Friday, March 31, 2006
It's asinine, asinine! I tell you that it's taken six or seven visits to Strasbourg to write about it. Since our arrival, Strasbourg has been the great escape. Within the first few weeks of feeling like asses for our inability to speak German, Strasbourg was there. When we couldn't find a "German" meal of sauerkraut and wurst, Strasbourg was there. When there wasn't a decent croissant or baguette to be found (we're only an hour away!), Strasbourg was there! When we endlessly searched for shoes, Strasbourg was there!! When we didn't know what else to do with our families, Strasbourg was there!!! And Strasbourg always delivers.
For those that don't know anything about it, Strasbourg is in the Alsace-Lorraine region (where the quiche comes from) and has been passed back and forth between Germany and France. France lovers might not like Strasbourg for its being too "German" but for France lovers stranded in Germany, it's French...hence my love of it. It's not a big city with a lot to do, but the charm of the tudor-style houses and flower boxes EVERYWHERE (when in season) suck people in and drive home that feeling of, ahhhh...I'm in Europe. If you're going to do a museum, do the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. It's a brand-spanking new (opened in 1998) and cool building with an equally cool collection and not to mention great views of the city inside the river that encircles it. Of course many times the coolness will hinge on the exhibition that happens to be there, but we've been there three different times and each accompanying visitor approved.
Strasbourg's centerpiece, the cathedral, has great views as well if you're willing to tackle the endless spiral staircase. The giant astrological clock in the transept is a unique feature because nothing says religion like...astrology.
I just went back two weeks ago with my cousin and if I were to write a children's book about the trip, the story would closely resemble that of The Very Hungry Catepillar. We ate our way from Place de la Cathédrale through Place Broglie, to Place Kléber over to La Pétite France. I highly recommend this tour of Strasbourg as the general rule of thumb is: if it looks good, it is good and there's no shortage of boulangeries, pâtisseries, chocolateries, and cafés.