Family visiting

This was an emotionally-strong week-end.
I had my family visiting for a little more than 24 hours, and that proved to be a challenge for my newly-found balance; while I thought I had managed to find my place in this city and a sense in what I’m doing here, and that I’d show them a strong, independent Anna who knew no fear of loneliness, by the time we were saying goodbye, sure enough I was crying. Eh. I miss them all, I’d lie if I said I didn’t. I’m feel so lucky knowing that I have such loving relatives and friends, people who are not scared at the idea of 6 + 6 hours of driving through half the continent to visit for a mere 24 hours… but I can only pretend I don’t know how many miles I am from my real home as long as I can’t touch them. Anyway, I’d prefer this to not seeing them for four months any time, so I’m trying to chase away sadness with a couple (or three) slices of clafoutis mom made before coming here and lots of picture-looking. They sure make for one happy Anna:

Once again, we had a beautiful sunny week-end. It’s crazy: the more I try to persuade people that Strasbourg is a cold city with snowy winters, the more this autumn looks like summer. Instead, warm weather –> walking around the city centre –> hungry and thirsty family. So we headed to a brasserie we had already tried when we first got to Strasbourg one month ago and loved – and it got Manuelsan’s seal of approval too:

Awful quality pic not by me. Source
Brasserie Au Brasseur. This place is good. I only tried their salads and flammekueches, but people tell me their beer is just as amazing.
Blonde, red
Beer testers
Nice atmosphere
Flamme whose picture I could barely take…
…before it disappeared.

22, rue des Veaux
67000 STRASBOURG
Tél. : 03 88 36 12 13 – Fax : 03 88 24 24 05
Open daily 11 am – 1 am

Some shopping and sightseeing ensued.

A tourist and a local, clearly.

To my greatest surprise and excitement, some shops are already selling Christmas decorations! Wheeee! I have a feeling Christmas time here will be amazing, if only I can focus on something else than exams (they will be in the first couple weeks of December):

Wheee! Already said that?

The weather and  the Christmas decorations felt so wrong together. Someone must have heard us because today we woke up to fog and cold. Not cold-cold, but still, the coldest in the whole week; and weather forecast tells me I can expect temp to drop to as low as 9-11°C by the end of the upcoming week.

Fog and the railway station

In a couple hours, it was much warmer:

Mom and Petite France

Which allowed some lock-watching on the canals…

And a trip to Germany (by car, this time) for the Herbstfest (autumn festival) and some eating.

All in all, it was another beautiful autumn weekend and I’m so happy I could enjoy it with my family.

But somehow it doesn’t feel real that people outside this room are speaking French, that I have lessons tomorrow, and that I’ll be sleeping alone tonight. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get completely used to living here. I guess I know the answer: it will be the time when I have to leave. Be it before or after Christmas – I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to leave this city without feeling like I’m leaving a piece of myself. This is the very thought that keeps me going right now, because it makes me realize I love this whole experience – even when I would like to be in the car that is bringing my family through Switzerland right now.

PS: I’ve been told by my parents that lots of you read this blog on a daily base and like it. Thank you so much! Of course I love getting comments, but just seeing how many visits I get makes me feel your love: I got nearly 550 visits in three weeks!

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