And so it begins! Our first full day of our spontaneous eurotrip and we have wheels!
Jet lag is a fact, y’all. I made such an effort to combat it with light exposure, wait till sunset to sleep and…4am? Both of us were wide awake. But what better time to explore? We trecked across the base to a pretty sweet gym (Air Force gets all the nice things…) and I watched the sun rise to some rowing and yoga. Just as I was thinking, “wow, traveling with Michael is so healthy and energizing!” we came back to a delicious hefeweizen breakfast. When in Rome? No? Ok.
So after a real breakfast and a morning prepping we rented this cute little thing (a VW Polo)
And ventured about an hour and a half away to Metz, France. Interpreting traffic signs in German, then French was
fun terrifying but we caught on soon enough (Michael is an amazing adventurous soul) and the view along the way was breathtaking. Rolling hills and fields of bright yellow flowers as far as the eye can see! Traveling by car is such a different experience, and this is the place to do it! We stopped along the way as we saw a road sign for the American cemetery at St. Avond, a somber experience.
As we reached the city Michael braved the spaghetti-like nature of twisting one way lanes and we made our way to the Saint-Étienne de Metz cathedral, a place I’ve longed to see! It was breathtaking beyond my imagination and soared above the surrounding city with its gothic architecture, flying buttresses (that will always make me giggle) and storybook terrifying gargoyles leaping from the sides of the cathedral.
Inside I was very pleasantly surprised to find a place of worship, not tourism, the most stunning original and modern stained glass and majestic architecture that literally took my breath away. I only took photos inside with my dslr so you’ll have to check back when I get a chance to upload and post those!
We wandered through quite a bit of the city and visited the Centre Pompidou, one of the most visited museums of modern art in France and took in some fabulous and humorous modern art, from a very bold Miro (I have no other way to describe it) and the best work by Picasso I’ve ever seen to an ironic exhibit about paparazzi, which seemed to both celebrate and mock Western obsession with celebrity gossip, meanwhile obsessing over those who made it what it is! That, or just another reason for a French museum to display full nudes (Whoah! That’s pixelated in our tabloids! TMI!) Either way I found the whole situation amusing and the structure of the museum alone was worth a visit. Pictures to come! (of the museum structure, not the exhibit. ha)
From there we drove to Luxembourg city and Michael’s luck with spontaneity struck again, this time in the form of a bustling open air market spanning countless blocks of the city center. Everything smelled amazing and we followed our noses to a stand selling fresh Belgian waffles. Best lunch ever! I was way too distracted to take a picture.
Michael’s striped shirt made for a great game of where’s Waldo and we (of course) thoroughly enjoyed perusing the antiques and plethora of bird whistles, bird sculptures, and anything else you can imagine.
I picked up this delftware vase (random, but cute!) and we enjoyed dinner across from the palace at The Chocolate House. Michael had Black Forest Cake for dinner (can’t blame him) and I had Quiche Lorraine, which I tried to find in the Lorraine region of France (Metz) but as everything but super touristy places were closed for Easter weekend, Quiche Lorraine in Luxembourg was probably more authentic!
More pictures and adventures soon to come!