It was a little sad leaving Riol as we enjoy being there and felt we could have easily stayed for a whole week to explore other towns in the area. Remarkably we were out the door by 10:15am so we were not in a rush. The trip only took about three hours even with a brief stop at the border crossing between Germany and France. Our new house was about ten minutes out of Strasbourg in a village with a very long name: Oberschaeffolsheim! It had recently been renovated and was much nicer than we expected. Here is a photo of the cottage and also a photo of other typical houses in the street:

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On Thursday we stayed home all day to catch our breath and Friday and Saturday were pretty relaxed as we just went into Strasbourg for the afternoons. Both times we drove and parked at the Park & Ride areas. It’s a great service as you pay as little as 3.20 euros for parking all day and that includes return trips on the tram for all those in the car. That’s about a quarter of the price that we paid in Brighton in the UK! Saving money like that means more for the coffee fund which a pretty important part of our travels since sitting in the sun, in a café, watching people walking by is a lovely way to spend time. Here are some photos:

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Daniel being Daniel:

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On the Saturday afternoon the area we walked around was called Petite France where the river Ill splits into several canals. It’s very picturesque with the canals winding around land covered in medieval half-timbered houses and cobblestoned streets.

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After family church in the morning on Sunday we had lunch then drove to Strasbourg’s mini zoo. It was a lovely sunny afternoon to walk around the “enclosures”, taking a look at the animals.

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Daniel took photos of every animal he could see and then we went for a walk around the park in search of a café. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a cafe so we went to the playground empty handed. Surprisingly despite their age the kids were able to still have fun running around the playground and climbing to the peaks of any playground equipment – places not designed for kids to venture. Later we hired a row boat and each had a turn to attempt rowing.

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The next day being Monday, 24 September, my birthday, I slept in until 9:30am. While the kids did school I did odd jobs and then bought a theology mp3 online that I had had my eyes on. In the afternoon we went into the city again so I could look at the range of Bluetooth headsets and then find a café we had walked past a few days earlier which appeared to have a great selection of desserts and coffee. By the time we found the café it was near 5pm so not really the time to have afternoon tea but we did anyway. It was difficult deciding which desserts to pick out of the fabulous selection:

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After making the agonizing decision I settled on two to share, then ordered them along with a Cappuccino Viennese for Karen and myself. I wasn’t disappointed! They sure know how to pile the cream on over here. I don’t think I have ever had so much cream on my plate or in a cup in my life! I could get use to living like this …

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I really like Strasbourg. It’s a great city to walk around and is full of life and conversation. We didn’t do anything noteworthy on Tuesday except clean the house and pack our bags ready for a long drive the next day down south to Annecy.

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Here is a photo of us with our lovely hosts in the village of Oberschaeffolsheim:

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(Week 31B/32A: Wednesday, 19 September 2012 – Wednesday, 26 September 2012)