And in to beautiful StrasbourgAugust 29, 2017 in France ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C
Finally, we were moored and the bikes unloaded by about 2.30pm – well not all bikes – some of the Ghostriders had decided to cycle into the city and the others had decided to take the tram and explore on foot. I was in the former group and we headed off down the canal path which was a flat and pleasant ride on a lovely sunny afternoon. We soon reached the old town (also known as little France because of its building style of half-timbered houses built along the river) were Douglas and I, deciding that we were not up for cake and coffee, split off from the rest of the group and continued to explore. Strasbourg was initially confined to a roughly lemon shaped island surrounded by a river called l’Ill – once this was ringed with a wall and 100’s of towers but little of this remains. The region (Alsatian) has its own dialect and has variously – over the years – been French or German – although now we were officially in France again. We explored the Little France area for a bit before making our way to the Cathedral which was AMAZING. Built in the Roman-Gothic style it is highly elaborate and took almost 300 years to complete (1176-1439), it also contains a famous astronomical clock which we saw doing it’s thing. We then joined the Batorama tour – this was a trip all around the island and up the L’Aar River. It took over an hour and we saw and learned many interesting things – such as that during the French Revolution the “authorities” wanted to pull down the Cathedral Spire but were convinced that putting a giant red revolutionary hat over it was a better idea (goodness knows how they got it up there and what it was made of), and that one of the Protestant Churches had 19 doors so that the 3000 soldiers garrisoned there could march in in a quick and orderly manner. After that we did a loop ride around the rest of the Island before coming back to Little France where we sat under a massive and beautiful Plane Tree to enjoy a “Blanche Bier” with was very crisp and “appley” tasting – and rather nice. Whilst we were sitting chatting a waitress dropped a glass Pepsi bottle with dramatic effect as is smashed on the cobblestones sending glass flying – including into my leg – just a scratch fortunately but the blood was impressive – I was hoping to be offered a free beer as compensation but no luck, probably just as well as we still had to ride back. We had a quick look from the top of the covered bridge which is at the base of the island and then having been told that dinner was at 6pm (not 6.30 as we had thought) we hightailed it back to the boat for dinner (Salad, Soup, Fish and Waffles).
After dinner, it was a quick shower and then Douglas, Bob and I took the short stroll down to the tram where we purchased (and validated – under the stern and watchful gaze of the ticket inspectors) tickets for the short ride into town. We walked down to the Cathedral where we then had to wait for an hour and a half (thanks Dagmar – you got the 8pm and then every 20 minutes info quite wrong) for the sound and light show projected on the Cathedral wall – it WAS worth the wait though.
Meanwhile Kirstin had gone exploring with some of the other Ghostriders, also visiting the Cathedral, and strolling around the town – enjoying a bier at a café and then ending up at a lovely restaurant near the lock. Called Au Pont Saint Martin, it was 250years old and served traditional Alsatian dishes. Kirstin enjoyed a delicious cream cheese and potato pancake with more cheese (Munster this time) on the side, plus a salad – yummo! Then it was back to the boat – with an interesting interaction with the ticket machine which was vigorously ejecting tickets through the air still fortunately validated them as the inspectors were out in force.Read more