Thursday, December 24, 2015

Strasbourg, 'Capitale de Noël.'

12-24-15 STRASBOURG, FRANCE: We had a latish start this morning with breakfast at the hotel—multiple choices available including ketchup for the eggs. Eventually we got back across the river for a boat ride/tour. It was a big open boat with fifty or so passengers, Batorama, les bareaux promenades.

The tour came with headphones that provided geography and history lessons. We headed up river to the old forts that defended the city in the middle ages. Basically, they flooded it when attacked. The city and whole area have ping-ponged back and forth between France and Germany. It has belonged to France since the end of the First World War. The city’s location on the French-German border makes it a natural for the European Union Parliament, which is housed in a huge modern complex on the east end of the city.

The boat had to go through a lock to take us upstream and through another to go back downstream. We circumnavigated the center city and then visited the European Union complex.

Back on dry land, we did more shopping and sightseeing. Judy and I went to Place du Petit Broglie and the opera house, and then Eglise St. Pierre-Le-Jeune, which was open. The church has a cloister and frescos dating to the 11th century and a huge organ. The cathedral was not open to the public except for Midnight Mass, but that was too late for us. Along the way we had more spiced vin chaud, sugar cookies, and gingerbread before getting back to the room for a nap before dinner.

We ate at Au Crocodile, a Michelin one star restaurant, where we had the tasting menu and accompanying wines. The meal lasted for hours and was spectacular. I am guessing there were at least nine courses before we all staggered back to the hotel.

River view.

Flower boxes. Strasbourg is getting the same warm weather we are getting.

The foot bridge retracts for the boat.

Neptune with trident, I'm guessing.

EU Complex.

Carousel in the shadow of the cathedral.

March de Carre d'Or. Everything Russian including Xmas tree ornaments of which we now own one.

Eglise St. Pierre-Le-Jeune.

Gingerbread men open the show.

Weary diners contemplate one of the desserts, edible Xmas balls of chocolate, sugar and cream.

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