By the time I’d got home to Reims after three trains, one flight and an (almost) tearful goodbye with Claire at Charles de Gaulle I was totally exhausted. The next day was my last day in Reims before I headed off to Camp Suisse for three months over summer, and I was kept busy chasing up insurance, making sure I had everything in my bag and getting a haircut – made more difficult by the fact that everything was in french. I honestly couldn’t tell you if the hairdresser understood my poorly googled attempts at explaining that I needed to get rid of my split ends but I walked out with something that worked well enough.
On Thursday it was go time – I walked out of my flat dwarfed by my massive backpack and two trains, a tram and a few hours wait at Strasbourg airport later I was saying hello to Dad and Liz. We spent the next three days in the Alsace region of France, based out of the most kitsch-y apartment in the centre of Colmar’s old town.
Day one was a tour of three french villages, beginning with Eguisheim before heading over to Riquewihr where we stopped for a lunch of tarte flambée, foie gras and asparagus, then finally to my favourite of the three Kaysersberg. It felt like I’d spent a day wandering around a movie set, or something straight out of Disney – the most beautiful brightly-coloured houses lining a small river with a ruined castle overlooking the small town. Needless to say, we took lots of photos. Finally, we ended the day at Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, a reconstructed castle set close to the German border. By the time we got home, we had barely enough energy to eat dinner – rabbit terrine, grilled veggies and an assortment of fresh brie, salami and apple – before falling into bed.
Saturday began with chocolat chaud in the quiet town square of Colmar before we put our fates in the hands of the navigation system in the hire car and headed towards Germany. We began strong, finding a beautiful fruit and veg market in Friedberg and stopping for a bretzel and coffee for breakfast. Unfortunately, one should never trust a nav system when you’re in search of ‘Haslach’, as it led us two hours in the wrong direction into Germany into a tiny town with nothing but a tattoo parlour and a few bemused locals. Luckily, the drive through the Black Forest was pretty magical, and on the way back we admired the scenery.
Finally it was Sunday, my last day with my parents and the first time I’d be in my summer position at Camp Suisse. After a coffee and a blueberry tart in Colmar and a quick wander around, dad and Liz dropped me at the train station and left me and my huge bag to find our way across Switzerland. I’ll update on Camp Suisse next week, as things are pretty hectic at the moment but here are some photos from our little trip. Huge love to my dad and Liz to flying all the way out to France to see me and shouting me lots of awesome food. Love you both.
French word of the week: pointes fourchues – split ends (what I needed to get rid of at the hairdresser’s!)