Day 3: Strasbourg
I declare Strasbourg to be quite possibly the most picturesque city in all of Europe.
It’s right over here on the French/German border and seems to have been architecturally designed with the best of both. 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 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 which is surrounded by a river and are very easy to hop on hop off – even when dragging luggage. About €1.40 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. It was permanently settled over 3000 years ago.
The UNESCO protected historic centre is full of old-as buildings and wrapped by the Ill River. A boat tour around it means passing through locks and under the Bridge of Torture where evil murderers 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.
Around every corner is a photo opportunity and I hardly stopped clicking for an entire day. The majestic 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.
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.
Plan to spend at least two days in Strasbourg…
Jump here to check out the great rail packages with Rail Europe.