Strasbourg: C'était Magnifique!
Trip Start Aug 18, 2011
45Trip End Jul 02, 2012
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I just ended my trip to Strasbourg and had a great time in the city. I had to reach back into the dusty corners of my brain to remember some of the things my French teacher, Madame Dorsey, taught me in high school. I thought I didn't remember anything, but most of it came back really easily. Parez-vous français?
I left Amsterdam bright and early on the 23rd and flew into Basel Mulhouse Freiburg airport on the border between Switzerland, Germany and France. At the airport you have to choose which doors to leave the based on what country you were going to. After that I took a train for about an hour to Strasbourg
What a city! I found myself mesmerized by the timber-framed houses. Can I please live in one? I started off the day by touring the inside of the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg, the tallest cathedral in France (and the tallest building on Earth from 1647-1874). I knew it was going to be big, but when I first rounded the corner of the square and saw it, I just stood for a minute and gawked with my mouth open. It's humongous - way bigger than I expected.
It was started in 1015 and completed in 1449. The inside was equally as beautiful as the outside. There's a neat astronomical clock inside, and I got to see the figures rotate and move around like in this video which was fun.
After that I walked up to the Place de l'Republique to see the Palais (Palace) du Rhine, the Opera and the library of the University of Strasbourg. Then I took a walk through Petite France, which has a lot of the old German timber-framed houses (The city has been controlled by France and Germany at different times in it's history) and some old medieval guard towers overlooking the river. Unfortunately, the Barrage Vauban (a bridge) with good views of the city was being repaired
Luckily, the next day I woke up and there were blue skies. I'd almost forgotten what they look like after being in Amsterdam so long! I spent most of the day retracing some of my steps the day before to get better pictures and then I hit up some other sites. I got to see the European Quarter with the European Parliament and Council buildings and the European Court of Human Rights. It was neat to see some of the EU institutions I've learned about in my Contemporary EU class. I also got to see the Place Gutenburg. Gutenburg, the inventor of the printing press, lived in the city for part of his life. That night I indulged myself and bought a chocolate and coffee mousse cake. It was a little pricey at €5, but it was worth it. So good!
Now I'm off to Zurich, Switzerland!