Day 3 of my 12-day Rail Europe tour: Strasbourg
I declare Strasbourg to be quite possibly the most picturesque city in all of Europe! Read on to see why.
(If you haven’t yet read it, here’s Day 2: Paris)
Where is Strasbourg?
The heart of old-town Strasbourg is wrapped around by the River Ile, coming off the Rhine. This part of town is actually a little island and so picturesque.
Strasbourg is located in the Alsace region on the French/German border and seems to have been architecturally designed with the best of both countries in mind.
Around every corner is yet another photo op, geraniums are out in force, but the wobbly cobblestoned streets and squares are not designed for stiletto-wearing tourists!
We arrived by rip roaring high speed train from Paris right into the middle of the city at about 11am and caught a city tram from the train station to our oh so quaint hotel, the ‘romantik’ Hotel Beaucour.
Their electric trams are very modern and seem to glide around the city with no steps or even a gap between the platform and the train. It makes it very easy to hop on and hop off – even when dragging luggage.
About €1.70 will get you a one-way ticket from the train station that will transport you into the pages of a story book.
Strasbourg is the capital of the Alsace and is the seat of the European Court of Human Rights, European Parliament and many other governing bodies. A Kiwi or Aussie can be forgiven for twirling in circles with their jaw open at the history of this place. It was permanently settled over 3000 years ago!
The UNESCO protected historic centre is full of old buildings and encircled by the Ile River. Take a boat tour around it, passing through locks and under the Bridge of Torture where you’ll hear about evil murderers who were sewn into sacks and dropped alive into the water, and where petty thieves and women of ill repute were put in cages and dunked into the raw waste outlet from the butchery beside the bridge.
I stumbled upon this flea market the next morning (we only had 1 night) and if French antiques is your thing you’d get a little adrenalin rush here.
Around every corner is a photo opportunity and I hardly stopped clicking for an entire day.
The mighty Cathedral of Our Lady took 200 years to build and until the 19th Century had the tallest spire in the world. Window boxes and shutters, Tudor style buildings. Q for quaint.
Plan to spend at least two days in Strasbourg…
Continue my 12-day Rail Europe tour! Day 4: Lucerne