Onto the crossroads: Strasbourg

We had an early train out of Koln for a connection in Kolsruhe for our trip to Strasbourg, France. I love taking trains in Europe. They are on time, clean (except for the bathrooms, which can be a tad on the gross side,) in good repair, and full to the gills of people…all kinds of people. We like to travel 2nd class, as 1st is too quiet and boring. In 2nd class there are toddlers, kids playing cards, old ladies gossiping, businessmen chatting…in many, many languages. Bridgett sketches for hours and I just watch.
And when you get tired of people watching, there is scenery! Lovely farms and rivers, industrial centers, suburbs…and all much closer together that in the States, sort of like Neverland.
Our Hotel in Strasbourg is right in the middle of the pedestrian exclusive area of Downtown. We are surrounded by shops, bakeries, and the magically cute Christmas windows of the Galleries Lafayette…little kittens and monsters pulled on strings, like marrionettes.
During the afternoon and evening, we got to talk to folks and do business in French, walk and see the well preserved old town area, and meet the lovely food and people of Les Armes du Strasbourg, a local brasserie. Besides teaching us joys of onion pie and saurkraut, this establishment introduced us to yet another European treat: cafe Alsatian, which is (surprise!) coffee and the local alcohol, which is an incredibly potent eau de vie called marc.
Today, Sunday, we woke up late and spent an hour or so doing laundry, then went for a long walk around the city. The canals of Le Petite France, church of St. Paul’s reflected in the River ill, the lovely public sculptures and outstanding architecture of this city showed us why it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for its unique beauty and history. We had to keep stopping to refuel…hot chestnuts, coffee, and other tasty snacks held us until we returned to Les Armes du Strasbourg for dinner. We have now soaked in a hot tub and are jello-y and ready for bed. Goodnight! (wave good-night, Harold…nope, he’s asleep).

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