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Yesterday, Kayla and I ventured into Germany for a day trip to Freiburg.  Germany was as wonderful as always, and it felt good to be in familiar territory–familiar stores, familiar culture, familiar language.  Freiburg is located on the western edge of the Black Forest and home to an archbishop’s seat, an old university, and some pretty dangerous canals.  Okay, the canals aren’t that dangerous–the danger comes in with the story that, if you fall in, you will marry a resident of Freiburg!  The canals are all over the city center, which was the main part of the city that we explored, but avoiding them wasn’t too hard.

One of the really cool things about Freiburg were the mosaics you could find in front of

Two of the mosaics

many stores, indicating which type of service they offer.  I’m not sure if they are all old, or if some are new (and in line with the tradition), but a surprising number (if they are old) indicated the current service available at the store!  We took a walking tour of the city based on a map we picked up at the tourist office, which showed us pretty much everything we wanted to see–the cathedral (with a market where we bought wurst for lunch), the university, the stream through town, both city gates (although one was under construction), and the theater.  The only part left out of the walking tour (as printed) was Schlossberg.  Schlossberg literally translates to “castle mountain,” and it was most

View from the top of the Schlossturm!

definitely a mountain.  Despite the easy, paved start to our journey, it was a long hike with some pretty steep sections.  We set out looking for the castle, but soon learned that the “castle” was in ruins.  We found several piles of rubble (in addition to an old tower and the former gardens–the garden wall is all that remains), but the most exciting part was probably the Schlossturm, a tower that wasn’t part of the original castle, but rather erected in 2002.  With 178 steps, the tower put us 433 meters above the peak of the mountain, so we were up pretty high!

By the time we made our way down from the mountain (which took some skill–since we didn’t come down the exact way we went up, we had to make sure we were coming down the correct side of the mountain, and not descending into another town!), we were pretty wiped out.  After walking around a little bit more, we rested our tired legs on the train ride home!


In other news, today Tina and I found The Grund neighborhood of Luxembourg, walking along the Alzette and just enjoying that little section of town.