Written on May 30. Sent on June 4.
This is Bob’s day off. So moi, Eva, will attempt, with her words and photos, to fill you in on our two days in Strasbourg, Alsace, France.
Those of you who are even a little familiar with French know that the two words, Bonjour and Strasbourg, rhyme when pronounced correctly. And for me these last two days were part poetry, part history imagining what life in the Middle Ages might have been like, but most of all wonderment and pure enjoyment of the beauty of this city.
Bob already has told you that the beginning was anything but pleasant, what with our getting utterly lost. But the angel in the form of a nice gentleman who insisted on guiding us all the way to our apartment made things alright again, and when we began our intensive sightseeing the next day, the early frustration was forgotten.
A 9-minute bus ride took us to the Train Station. From the outside it looked like a futuristic glass building, but it turned out to be an addition wrapped around the existing, original train station.
Strasbourg Train Station
On the short walk to the Altstadt, or City Center, we were interested in seeing three soldiers, guns at the ready — patrolling? On their way to lunch? Who knows. We would see many more guys in uniform, including lots of city policemen. So we felt safe.
We loved the town. Narrow cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, many old churches and plazas, and of course lots of outdoor cafes and restaurants.
Just another half-timbered building
One of the canals that run through the city
We joined the crowd, found a table in the shade, and ordered – and enjoyed – the most delicious meal either one of us has ever had.
Our lunch spot on the street: A random choice
That called for walking afterwards since we had no doubt overeaten. So we spent the afternoon exploring the streets of the Altstadt, and enjoying street entertainment, wonderful architecture, and of course the famous Strasbourg Cathedral. It is one of those treasures that, as they say, you have to see to believe.
La Cathedrale – Strasbourg’s major tourist draw
A side portal of the Cathedral
If all the walking that day wasn’t enough, we decided to forego the bus and walk all the way home, another 4 1/2 km.
Today we explored La Petite France, the old quarter where artisans lived and worked on narrow streets in half-timbered houses.
La Petite France
A gigantic tree shades the diners
Two of the remaining towers of the former wall around Strasbourg
It is a wonderfully alive part of town, lined with many small shops and restaurants ranging from pizzerias to upscale establishments. The greatest source of entertainment seemed to be watching the excursion boats going through the locks.
Waiting for the sightseeing boat
Heading into the lock
Tourists would assemble en masse when another boat came in sight and cheered it on as it sank deeper and deeper. More people watching at the other end when it emerged, making sure everybody had survived.
We are sorry to have to say Au Revoir, Strasbourg!