Small Towns of Southern Germany and Alsace, France

As it turned out, I have more than a few friends from Armenia living within a few hours of Frankfurt. A few weeks ago (between Prague and our trip to the Balkans) we went down for the weekend to see several small towns in southeast Germany, and of course to catch up with our Armenian friends.

Armenia meets America (in Germany)

Armenia meets America (in Germany)

Our first stop was Speyer, where our friend Gor was for a conference. Gor is the son of the school director I worked closely with in Noyemberyan (while I was in the Peace Corps), and we had a great time with him and his family two years ago when we went back to visit. He was there with a group of Armenians, Georgians, and Azerbaijanis for a conference, so we joined his group on their city tour before sitting down for lunch and catching up. While our time together was short, we will hopefully get to see him again in Hanover later this summer.

Heidelberg from the castle

Heidelberg from the castle

We then drove to the famous Heidelberg, where we met my friend Satenik from the Koghb Art School, whom I also worked with closely, including helping to build their website). Together, we drove up to the castle overlooking Heidelberg, which was quite magnificent and afforded great views of the city and its other major attraction, the bridge. After taking it all in, we then went down into the city to see the fortress from the bridge, and also to explore the town a bit. While quite small and a bit touristy, it was a really beautiful city. Definitely glad we went.

Cathedral of Our Lady, Strasbourg

Cathedral of Our Lady, Strasbourg

Of course the highlight of our time with them was going to Karlsruhe and meeting her husband, Arsen, and their daughter Rosanna for the first time. They were excellent hosts, and we had a great time chasing Rosanna around the playground and just catching up into the night.

So great to catch up with our Armenian friends!

So great to catch up with our Armenian friends!

Satenik and Rosanna were heading back to Armenia for the summer the following weekend, so the next day we left Arsen and Rosanna to have a father-daughter day while Sara, Satenik and I explored a couple of other nice towns in the area. Our first stop was Baden-Baden, which had a really nice river running through the center and a nice park/esplanade to walk down. There were also a lot of old people (presumably because it is on the river tour route).

After Baden-Baden we drove into the Alsace-Lorraine region of France to visit Strasbourg, which is right on the Rhine river.  We spent a little more time here strolling along the river, and also visiting the amazing Cathedral of Our Lady in town. It was a great city to just get lost on the cobblestone streets or meander by the river. Eventually, we needed to turn back, and on our way back to the car we stumbled across a gay pride festival, which looked like a lot of fun. Since our rule about counting a visit to a country is if we’ve had a beer there (in the airport doesn’t count), we dropped into a pub and had a pint and a snack before making the drive back to Karlsruhe.

Overall it was a really nice weekend, although it was sad to bid our friends goodbye. We are fortunate that the timing worked out to go meet both of them, and hopefully we’ll all cross paths again soon!

This entry was posted in Germany. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.