13 Jun 2006 :
My turn to drive, and for a bit of a laugh we decided to cross the border into France to visit Strasbourg on the way to Frieberg. Driving took a bit of getting used to - I kept looking for the gear stick on the wrong side and driving on the wrong side of the road a fair bit, but I'm pretty sure I was receiving honks of understanding rather than abuse. The Autobahn was also a bit of a mission but I soon got used to cars zooming past us, and was well accustomed to blocking up the fast lane by the end of the trip. The only reason I knew we had made it to France was because the road signs changed from German to French! Otherwise there was no real indication - bloody crazy Europe.
We got lost 4 or 5 times in Strasbourg thanks to some dubious signage and all sorts of roadworks, but eventually found our camping place. The bloke there didn't speak a word of english until he saw we were Australian (ie
. not English) and then it all came flooding back to him and he was possibly even nice. We set up and then headed straight into town on one of their "free" trams to watch the games. The architecture seems nice enough, but overall there is a dangerous feel to the town so we dubbed it "The Ghetto". Apparently it isn't a ghetto though, because a girl stopped us on the street and actually asked for a donation for "the kids in the ghetto" so I guess that must be somewhere else. We had to stop using the word "ghetto" once we realised it was the same word in French too... Anyway, Brazil played shithouse against Croatia so it got me thinking that we are a real chance of sneaking a draw off them if we play really well.14 Jun 2006 :
Started the day with a blisteringly hot shower, then headed down the road to an internet place. After a few hours trying to upload some photos and video my computer crashed after failing at 98% - naturally I stormed out of there, refusing to fork over any euros. We met a nice lady at the bus stop (we decided walking was not the go) who talked to the driver to organise us an all-day pass for 4 of us for only 2.40 euros. We thought a visit to the University would be interesting - boy were we wrong. Not only was it closed, but it also looked distinctly like a prison lacking an outer fence. Our thoughts were suddenly syncronised - "Let's find a pub". We found one, it had a TV, the game was starting and it was all good
. The owner was a top bloke - came outside for a drink with us, supplied some free snack food, extended the happy hour, and told us a few spots to go later at night. As these things sometimes work out, we began chatting with the bargirl there, and when she finished work she had a few drinks with us before offering to show us around for the night. At this stage Team Brett & Mark chucked on the skids and went home, leaving it to Team Snags & Kieran to kick on. We soon met up with some of her friends, got completely blind and smoked some joints with them. Although I never witnessed it, at some stage Snags had a flaming shot of something knocked onto his arm, leaving a nasty little burn for him to wake up to the next day. As much as I tried to resist, I also ended up succumbing to the insistence that I be taught how the French kiss. I rate it not bad at all. We ended up getting a lift home with someone at some ridiculous hour - don't ask me.