aka: Shannon's Shananigan's (Since there seems to be less & less knitting and more Shananigan-ing going on as of late and well, let's face it, she's just going to always be a techygeekgirl!!)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Blind Cow, Irish Pub & Dijon, France

I had quite the eating experience on Friday night. A group of 15 of us ate at a restaurant in Basel called Blindkuh, which is translated to "The Blind Cow". It is a restaurant that you eat in complete darkness, in order to give you the experience as if you were visually impaired. They lead you into the completely dark restaurant in a line and sit you at the table. The menu was given to us before we entered, but we order from our visually impaired waitress, Frainy, who was wonderful for putting up with us! I sat between two of the UK Boys who were a riot. Before we even got our drinks, they had taken all the silverware and glasses and moved them to one end of the table! I ended up eating the "Menu Surprise" for dinner, which included soup, a main course of meat, potatoes and vegetables and dessert. It was strange trying to eat, as honestly, I used my fingers a couple of times to figure out where all the food was! The meat was odd - beefy, but gamey. (The meat turned out to be Black Wildebeast, but they would not tell us until after the meal was over.) Towards the end of the meal though, members of our group decided to change shirts with each other. Most of the guys ended up in the girls' shirts, which was a riot. We got pictures, but I was threatened if I post them!! It was a cool experience, though I don't know if I would ever want to do it again....

After dinner, our group went to the Irish pub that we usually hang out in. A couple of us had stopped for a bier on the way and someone had brought an empty bottle into the bar, to throw it away (open containers are allowed). After everyone had gotten their biers and sat down, the owner came over, picked up one of the bottles and threw us all out - without letting anyone explain. (biers are 10CHF/each and everyone had at least one!) I got about 2/3 of my Guiness finished before leaving. Tony K, the only true Irishman with our group and probably the only one in the bar, tried to reason with the owner, but he would have none of it and Tony called him every name in the book. Needless to say, we'll be finding a new place to spend all of our money at in the future!

Yesterday a group of 11 of us drove to Dijon, France for the day. The weather was mostly sunny and in the 50's for the day, so it was good for walking around around. (I think we walked between 3-5 miles total!!) It was a pretty town and there were a lot of neat old Catholic churches:

St. Benigne

Notre Dame (notice all the Gargoyles on the front of it - there are a ton of them all over this church!)

St. Michel

They were all beautiful and had gorgeous artwork, tapestries, stone and woodwork and stained glass windows in each (I took another 100 pictures in all, so I have more with the details in them!). I found it refreshing to be in a Catholic church again too, so much so, that I found an English-speaking Catholic church to attend tonight in Basel!!

We also walked up in the Tour la Philippe Le Bon at the Palais Des Etats - all 317 circular steps of it!! The view was amazing and you could see all of Dijon and beyond.
The view was amazing and seeing all of the churches and various architectural styles was pretty cool. I have a 360 degree video here. The palace was impressive too:

Of course we could not stop in Dijon without buying mustard, so we bought some at Boutique Maille, which shows that it's been in existence since 1747! The mustard was more spicey and flavorful than the Dijon mustards I have had at home. It came in a little crock with a cork, after being dispensed from a TAP in the store - that was so cool! I ended up buying 2 jars, as two of them were absolutely fabulous! (Now I need to find some good pretzels or brats and we are in business!!)

We stopped for afternoon drinks at this outdoor cafe (which is pretty famous and all all the touristy stuff):

I did find a pretty bracelet in shop along a side street in town too. It was a colorful glass bracelet from a designer in Paris. Ok, so it was a little pricier than I would pay normally, but absolutely fabulous and how cool is it to say "I got it in France" when someone asks!!
Most of the streets looked like this:

There is a replica of the Arch de la Triomphe in Dijon too:
The white things in the middle of the flowers are ping-pong balls on stakes that I guess are supposed to look "cool" when lit up at night...

After a day of walking the town, we had dinner at the Les Halles de Bistro for dinner. It was really good and not as expensive as I would have guessed for all of us. (France was not as expensive as Switzerland!) We ended up leaving Dijon at about 9:30 and got back to Basel at about 12:30 and caught the tram home. It was a long but really fun day in France!!

Today it's supposed to be about 65 and mostly sunny today, so I think I'm going to take a book and a bottle of water out along the Rhine to read, then catch church and maybe dinner with the group tonight. I'm looking forward to a lazy day here, as it's been a crazy week and weekend thus far!!

Next weekend is my last on this Basel trip, so I'm hoping to "shop Basel" and explore the town. Hopefully the weather will cooperate with me too!!


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