Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Metz

This past weekend I went to Metz, France for a day trip so I would not earn the title of “barracks rat.” You can only work out so much, cruise the internet, eat and sleep without going insane.

Traveling in Europe by train is easy because everything so close. Within an hour or two anybody can be in three or four countries. Anyway, I have to say that the Die Bahn ICE trains are clean, efficient and on time. Would you expect anything less from the Germans? The cost of train tickets to Metz, France and return were fifty eight Euros or seventy-five Dollars.

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I traveled to Saarbucken then switched trains to the French SNCF system, The French train was quick, had a maximum speed of 140 kph and were manufactured by Alstom.

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In this part of Germany there were a few factories, lots of small farms and there were deer hunting stands next to the forest areas.

When I crossed into France, I noticed that there were no cattle or horses roaming around, maybe it was the time of year. Getting closer to Metz, it looked a lot like the US. There were new housing developments that were going up on farmland that were built for single families and a couple of them had swimming pools. In the suburbs, while on the train I saw a McDonalds and a 10 screen cinema advertising the latest movies from America mixed with the local French fare.

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The train station in Metz looks very impressive and I found out that it was built by the Germans during the occupation. I am not sure of which one, since this part of Europe has gone back and forth between Germany and France.

While walking from the from the train station to the cathedral, I saw at St. Nicholas square another out post of civilization: Le Comptoir Irelandais. Yes another Irish goods store that sells lots of Irish whiskey, jumpers, and sweets. It was fun to brose around.

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After that I headed to the Cathedral that was one of the main attractions of Metz. I will not go in to detail, there were a few interesting points. First you can go in and walk around for free. I did that at first and when you walk behind the altar; you will see graffiti. Not any old graffiti, but people chiseled their names into the pillars, like Pierre did back in 1751 and Jacques in 1814. Some people never learn. Also you can pay two Euros and walk down to the crypt and see models of other French cathedrals, statues and other parts of the church. The two Euros will also get you into the sacristy. There will see gold chalices, rings, staffs and other religious items that go back five hundred to a thousand years. Most of the church valuables were taken during the French Revolution.

After the cathedral was the Musees de la Cour d’Or. It was good with the works of Dieder Barra were featured in a special exposition. The museum cost 4.50 Euros and is worth it. The only drawback is if you have a broken leg or use a wheelchair forget it, there are lots of stairs and no elevators.

After that I walked around the city center looking at the shops. There were a few signs of the impending doom. Footlocker, Burger King, Subway and McDonalds were doing a brisk trade. A big mac, fries and coke went for five Euros or six dollars and fifty cents. There were no big department stores around, but I did stumble up upon HMV. The new U2 release was on sale for 18 Euros or 23.48 dollars.

I was looking for a nice restaurant for dinner, but most opened at 8:00 or later, so I settled for a brassiere . A bowl of onion soup, small steak, French fries on a piece lettuce, chocolate mouse with a bottle of Pierre and cappuccino went for 22 Euros. It was a nice meal and the waitress gave me a menu that was in English to make dinner easier to order.


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When I was walking around I found a small pastry shop, and the ladies who were working there thought I was German. So they asked me where I came from in Germany, so I told them that I am an American soldier in K-town. They said “you are good, America number one.” I was pleasantly surprised, I thought I would get lectured about the evils of America, but they are nice ladies everywhere. Maybe they remember how America liberated Metz from the Nazis and moved on.

The train back to K-town from Metz started from Paris and was heading to Frankfurt. It was not as nice as the German ICE train. It looked like a 1960 river cruiser instead on the sleek 21st century German spaceship on wheels. Even the Polizei was nice to me when I handed my military ID card while they were looking for illegal aliens.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know what? you really could be the most arrogant, stupid most uneducated person I have ever had the misfortune to read about. *sigh* Surely all Americans are not as dumb as you... are they?

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With people like that, I have to wonder how Americans get the reputation of not being diplomatic. You know, the "Ugly American" stereotype. I would imagine that if a person is going to be so harsh, they should at least explain their reasoning.

Navin

1:29 AM  
Blogger Brendon said...

We still have this "anonymous" prick trolling here? You really must be one bored motherf---er to come back here and post your shit, you know that?

Robert: There MUST be a Blogger setting to not allow anonymous posts like this.

Moving on....I finally got your DVD player in the mail this week. Sorry for late shipment, but I wanted to make sure you had enough viewing material to start with. I threw in my Sony MDR-60 headphones as well.

Glad you got out to see some of the European sites...make the most of it.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I'd be interested in knowing how Bob is so ignorant or 'American."

Anyway, I've heard that the Cathedrals in Europe are something to die for. Never been over there yet; I'm planning on booking an extended stay over there through the "USAF travel agency." I'd probably have more of a battlefield bent, though, especially WWII battlefields. Have you visited any?

8:49 AM  
Blogger b said...

My unit will be going on a staff ride to the Maginot Line or Eagles Nest. I am heading to Dachua later today.
We were thinking of heading to Jena or another Neopleonic battle site also.
Good luck!
B

11:54 AM  
Blogger bavikati said...

I feel that I must explain my comment as the second "anonymous" commenter. I wrote it in response to the initial "anonymous" post, (I did not write the first). From Brendon's Post, I realize that my post was not clear. I wrote it quickly while at work, after I read the first comment and was thoroughly shocked. It was written in the context of a criticism of the first anonymous post. So it should have relayed the following message:

With people like the one who wrote the previous post, I have to wonder how we Americans get the reputation of not being diplomatic. You know, the "Ugly American" stereotype. I would imagine that if the previous commenter is going to be so harsh, he/she should at least explain his/her reasoning.

So, although I am one "bored motherf---er", I was not the initial person coming back to make another derogatory post. Sorry for any ill feelings that it may have caused - it wasn't my intent.

Navin

9:25 PM  
Blogger io_io said...

Nice to read you.

Living in Metz vicinty's, funny to look at those common things with your point of view. Too bad tou had to eat in a so bad restaurant. Don't stand for french people to spit on americans, even soldiers. Not because we remember of 1944 or anything else, but we disagree the politic, your governement, Bush, Cheney & Co ... and now he have quite the same kind of guy s president. But being against every american citizen would be stupid.

Next time you pass trought Metz, don't hesitate to visit the old german fortress reduced by Patton, and .... that's not a bottle of "Pierre" but "bière", close to beer in english or german. Beer is universal !

9:48 AM  

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