake for about twenty-six hours. Theo grabs a cab and drops me off at my hotel. This is the first cab I’ve taken the whole trip.

The next day I check out of my hotel and walk over to some random Irish pub to work on my blog post. I saw a number of bathroom and window stores along the way but they were all closed for lunch (stores in France are closed from 12:00 -14:00 every day)

You can insert your own joke about how Germany is the economic engine of the EU

Another bit of good luck in that the pub I randomly chose is only two minutes from Romain’s apartment (where Elise is crashing). I’m the only customer in the entire pub. As I’m writing away, this couple who were at Romain’s the previous evening saunter in looking for breakfast (it was 13:30). I find it a really strange sensation to be in a city of a million people where I know seven and two of them pick the same restaurant I did.

So after much discussion about not going to the cinema for three months, we all went to see the new Tintin movie in the afternoon. I loved every minutes of it.  Except for the scene with the giant spiders. I don’t like spiders.

After the film we grab a drink and I almost missed my train to Grenoble. It was underestimated how much time it would take to go by metro to the train station. I had to sprint the last 500 metres and I didn’t even have time to buy my ticket – it cost me an extra 11 euros to purchase it on the train.

Team Grenoble

The best turnout came from Team Grenoble, all members present and accounted for. On Sunday Claudine, her boyfriend David, and I went to the market and did some shopping. I’m planning on making a special meal for my favorite person over Christmas and I managed to purchase the main ingredient (two quantities: a large and a small). The plan is to cook a practice meal over here in Germany with the small one. This will enable me to be ready for the main event back in Canada. I hope those border service people don’t confiscate it. That would really suck.

In the afternoon we visited a castle in a small village about 40 minutes from Grenoble. There’s not much I can say better than my iPhone camera can.

And we also visited the first ever structure built with reenforced concrete. I was very happy to see this.

The world would be a completely different place without reenforced concrete.

On Sunday evening we had a meet-up with the other members of Team Grenoble. Petra was part of Team 144 from Sept 2010 to April 2011. I paid her final cell phone bill and she said she would recompense me in beer. This has got to be the furthest I’ve ever gone to collect a pint. Was delicious.

I can’t think about Nathalie without getting confused. She has German parents, a German last name, but she speaks English, French, and German fluently – sans accent. She grew up in Grenoble but I know her through one of the German members of Team 144 (Benjamin Sept 2006 – April 2007). She was on an exchange in Toronto and the previous time we met up was in Bonn in 2010. My head hurts just trying to get all this straight. So I keep thinking she’s German but she’s probably more French but when she speaks English she sounds like she’s from America. Anyway, was good to catch up.

While in Grenoble. I couldn’t help but look at these beautiful trams and wonder if they would work in Ottawa. They could replace all the buses running between Hurdman and Lebreton Flats. Way cheaper than digging a tunnel. More on this later.

Team Bonn/Siegburg

The largest team is Bonn/Siegburg – it’s full compliment numbers ten (eleven if you include baby Frederic). As I only had a four-hour layover in Koln and most people had to work it was a very quick visit. Benjamin met up with me for about 40 minutes. We had some supper, a beer and we caught up on all the goings-on from the past 18 months since I last visited.

I’m going to be back in Bonn/Siegburg on Dec 4th. I’ll have the whole day so it will be a much less rushed visit. Plus Weinacheten Markt!

2 Responses to “Day 53 of 98 – Highlights for Kids”

  1. The Boss is RIGHT November 10, 2011 at 03:50 #

    10 Nov?
    Can’t be, today’s the 9th!
    OMG I have traveled to the future to read J’s blog , and the future is….
    …..trams…?

  2. Uncle Ross November 11, 2011 at 14:04 #

    Ottawa had electric powered trams from 1891 to 1959.

    http://www.tundria.com/trams/CAN/Ottawa-1948.shtml

    They were also on the Quebec side as well. Your Grandfather took a streetcar to the British Hotel in Aylmer when he was stationed in Ottawa during the war around D-Day.

    Happy Rememberance Day.

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