So the plan was to wake up early and go bike riding with the folks again. But of course I overslept and didn’t wake up until 1pm. I missed breakfast and lunch, but luckily I had purchased snacks yesterday at the market.
At 1:30 we left to go to the Kronenbourg brewery for a tour and tasting. I learned more than I ever needed to know about German/French beer. Apparently the only thing that makes beers different is the yeast, which is the major secret of all the breweries. All the water, malt (barley, wheat, etc.), and yeast are (or can be) the same. We were able to taste the different malts that help to flavor the beer. We also learned that during the fermentation process of beer-making creates a lot of CO2, some of which is bottled up and made available to bars who sell beer on tap. When they provide tap beer, it loses it’s CO2, and the excess is used to add it back. The fun part was the beer-tasting afterwards. And just let me tell you, even the nastiest beer from the Kronenbourg was better than Budweiser and Heineken. My new favorite beer is Wel Scotch (which I will probably never find in the states) and 1664 (which I will also never find in the states). I even tasted a dark, Guinness-like beer called Beamish which was just good for no reason! It tasted like cold, black coffee. It was extremely smooth, but I’ll probably never find that in the states either. 😦 I’ll just stick to Woodchuck! 😉
From the brewery, we went to Strasbourg to take a bout tour of the area. We had some time to spare, so a few of us went into the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Strasbourg. Any mega-church in the states has NOTHING on this Cathedral! The doors were incredibly tall and the interior was just amazing. I had to take pics with the flash off because there was a service in session.
Then, on to the boat trip! Lots of pics from that, including a tower of torture, more houses, and cathedrals and the European Parliament.
More pics tomorrow.