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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A litte bit of everthing: Regensburg, Montreal and Barrington

I have a few unrelated things I've been wanting to share so I thought I'd just go ahead and do so.

ONE: Jim, Emma and I went to a party Saturday night at Emma's friend Katie's house. The party was for the two German medical students that they are hosting right now (both of Katie's parents are doctors). Katie's Mom thought we'd enjoy meeting them since Jim and I both studied in Germany. So the cool thing was that they are medical students at the University of Regensburg which is where Jim and I met. They were surprised to find anyone who knew where Regensburg was and originally said they were from Munich because it's the nearest "big" place. We enjoyed sharing some Regensburg memories with them and they brought us up to speed on changes and happenings there. It also turns out that the very small town that one of the students grew up in is the town where Jim and I had our first kiss -- Landshut -- our intensive German course group took a field trip there for the weekend! So, small world in many ways and so much fun to talk to "young" people -- turns out they were babies in 1986 when Jim and I met in Regensburg! -- 25 years ago now -- though I can't quite believe that.
Regensburg: The Steinerne Br├╝cke and the Altstadt or Old Town, with the Cathedral dominating the skyline. Yes, it's really that beautiful!
Jim and I as we looked 25 years ago. Taken in front of the Berlin Wall.
TWO: Jim and I had a great trip to Montreal March 16-20th. Neither of us had ever been to Canada, unless you count the Canadian side of Niagara Falls which we both decided didn't count. We were surprised by just how close Montreal actually is to us, it's about the same number of miles away as Baltimore (375 or so), but it's an easier and less congested drive which we made in under six and a half hours with a short detour to drive through Burlington, VT and grab some food. Jim was going up to speak at the International Studies Association Conference and I tagged along with him. It's been about three years since we had a long weekend just the two of us away from home. Needless to say it was a real treat, and great to reconnect with each other. I also particularly enjoyed being in a foreign country and hearing another language without having to fly there for many $$ and suffer jet lag. I could read most of the signs and understand a lot of spoken French, but find it hard to speak in after all these years. I did study French for six years but that was back when we lived in Belgium, more years ago than I want to admit too! I switched to studying German only in 11th grade. Both of us just love walking all over a new city and just getting to know the place -- so most of our photos are just of the sights -- mainly buildings, but I thought I'd share just a few of them.

Checking e-mail on my smart phone and chilling in our room

Jim captured this great shot of old reflected in the new. Saw lots of older architecture blended well with contemporary.

Walking around in the Plateau St. Denis area. I'm carrying the new shopping bag and books we'd just bought. Yes, touring for us includes spending almost an hour in a book store where most of the books were in French!

Loved this add which we saw several places. We also noticed that Montreal has a bit of a graffiti problem
On our way to dinner in the Old Town. Highlight: eating moules frites!

Jim in the old town

Street sculpture -- so European -- at least to me.

Jim taking a photo. For the first time in ages we both had our own camera as I just bought my first digital DSLR. Thus, we have photos of me for a change.

We both can't wait to go back and also to go to Quebec City, now that we see that it's not too far. I was really struck by how the terrain changed when we went from Vermont to Canada -- all of a sudden it seemed that it got very flat and their was farm after farm after farm -- all of them with grain silos with the name of the farm on them. Then all of a sudden we were in Montreal with city and buildings all around and the Mount Royal just jutting up over the city.  We came back on a slightly different route and drove across the bottom of Canada above Vermont and came down through the northeast corner of Vermont and through the Franconia Notch in New Hampshire. On that trip it started out flat and very wet -- in that there are lots and lots of little streams -- then before we crossed over into Vermont it became very mountainous again as we ran back into the Appalachians. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a new place, reading its history and exploring. So glad we had this chance....

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