Update from Freibourg…

I left Luxembourg a little later than I had planned. Woke up late and wasted a little time at a motorcycle shop at the edge of town.

I took the freeway to Volkingen, and then a brief stop at Strasbourg, my little sojourn into France. (On the way, just before I entered France, I was amused to see a sign that said “dernier sortie a Allemagne”. Why wasn’t the sign in German?)

I felt tempted to stay in Strasbourg for the night because it was so nice to finally be in a country where I can more or less understand and speak the language. I had to keep going though. Strasbourg did surprise me in that it was a little… dirty. I got lunch at a small roadside shop – a sort of kebab roll. The bread was amazingly French – fresh and crisp, but the lamb tasted tough and overcooked, so that was a bummer. It was starting to get really, really hot too and I was feeling like I was getting slow cooked in my gear. I took the liner out of my jacket.

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After this backroads all the way to Freibourg. It felt a little like the universe had finally aligned to put together my favorite riding conditions – warm, sunny weather, winding roads, emerald green trees and hedges, and next to no traffic on the streets. I had a fantastic time! :) Wish I could say more, but the fact that I have no pictures is proof that it was a brilliant ride that I didn’t want to stop.

I got to Freibourg around 5PM and checked into the hostel. It was on a river bank and surrrounded by beautiful green meadows. I lounged about doing this and that until it was time to get dinner. There was a German restaurant down the street, so I walked past the river, crossed a little bridge and found it. I ordered some Hefeweizen beer (tasty!) and some bratwurst with onions and bread (tastier!). While I waited for my order, I saw a couple of guys at the table next to me playing a game of chess. I looked at them longingly (possibly weirding them out a bit) before finally plucking up the courage to walk up to them and ask if I could play the next game. They were very welcoming, so I brought my drink over and sat with them. They introduced themselves as Ralf and Dominic (and one more super nice guy whose name I cannot recall now). As usual, their English was better than my German, so we conversed in some broken English. I understood that they were part of a chess club that met there every Friday. Great, that meant I’d be playing some high rated players. I didn’t care, even if I lost badly, it would be good to just play after a month long break.

We were joined by two more players – Isaac and Andy. They were both hilarious. Isaac creamed me at one game and he especially made me giggle because he corrected practically every move I made, telling me what the repercussions would be four moves down. At some point, it felt like he was playing against himself. ;) It was educational though and he meant well, so I didn’t mind at all. After this, they started playing blitz chess with a timer, something that never fails to fascinate me. I think I’d get a stroke halfway through a game if I ever tried, but it was still pretty cool to watch. Hmm… maybe I *will* try my hand at it sometime.

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It was a little gratifying how they asked me questions and tried to include me in their conversation even though English was not their native language. I wished I had more pictures of home and my life on my phone or something so that I could show them. I had a really pleasant time nonetheless and after winning my only game, I decided to call it a night and left the good natives of Freibourg to their matches.

On the way back to the hostel, I briefly talked to Tobi, a CSer from Lausanne. We were both disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to meet like we had talked about because of conflicting plans. It’s too bad, now I get to enter Switzerland without knowing anyone there. This will be the last leg of my journey as I get ready to cross the Alps. My plan is to cross the Grimsell Pass and sort of make my way to the Dolomites and Venice before turning back to Ljubljana.

I feel a little tired today though, so maybe I will end up staying in Freibourg an additional night.


I felt completely exhausted to the point of feeling sick all of the next day, so I spent another day in Freibourg, most of it just laxing aruond the river and enjoying the sunshine. It was just what I needed.

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Later in the evening, I took a tram to the Old Town and took some pictures.

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