Monday, February 2, 2015

Humber Goes Global: Diane Keefe

This post contains selections from the blog posts of Diana Keefe, a Humber faculty member from the School of Hospitality,Recreation and Tourism (HRT) who is in currently in Strasbourg, France leading HRT's 4th Semester in Europe program.

When in Europe…..
It is hard to believe we have been in Strasbourg for over a week now! Our arrival into Frankfurt on January 5th seems like a month ago. We hit the ground running and I am loving every minute of it.

Upon arrival at the Chateau Pourtales we were greeted by the friendly staff of the Chateau and Annika, our CEPA co-ordinator and newest member of our European family.

Our first week started off with getting to know the Chateau Pourtales which is truly like living in a fairytale castle! The Chateau boasts nearly three centuries of history and is a warm and enchanting place to hang our hats for 7 weeks during our Humber Study Abroad program. How lucky are we to be part of this adventure. I cannot wait to share new experiences with a wonderful group of like minded students, eager to get out there and explore!

Chateau Pourtales, Strasbourg, France / Humber Study Abroad 2015
Chateau Pourtales, Strasbourg, France
Maison Lissner ~ C’est bon!
Our first introduction to sample fine French wine was courtesy of Bruno Schlogel of Maison Lissner. Bruno’s family has been making wine for many generations and he is truly passionate about his craft. I enjoy a good glass of wine and am now beginning to understand a lot more about how it gets from the vine to the bottle! It was interesting to learn about the varying colours (appearance), smell (nose), taste (palate) and the best foods to match with the different wines!

WE ARE….on a road trip touring the Alsatian route des vins!
Alsatian “Route des vins”
Our first week ended with a fabulous tour of the Alsatian wine route "a historic land and noble wines". This tour winds its way from north to south for more than 170km along the eastern foothills of the Vosges. We visited lovely quaint villages along the way such as Ribeauville, lunch in Riquewihr, wine sampling at Cave Vinicole Jean Geiler in Ingersheim and then on to the quaint town of Colmar! We also sampled some Alsatian Cake Kougelhopf with our wine!

WE ARE…….sampling various cheeses at La Cloche a Fromage in Strasbourg! What a great afternoon. You could smell the cheese as we rounded the corner of the quaint cobbled street in Strasbourg. We were given a great overview the process of making the cheese we sampled which was paired with a lovely glass of white wine!

As we head into our 3rd week (yikes) I still have to pinch myself every morning! The ambiance at the Chateau makes you feel like a princess!

What a day we had on Friday! Baden Baden is great great! The students had to prepare and execute a walking tour as part of one of their assignments and they did a fab job. Afterwards we toured the Baden Baden Casino and I have to say it was truly jaw dropping! Absolutely stunning decor & fascinating history. I expected to see Sean Connery or Daniel Craig with a martini playing the tables (and/or women)! We had a tour of the casino and then one of the croupiers provided us with a demo of French roulette. Then onto the Black Forest with lunch and site inspection at the gorgeous 5* Relais & Chateaux Hotel Traube Tonbach. I am going back to spend some time at this place….I’m speechless which is hard for me :-)

WE ARE….having a great time at the Baden Baden Casino…morning tour of the casino is highly recommended. We had the place to ourselves…want to gamble….come back later and try your luck!

Strolling the ‘Park’ Avenue….
Went for a long Sunday afternoon stroll and found some furry French cows and two WW2 bunkers. There is a large park surrounding the Chateau filled with hiking, biking and walking trails. Many bonjours bonjours along the way!

World War II bunkers
World War II bunkers
"Just grazing and lazing on a Sunday afternoon!"
WE ARE……having a class in the Grand Salon today! C’est bon! What an experience to teach and learn in a room like this….love the Study Abroad program!
Susan & Rudi - perhaps the new Humber classroom design?
"We are……having a class in the Grand Salon today! C’est bon!.."
WE ARE…..visiting Strasbourg Cathedral. What a beautiful site. Built between 1176-1439 this is well worth a visit. The Astronomical clock is a site to see and be sure to time it when the figurines come to life!
Outside Strasbourg Cathedral
The Astronomical clock
Follow more of Diana's Study Abroad blog posts here. 

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