Easter Weekend 2013, Part Two: Freiburg, Germany

The Friday and Monday surrounding Easter weekend this year were public holidays in Bavaria.  Since I had a long weekend, I decided to do a whirlwind tour through Strasbourg France, Freiburg Germany, Zurich Switzerland, and the Rhine Falls near the Swiss-German border.  I’m going to write about them one at a time, though.  Next up, Freiburg!

After spending Friday in Strasbourg, I got up early the next morning to grab a quick train into Freiburg.  The weather had turned, so much of this day was moist and cold and overcast.  I had been looking forward to some of the nicer views from hiking up the Schlossberg or taking the Schauinsland cable car, but since the weather didn’t cooperate, those will have to wait until the next time.

I did get to meet Andrew from Grounded Traveler– we had lunch together and he showed me around town a little bit. While walking to the town center to meet him, I passed by these fun little tornado statues:

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During my minitour, we walked by one of the town gates, the Schwabentor.  It was all scaffolded for construction.  This happens a lot.

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This is just a regular street in the town center.  Freiburg is quite charming, and I’d love to see it again some time in the sunlight.

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This is the other city gate, the Martinstor.  While not in scaffolding, the McDonald’s logo on the gate has drawn criticism.  (McFreiburg?)

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My favorite part of Freiburg, to be honest, is the Bächle.  These are small canals all over the city.  The locals say that if you accidentally step into one, you will marry a Freiburg resident.  Andrew says he’s stepped in them many times and he wound up with an American anyway.

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One of the cool things about the Bächle, in my opinion, is that the locals have integrated them into their entertainment.  I saw lots of kids with little toy boats on strings like these two.  Incidentally, this is my favorite picture from the entire day in Freiburg.

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My second favorite thing about Freiburg is the stonework in front of various shops around the old city.  For the most part, the stonework is indicative of the business it sits in front of, although there were a few places where the business was relocated and the stonework remained.  Even so, it’s pretty easy by the stonework to figure out what kind of business you’re looking at.  Here’s three examples:

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Another general shot of the city, with one of the church towers in the background for perspective of what the weather was like.

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The Roter Bären is one of the oldest buildings in Freiburg, and is a well known hotel.

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The front of the Rathäuser, the history city halls.

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The Münster cathedral, with amazing gargoyles all over the structure.  You can climb the tower, but I didn’t want to do that unless it was a clear day- the view just isn’t the same when you can only see a few buildings away.

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Note the gargoyles in the center-  the one on the left is just sticking his butt out.  Hilarious!

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Lastly, a short walk away from the cathedral is the 48th Parallel.  I live close to the 49th parallel, and I know you can see the 49th in Karlsruhe, but I haven’t been there.  I was also unable to see the Prime Meridian when I was in London because the observatory was closed due to the Olympics.  But here, there’s a bar on the corner called 48 Degrees.  And right in front of that bar, is the 48th Parallel.  This is fascinating to me:

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How many parallels or meridians have you seen?