Friday, August 3, 2012

The Brave Little Illustrator Goes to Europe PART 12

After leaving Amsterdam we headed out to Paris, but we decided to stop for a day in Mainz, Germany and another day in Basel, Switzerland. Mainz was great because for once we weren't in a giant tourist hub. The streets weren't crowded with people taking pictures of everything. ...Although we did that.

The houses were beautiful and the town had alot of older-looking buildings around it amongst the more modern shops and restaurants.

 There were a couple of really great churches in the city, though we didn't have time to visit any of them.

 We stayed out pretty late to see as much of the city as possible. We found this one building that had yellow lights coming up from the floor that looked green whenever you took a picture of it - so naturally we all took pictures of ourselves making creepy faces. 

 The real reason we came to Mainz was to visit the Gutenberg Museum. Hence the photo with the window that says: "Gutenberg Museum." The town has alot of pride for Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the European printing press. The museum wasn't really my thing, but I imagine that some of the graphic design students in the group were wetting their pants to see the origins of printed type.

This is one of the original Gutenberg Bibles. I wasn't supposed to take a picture of it.

After a night and a morning in Germany, we continued on to Switzerland. We didn't get to see the beautiful, scenic part of the country - none of that Alps stuff you find on postcards or boxes of hot cocoa. Basel was like Mainz - a smaller city that didn't have much tourism. Basel was a pretty nice-looking town, there was a cathedral-ish church downtown:

The night we stayed there was kind of rough as far as dinner went. The Swiss think its cool to charge up the butt for anything and they use their own neutral currency, the Swiss Frank, which is worth a little more than a dollar. Our dinner that night was 3 family-sized pizzas and a few sodas at a decent (but not fancy) place. It cost 130 Franks.

Again, like Mainz, Basel was a stop planned out more for the graphic design people. We went to the Vitra Museum of modern design, a leading center for modern industrial designs in furniture and architecture. It was really aesthetic and nice to look at, but not really my thing. Every room was like looking at some kind of catalog for anyone who wants to feel like Steve Jobs. 

This was one of the pieces of art outside the museum. Yeah, it was one of those kinds of places.

After Basel, we left again for France and rolled in at night, just in time to go grab dinner at a fancy restaurant where I was able to pronounce the French translation of  "Roast Duck" correctly. One of the first things we did as a group was go to a large basilica on top of a hill overlooking the city


 You could see most of Paris' more prominent monuments from up there. There was also a mime performing in traffic. I don't know how he made it out alive.

 I didn't eat too many pastries and sweets there, but I indulged in a chocolate eclair from a local shop.

There's the basilica from farther away. That's not even halfway down the hill we had to climb though.

The next few posts will sum up the rest of the trip in Paris. I should have less trouble posting now because of better internet situations, so be sure to check back more frequently.

1 comment: