Strasbourg, FranceThursday was our full day in Strasbourg, France. Thursday was a tiring day. We got up and first thing went to the European Parliament of the European Union. We got a tour, the eighth-grade tour I believe; our teacher was hoping the guide would give us a more in-depth tour since he's already taught us some about it, but I was okay with the tour she gave us. I enjoyed seeing the building. It was very glass and metal and wood and used space in very interesting ways. The building has three parts: an arc (as seen from the sky) with a dome in it, and a tower part that fits into the arc. The dome is where the parliament actually meets. There was a lot of symbolism in the way the building is designed--for example, the tower looks unfinished, and that is to symbolize the European Union's perpetual state of growth and change. My fave part of it was the "black tulips." The black tulips are these massive round privacy chat areas that are specifically designed to mute out the sound of the people talking inside. They have an open area for a doorway, and little benches around the circle inside like restaurant booths.
After the EU, Justin and I were mavericks again and walked back in the rain instead of taking the tram or a taxi. We toured along the river and finally made it back to the hotel. It is getting pretty outside because the leaves are finally coming out and are radiantly green. I think they must be very happy. I saw several swans and lots of beautiful flowering trees. Also, I almost died by a dog. I liked his house and told Justin to look at it. Justin pointed at the dog, who then became very angry and barked viciously at us. I was just thinking to myself how fortunate it was that this high gate separated him and me when he leaped from the bank of his yard up ON TOP of the nice shoulder-high fence with a smooth, wide concrete slab top. I was not happy with that and left immediately, very thankful that he did not follow through on his threat. Beware the chien!
Later that day I wandered down to a fantastic cathedral by myself and soaked up the music and the stained glass, which was spectacular and reminded me very much of Notre Dame. I think it is about my favorite church so far. There was also a really great mosaic on the back wall, and an astronomical clock. Sadly, I missed its going off. However, I wasn't too much in the mood to be bothered and I left before too long.
We had our dinner with the group and left immediately from it for the train station with our stuff to ride our overnight train to Prague.