Wednesday, February 8, 2012
A Little Trip to France
We have been here one week and have already been on an excursion! While we still had the rental car, we wanted to stock up on essentials. This meant to us, making a drive over to France to visit a hypermarket!
We first encountered hypermarkets 20 years ago when we spent a year in England and traveled through France over the Christmas vacation. The French hypermarkets combine a Walmart-type discount department store with the largest supermarket for groceries. We still need some cheap household goods (like bed pillows that don't drive us crazy) and the hypermarket seemed like the best option for these.
We drove across the Rhine on a lovely sunny day and south (altogether less than an hour from Karlsruhe) to Strasbourg, France. After circling the inner city completely lost for a while, we parked near the center, had a little lunch, and bought a printer at an electronics store. Here you see Place Kleber with some half-timbered buildings and some modern additions.
I was entranced by this half-timbered
a very modern shop on the ground floor.
Our little lunch featured half-chickens so small they might have been Cornish Game Hens. Strasbourg is in Alsace-Lorraine, a region which was traded back and forth between Germany and France for generations, and so it shares some culinary traditions with south-western Germany. This plate features the local version of
spaetzle, pan-fried and topped with a deeply savory chicken gravy.
Once out of the city, we soon found a hypermarket. Saturday evening
must be a big shopping time in France because the place was packed.
The cheese aisle took a lot of our time.
The place was huge. The other shoppers couldn't imagine what we thought was photo-worthy. We found pretty much everything we were looking for--French cheese! Cheap French wine! and functioning pillows!-- but we were exhausted by the time we were done.