Since one side of the Rhine is France and the other is Germany, it’s quite understandable that we would jump back and forth between the two countries. Tomorrow, we will be in Basal, Switzerland, very close to both France and Germany! Thankfully, everybody in this area of Europe speaks French and German, because I’m having a hard time remembering which language to greet the locals in and thank them! Everybody has been so friendly, though; they just smile and appreciate the effort. Besides, a smile means the same in any language and I am finding that my smile has gotten me far. The locals have been wonderful!
So, how amazing is it that in Switzerland, there are four official languages? French, German, Italy, and a local dialect are all official! Geez; in America, I know plenty of people who are illiterate in the only language they speak! Writing is another story, entirely…
Today, we were in Freiburg, Germany, a city that dates back to the 12th century. Their university dates back to 1457!
Geographically, Freiburg is situated at the foot of the Black Forest. And, one thing quite unique about Freiburg is their gutter system; quite different from anything I have ever seen. The purpose is unique, as well. Since Freiburg is the warmest city in Germany, the gutters were constructed to allow water to flow through and cool down the city.
The legend associated with this gutter system is interesting, as well. If you fall into one of these gutters, legend says you will marry a Frieburger! Hmmm… I made sure to steer clear; I’m already happily married, thank you very much!
Our visit in Freiburg began with a walking tour through the old city center, followed by free time, before our return to the ship. I bailed on the walking tour early, so I could spend more time at the open air market; a great decision, because the photo opportunities were wonderful and the vendors were so friendly and accommodating.
After a leisurely stroll through the open-air market, I popped into the local department store to buy some chocolate bars in their supermarket, which was located in the basement; a common configuration in European department stores. On the way down, I passed by the men’s clothing department and couldn’t resist photographing this:
For 148 Euros, you could have a pair of these, too! They were suede and quite beautifully stitched.
Here are some other scenes around Freiburg: