Today has been a long day of travel, but thankfully we had a private bus to drive us from Brussels to our appointment with the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg, then to our chateau in Strasbourg, France. With an early start, we had to be packed, well-dressed, and finished eating breakfast by 7:30am. Then we had about three hours of travel to Luxembourg where we were able to sleep.
The Court of Auditors in Luxembourg was really nice and offered us coffee, tea, and water, which as you all know from my previous post, is not something you typically get for free in Europe. Coffee has quickly become a new food group for me in Europe, especially with the time difference, the late nights, and the early mornings we've had.
In a broad sense, the Court of Auditors is similar to the IRS in the United States, but it's functions are a lot broader and more complex. The Court counts the revenue taken in, the expenditures incurred, and makes sure the EU financial situation is efficient. Although it's not really relevant to what I will be writing my research paper on, it was an interesting presentation.
After this appointment, my group and the Brazilian group traveled another 3 1/2 hours to Strasbourg, France, but since the tour de France is going on, we were advised to take a different route. So, since Strasbourg lies on the boarder between France and Germany, we came in through the German border, which had some of the most beautiful scenery of rural farm land that I've seen. Pictures don't really do it justice, but I did take some to remember it and share with everyone.
We arrived at the chateau around 8:00-8:30pm, and it is straight out of a storybook. So peaceful and historic but well preserved. My group and the Brazilian students are not the only groups here though. Many college students that study in Europe have stayed here and we are currently sharing the chateau with the Brazilians whom we've been traveling with and another group of miscellaneous students from California, Georgia, Africa, and a few other places. I just met the new students this evening so I'll learn more about their backgrounds as the days progress.
I will be posting more pictures of the chateau when I have a chance but I've posted some just to give you an idea.