I read the part of Colmar and Riquewihr of the guidebook on the previous night but didn't about the part of Strasbourg. I'd just thumbed through it on the train and didn't have any plan and so, we decided to wander around the Old City, the main tourists' attraction. I'll show you some pictures and add short remarks. If you want to know where the pictures were taken, look at the route map linked from "Today's Route" above.
For your information, some of the large flowerbeds on European homes are not just beautiful, but also functional. Depending on the flowers which are planted, some of them can keep mosquitoes or flies at bay. By placing these flowers around windows and doors, the house can be kept free of mosquitoes and sometimes flies as well.
During our stay in Germany, we were really happy campers all of the time except for one abominable thing. I'll mention it.
We were waiting for the bus in front of the Novotel Hotel. We got to the designated point at 8:50 and our bus was to come at 9:00. However, the bus still hadn't shown up by 9:20. I called the bus company, Steiert, which we had used two days before, and the lady on the other end of the line just said, "It was canceled" in a businesslike manner. Just before starting our tour to Insel Mainau two days before, I was told that today's bus tour would be held, and I paid the tour fee at that time in Hinterzarten. Then, the tour had been canceled abruptly without any notice. Why didn't they call us? They knew our hotel and my cell phone number. I'm not sure but, it might be because most people who would have joined the tour canceled it. Anyway, the company could have called us the previous night so that we could figure out another sightseeing plan. Nevertheless they didn't. I thought that they should apologize to us at first, but they didn't. Their attitude was just a businesslike manner. I got pissed off about their attitude. If the lady on the opposite side of the phone had apologized sincerely, it would have been okay and I would have accepted her excuse. I couldn't forgive her and asked her about the 41 Euro that we had already paid though I didn't miss the 41 Euro. To my surprise, are you sitting down?, she told us to come to Hinterzarten to receive the money. Hinterzarten is a 50 minute train ride from Freiburg and two round tickets cost 20 Euro. We didn't want to waste two more hours and 20 Euro to get 41 Euro. I answered as my parting shot, "We have no time! If you are sincere, you can ask the hotel to repay us instead of you." I didn't miss the 41 Euro, but we missed three or four hours in Freiburg. What do you think about that situation if it were in Japan? The company would issue a kind of discount ticket so that we could join the bus tour again. They would manage to clean its tarnished image. Trust is the key in Japan. Or, is the above the German way? I was disappointed but I don't want to believe it. I would give the sage advice to the people who will visit Freiburg from Matsuyama city from now. What advice? Naturally, "Don't use Steiert!"
I'd also like to add for the sake of the Steiert that dirty bills of 41 Euro were put on the bed when we came back, but there was no message for apologies.
One more thing, when we were in front of the Novotel Hotel, I saw the mayor, Herr Dieter Salomon, entering the adjacent building, whom I had a short talk with in Matsuyama this spring, but he seemed to be busy and I didn't speak to him.
abominable 忌まわしい, 言語道断な = terrible
the other end of the line 電話の向こう側
in a businesslike manner [way] 事務的に
as a parting shot 捨て台詞で
clean one's tarnished image 汚名返上する
tarnish [他] 〈評判・イメージなど〉 を傷つける, 汚す
(KW: 口コミ フライブルク バスツアー 松山 姉妹都市 ヒンターツァルテン ヒンターザルテン スタイアート シュタイアート シュタイエルト スタイエルト Omnibus Reisen in Hinterzarten und Feldberg STEIERT )
We were going to visit Alsace in western France on this day. Alsace is well known as the province which had been involved in the wars between France and Germany, and had been part of Germany in a certain period of time. Alsace has such history and its culture had been under the influence of Germany. The capital is Strasbourg, and this city was one of our destinations. One more thing about Alsace; Alsace is also noted with its great wine, and the small wine-producing villages stir the imagination of Japanese. In the Japanese famous Hayao Miyazaki's directorial production of Howl's Moving Castle, a small city of Colmar in Alsace was the motif of the movie.
We left our hotel at about 7:30, after the third time of having breakfast in this hotel. I like the western style breakfast as well as the Japanese one, but we had nearly the same breakfast every morning after we had arrived Freiburg. We were sick of it, but the price of breakfast was included in the accommodation fee and so we ate there. In general, it seemed that the accommodation fee of German hotels includes the breakfast.
By the way, we would join the bus tour of Steiert, which we had used the day before yesterday to visit Insel Mainau. The bus was to arrive at Novotel Hotel just in front of our hotel at 9:00. We had about an hour to go and took a walk at the west side of the station.
The day in Germany starts early in the morning. The first picture was after the morning rush hour. We could look down on a few offices of the adjacent building from our hotel, and several workers were already there by 8:00 in the morning. Was it like this across the country in Germany? Next, I took a picture of a magnificent building. Was it a church? I didn't know, but it was so beautiful in the morning sun. When I went down from the elevated bridge in front of the Novotel Hotel, I took a picture of the spiral stairs. I think that such places that were hidden from the people's eyes could be a gauge of the security of the neighborhood. I thought the security of the city wasn't bad after seeing some places during our stay in Freiburg. However, one thing had weighed on my mind. Freiburg was deluged with graffiti. They spoil the modesty and tradition of the city. The last three pictures were taken in front of the Novotel Hotel while we were waiting for our bus.
stir [他](感情など) を呼び起こす, かきたてる
stir a memory/an emotion 記憶を呼び起こす［感情をかきたてる］
stir the imagination 想像力をかきたてる
Howl's Moving Castle ハウルの動く城
Miyazaki's directorial production of 宮崎監督作品の～
accommodation fee 宿泊費
The day in Germany starts early in the morning. ドイツの朝は早い
elevated bridge 高架橋
be deluged with/by sth ＜苦情など＞が殺到する, 押し寄せる
weigh on sb's mind （人）の心にひっかかる ＜人＞の心に重くのしかかる
be deluged with graffiti 落書きがいっぱいある
ski jump (スキージャンプ競技の) ジャンプ台
We had dinner in our hotel. It was very good. Naturally all the menus were written in German and the prices were in Euro. Every dish was new to us and we were lacking the sense of reality about prices. The dinner was delicious, but after thinking of the price in yen, I thought it should be so. By the way, I didn't think vegetables were good in Germany, though I visited only Frankfurt and Freiburg.
lack a sense of reality 現実感がない
We heard of the emblem of Matsuyama City, which had been imprinted on the pavement in front of the City Hall and looked for it after we parted. The emblem was easily detected and we took pictures of it. The emblems of Freiburg's sister cities seemed to be arranged there. The name of Matsuyama was known to the front staff of our hotel, but Ehime prefecture where Matsuyama is located was unknown. Next, we dropped in at the shop shown in the next picture. I tried to speak in German here, and said, "Ich komme aus Matsuyama." It meant that I came from Matsuyama. The lady at the shop replied promptly, "Oh, Ehime FC!!" This shop was the fanshop of Freiburger FC and this team has a friendship treaty with Ehime FC. It was the first time to hear "Ehime" in Germany. The last picture is inside of the City Hall. Is it a court? I'm not familiar with the structure of German buildings and I got restless due to the loneliness.
part [自](フォーマル) 〈人が〉 別れる
They parted at the airport. 彼らは空港で別れた．
part from sb ＜人＞と別れる
We could use an ICE from Basel SBB to Freiburg, but didn't. We got on a local train there and changed trains at Basel Bad Bf. There were three kinds of national railways in the city and it was really confusing. We asked people here and there, and managed to come back to Freiburg at about 15:00. I would have liked to have stopped over at a small station on the way, but we had an appointment at 16:00 at Colombi Hotel in Freiburg, so we got back early. The scenery on the way was beautiful under the clear sky.
I met an acquaintance and his co-worker at Colombi Hotel for the first time in five months. I won't write his name here, but he was a member of the friendship mission from Freiburg. He was a staff member of Freiburg University. The detail is written in this entry; http://kumo.typepad.jp/weblog/2009/04/visitors-from-1.html
His co-worker was able to speak English and Japanese along with German, and it was so useful for our communication. My acquaintance treated us to nice cakes, but I was sorry to forget to take pictures. I don't remember the exact name but, my cake was SchwarzwŹ«Łldertorte and Yuri's was Waldbeertorte. Both were typical cakes in Germany and delicious as we expected. Especially, Yuri told that she had never eaten such a delicious cake. We chatted about Freiburg and around, and it was very useful for us. The price of commodity and average salary of workers in Switzerland, the population outflow to Switzerland, the terrain of Alsace, a dormant volcano,,,. I was particularly surprised to hear about the lack of medical doctors and care workers. They seemed to work in Switzerland to get more money, while living in Germany, where the tax was lower than in Switzerland. My skill as a general surgeon, majoring in the surgery of the stomach and colon, must be useful also in Freiburg, and I was interested in living in Freiburg, but the decrease of income wasn't acceptable. As for Yuri, she was mainly listening to our conversation, but she got to thinking about living and studying in Freiburg. I knew that the security of Freiburg was as good as our hometown. I asked them how to apply for courses of the university. I could get valuable information from them. Yuri might be in Freiburg at this time next year.
price of commodity 物価
commodity 商品, 生産物
agricultural commodities 農産物
population outflow 人口流出
out migration / population drain / population exodus
dormant volcano 休火山
inactive volcano / silent volcano
We got to the Basel SBB. I took the first picture at the entrance. It looked not so big, but when we went up to the second floor, we found so many tracks. By the way, the first thing that we wanted to do in this station was to go to the toilet. We couldn't find any in the street, so I got relieved to see the sign "WC" by the escalator in the picture. We hurried to the toilet and sadly found it a pay one. Men needed one franc and women two francs. I got disappointed to know that because I thought we didn't have any Swiss Franc. However, I had three francs in my pocket. Those coins were thrown into my pocket in an offhand manner at the market stall in the Markt-Platz. They were the change of our expensive lunch. I remembered the Giuliano Gemma starring movie, "Un dollaro bucato". If you know the plot of the movie, you could understand us in this situation.
After that, we explored in the station and found the door on which "FRANCE" was written. There seemed to be Track 30-35 bound for France over the door. We were enticed to go through the door, but we didn't, because we would be at a loss if the door didn't open automatically from the opposite side. The opposite side of the door was the Basel SNCF, the station of French National Railways.
in an offhand manner 無造作に
offhand ([名]の前でのみ)うっかりした, 思いつきの, そっけない, ぶっきらぼうな
Un dollaro bucato 荒野の１ドル銀貨
plot 陰謀, 策略, たくらみ; (本・映画・劇などの)(話の)筋, プロット
hatch a plot 陰謀を企てる, たくらむ
foil a plot 陰謀を阻止する
the plot unfolds （話の）筋が展開する
at a loss 困って、途方に暮れて
We headed for the Altstadt of Basel then. As we walked, we happened to come across a tram station and got on a tram that I thought, would go to the south. It was lucky that the tram took us to the center of the city. It was also fun to use a tram in the strange city. As we didn't have any special purpose in this city except visiting the three countries' corner, we could get off wherever we wanted and we were dropped off at the busiest street. It was the Markt-Platz, which means market place. The Markt-Platz was not so wide, but attracted huge crowds. Various vegetables, flowers and foods were sold there. I don't usually buy vegetables in Japan and didn't know if the prices were reasonable or not. I found a group running on Segway. It said "Basel Tourismus" on it. They must have been tourists. I'd never get on a Segway. The next time I would try it. The Segways had their license number plates on it. That is to say, Segways are supposed to be allowed to run on the streets though it is not permitted in Japan. There were many tables around the Markt-Platz, but we tried to have lunch in a market stall. Two sausages, a bottle of mineral water and a non-alcohol beer cost twenty-some Euro. What? Though the woman at the stall didn't look bad, I thought she might be cheating us. The price was unbelievably high. The Swiss currency is Swiss Franc (CHF) and 1 CHF equals to 103 yen, while 1 Euro equals 133 yen. We didn't have CHF and had to pay with Euro. She asked twenty-some CHF and we paid twenty-some Euro. To tell the truth, I didn't know that Switzerland wasn't a member of EU until then. I received some coins from her and ate expensive sausages.(grin) After lunch, we took a walk around and took lots of pictures. The last picture except two was of a sightseeing boat. The boat was going upstream. The next picture was of the Cathedral which was under repair. We could go up the tower, but didn't. I'm afraid of heights. We got on a tram again at the station in !
the last picture and moved to the Basel SBB, the Basel station of Swiss National Railways.
drop ([他]常に＋[副]/[前]) (車などから人を)降ろす=drop off
drop sb at/in sth ＜人＞を＜場所＞で降ろす
I'll drop you at the station. 駅で降ろしてあげますよ．
drop sb/sth ↔ off (車から) ＜人・荷物など＞を降ろす, ＜物＞を置いていく
market stall 市場の露店
be afraid of heights 高所恐怖症である
There wasn't any special reason why I visited the three countries' corner and I just wanted to see the place where the three borders crossed. The first picture shows the way to the point. "Drei" means "three", "länder" means "countries" and "eck" means "corner". The city, Basel has three nationalities and isn't this so rare? What is the daily life of people like? Are the consumption taxes of these three countries the same? Are there three kinds of polices? If a man who lives in a German area was transferred to an emergency hospital which was located in the French area, does his insurance work in France? Mysterious but simple questions came up to me.
Walking downstream along the river Rhine, we got to the point. I'll show you some pictures which were taken there. The second picture is the French area and the third is the German area, where you can see a few sightseeing boats. The three countries corner is located just in the center of the fourth picture. In this picture you can also see a cargo ship. The height of the ship is short and I suppose it's because of many bridges over the river Rhine. The river Rhine must be the big artery of transport at present too. In the fifth picture two boats are shown and there was a nice restaurant in the boats. We met two aged couples and asked one of them to take our picture. They came from near Konstanz and would go back by this boat. The river trip would be fun. You can see these boats on the Google Earth, also.
The last two pictures were of the monument of the three countries' corner. If you look at the last picture mindfully, you would notice the national flags of three countries on the monument though the Swiss flag is so small. I advise you to enjoy seeing the borders on the map linked from "Today's Route" above.
mindful 気を配った, 注意深い
mindful of something
＜…＞を念頭に置いている, (決断などの際に) ＜…＞を意識する
The place that I most wanted to visit in Basel was the three countries' corner, where the borders of three countries crossed. As I wrote before, the borders between countries are intersting for me and maybe for most Japanese people. We headed for the river Rhine from Basel Bad Bf at first and turned right downstream. The point where we had turned right was thinned out when I drew the route map and our trace isn't drawn accurately, but the pictures on the map was accurately put on the point where they were taken. That is to say, the marks are on our real track. I'm going to show you some of the pictures that I took on the way to the three countries' corner below.
opposite shore 対岸
put off 後回しにする
There was a McDonalds just in front of the station. I wondered if there was no place without a McDonalds in the world. They had tables outside and so did it indicate that they had little rain here?
This is the tram station in front of Basel Bad Bf, but unexpectedly it wasn't busy. Basel was divided into three areas. This German area might not be the center of the city.
This motorcycle looked like it was delivering newspapers. I frequently saw such a small cage towed by bicycles or motorcycles. In some cases, a little kid was in the cage. I thought it was very functional, and wondered why it wasn't popular in Japan.
This is the Congress Center of Basel, which is very famous as the place that many international meetings are held. I was enticed to drop in, but we didn't have enough time and passed by it.
We reached the riverside of the Rhine. We were lucky to have a nice day. The autumnal breeze over the river was really comfortable. I was moved to actually stand by the river Rhine, which I knew from my class of history or geography. We put off crossing the border, I mean the river Rhine, and turned right and headed downstream.
This tiny boat looked like a means of transport between both shores. Needless to say, the opposite shore is Switzerland. There were bridges across the river, so it must have been just for sightseeing.
It was a slope for water-skiing. The Rhine around here must have been a nice spot for water-skiing in summer.
I found a flashy motorcycle on the way. It was a product of a Japanese automobile manufacturer, HONDA.
At first, I made our track onto a map using the data of my data logger and made it linked from "Today's Route" above. The map was roughly what I had expected, but I couldn't use all the functions of the software and couldn't properly thin the data out. Only a single datum made the map inaccurate. The point of the south of Basel Station is a mistakenly recorded one. You can easily find the point on the map. Anyway, I'm going to continue my trip notes.
We had breakfast at the restaurant in the hotel, which was just the same as yesterday. I like meat, but I took vegetables mainly. I was sick of meat.
We were going to visit Basel and got on the train which is shown in the picture. The train was a RE (Regional Express) and would stop at Bad Krozingen, Müllheim, Basel Bad Bf and Basel SBB. "Bad" means the name of the south-western area of Germany. "SBB" is the abbreviation for Schweizerishe Bundesbahnen in German and it means Swiss National Railways. That is to say, Basel has at least two stations in the Bad area and the Swiss area. I'll show you the details of Basel later.
The second picture was of Basel Bad Bf, the Basel station in Baden. "DB" stands for Deutschen Bahn, German National Railways. We started to explore the city from this station.
We had dinner at an Italian restaurant on Eisenbahn street. The pastas we ate here were really good and the waiter was also nice. It's rare in Japan to have dinner in the dark outside, but I felt that it was not so bad. The autumnal breeze was comfortable. After dinner we got back to the station and dropped in at a bakery. It was an ordinary bakery, I thought, but it was also fun for us to see a strange bakery.
Shortly after the departure, our bus passed over the bridge across the river Rhine and entered the city of Konstanz. I knew the city in my history class in my high school days. I wanted to visit the Konzilgebäude, but didn't have enough time. Our bus turned left just in front of Schnetztor (first picture) and crossed the river Rhine again (second picture). We were running just on the border between Germany and Switzerland at that time, and I knew it when I checked my GPS receiver later in Japan. You can see it on the map linked from "Today's Route" above. Our route to Hinterzarten was through the Black Forest and we were happy campers to see the scenery. Some of my pictures are attached on the map and you can see them. The last two pictures were of inside the train from Hinterzarten to Freiburg.