Humber College - Hospitality Semester in Europe 2012
Faculty Leaders: Mr. Paul McCabee & Mrs. Janet Latremouille, January 08, 2012 - March 03, 2012
(Janet & Brett)
Day 12, January 19th - Our trip so far
We all arrived in Strasbourg at the Chateau de Pourtales, in one piece with all of our luggage in tow (a minor miracle!). A minor hold up at customs but nothing we couldn’t handle. We were met by our coordinator Christina who has taken care of our group for the first week of our stay.
So THIS is our home for the next seven weeks. Built in the late 18th century the Chateau de Pourtales has played home to countless dignitaries. Franz Liszt has stayed here…so has Albert Schweitzer. And now US so we are in very good company! When we arrived we met a group of students from Georgia, Houston and Brazil. We’ve been getting to know them on some field trips and during our OCCASSIONAL visits to “David’s Bar”. So far so good!
The Chateau sits on the edge of a forest. Excellent walking/jogging paths. We did a walk on our first day to discover the art that’s scattered throughout. The “map guy”, “bowling rabbit”, “the “ears have trees” and the small little community of brass “gnomes” that sit under the trees at the edge of the forest. Walking into the forest you come across a series of WWII era bunkers. They were part of the Maginot Line. We went into a few – ONCE. That’s enough. A few of us are walking and/or jogging every day…good way to get rid of the “baguette guilt”.
Our first day in the city. We had a great tour of the Cathedral and then walked through the city down to La Petite France. Wandered around and got our IDENTICAL European cell phones organized. Ten met up before dinner in "Place Klebert". Christmas is an AMAZING time in the Alsace region – the cities and towns are decorated to the hilt! In Place Kleberg we came across this Star Wars Storm Trouper waiting on the big Christmas tree. Not sure why! But then again, why NOT?
We’re in Alsace so of course there will be wine. We started with our first wine class and wine tastings at the Chateau on Thursday afternoon. Our instructor is a man named Albert Seltz. Mr. Seltz is the 14th generation owner and winemaker who started running the family winery in 1980. On Saturday we spent the day with the students from Georgia, on a guided tour of the “Wine Route”. Visited some small towns along the route and then stopped at one of the region’s larger wineries – Jean Geiler in Ingersheim. We tasted five of their wines and bought a FEW bottles to take back to the Chateau. All in the name of supporting the local industry! We ended the day with a tarte flambée “frenzy” at a great restaurant at the outskirts of the city.