One of the perks of living in Freiburg is the easy access to Southeast France. I have always feared, mostly from my ignorant stereotyping, that French people refuse to speak English and this deterred me from traveling to my next door neighboring country. I would always skip France and travel to Spain instead, where people don’t much speak English as well for another reason- but that’s another story. Technically, this should have been my second time in Strasbourg, had I managed to get off the bus from from Antwerp on my way back to Freiburg last Christmas holiday.
picturesque view of the Ill from one of the innercity’s many bridges, Strasbourg’s charm simply captivates you.
My travel mate, Stephen, an Australian who has moved in to London, and I were at the city center by 8:30 am last Saturday. For sure we were the first tourists in town. It is always nice to take a peek of a city before it comes to life and tourists come in droves. Streets and alleys were still deserted and the crowd in the day market were mostly locals. Having wandered aimlessly for almost a couple of hours, we hopped on to one of the cruise boats that plied the route of boatmen of the olden city. When viewed on a map, the town center looks like an island, accessible thru a number of bridges that go over the moats and connect it to the surrounding mainland. Describe the xperience and view in the boat. With my student ID, I paid half the price for the 1 hour and ten-minute cruise along the River Ill. We must have passed through several bridges, each serving as a welcome arch that introduced us to the quarters of the city. The quarter of petit France, the European Parliament and aptly, the bourgeoisie of Strasbourg boast a view of the river that is to-die for.
Ride along the tide…
We picked up some vegetables, foie grois and bread we needed for our surprise dinner to our hospitable host, Fred, we decided it was time to head to base camp. We prepared our version of Ratatouille for dinner. Our host praised the Ratatouille, yet felt tentative with the foie grois, which had upset his stomach some years back and explained his dislike for the exotic bread complement.
The following day, we made a day trip to Kaysersberg and Bonhomme. I have visited Kaysersberg last year through an excursion organized during my German language course. We grabbed an Alsatian beer in Kaysersberg once we got thirsty after walking and winding through the little town’s narrow streets. After our special and unique lunch of Schnitzel and pasta in Bonhomme, we embarked on a little hike up to Lac Blanc (Lake White) that was reachable via a lift or a hike up. Here I painfully- quite literally at that- discovered that hiking on flip-flops wasn’t such a smart idea. Later that afternoon, we drove to the train station to catch my 5:51 pm train back to Freiburg.
Bonhomme lift ride…
More photos in my flickr page