John wakes up with severe laryngitis. He says it was from talking too much at work yesterday. I hope he is not getting sick. We have breakfast at the hotel with some excellent breads. Sarah and I have a pretzel. We looked at them yesterday and regretted not having bought one. We get on the road around 10:30 AM. The drive through the Black Forest takes longer than expected due to many slow trucks. The landscape is scenic and all the villages are charming.
We arrive at Strasbourg around 1 PM. We have a much easier time finding our way into the city than last time. France seems more crowded and a lot dirtier than Germany. We visi the Strasbourg Cathedral. The stone work is amazing. Sarah likes the rose window. We have wine and a hot chocolate at an outdoor cafe near the river. We watch a girl juggle and the waiter is joking with us about who gets the wine. Sarah buys a shot glass. All in all it is a very pleasant hour and a half.
Onto Metz, France. We go on the toll road. It cost 60ff or about $12 to go 150 km, pretty pricey but quick. Metz is a rabbit warren of narrow streets. We drive around and around finally finding the tourist agency. We get directions to the Metz Mercury which is hard to find. Anita, of course, has screwed up the reservations by booking two rooms again. This is not a charming hotel. We are staying in the ugliest room ever—narrow with three beds in a row, plastic furniture, and a pink decor.
We take a walk to the St. Etienne Cathedral. It is very impressive with a very high vault with buttresses and three rows of stained glass windows, some by Chagall.
We have dinner at the hotel and it is not a success. We trade food around trying to please everyone (Sarah.) I should not have insisted on French food. In the future we will stick to more McDonald’s and Italian food.
Everyone is exhausted and John is sicker with no voice and a bad sore throat. I hope that the erythromycin I brought along will help.