Dreyeckland: Day-trips to France and Switzerland

Karah Kemmerly

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In the 70s and 80s, a nuclear-sized storm came to Freiburg. More specifically, plans were made to build the Kernkraftwerk Wyhl (a nuclear power plant) in Kaiserstuhl, an area just north of the city, and several environmentally conscious student groups took to the streets- and radio signals-in protest.

From this battle and from battles against nuclear energy in both France and Switzerland, Radio Dreyeckland was created.

The word “Dreyeckland” is an interesting one. It comes from the word “Dreiländereck,” which describes the area where the borders of Germany, France and Switzerland meet. It literally means “three-country corner.” The word “Dreyeckland,” however, translates to “three-corner country,” suggesting that these small areas of three different countries can be combined into another country of sorts. At the time, the anti-nuclear cause crossed borders. And Radio Dreyeckland enabled students to spread their sentiments throughout the region.

During the past two weeks, I’ve been able to experience a little bit of the Dreyeckland for myself. (Granted, we might have been too far past the Swiss borders for it to count.) The first trip: Grindelwald.

We took a gondola to the mountain in the morning and then we hiked in the Alps for a while. It was beautiful. Even though it wasn’t Austria, I was singing songs from The Sound of Music over and over in my head. It was also very cool to see such a multilingual country. Signs in Switzerland are written in three or four languages, not just one.

Here are some photos from the trip:

The only downside to Switzerland was having to use the franc instead of the Euro. The coffee I bought was fairly expensive already, and on top of that, the exchange rate favors the franc.

On to our second day trip: Strasbourg. (Or Straßburg, if you prefer the German spelling.)

I was really looking forward to seeing part of Alsace, regardless of the rainy weather. This region near the Rhine has its own distinct character, likely because the region switched from French to German to French territory so frequently. The Alsatian dialect sounds a little French and a little German, and we could hear bits of German, French, English and Alsatian while walking through town.

We started our day by taking a covered boat tour through town and then going to the Museé des Beaux-Arts. We also got to see the cathedral in Strasbourg that Goethe loved so much. Here are some photos from the boat tour and from wandering through the streets:

We topped off our trip to France in a very satisfying way: wine-tasting at the Badischer Winzerkeller in Germany.

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