Verdun

After an emotional parting with Fifi (it was a love/hate relationship really), we dropped the car off in Metz and headed to Verdun. When I got into Verdun Monday night, I was a little bit worried. The town seemed dark and, for lack of a better word, ugly. But when I woke up on Friday morning, I realized I had nothing to worry about. I walked to work and passed by the bakeries, all along the river Meuse that runs through town. It is a small town for sure, but there are some really beautiful spots.

View from my bathroom window early one morning

A little bit about my apartment – I live in a Middle School. Yes, that’s right. You turn right after the nurses office, and there is the entrance to my flat. However, the building is old and beautiful (built in 1890), and I have a huge room with wooden floors and high ceilings. Yes, there are teenagers in the courtyard at lunch time, and they are in their mean stage. I have not had any run-ins with them yet. Although I have been confronted with teachers smoking in the corridor outside our entrance while I was in my zebra-striped pajama bottoms.

One cool thing about our town is that we are known for our beer! We have our own brewery here in Verdun, called l’Estaminet. There are also lots of tapist beers in the area. What is that you ask? Why, it’s beer brewed by monks living in France. One of our first nights here we went out to get a beer with our landlord, M. D, who has been an awesome friend and help to us as we are getting used to Verdun.

C and E drinking some local beer

College Buvignier Courtyard

Fall in Verdun has been surprisingly beautiful! Today I ran along the river and relaxed as the colorful trees urged me on. Really, outside of our town is nothing but cows, goats, and farms. I cannot wait to explore more.

Have you ever left a big city to move to rural France? Leave me a comment or email me at fabuleuxdestinbrenna@gmail.com

brost!

So…Oktoberfest. Let’s start off by introducing you to FiFi, our rental car. A white Fiat with the heart of a lion but the speed of a turtle, she was with us through the good times and the bad. We rented her in Paris, with the hopes of renting a GPS, or as the Germans say, a “navi”. Unfortunately, they did not have any more navis and we were forced to use our own senses of direction, which didn’t get us very far. Kids today are so spoiled. Luckily Di installed googlemaps to her berry so we wrote down the directions and off we went!

 

The scenery was very beautiful, as we passed Champagne, Meuse, Moselle, Karlsrue, Stuttgart, and eventually Munchen! Munich is a very romantic city. There were huge buildings that reminded me of castles, with flowers sprawling out of the windows. When we were walking around at night there was a string band playing classical German music. It felt like we were walking around a giant music box. Some parts look very industrial, but if I ever go back I will definitely tour the castles outside of Munich.

Oktoberfest was amazing! We took the train into town from our bed and breakfast, which was in a more residential, quiet area of Munich. We stayed with an older German couple who gave us café crème and delicious cakes in the morning. On the way to the festival, there were lots of Germans on the train in traditional costume. They were sporting grey woolen socks pulled up over their knees and tucked into their brown shorts. The material of these shorts are unknown, but it seems to be a little bit like leather? These pants were held up by suspenders, the icing on the cake. The girls had much more conservative outfits on compared to the short-skirt-corset-push-up-bra Halloween costumes I have seen in the States. Read: longer skirts, less boob. We were ushered to Oktoberfest and, naturally, right away bought a huge pretzel, which apparently is a traditional snack food in Munich. They were delicious! We walked around for a little before choosing which tent to go to. There were roller coasters, beautiful horses decorated with the colors of each beer tent, smells of sausages everywhere, and cheery Germans hopping about!

Hippodrome, our favorite tent. You can see your friendly old lady neighbor!

As we went to each beer tent, we met more and more interesting people from all over the world. The first tent we hung with Germans for a few hours. They taught us about German cars (one of them was an automotive engineering) and the different traditions of Oktoberfest. Mainly, the hundreds of drinking songs, in which you have to look your partner in the eye and say, “brost!”.

The best part about Oktoberfest was that there were people of all different ages and cultures relaxing and having a good time. At one table, we were sitting next to two German ladies who looked about seventy years old! They were singing along to the songs and laughing at the tourists who were loving life.

THE delicious pretzel

Overall, the beer and food were cheap (for a tourist-filled city). We ate lots of pork (knuckle, potatoes, and cabbage. Everything was delicious. The last night we went to a restaurant that makes its own beer, and we got a yummy wheat beer that I had never heard of before going to Munich. I highly recommend a trip to Oktoberfest and Munich! It’s a carb-lovers heaven…oh wait…so is France…mwahaha.

How you ever been to a festival dedicated to drinking beer? Leave a comment or email me at fabuleuxdestinbrenna@gmail.com