I am packing my bags and getting ready to go home tomorrow. I'm giddy about it. Twelve days away without my family is a bit much and not something I see myself doing ever again.
I managed to cram in years worth of activities, driving, train rides, bus rides and walking in a matter of days.
On my fourth day in town, I took the rental car into France to explore the city of Metz. I've read that Metz hosts one of the largest flea markets in Europe during the summer. It also has numerous antique stores and used book shops. If you can find them.
I headed to Metz with some historical landmarks in mind.
When I got there, plans changed. I wasn't expecting a cluster of cars traversing through the narrowest streets I have ever seen. I was a bit panicked. Couldn't find a place to park and was driving in circles.
I finally found a parking garage to leave the car while I explored on foot. When I emerged from the garage, I was in the middle of a shopping mall. I started taking pictures with my phone because I thought for sure I would get lost. I needed a reference that a local could direct me toward.
By sheer luck, I headed straight toward a beautiful cathedral that just so happened to sit next to the Office of Tourism.
Encouraged by finding a beautiful building, a map and someone who spoke English, I headed down the narrow cobblestone streets.
I ended up in a large Christmas Market in, what I'm assuming was about the center of the City. I felt very out of place. Very alone. Very touristy. Very foreign. The whole experience was hugely uncomfortable.
I tried to order a ham sandwich for lunch and received a pizza baguette with mushrooms and olives. sigh.
I roamed around the square, but was afraid of wandering too far and getting lost, so I stuck to a pretty tight area. I managed to back track to the parking garage and decided to try my luck in the car. But, that lasted about two minutes after I nearly had a panic attack driving down this narrow road.
This was my most stressful day of the week and the ultimate deciding factor that I won't be traveling overseas by myself again.
But, I'm glad I did it because I can say I've been to France...oh, and I managed to make it back alive. :) That was a plus.